The Future of Architectural Photography

The Phase One IQ3 100 Trichromatic Digital Back – An Interiors and Architectural Photographer’s Exploration and Experimentation

Four years ago, I ended my blog post contemplating the future. “Let’s see what they think of next,” I queried.
This, of course, referring to how technology would bring to the photographic industry higher quality standards across all platforms. Admittedly, what I was truly pondering was what would Phase One dream up and be able to create? How could their flagship camera for interior architecture become even better? Their answer has proven to be a miraculous, yet completely expected one.
I have been a Phase One camera owner since 2003, and I had utilized four different systems until 2014, when at that time , I upgraded to the state-of-the-art medium format camera system, the IQ260, complete with a beautiful technical camera built by Cambo Photography. As I had noted in our admittedly lonely blog post in 2014, the synergy of my workflow with that equipment was immediate, passionate, and I had definitely found the best “tools of the trade” for me. Flash-forward to 2017 and Phase One has done it once more with the introduction of the IQ3 100 Trichromatic digital back… again, I have changed how I think about my photography.
I had vacillated for months after the announcement of Phase One’s new technology, contemplating the business of interiors and architecture photography, my working methodology, what made sense financially… did I truly need to offer my clients more than 60 megapixels? Is 100 megapixels the Holy Grail for digital photography? When the Trichromatic was introduced, with a unique sensor which captures the most pure, accurate color of any camera manufactured today, my level of intrigue gripped me like powerful vise. Still, I held off, uncertain… holding fast to my IQ260, a digital back which I truly loved and one which I had come to rely upon for my signature “look.” It took months of contemplation and research, before I gave the IQ3 100 Trichromatic a test drive… and am I glad I did.

Privé Condominium, Miami Florida

My first shoot with the Trichromatic, this gorgeous lobby pictured above, was made possible by Capture Integration and Phase One. Chris Snipes has been my support and product specialist since 1995 and has managed Capture Integration’s sales team for years. I was thrilled that Francis Westfield, the U.S manager of sales from Phase One, joined Chris and myself on assignment in Miami, photographing Privé. Interior and architectural photography at this luxury high-rise condominium featured designs throughout the common areas of this residential property. We ran the system through its paces and simply stated, I was floored. Shot after shot, in each and every lighting scenario, I was left speechless, smiling and completely impressed. The Trichromatic was sharper, rich with detail and clarity, more refined and more pure than I have ever seen in a digital capture. Most importantly, and I can’t state this enough, I was inspired to do my best work. That rekindling of passion for the image-making experience is the real story I hope to convey, and that embedded desire to create and share photographs of the highest quality possible has inspired me every assignment since.

The Boca Raton Resort & Spa

A few weeks later, I was thrilled and proud to be commissioned to create photographs of the interior and exterior architecture at the Waldorf Astoria Boca Raton Resort & Spa. This would be the first real opportunity to challenge me, and more importantly allow me to solidify my relationship with the IQ3 100 Trichromatic. This assignment was a joy and for a photographer who derives inspiration from his subject matter, it was one of the most special experiences I have ever had in my career as a professional architectural photographer. The photographs at the resort were honest, with a purity of color and tone, and a simplicity of composition. It was my hope to portray the ambiance of South Florida’s most elegant and historic resort hotel with total respect to the environment and do so with my own dramatic signature style.

With our industry advancing so quickly and cameras becoming better and better, I feel it is most important to be at the forefront of technology… and as far into the future as possible. For me, working with the camera which is most effectively positioned to achieve the highest quality results, does ensure that I am creating work with the greatest potential for lasting value. This, above all, is “soul-satisfying,” a smart business decision, and allows me to feel like I am representing the best of the subject matter with my photographs. I will often say to my clients when asked about our Phase One camera system, that one of the main reasons I shoot with this camera is I want their work to have the longevity and lasting value it deserves. Each and every project. Each and every photograph.

I ended my last blog four years ago pondering the future of photography in terms of equipment, aesthetics, technical advantages, and thinking deeply about color depth, dynamic range, and the ability to shoot long exposures at dawn. I think where I am today is perhaps more metaphysical and contemplative in the sense that I am starting to question what the future holds as it pertains to photographic reproduction, the experience of image creation, and how framing and sharing “life as it happens” is so ubiquitous in our culture.
Again, I ponder the art and commerce of architectural and interiors photography. I am very proud to be able to create work which matters not only in the short term, but my hope… for a lifetime.