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The new H5D-40 and a fairy tale from Denmark

Denmark is famous as the land of fairy tales and castles – so when top Danish photographer Henrik Sørensen was asked to put the new Hasselblad H5D-40 through its paces he decided to mastermind a shoot with a difference. Underwater.

The brief was simply to do something spectacular to show the new H5D camera at its best – so with Danish folklore and history in mind he opted for a ‘submerged fairy’ shoot with a castle interior backdrop. Henrik wanted to do a different take on the world’s view of Denmark being a little country with castles and fairies – where everyone is royal.

He first used the H5D-40 to capture a shot of the main hall at the 18th century Ledreborg Castle, complete with glorious chandelier and a couple of regal-looking chairs. Then, with his team, he created an 8 metres by 4.5 metres plastic backdrop of the hall image so they could use it in the pool. The perspective of the shoot from where they were photographing the actual room for the backdrop is the same as when they were shooting in the pool. It worked almost perfectly!

With international model and dancer, Kristina Korsholm, the team got to work preparing the pool and the model. As things change dramatically underwater, it is essential to have the right equipment. Says Henrik, “The new H5D-40 is really the evolution of the genre – the next step. I found it to be a brilliant camera – the auto focus was better than I had anticipated. Compared to smaller DSLRs the exposed files create great colour depth.

 

In the water the colour space is very narrow. Colours tend to disappear when you sink just a couple of metres. Accurate information about colour is vital – and that is the big advantage with Hasselblad. You have true 16-Bit colour space – especially in the shadow areas. And instead of generating a lot of unwelcome noise it creates what I call ‘useful’ noise.”

It’s always a challenge to be down there but when you want to pull something out of the shadow parts of the picture the file quality and depth with the H5D-40 just hits you.” The shot (pictured here) was mainly lit from above with just a tiny flash underwater to slightly lighten shadow areas.

Henrik wanted a contemporary look to the picture and tweaked the final image accordingly in Phocus post production. For example, the water isn’t blue; it’s more green/blue. Henrik wanted to move away a little from classic ocean blue and be a touch more contemporary.

Henrik used the newly-developed Nauticam underwater casing for the H5D-40. He says: “It’s a superb piece of kit. For more than 10 years the Hasselblad has been my favourite camera, and the H5D is a natural evolution and refinement of a great tool. It’s just right for my way of working.”


Hasselblad cameras use sensors that are twice the size of those used in today’s best 35 mm DSLRs, and our optical system is designed to provide the largest light path possible in order to provide these massive sensors with as much information as possible. With larger lenses and viewfinder, everything associated with the flow of light from lens to sensor is large. As it must be in order to perfectly convey images onto the camera’s large sensor at the highest achievable resolution - corner to corner and to bring the largest and brightest image to your photographic eye for optimal composing. This size also allows you to work with a shallower depth of field, a primary feature in many areas of high-end photography, than 35 mm systems. Plus size optics, plus size light flow, and plus size sensors equals imaging magic. And imaging magic is what a Hasselblad can add to your photographic career.

 

With a 40 Mpix sensor and versatile capture, with up to 256 second exposure time, the H5D-40 provides the basis for ultimate image quality, featuring optimal lens performance from the Hasselblad H System lenses, True Focus, the Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution for outstanding and reliable out-of-the-box colours, a bright 3” display with improved resolution and viewing angle, and much, much more.