Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk

Figments – A visual story of one room through time and residents

Phase One asked Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk to tell us the story behind her series titled Figments. Read her story below.

The Figments project is a project that was on my wish list for a long time. It’s a story about one room through different time periods and with different residents. For this project, I started building a set in my studio based around a room with a window – inspired by the window Vermeer used in his paintings. Because I was financing everything myself, the set was completed with the help of a fellow photographer to keep the costs low. The pressure was tremendous due to the short amount of time I had to capture it all (3 days!), but there was a lot of fun on set.

Figments is split into 3 chapters- Figments Aurum, Figments Alba and Figments Nigrum.

Figments Aurum

For the first chapter, the residents live in the present, and are a family with a little blonde girl who loves art, and is always in thought. I wanted to capture a daydream from her, while she was sitting on a bench holding a paper character from Rembrandt’s Night Watch with her best friend, the chicken. While she is daydreaming, some characters from the Night Watch appear in her living room without her noticing.

It was a big challenge to capture it in a way that was reminiscent of Rembrandt. When studying his painting, you notice the sometimes impossible usage of light. I’ve tried to recreate that light as good as possible. I shot every model individually to get the light right.

It was really stunning seeing the transformation of the models into a Golden Age character from the Night Watch. For this section, I’ve also captured images from the individual characters.

Figments Alba

For the chapter Figments Alba, the residents are all red heads to emphasize the difference between time and characters. This chapter is in more of a silent mood with lighter colors. The images from this section all have a softer atmosphere.

Due to the softness of this chapter, the transformation to the last chapter becomes very apparent.

Figments Nigrum

Figments Nigrum is the dark side of the story. It’s all about suppression, dark moods, and a sense of cold hearts. I’ve tried to emphasize the darkness with the choice of clothing – leather, long jackets, etc.

I really enjoyed shooting the last section. It was beautiful to see how everybody showed their dark side.

Closing Thoughts

From the first moment I started this project, I knew I had to capture it with a Phase One system. With all of the details and scenes, I had to capture this project with as many of the details as possible!

I really like the way the Phase One camera works. I’m a slow photographer, and take the time to get everybody and every little detail in place, so the XF IQ3 100MP Trichromatic Camera System fit like a glove.

I really enjoyed doing this personal project!

– Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk

You can view more from the series on Gemmy’s website.