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New Hasselblad Masters Book in Production

19/07/2010 2009 Winners Provide Insights to Their Projects.

The 2010 Hasselblad Masters Book is in production. This year's Masters' images recently were delivered to a New York graphic designer, who is currently developing the book. The new book will make its debut at Photokina in September.

For a sneak preview, the photographers tell us briefly how they approached this year's theme, "Emotions."

Nina Berman: Editorial
I photographed three public displays of emotion, and wound up selecting photos of the Steppers, marching band images, for the Masters book. I chose these for this project because I wanted to convey dedication and the feelings that arise from pursuing something passionately. I had seen the Steppers several years ago and never forgot the energy and joy they exhibit and create for those around them. I often photograph heavy subjects, those where my relationship to the subject is primarily intellectual, rather than emotional. For this project, I wanted to have fun and feel good and love what I was seeing through the viewfinder. Once I began, it was easy.

Joao Carlos: Wedding/Social
I decided to recreate a series of Love Tragedies through the ages, capturing them in fashion photography. With a composition and balance inspired by the Old Masters, the images reflect subjects that great painters or film directors have tackled. I chose centuries-old castles and palaces in Portugal to create a fairy-tale setting in which the characters play out their doomed love. The seven tragedies I selected to tell my story are Corpse Bride, Ophelia, Samson & Delilah, Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella (which is tragic in my eyes), Bonnie & Clyde, and the Portuguese love tragedy Pedro & Inez. I have a lingering connection to each of them.

Alexandfelix, Alex Gertschen and Felix Meier: fine art
Our photography comes from new perspectives and opens unfamiliar eyes. For the Masters project, we worked with diverse materials and objects to create Thinking Constructions, which also reveal the character of the people. As is typical for our style, we put a lot of emphasis into the staging that preceded the actual shoot. The thinking construction contain a lot of "building blocks," many of which may change during the year. It is a picture of this moment only.

Mark Holthusen: Products
My images have a painterly atmosphere, which often reflect my love for unusual Americana, eccentric people and nontraditional subjects. Crimes of Passion, my series for the Hasselblad book, explores raw emotional states at the moment when passions meet reality. Before shooting in Reno fort three days, I cast the project online with real people exploring criminal emotions. Those images all proved too controversial, so I submitted the accompanying images instead to address the theme.

Claudio Napolitano: Portrait
I come from an Italian family of immigrants who escaped from a place with no future in 1945. Taking the point of view of children of all emigrants, my series, Keep Dreaming, examines basic emotions. Based on the theory of contrasts, of children surviving the chaos, I try to create mixed emotions with sweet and bitter images, playing with dark and light areas. I shot in Venezuela - one of the richest countries in the world and at the same time one of the biggest favelas (slums) - with never-ending violence and social segregation.  Such big contrasts emphasize a feeling of no future.

Lyle Owerko:  Upcoming
New York is a city of many paths, populated by people trying to get ahead and stand out from the crowd. My Urban Warriors series documents people in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn who choose to move through the urban landscape in an emotive and passionate way. Their rudimentary transportation - on skateboard, BMX, fixed-gear bike, or simply on foot - reflects a creative and independant spirit. The series celebrates their individualistic spirits and personal mindsets. I presented 10 to 20 black-and-white images from the series. I will be releasing a book, The Boombox Project (Abrams, October 2010), and an exhibition will launch at CLIC Gallery in New York, with a series of book launches to follow around the world.

Dirk Rees: Fashion/Beauty
A single image can represent everything; it is the most powerful and most memorable rendering of movement, precisely stopped in its time. My Masters project is based on movement and shape, body and motion. Raw emotion can be portrayed in the most abstract ways (dance), but also lends itself to the more commercial arenas (fashion) we are familiar with in our day-to-day lives. For example, I create high-impact shots that are choreographed leading into areas of more candid shots of simple portraits done when the person is almost unaware or too exhausted to think about it. Focus is placed on ideal bodies and an ideal use of bodies captured in that precise moment in a single image.

Stephan Zirwes: Architecture
My Masters images of Airports are part of a series that focuses on situations not usually visible to the public. Architectural elements tell a story frozen in time, but it’s not architecture alone that is emotional. It’s the context in which the architecture is related, its functions, and the circumstances in which I take the images. I shot these pictures while the airspace over Europe was closed due to the huge ash cloud created by Eyjafjallajokull, the Icelandic volcano. Thousands of people were trapped in airports, marooned, and the airport - usually a loud, crowed place of noisy chaos - suddenly became a place of silence, a private, quiet place.

The 2010 Masters book also includes work by award-winning commercial and documentary photographer Mark Zibert, General category, and Bang Peng, Landscape/Nature category, who believes that seeing and capturing images changes the photographer.

Watch for information on ordering the 2010 Hasselblad Masters Book.


Text by Alice B. Miller