Still life photographer Rebecca Scheinberg is known for creating images so technically perfect they almost look computer-generated. The constant refining, relighting and attention to detail involved in her labour intensive process must, we imagine, require the patience of a saint. “It’s always difficult to describe what you do when you’re inside of it,” she says. “Generally I’m interested in creating aesthetically satisfying work, where you are pulled into the image, hopefully despite yourself.”
Born in Australia but now based in London, the uncanny quality of her work meant she was a natural fit for New Perspectives, for which she chose to work with the Womens 100% Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater in a shade of shocking pink. “This series fits within the same world as my usual aesthetic. These images are more abstract than the work I normally do, however they focus on the same interest in texture and tone,” she says.
Rebecca decided on a singular approach, stripping away everything in her photographs except for the garment. “I wanted to make beautiful, considered images made up purely of the jumper itself, to emphasise the attention to detail involved in its making,” she explains. “The vibrancy of the colour was also really attractive, and has become quite crucial to the photographs, adding an element of warmth.”
This idea of accentuating a sense of warmth was essential to Rebecca’s concept. “I wanted the garment to become the very function that it was designed for. Uniqlo’s design approach focuses on function and quality rather than disposable fashion, which really resonated with me. It was important for that idea to be a part of the imagery, and I wanted the jumper to be like this warm glowing landscape within a quite cold and night-like setting.”
Lighting was critical to creating that contrast between the garment and the background. “The way an object is lit can really influence your feeling and understanding of it. Slightly displacing a light source or lighting something in a way it’s not normally lit, can completely change the object itself. I find that quite interesting,” says Rebecca. The result is a series of moody images, the beauty of which lie in their simplicity.
With so little in the images, every detail had to be perfect and Rebecca worked with set designer Sarah Parker to achieve this. “We took the time to really study the garment so the small things like the texture of the knit, the stitch work and the vibrancy of the colour were all amplified. The final concept became a celebration of craft, both of the jumper and the photographic medium,” she explains. “It was a slow but satisfying process of improving small elements in order to make the final images the most impactful they could be.”