The beginnings of this series date back to a conversation with a wine collector in 2008. Listening to him, his eyes sparkled as he spoke of the passion involved in assembling a collection, and in time I too became fascinated. Where exactly does wine's intrigue come from? Intent on looking further into this question, I wandered through the collector's surroundings. As I shot and compiled photographs, an answer presented itself to me: people.
To begin with, I approached various collectors and asked them to let me photograph a selection of up to a dozen or so of their most prized wines. As to why each collector chose those particular wines to be photographed, their answers varied. A 1999 vintage was put away in anticipation of sharing it with a daughter born the same year. Another collector wished to immerse himself completely in the wine of a certain region. One person had a dozen valuable wines set aside as an investment. Needless to say, collecting delicious wines simply because they are delicious was a reason that many people had in common. however other additional, personal reasons also excited, rich with individuality. Obviously, no two collections were the same.
Regarding the photographing process, the wines were unopened and shot while illuminated with light shone through the bottles. First I photographed the necks (where there no wine) gauging the white balance and applying it to the photographs of the wine itself. By doing so I was perfect, it allowed me to observe the differences in hue and brightness from wine to wine.
Appearing simply as gradations of red at a glance, these works comprise a contemplation of how simply one might be able to capture the beauty and diversity of wine in photograph - without the ability to record aroma or taste- and perhaps even more than that, how one might be able to visually express the various thoughts and feelings poured into each bottles.
"The year when I like it, I will arrange all of these five chateau wines".
"My daughter was born in 1999. I collected these wines one day to share with my daughter".
"I collect wines that I think are important years to me. For example, the year my wife was born. Year when the company was opened".
" I have a small wine bar. These wines are those I can confidently recommend. I chose a wine with a good balance between quality and price".
" I run a French restaurant in Ginza. These wines thought of pairing with my plate".
"I am considering wine as one of investment targets".
"I am collecting Japanese wine. I know that there are many excellent wines in Japanese wine".
"I love PETRUS".
PHaT PHOTO JapanOctober, 2010