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The seven deadly sins captured on camera (an H4D-60 actually)

18/02/2013 We all know about them. In case one or two have slipped your mind, they are: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony. And Florence-based photographer Raffaele Sorbi (who admits that on a scale of 1-10 he’s probably a ‘5’ for each sin) decided to find and photograph women he thought could best demonstrate each one for his ambitious SE7EN project.

Hasselblad News caught up with Raffaele in Italy and we asked him to tell us in his own words how this ambitious project came about.

“I was inspired by the movie ‘Seven’ with Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. I started searching for the perfect model for each sin. I wasn’t just looking for beautiful women but models who I thought who could really carry off the role. I wanted to play with colours and lights during the sets and I discovered that historically each sin is paired with a colour: lust is blue; wrath is red; greed is yellow/gold; envy of course is green; gluttony is orange; sloth is pale blue and pride is purple.


I began in late September last year and it took me until the end of December to get all the SE7EN jigsaw pieces to fit exactly as I wanted them to.

I took time choosing models but the camera selection took no time at all - I used my sensational Hasselblad H4D-60. (And I can’t wait to get my hands on the new H5D-60 this spring.) For me the image details captured are not the most important elements of this outstanding camera. It’s more about the wide range of colours captured; the 3D feeling when you see the shot – it’s like the models just come right out of the display.”

Added Raffaele: “I started my professional work in 1982 with a Horseman 8”x10” large format camera. No other camera could give you that 3D feeling – until now with the H4D-60.”

On SE7EN the models were not given particular instructions. “I just talked to them about what I needed, while the make-up artists got them ready” he smiles. “And the make-up took longer than I thought. For example, for ‘sloth’, the model’s body had to be completely covered in clay. Then we had to wait for it to dry before we painted it sky blue with an airbrush.”

Raffaele shot all the sets in his Florence studio – mainly using a 35-90 mm zoom lens and a 120 mm macro. He used Profoto Strobes. For the background he included a strobe with Gobos and for the main light a Profoto Prohead with a Walimex Octagonal Bank 190 cm diameter and/or a Profoto Strip Light M set horizontally above the models’ faces.

And his own sins? “Well I admit I am a bit lazy but I am generous (although DO NOT ask me to lend you my Hasselblad). I like to cook but I’m not a glutton and I like beautiful women but I’m not lustful. I’m about 5 out of 10 on each sin!”


Raffaele wanted to submit the SE7EN project to the Hasselblad Masters 2014 competition but he couldn’t finish it in time – so now he plans to have an exhibition ‘with very large prints’ somewhere in Florence.



Seven deadly sins