As part of their Artist Talk series, the team at Phase One recently hosted conic photographer Albert Watson at the ROOT Drive-in Studios in New York City. On May 7th, Watson took center stage as he spoke to a full house about the highlights of his career and the stories behind some of his iconic images.
Watson, a legend in the photography industry, has created portraits of icons like Keith Richards, Alfred Hitchcock, Bill Clinton, Andy Warhol and dozens more. With steady and continuous success, Watson saw a huge spike in his popularity among a new generation of image makers, and creatives, after the release of his iconic 2006 portrait of the late Apple founder Steve Jobs, which appeared on the Apple website as a tribute shortly after the technology innovator’s death.
In an interview with PDN Pulse, Watson recalls the late Steve Jobs being fascinated with his camera equipment. Jobs looked closely at it telling him,”wow, you’re shooting film”, to which he replied “I don’t feel like digital is quite here yet”. Being the technology guru that he was, Jobs turned to Watson as if guaranteeing the future and told him “but we’ll get there”.
After an hour of conversation between the two, Watson finally snapped the iconic portrait. The portrait of Steve Jobs still remains as the lasting image for most people, especially the millennials who are now part of the mobile phone generation to which Job’s iPhone innovation plays a huge role.
“If you look at that shot, you can see the intensity. It was my intention that by looking at him, that you knew this guy was smart. I heard later that it was his favorite photograph of all time.” -Albert Watson
Part of Watson’s ROOT talk was about the Isle in the Sky project, which is a collaboration with Phase One where he uses their camera equipment to capture stunning images of the Scottish highlands. Upon his travels to photograph his home country of Scotland, he brought forth an amazing collection of images that was inspired by the world of fairies, goblins and elves.
Phase One’s smaller high definition camera equipment made Watson’s job easier as he was able to offset the windy condition by conveniently controlling his camera to shoot at subjects with ease.
Speaking about their collaboration, Phase One CEO Henrik Hakonsson was particularly impressed at Watson’s eagerness to push the boundaries by taking the project to another level of creativity while retaining some of the techniques he mastered in his previous works at the same time.
Just like what Steve Jobs foretold back in 2006, Albert Watson was able to get to the digital photography age and in doing so he has blazed a path of his own by capturing beautiful images such as the landscapes of Scotland. Together with Phase One, photography enthusiasts will have a chance to see more of Albert’s works at the landscape on the edge gallery at official website of Phase One.