Test shoot with Hasselblad 503CW and 39 MP Digital Back


Recently, I decided to take the giant leap* into the world of medium format photography. I had been contemplating this for about a year, ever since I had noticed that prices for medium format equipment were starting to come down to reasonable levels.

Back when I was working as a graphic designer in Chicago, most of the photographers I worked with shot medium format. I was always fascinated with the Hasselblads. They are amazing cameras both in their simplicity and complexity and the images they produce are stunning. It was always my dream to own a Hasselblad and when I recently started looking around, I found nice deal and made the plunge. 

The day after I picked up my new gear, I headed over to Light & Byte in Zürich to rent a medium format digital back. I opted for the Hasselblad CFV 39 Megapixel back. The people at Light & Byte gave practically gave me a one-on-one training to get me familiar with the gear and supporting software, they were extremely thorough and I really have to tip my hat for taking the time to get me sorted.

My good friend Dave Kai Piper did the retouching and digital finishing, Alina Zbinden was the model and Simone Zbinden from b•perfect did the makeup.

It’s difficult to explain in words how impressed I was with this system. It took some getting used to, but once I got the hang of it, I was hooked. It’s not only the quality but also the mechanical and precision feeling of the camera. It’s manual focus, not push button auto-focus. It’s a camera that demands your respect and attention to detail. It feels special in your hands, it sounds amazing, and once you see those images in full resolution on the screen, wow, you don’t want to go back to anything less.

I’ll be shooting more medium format throughout this year, and I hope to bring the kit and a digital back to my Tuscany workshops this Summer. Thanks to everyone involved in making this test shoot a resounding success.

* Did you know that Hasselblad was the camera system used by NASA during the missions to the moon. Twelve Hasselblad bodies remain on the moon’s surface to this day. I wonder what they would fetch at auction?


Today, I took the opportunity to shoot again with Benedetta who is visiting here from Rome. Rita Primerano from the Vitality Center was on hand to provide makeup and hair. Rita and I had previously discussed trying some retro 40’s makeup styling, so the corsets fit perfectly within that theme. The corsets were provided by Beata Sievi of Atelier Entre Nous here in Winterthur. I have been working with Beata since about 2004, when I first saw her corsets in a window display on Bahnhofstrasse in Zürich. She makes everything by hand, every detail is considered, from the selection of materials, the construction of the ribbing and framework and especially the inspirations behind the designs. Beata’s works are very personal artworks, made individually for each client. The end products often include clues or messages reflective of the garment owner’s interests.

To see all the final results and some more backstage images, please visit the full gallery.


Some Results

Shooting with a Sexy Older Woman

This is not the first time I have worked with ‘women of a certain age’. In fact, I have done several private shootings with women over 40 over the past few years. I have found these experiences greatly rewarding and I think it is something more and more women should consider doing for themselves. I know several women who, after getting married, having children and starting to see the signs of aging, tend to stop thinking of themselves as sexy and attractive. Personally, I think the key to being sexy has less to do with your looks than it does in knowing who you are, understanding your strengths and weaknesses and having confidence in yourself. Nothing will help build that confidence better and more quickly than a photo shoot with an experienced photographer and make-up artist. And just imagine the reaction you will have from your husband or partner when he sees your sexy photos.