"Color in these photographs would look great too, but I just think that stripping color away makes you focus on the textures, lines, and shapes."
Portrait photographer Rick Wenner took the XF IQ3 100MP Achromatic Camera System and put it to the test, photographing a classic event in timeless black and white. Rick tells us about his experience shooting with the only 101-megapixel digital back dedicated to black and white photography.
Capturing a classic event
“The Race of Gentlemen (TROG) is an annual drag racing event with pre-war era hot rods and motorcycles. Everyone is dressed in 1950’s and earlier period style to reflect the overall feel of the event. I was inspired to go to and shoot in strictly black and white for many reasons. I love the old cars and bikes. They are art and simply beautiful pieces of machinery. I love the style that people present themselves in. Most of my favorite photographs from this period are in black and white, which is one of the main reasons why I chose to shoot with the Phase One Achromatic system. I wanted to strip away color and focus solely on detail, motion, and style.”
The fascinating faces of TROG
“Being a portrait photographer, I can’t help but find interesting people around me. I want to learn about people, who they are and their life experiences. The Race of Gentlemen draws in such a wide variety of people to their event, from hot rod builders, bikers, fashionistas, celebrities, children, and more. I decided to shoot two styles of portraits - environmental portraits and high key portraits to focus completely on the subject. I wanted to show who the people of TROG are. The action photographs of the beach drag racing are all about the excitement and intensity of the races.”
Removing the distraction of color
“Black and white photography is a great approach to focus completely on the detail and art of these beautiful machines. Color in these photographs would look great too, but I just think that stripping color away makes you focus on the textures, lines, and shapes. You aren’t distracted by a bright blue sky or a yellow-green paint job on a hot rod. You are not distracted by the colorful tattoos or the rust and patina of an old delivery truck. Your eye is only looking at what I want the viewers to see in my photos - detail, texture, facial expressions, style, shapes, and action.”
101-megapixels of pure achromatic power
“Using the Achromatic digital back very much influenced how I shot these photos. I’m usually thinking of how the photo will look in color, but since I was shooting 100% in black and white, it felt more relaxed and free because I knew how the photo would look straight out of the camera, which was gorgeous. The 100 megapixels of this digital back also influenced many of my photos. I knew that I was going to capture incredible detail, so I tried to find photos that would showcase that. If you zoom into some of these photos at 100%, you’ll see the insane detail of sand flying behind the racers’ tires. My 50MP back shows incredible detail, but 100MP is on another level.”
This collaboration was made possible thanks to local Phase One partner Digital Transitions.