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In the (extreme) Cold Light of Day

01/08/2011 Specialist Danish Filmmaker Torben Forsberg is about to get to grips with an H4D-40, high up a mast on a 50 year old refurbished schooner, in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.

Arctic adventurer and leading cinematographer Torben Forsberg knows all about freezing moments in time. And if latest satellite pictures of a troublesome 230 kilometre-wide slew of icebergs don’t delay his latest trip to Greenland aboard a stunning three masted topsail schooner, he’ll be freezing plenty more of them with a Hasselblad H4D-40 in the next two weeks.

Forsberg, who speaks five languages, has been honoured for his past work by the Queen of Denmark, and is truly in his element when photographing and filming all over the planet in seriously complicated and challenging conditions; the arctic; the tropics; deserts; jungles and mountains.


The Northeast Greenland Expedition 2011 which will host prominent scientists, artists and filmmakers, is: ‘A pilot project, driven by curiosity, imagination and freedom without pre-defined end results.” But participants will be striving to better understand the origins of life and they will be looking to do things that have not been done before.

Said an expedition spokesman: “Activ, our schooner, will be a melting pot, a base and a free space allowing for the testing of new theories and challenging dogmas. The real breakthrough in both art and research most commonly occurs when the artist or scientist dares to go beyond the border, challenging conventional thinking and turning everything upside down.”

Forsberg told Hasselblad: “Of course none of us knows what will happen but we are all aware that the opportunities on this trip are huge. And for me this is a photographic dream come true. Our ship is very well equipped with state-of-the-art electronics and we have permanent underwater cameras and hydrophones.”


He added: “I have been lucky enough to have been part of a number of expeditions like this one. I will be filming all the way for my own two week stint on the boat. The researchers on board will be addressing archaeology, biology, zoology, geology and climate – and the artists with us will be inspired by the unique light and the violent forces of nature.”

Director of Photography Forsberg is used to working with large scale lighting and camera set-ups and has made dozens of feature films over the years – and he has a passion for working with Hasselblad capture devices. “I used to shoot with Hasselblad film cameras years ago, including a previous trip to Greenland eleven years ago” he said: “I am delighted that Hasselblad has lent me an H4D-40 for this trip.

It’s a superb piece of equipment and it will enable me to freeze key moments of the expedition in time – and at the highest resolution. We are talking here about the ultimate in image quality. This is the camera system I love to use and the one I totally trust. I just have to be very careful I don’t drop it while I am climbing the mast.”




Torben Forsberg has just been informed that he has been nominated for a ‘Best Cinematography’ award at the imminent New York International Film Festival. We hope to be talking to Torben at length in a Hasselblad BULLETIN feature after his latest Arctic adventure.