Magnum Photos, one of the preeminent photo agencies in the world, just ordered three additional Hasselblad Flextight X5 scanners for its global offices. Soon the international photographic cooperative will have some 30 X5s to process image files brought in by photographers and digital production teams around the world.
With 550,000 images documenting watershed moments in world conflict, civil rights, and popular culture over the course of the second half of the 20th century, the Magnum Photos digital archive bridges the divide between traditional photojournalism and its photographers’ personal, poetic visions. Hasselblad Flextight scanners have played a prominent role in developing these archives.
Eliott Erwitt, Paris, France, 1989. © Eliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos.
"When we first began digitizing photographs in the 1990s, we used a flatbed scanner. The process was labor-intensive and time-consuming," says Roquemore, brand relations at Magnum Photos. "Six years ago, after evaluating various scanning solutions on the market, we switched to the Flextight platform, with a Flextight 848. This machine single-handedly revolutionized our workflow, allowing us to scan faster and at a much higher quality than ever before.”
Roquemore reports that the agency bought additional Flextight scanners right away, to contend with the high volume of material coming in from its photographers on assignment. They processed over 15,000 images in the New York office last year alone.
In 2008, their global digital production teams and photographers switched to Flextight X5 scanners. With their recent acquisition of three more scanners, Magnum has some 30 X5s working throughout its worldwide operation.
Among the iconic images in the Magnum Photos archives is Elliott Erwitt’s humorous portrait of a trench-coated character with a leaping dog, captured in Paris, France, in 1989. Erwitt is best known for his black-and-white candids of ironic or absurd situations in everyday life.
"With Hasselblad, we can put total faith in the integrity of our digital files, from start to finish," says Roquemore.
For more about Magnum Photos, visit www.magnumphotos.com
To read the Hasselblad User Showcase on Magnum Photos, click here
Text by Alice B. Miller