Yesterday’s post on Anna Maria Island, Florida was all about Fuji Acros 100, which is a black-and-white negative film. Today’s shots are all using Fuji’s Provia 100F, a medium format slide film which I really love. In addition to the Fuji Provia, all of the shots in today’s post were done using my Hasselblad 501CM. I touched on the strengths and weaknesses of the Hasselblad somewhat yesterday, and won’t do so again. Instead, I’d like to let the images to the talking today!
Anna Maria Island, Florida, is about an hour’s drive south of Tampa, on the Gulf coast of Florida. I have only ever been there during the summer; perhaps the winter months would yield much different results, from a photographic perspective. The light is incredibly bright during the day, but the evenings and mornings can give great results, as the light softens up and generally gives a great, golden glow that is harder to get up north. While it is possible, there is a much smaller window for getting such wonderful light.
I wish I had been able to get around more while I was on the island. Due to my recovery from my appendectomy, I was forced to rest more than I had wanted to. Still, I did have some opportunities to get out and shoot around the island–mostly in the places we usually go to when on vacation there. We stay around the north end of the island. The south side of the island is where the town of Anna Maria is, but I can’t say I have ever gotten down there to see it.
Ever since I started shooting film, I have enjoyed using slide film. When shooting on medium format, this is even more the case. Looking at the huge, square negatives of medium format slides are truly incredible. Even in that smaller size, the level of detail is evident. The colors are rich and vibrant, and without a loupe and simply holding it up to the light you can get a great experience!
I tend to favor the Provia over Fuji’s Velvia line of reversal film. I find the saturation too high, personally, on the Velvia. The colors are too bright, and too saturated, for me. Provia hits the spot for me with a range of colors, and skin tones. Though I haven’t ever tried Fuji’s Astia, I have heard rave reviews from others who have used it, particularly in portraiture.
I am still getting used to shooting with the Hasselblad. I find that I often don’t take it with me since it is rather large and bulky (compared to my smaller rangefinders and the like), and so taking it out means that I have to be focused on it. I also carried a second lens for it–the 50mm f/4–and that is incredibly heavy and large, meaning that the whole kit needs a dedicated space. It’s not something you can just squeeze into a corner of your carry-on, as I can with my Leica rangefinders.
For anyone considering the Hasselblad system, the slow operation, and limiting maximum shutter speed of 1/500 are also an issue to keep in mind. In fact, using a tripod is almost a must when using it in anything other than bright light as well; you can lock up the mirror to reduce camera shake with each exposure, but that means that the focusing screen is useless, since with the mirror locked up you can’t see (it is an SLR after all–this is less of an issue with TLRs like my old Mamiya C220).
On the whole, I am glad that I took it to Florida. I got images that are different from what I can get with my Nikon DSLR. I enjoy using the Hasselblad, and I am glad that I have it for those times that I want to shoot medium format–the results you can get with this system are truly spectacular, if you keep in mind its shortcomings/weaknesses. My Nikon D700, in contrast, is incredibly versatile and can perform in a variety of settings, light conditions, weather conditions, and always gives good results. In fact, you can shoot that thing in near darkness and you’ll usually get usable results. It really is nothing short of a technical marvel.
Then again, it doesn’t always have that bit of magic that you can get with medium format. Call me romantic, but I really think there is a certain je ne sai quoi with the Hasselbald, and film more generally.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on your experiences with the Hasselblad system. Do you have any tips or tricks to share? Put them in the comments below!
As always, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you like my work. If you like my work, consider clicking the link at the top right of the page to check out my books that I have made, or stop by my website to see other work of mine. Also, let others know about my work by sharing the link to my blog, or by using the social media links down below to let others enjoy my photography!