Hasselblad Portraits – Hamburg Models
Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica
*(I will add more photos to this post as I process the film so you might want to check back in a month or so if interested).
*(I will add more photos to this post as I process the film so you might want to check back in a month or so if interested).
I wrote this while waiting for my flight home after an amazing few days of model photography in Germany last weekend. I collaborated with local model agencies here in Hamburg and photographed 11 models in 2.5 days, back to back. Good times!
A big thanks to M4 Models and Core Artist Management for giving me the opportunity. It was my first visit to Hamburg so I organized all the models remotely in the build up to the trip. Overall we were lucky with the weather with only a few spots of rain in total. Almost all photos were shot outside on the streets of Hamburg working in the area close to the hotel. The standard of models was generally very high and although I selected the models I photographed almost every one surpassed my expectations. I’m very excited to see the results.
I kept camera gear very simple and I only had 8kg hand luggage to work with anyway. My digital setup was the Leica M240 camera and Voigtlander 35mm Color Skopar pancake lens. For analogue photos I managed to fit in my Hasselblad 501C 6×6 medium format film camera plus the Zeiss Distagon 60mm f3.5 lens. I shot all black and white film and the majority was Fomapan 100 film shot at ISO 400.
Models included Phila and Antonia from M4 in Hamburg and Anita over on contract from Number One Models in Budapest. I then had Janna, Carmen, Cailtin, Sofia, Chantel from Core and also for a change male models Tomas, Aaron and Chris also from Core. I expected to be working with all German models but I got to meet Dutch, Hungarian, Australian, American all signed to the Hamburg model agencies.
Some of the female models were of really high standard and a joy to work with but it was the male models that surprised me the most. All three of the guys produced really strong images and I loved how I can light men differently to women opening a whole new world of lighting oppotunities. I try to give girls flawless skin with light but for guys any ‘imperfections’ just added character. I hope the resulting photos look as good as I remember!
I shot 11 rolls of film and plenty of digital too so can’t wait to see the resulting images. I was happy with all the equipment I’d taken to use and would not hesitate to pack the same setup again.
If the agencies like my work I’m already hoping to work with some of the models again soon! 🙂
Hello, I finally get chance to share some of the film photos from my last model photography trip to Poland. If you read my blog post review in April you may remember that I decided to take the newly purchased Mamiya 6 medium format film camera rather than the Hasselblad. As such you may see a difference in photo style compared to last year when I took my Hasselblad 501C. The other main difference to note is for this year I was shooting the Mamiya 6 mostly with strobes whereas I used the Hasselblad with ambient light only.
In no particular order here are a selection of model photography / fashion / portrait / beauty photos from Poland all shot with the Mamiya 6. As I get chance to process more I will try to add them to the gallary below.
You can click any photo to see details of film and developing methods used.
I am happy with some of the photos shared above but I think the Hasselblad 501C takes far sharper images with more clarity and ‘pop’. I took the Mamiya 6 to Ukraine (photos still being processed) but I think for the next trip I will try to pack the Hasselblad instead.
Lastly, as mentioned in the last post a big thanks to all the models and to the agencies (Malva Models and Future Models Management) for the collaboration.
I organized another model photography trip to Uzhgorod, Ukraine to catchup with model friends and hopefully also meet some new ones. After recently visiting Poland to shoot with the model agencies I had some ideas of what cameras I may like to take for this trip. I take only hand luggage on all my trips so it depends on the airline as to how much camera gear I can pack. For Poland I had a backpack and my small Billingham Hadley Digital bag so took 4 cameras, a strobe and a compact travel tripod to use as light stand. For Ukraine I only have the backpack.
I took my newly purchased Mamiya 6 to Poland as it is smaller than the Hasselblad 501C. I packed the Leica M 240 for digital and brought the Leica M6 to shoot more film. I selected the Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm f2.5 lens for its size, sharpness and lack of flare. The Leica Summicron 50 f2 v5 flares too much for me so I left that at home and instead of packing the slightly larger Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 went one ‘better’ and brought the Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO. The 75 APO is my sharpest Leica M lens and maybe sharpest any lens and it lets me focus closer than nearly all standard Leica M lenses in terms of magnification. Another camera I considered was my old Nikon FM plus Voigtlander 40mm f2 pancake lens but in the end I chose the M6. In addition to all of that I squeezed in my Leica Elmar 50mm f2.8 collapsible lens and a speedlight (+ reflector). No tripod though.
I currently favour 120 Fomapan 100 black and white film for my medium format cameras but I thought I better use up some existing film in the fridge before buying more Foma. As such I packed mostly Kodak Tri-X 400 film plus a few different rolls to use up. For 35mm film I wanted to shoot more colour so brought along some Kodak Portra 400, Fujicolor C200 and for black and white 35mm Fomapan 100.
