In July 2018, together with the team of outstanding creatives—some as volunteer models, some as production team—we went to an ancient Russian town Rostov Veliky to photograph Infundibulum's SS2019 collection, Mart (The Market).
Sergey Prokudin-Gorskii was an early pioneer of color photography who produced a vast body of work at the turn of the 20th century. A chemist, an engineer, and a devoted photographer, Prokudin-Gorskii traveled all across the Russian Empire — sometimes by train, sometimes by steamboat — to document its life. His work includes a few hundreds of color photographs, each a unique document of its time.
Prokudin-Gorskii's technical process was ahead of its time: he was producing color photographs long before color film was invented. As one of the earliest precursors of modern-day RGB color processing, Prokudin-Gorskii would take three separate black and white photos of the same scene using a separate color filter — red, green and blue — for each. When projected through their respective filters in the darkroom, these negatives together produced a color image.
I have been inspired by Prokudin-Gorskii's process for some time, and when Ilya Varegin approached me to shoot his upcoming collection, the technique seemed like a perfect fit. A prominent Russian costume designer and the founder of the brand Infundibulum, Ilya creates art that pays homage to historical heritage while maintaining contemporary relevance.
Our objective was to create a pronounced classical look with the modern subject, while at the same time not pretending to be historical. This latter point was very important to us: while we wanted the image to appear anachronistic, we were also determined to leave signs of contemporary life within the frame.
After taking the 4×5 pics we were leaving some time to do digital shots. We decided to repeat Prokudin-Gorskii's approach with them as well! So, this one is the result of three b/w images consequently shot with red, green or blue filter in front of the camera.
The project is a collaboration with Broncolor Russia.