#Hasselblad diary n.2 – Trier Hauptbahnhof

We are talking here about taking the Hasselblad a few rolls further. I propose you to join me on the long journey that is the discovery of analogue medium format. Big old fashion film rolls right?

So what’s new with it? Well I learned a few things since diary number 1! I was really concerned about this story of having one and one only roll at a time and therefore being constantly constrained to shoot 400 ISO (the only actual film I buy so far…). The theory is that film is much more permissive through scan than a digital raw file. It’s so easy to turn the dial and adjust your ISO on the go when needed. It gets a little darker?? Turn the dial, Canon 5D can handle that!

But what to do if you can’t? What to do if on top of that, you just can’t see the result on a back screen?! You know, a week long waiting for your negatives to come back from laboratory is tough for someone as impatient as I am!

So here is the plan:
Contacting Nadja. Check
Setting up a shooting date and project. Check
Browsing the world for inspiration and create mood board? Check!

Making sure the car will be available for my idea of a car shooting? Check

Ok! Fine! Ready! Wait… What? No car? Wait, you mean no film rolls nor flat keys!? Hmmm… Let’s do this improvisation thingy again I guess!
Long story put short: the films came 1hr+ late! the car remained unavailable and it was freaky cold outside. So we head to the train station to see what we can do there.
On my way back from Luxembourg the other day I noticed some tubular installations that could make an interesting setting and I knew already how well the Blad could handle neon light.
Light meter in the hand, conditions are naturally the worse and we are both freezing…

We take our first shot…

In order to take a photo, you must in such low light conditions set up the camera on a tripod. Once you look over it on the viewfinder there is a risk to fall in love… You are warned! The whole scenery appears on the glass, just like you are watching a 3D replica of the scene and think:

“If what is going to record on this film roll is only a quarter as good as what I see here on the glass,… I’m gonna be a haaaappyyy photographer”.

And it does! This is what came out of my scanner. You can see the frame at the bottom right of the photo and unfortunately a trace due to laboratory mishandling, whose people folded the film before handling it to me (guys you just lost a customer). I don’t know if this talks to you but I frankly find this whole look magic! But remember, at the time of the shooting I have no idea about that.

Further down the road I decide to push it harder and set up a frame with even less light. I take my metering which says 1/8sec of exposure.

If you have no idea what that means, it is the duration your shutter will open to let the light in and reproduce the picture on the film.
Ideally you are looking for something like 1/100sec or with the type of lens I have mounted on the camera at the very worse 1/40sec? We are still far from it here…

Let’s try nonetheless! We have a tripod a bit of time and our model is not completely blue yet.
The shot is not the photo of the century but it tells how much latitude I have with film for highly contrasted scenes.

Since we aren’t far from the supermarket and that I know the place well for having shot a look book there not long ago, we decide to head there and give it a try before it closes down. It’s already 10pm.

No comment, judge for yourself.

One last try for tonight before we can go home and switch the heater on, level 11… I would love to see how the camera handles the worse lights ever.
Ever heard about Blue Lagoon? The Aral tank station near the train station? How does film handle various coloured sources of loooow lights?
One is from an orange street light positioned about 12 meters behind us, the neons act as rim light and cast a greenish ambiance overall and balance the heavy blue ARAL sign.

I’m confident. I slightly underexpose because I have no other choice. I smile when looking at the viewfinder, frame it, release the mirror, breathe and press the shutter 🙂

I wish you a very nice week and would like to thank Nadja a last time, for her patience, comprehension, cold resistance, trust and joyful mood.


This entry was posted in Hasselblad, Medium Format, photography, Street. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to #Hasselblad diary n.2 – Trier Hauptbahnhof

  1. these are stunning! great job.

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