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Surf-addicted photographer Timothy Hogan has been working on a project that celebrates the simple beauty of surfboard fin design, and a recent chance to use the new Hasselblad H5D Multi-Shot took him to new levels of quality.

Nowhere in the world is the surf culture more in evidence than in Southern California, and so it’s fitting that in a studio just off the famed Venice Beach Timothy Hogan should be working on his epic personal project to celebrate the classic beauty of the often overlooked, but crucial, element of surfboard design, the fin.  

Timothy’s approach to photography is heavily tied in to the capture of the truly astounding detail that reveals itself as the viewer moves closer to study his images, and so the search for ultimate quality is something that is ongoing.

Inevitably it led him to try out the brand new Hasselblad H5D-200MS, a camera that has the capability to deliver an awesome 200MP file by capturing a sequence of six identical 50MP images, which are then combined to create a file that is not only packed with ultra high resolution but also contains none of the distortion or artefacts that can sometimes be found in single shot images.

The camera was brought in for a still life shoot that saw Timothy meticulously assemble a selection of individual surfboard fins to create one giant composite fin. He photographed the set up directly from above to create a beautifully simple design that delivers so much more for the viewer on closer investigation.

Timothy’s style of photography is very hands-on. He has to work with things to understand them. When he’s setting up a picture such as this it’s a very intuitive process and he lets the subject guide him, but it’s very tactile all at the same time. He needed to pick it up, look at it from different angles, really absorb the subject itself so that he knew how to bring out the qualities he wanted to show.

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The Hasselblad has been an integral part of Timothy’s approach since he moved into digital, and the chance to work with the H5D-200MS was something he had been looking forward to immensely.

“It’s been amazing,” he enthuses. “The files are insanely good.  The 200MS is giving us clarity that we can’t get any other way, and that’s very important for this project. We’re spending so much time bringing out each little part of these fins, each minute subtlety, which is very, very important when we’re telling the story of that specific fin.

We need to have an incredible digital file to be able to print to the huge sizes that we’re looking for, with the quality I insist on. This is especially important for compositions like this, where we’re 12 feet up in the air and you can see the tiniest pieces of dust, the tiniest scratches. You can even see the texture of the mould marks on the wave set fins, which is incredible. The 200MS also delivered outstanding colour depth and subtle tones, and there’s nothing else like it. There would simply have been no other way to take this picture.”

Shooting tethered and locked off to the rafters, Timothy didn’t get much of an opportunity to try out such innovations as the new 100% view that’s offered or the refreshed ergonomics of the H5D, but his first reaction was still highly favourable. “I felt very positive about the camera,” he says. “For whatever reason, the camera just feels better than the H4D.”

Having worked with the H5D-200MS once, there’s no doubt that Timothy will be coming back for more, and it’s exactly the kind of tool he needs to advance his project and to take it into hitherto unexplored areas. It will also allow him to produce stunningly high-resolution images that are guaranteed to appeal still further to those who collect his prints.


HASSELBLAD MULTI-SHOT CAMERAS - THE ULTIMATE IN STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY

Hasselblad's unique Multi-Shot technology, available in 50 and 200 megapixel resolutions, provides the ultimate in still subject capture. Whether for the extremely high demands of archiving and art reproduction or for obtaining the absolutely highest resolution in high-end product, architectural, still-life shooting, or for any other kind of shooting where detail or resolution are important, Hasselblad Multi-Shot cameras bring mind blowing detail and open new creative and commercial doors.

Both the H5D-50MS and the H5D-200MS are capable of live shots in 50 megapixel format, in essence providing two cameras in one package.

The H5D-50MS camera for studio photography features a 50 megapixel sensor (6132 x 8176 pixels) with a dimension of 36.7 x 49.1 mm. Based on the 50 Mpix sensor the H5D-200MS offers 1-, 4- and 6 shot capability. For both the 50MS and 200MS, a 6-shot will produce 8 bit TIFF files at 600MB each resulting in the most accurate colour rendering and resolution available on the market today. Versatile capture with up to 128 second exposure time. Sensitivity 50 to 800 ISO. Image raw size is 65 MB with a 16 bit colour depth. Optional print-ready Jpeg ® resolution. Capture rate is 1.1 sec. per capture. Colour display is a 3 inch TFT type, 24 bit colour with 460.320 pixels solution.