One thing I like about Fomapan 100 is I can shoot it at ISO 50-400 and develop as if at ISO 100. I can also push Foma to 800 easily without any real issues. If I am planning to shoot ISO 50-400 I would go for Foma. For ISO 400-800-1600 range I would use Tri-X 400. The weather for the trip was forecast unsettled so Tri-X might be the right choice.
I like to make the most of my model photography trips overseas so managed to shoot 17 girls in 3.5 days shooting 9:00-21:00 back to back. I worked with the local model agency, One Models, who kindly provided a few models that were available and not out on contract overseas. I also worked with some of the girls I knew from previous trips and also a few new faces, friends of friends.
The weather was not as kind as I would have liked (for the time of year) and we had a fair bit of rain. As such I did more photoshoots inside the hotel than I planned to so I had to think a bit more. The speedlight was a life saver in the low light conditions and I used it for the majority of the photos. I do tend to favour using lights for most of my model photography and I think adding light can sometimes make a photo look more like a fashion photo which I like. The speedlight helped me keep my ISO at 100-400 for almost all photos and I also had the lenses stopped down. The biggest limitation was the flash sync speed of the Leica M6 of 1/50. I noted on the film scans for a shoot we did outside in the rain that there was motion blur as the models were moving more than I noticed. The Mamiya 6 has a max flash sync speed of 1/500 so that had no issues.
As I had no light stand or tripod I had to handhold the speedlight for the majority of the photos. This is not ideal as it is difficult to exactly replicate the same light when swapping between cameras (digital and film) but better than nothing (for my taste). I didn’t use the reflector at all so may leave it behind next time.
I noticed my Leica M 240 needs the rangefinder recalibrating again (the second time) so I was shooting 99% with the 35mm Voigtlander Color Skopar lens stopped down a little. I did use the Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO for a few photos but I focused with the LCD. The mis-calibrated rangefinder was less of an issue than it may sound as my current style is favouring lenses stopped down to match the film cameras for easy alignment of settings. I shoot digital with ISO, aperture and shutter to match the film camera then when the model looks good I switch to film cameras. I have some nice Sekonic light meters but find at the moment I am not using them. When using strobes I like to see the digital preview of the light prior to shooting film. With daylight I would be happy to meter once then shoot film without chimping on the digital LCD.
Excluding the recalibration issue, the Leica M 240 is on good form and I love it more and more each day. I would still say the Leica M9 and Leica M8 make better B&W photos (more filmic) but the M240 is no slouch and I am getting good results both B&W and colour.
As mentioned the Leica M6 max flash sync speed of 1/50 is a killer for strobist work. It is just too slow unless used in very controlled conditions. I did get some nice black and white film scans but I also lost a few due to model motion blur outside. The Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO pretty much lived on the M6 but strangely I found it too tight for my current taste on location. I was loving the 35mm focal length on the M240. I might take two 35mm lenses next time to match the view for easy composition across the two Leica cameras.
After getting some quite nice results in Poland using the Mamiya 6 medium format 6×6 rangefinder camera, I was excited to see what I could do in Ukraine. (Poland photos still to come when i’ve edited a few more). I am enjoying the size of the Mamiya 6 camera very much and it is very easy to carry it in my little Billingham Hadley Digital camera bag together with one complete Leica M camera or 2 Leica M bodies and 2 Leica M lenses packed down. I still have my Hasselblad 501C vs Mamiya 6 post to write but in the meantime it is safe to say the Mamiya 6 is a keeper. I still only have one lens, the 75mm which I like due to it’s smaller size and lighter weight (vs. 50mm and 150mm lenses) and the focal length. That said I would like to use a Mamiya 6 50mm f4 G lens if I see one for sale at a reasonable price. I think the wider view would be great for film wedding photography to capture a wider scene.
I have been travelling to Ukraine for quite a few years now and I must say the level and quality of modelling from the girls this time is the best to date. The resulting photos may have been helped a little by me not having any majority camera issues (unlike previous trips) and being armed with more photography knowledge and experience. In addition to that, I meet more and more models each visit so every follow up visit I pick the best of the best to maximise the chance of making photos I will like. I always try to better my best work with every shoot and although it may not always be possible it keeps me fired up and as keen as ever.
As with all my trips, a huge thank you to all the models I worked with, to One Model agency and to the makeup girls where applicable. I didn’t experience a single cancellation so that was a real breath of fresh air compared to the usual UK (and now Poland) high cancellation rates of 50-60% plus. Big big thanks!
I have started to develop and scan some of the black and white film but the colour film is still to follow.
