Did I make the right choice using the Hasselblad H4D for my Hangberg project?
Shooting last night in Hangberg at the civic centre again where the low flourescent light always plays havoc with the exposure settings, I found myself asking the question (again) whether using the Hasselblad was the best idea for this project. There are times when I could scream out for my Canon 5D MkII – esp in all the low light conditions I have found myself in recently… At ISO 800 on the Hasselblad, the noise in the images starts to become visible and focusing on moving subjects is nigh on impossible, not just cos you are battling with low shutter speeds but also cos you have to deal with the whole true focus system (not only does the shutter to subject distance have to be correct but without a muti-point focus system as there is with DSLR’s, if you change the angle of the focal plane slightly (ie even slightly tilt the camera diagonally back of forwards) – then the subject becomes out of focus..
With all these restrictions, was it wise to use the Hasselblad on such dynamic reportage-like subject matter shot in varying lighting conditions?
The answer for me – even looking at these pics above (which I really like – it’s just that it’s been frustrating losing a lot of decent images as well) is – on the whole – a resounding yes. Maybe at night, low-light and with action it is highly restrictive – but the reason I chose the camera over the 5D MK II was for the very reason that the subject matter was reportage in nature.
I wanted the project to look more detached and static, different from the classical reportage style that has been my trademark in the past. I used the slower more static Hasselblad for the simple reason that it does slow me down and helps me focus attention on better composed, more aesthetically-pleasing images, rather than more dynamic reportage ones with a focus on content. As I have said before, I have wanted to move my work away from the whole reportage style for a while. I chose this project as a stepping stone – putting my photography on the road to creating more art-like images, rather than the traditional newsy spot ones I have done before… using the Hasselblad was one small technique and tool I thought would help me on the way….