A couple of years ago, having quit my job and with only 6kg of luggage I embarked myself on my first Camino de Santiago (also know as St. James Way in English), which would take me around 12 days on foot to accomplish (or approximately 240km). That time, I decided to take with me my Olympus Pen FT and just two rolls of film, which even then felt like a luxury to carry given the weight and space restrictions that the Camino imposes on its pilgrims.
Skip forward to this July this year, on the very night prior to my second pilgrimage (which this time would be short, with only 5 days on foot needed) I was preparing my backpack, my same Olympus Pen and a roll of film… until it hit me: “Has anyone documented their Camino with a (modular) medium format camera?”
While it may sound like a dubious question, readers may be advised to take into consideration that weight is essential while doing this type of hiking; everything from, shoes, clothing, first aid and gear should fit inside a backpack that one will be carrying on their backs for several hours and for hundreds of kilometers. A medium format camera would imply to pack not only the camera itself (not to mention its lens and its back) but at least 3 rolls of 120 film to equate to the number of frames that one could get with a “normal” 35mm camera (let alone a half frame one like the Olympus Pen FT).
After a quick search I found one flickr user that actually took his Hasselblad with him while doing the Camino del Norte, and that’s all I needed. I opened my backpack, removed the half frame Olympus and packed in my Hasselblad 500C/M with four rolls of film and one back; if he could do it, why couldn’t I? After all, my pilgrimage would be only 5 days long.
These are some of the results from taking such decision:
So I write this in hopes of putting an encouraging message out there for the pilgrims who wonder if it’s doable to take their “big” photo equipment with them.
Now the big question is: would I do it again, even if it is a longer pilgrimage? Absolutely.
You can find me on Instagram, where I (slowly) upload photos from my trips.
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7 thoughts on “5 frames with a Hasselblad on the Camino de Santiago – By Daniel Morales”
Wow. I walked the Camino in 2019 carrying a Nikon FM2 and a lot of Ilford Delta 400. I always wondered what it would be like to carry and shoot the trip with my 500 CM. Thanks for sharing!
Wow. I walked the Camino in 2019 carrying a Nikon FM2 and a lot of Ilford Delta 400. That was a lot for the 800 km and 6 weeks of my trip. I always wondered what it would be like to carry and shoot the trip with my 500 CM. Thanks for sharing!
Wow! 800km, I guess you did the Francés or Del Norte? Actually after the Inglés I did Finisterre and managed to reduce my carrying weight to just 3kg… with those numbers I keep thinking that one could even take something bigger for shooting!
I have no plans of pilgrimage (so far) but you definitely encouraged me to take my Hasselblad more often with me. Thank you!
Thanks! That was the idea of the post!
Nice! You can save a little weight next time with a Rolleiflex.
These are beautiful images with the classic Hasselblad style. Well done.