Hasselblad HD5 Comment Win.

On Strobist, I try not to merely echo content seen elsewhere. I just don't think rote aggregation adds much to the conversation. But I am making an exception on this Hassy HD5 BTS vid, which you may have seen recently on other sites.

That's because the video itself (which, to be fair, is quite cool) is not the subject of the post. Nope, this post is about a comment on this video from long-time Strobist reader Duncan Bell.

Here's my setup to the video, as I shared it on my G+ stream:

Such a simple—and expensive—concept.

1. Shoot a palace interior. ($$$)
2. Print it on big-ass vinyl. ($$$)
3. Suspend big-ass vinyl print in a rented olympic-sized pool. ($$)
4. Light the living crap out of the pool. ($$$$)
5. Shoot a model in front of it with Hassy HD5 MF digital camera. ($$$$$$$$$$)
6. But make sure that camera is in a waterproof housing that itself probably cost more than my car. ($$$$)


To which Duncan added the following, most apropos Strobist comment, elevating the video/comment combo into something I simply had to post:

Duncan Bell, I bow to your ingenuity and henceforth follow you on Google Plus forever. Or at least until Google kills the service.

And yes, I expect Jarek Wieczorkiewicz is already creating the $100 version of this photo with his Nikon D300 and Einstein flashes.

And if he does, I guaran-double-damn-tee you I'll run it.



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Blogger Alistair Kerr said...

So the economy version will utilise a fishtank, chromagreen background and a kiddies trampoline?

March 23, 2013 3:48 PM  
Blogger J. Gerald Gonzales said...

Didn't Zack Arias do something somewhat similar on creativelive?

with a large fishtank?

March 23, 2013 5:14 PM  
Blogger DonatoGreco said...

I don't buy the whole idea.
Is it functional for the Hasselblad marketing campaign?
which is the message delivered in the ad?

March 23, 2013 8:10 PM  
Blogger Marc W said...

Erm.. so we're conveniently leaving out the cost of wrecking the interiors of a palace, plus getting underwater lighting?

That hassy housing has to be crazy expensive though.. I wonder if you would get a better image by projecting onto the rear of a screen through glass?

You have to invert the image so it comes out the right way around.. but you'd probably get more colour in the shot ?

March 24, 2013 12:04 AM  
Blogger Marc W said...

So we're completely ignoring the cost of replacing everything in the palace after we're done?

Not to mention underwater lighting etc.

I wonder if you wouldn't get a better image if you used a projection screen in a glass tank and just flipped the image in the projection so it comes out right? (Obviously the projector has to be outside)

March 24, 2013 12:07 AM  
Blogger alexdpx said...

I think the whole thing is about showing off what can be done with that camera. Not practical, not economical but if budget is not a concern, you can do that with a Hasselblad. The message is clear to me.

March 24, 2013 12:51 AM  
Blogger Minotaurus007 said...

Excellent idea! I love the concept. It demonstrates what the industry is prepared to. For me, personally, the question does not arise how to make it cheaper, but how to make it better!

March 24, 2013 3:22 AM  
Blogger Eric Duminil said...

I'm not used to shooting with an Hasselblad or an IPhone, but I think there might be some quality loss while taking a picture of a laptop screen with a smartphone.

March 24, 2013 8:58 AM  
Blogger Dave Cearley said...

I may not have a hasselblad, but based on the video it looks like I can duplicate the process with a smaller vinyl backdrop in a local pool with an affordable underwater camera and get results clients will pay for. Thanks for the inspiration!

March 24, 2013 7:42 PM  
Blogger stan chung said...

hahaha-David, david- what a good Monday morning laugh!
I thought that was a rubbish campaign, especially when the result is so bad. Burnt highlights- nothing to show dynamic range superiority. meh.
Howard Shatz would have done it justice.

March 24, 2013 11:11 PM  
Blogger stan chung said...

David- LMAO! Monday is brightened!

I didn't feel the final image was oozing with quality unfortunately. Must be the burnt highlight treatment.
Feels like a cheap frizzy blonde ambition image.

Howard Shatz's work anyday.

March 24, 2013 11:21 PM  
Blogger josephacote said...

Have you heard of Instagram?

March 24, 2013 11:46 PM  
Blogger Matthew Kitchen Photography said...

Let's face it, Hasselblad has never exactly screamed practical and economical before though has it?

March 25, 2013 8:16 AM  
Blogger Tattoo Al said...

It says to me, with creativity , all things are possible!

Could the same thing be done witha D800 and Einsteins? I think so!

My question to David is would a underwater housing have room inside for a Pocket Wizard or other triggers?

Don't Profotos trigger without a remote w whatever camera is nearest to them?

On a D800 would one have to work w a sync cord?

March 25, 2013 8:26 AM  
Blogger Dwayne Foong said...

Looks very similiar here: http://phoeberudomino.com/artwork/199162_J_J.html

March 25, 2013 9:48 AM  
Blogger Richard Wintle said...

Duncan does pretty much win the internet right there, doesn't he? :D

Seriously though, surely there must be a way of doing this without the massive vinyl print - like compositing a bog-standard interior photograph of the palace into an equally bog-standard underwater shot of a big blank side of a pool?

Yeah, I know it wouldn't look the *same*, but I can't help but think it would look good enough.

While I'm in nitpick mode, I'd prefer the final photo from a more level perspective, so that we can't see that we can't see the top of the pool. But then again, the photographer delivered what Hassy wanted, so I guess it's done right as is. ;)

March 25, 2013 3:32 PM  
Blogger Paul Gibbons said...

Maybe a little overboard but I want one!

March 28, 2013 3:10 PM  
Blogger Adam Monk said...

hey i think some of you guys are missing the point about the big vinyl backdrop. sure you could make the shot in a multitude of creative ways (many stated here) but i think Hasselblad is really trying to get the point across WITH the big vinyl backdrop... you can make really huge prints with amazing detail with a hasselblad, prints that look like you are really there... now i sound like i'm getting paid by hasselblad. besides, the video is much more interesting and awe inspiring when its done this way. doesn't it make you just want one?

March 28, 2013 10:41 PM  
Blogger Bright Flash said...

Wow. I sold my house to buy that exact equipment to duplicate those shots. all my future settings will be quick and easy by comparison!

March 29, 2013 6:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Duncan who??

March 30, 2013 5:28 AM  
Blogger David Hobby said...

@Unknown- If you continue reading past the word, "Duncan," the very next word clarifies a bit by listing his last name. To save you the trouble, his last name is Bell.

March 30, 2013 10:51 AM  
Blogger Andreas Henschke said...

good article... i love Hasselblad

April 10, 2013 9:52 AM  

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