To recap the Olympus PEN-F is a 1960s 35mm half frame SLR camera. I bought the Pen F last month and i’ve now had time to shoot a few rolls of film in it. I must say i’m more impressed with the resulting images than I thought I would be. Half frame is certainly not half as good. I enjoy the size of the Pen F, the stylish sleek look, the vertical framing, the close focusing of an SLR (verses say a Leica rangefinder) and the fact I can get 72 shots on a 36 exposure roll of 35mm film.
I found I enjoy shooting the Olympus Pen F by taking photos in pairs (diptych) the most. My Epson V800 scanner recognised each pair of photos as one photo and then I just process the negative scans together and share as one image. Here are a few examples:
I’ve also tried a few triptychs by taking a series of three photos together:
Despite taking most photos in pairs I am still very impressed at the resolution and detail captured in a single frame:
Finally I can share a selection of Hasselblad portraits taken in Poland during my model photography trip last month. There are still plenty of film negatives I have not yet edited but here are some of my favourites so far. I have split the photos by film stock used. Details of camera lens, filters, camera setting, developing method and model can be obtained by clicking on the any photo.
All photos were taken with a Hasselblad 501C 6×6 medium format film camera and shot with available light only.
It is difficult for me to chose one film stock as a clear winner as conditions were different each day and each model has a certain look. As mentioned in a recent blog post, I think 120 Fomapan 100 Classic offers excellent value for money (being the cheapest film I used). I have just stocked up on 120 Kodak Tri-X 400 for the winter months and again I think it is an excellent film. One of my favourites. Kodak T-Max 400 was also a very strong performer and to be honest no film resulted in a sub-standard image. The expired Kodak Portra 160NC worked fine despite being out of date, without a foil wrapper and with an unknown storage history. In these photos I preferred the Kodak Portra 400 to the Portra 160 but that might just be the lighting. All in all I was happy with all the films chosen for the trip.
Big thanks to all the girls again – Agnieszka, Irmina, Natalia, Marta, Marta, Teresa, Weronika (as included here). With the help of these amazing models and my new Hasselblad 501C film camera I think I may have produced some of my best work to date. I travelled to Poland with less cameras and a clear goal which was to take fewer but hopefully higher standard photos. The Hasselblad seems to have helped me step up a gear with the quality of images I am now able to capture.
As always I cannot wait to get back to Poland. My model photography trips overseas tend to be my highlights throughout the year. Before I return to Poland I am heading out to New York City to teach 1-2-1 model photography for a week. It will be my first visit to NYC and only my second visit to the US so you can imagine how excited I am! Coming soon! 🙂
I hope you enjoyed these images as much I did. I think my most photogenic blog post so far! 🙂
Firstly sorry for the lack of new blog posts recently. There are a lot in the pipeline when I find time!
Fomapan 100 Classic is a traditional panchromatically sensitized black and white negative film made in the Czech Republic. To my eyes it is as sharp as B&W films from Kodak such as T-Max but had a more classic grain structure more similar to Ilford FP4+ or perhaps Kodak Tri-X. Again from my experience, Fomapan 100 prroduces low contrast negatives in normal lighting conditions. Some of my Fomapan 100 photos are higher contrast due to developing or lighting used.
Fomapan 100 film is my current favourite / best value for money black and white film in 120 format. I enjoy using various B&W films from the likes of Kodak, Ilford and Fuji but Fomapan manage to price their film below the competition and the results are actually quite nice. I pay around £3 a roll for 120 Fomapan 100 film and the next cheapest would be I think £4 a roll for the likes of Kodak Tri-X 400, Kodak T-Max 100 & 400 and Fuji Acros 100 and then £5 for Ilford Delta 100 and 400. I try to find the lowest prices!
What I like a lot about Fomapan 100 is I can shoot it at ISO 50-400 and develop it at box speed. This may be true for other films but I have not noticed it. For medium format film photography shooting in available light ISO 400 is normally the go to film speed for me in the UK. In the studio I shoot ISO 100 films more. Fomapan gives me both. For ISO 800 exposures I would rather shoot Kodak Tri-X 400 or T-Max 400 films and push them
one stop in developing.
I constantly swing between the different film stocks trying to find a favourite but as yet there is no clear winner. Kodak Tri-X has some of the nicest tones and Kodak T-Max also. Ilford Delta 100 and Pan F 50 are amongst the sharpest films I have used and can look almost digital in 120 format. I would say I prefer Fuji Acros to T-Max 100 especially for portraits but both can create nice images. At this stage I prefer Kodak Tri-X to HP5 for the tones and overall look of the pictures.
Since getting my Hasselblad 501C I have been shooting much more medium format film and 35mm film is currently on hold! Here are some examples of me shooting 120 Fomapan 100 film.
Firstly a sneak peek from Poland! Full post to follow.. 🙂
Next, more 120 Fomapan 100 film portraits shot in the UK
I am also using Fomapan 100 4×5 sheet film in my large format cameras so those results are to follow too!