A few months ago, I spent some time reprocessing panoramas that I took years ago. These were the standard panoramas based on standing in one place and rotating the camera with overlap on each frame. I showed some of them to a friend here in town. He responded that he was scanning some of his Hasselblad XPan negatives. Would I like to use the camera? What? There is an Xpan cameras in my little town and I can use it? You know my response! In 2004, I rented an XPan when I was working in Seattle, so I had some familiarity with the concept, but I barely had time to experiment with it.
Almost two years ago, I lost my Dad very suddenly from a heart attack. He was a huge influence on me, both in my personal life, but also professionally, instilling a work ethic and determination that helped me land my dream job that I continue to love today. However, one of the biggest influences was our shared passion for photography.
I recently had a fun morning at Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles trying out a roll of Ilford SFX 200. This film is sensitive to infrared light. I used an R72 IR filter for some frames and a Red25 filter for other shots to enhance contrast. This was also a good time to try out the PC-Nikkor 35mm Perspective Control lens adapted to my Fuji TX-1 (aka Hasselblad XPan).
I am in the process of publishing (and pre-selling) a zine called The Colours of Shanghai. It collects panoramic XPAN photos taken in Shanghai between 2014 and 2016.
In August of 2014, our entire family moved to Shanghai after my wife landed a promising job there. I was quick to discover the Xing Guang photo mall on Luban Lu, 6 stories of photo goodness including many second hand stores with film cameras on offer. My wife who (I suspect) was feeling a little guilty about moving us to the other side of the world asked me what I wanted for Christmas.
The Hasselblad Xpan is a camera I’ve always wanted since I first saw Mary Ellen Mark use one on the set of Steven Soderbergh’s Che films – she had come over Spain to shoot some promotional photographs for it. I didn’t know what it was, so I asked her… and that’s what started my journey with this mighty camera.