Do you remember the first camera that made you fall in love or impress you? By this, I mean a time when you knew nothing or very little about photography. In my case, it happened when I was a teenager and I saw a Hasselblad 500C/M for the first time, a Hasselblad, an expensive Hasselblad!

…and that’s how the Hasselblad became my white whale; of this I am sure, because I had seen and had in my hands other beautiful cameras.

Well, I finally have had a Hasselblad for some time and it is extremely fun to use. It changes the whole attitude and approach to the subjects I photograph. I am not a collector of gear and I do not think that a camera takes the pictures for you. But using this camera takes me to a zen state, in the sense that I have to be completely focused and careful on what I want and on the elements that surround me and then, the Hasselblad does its job flawless as the day it was manufactured.

I took this series of photographs at the Circo Atayde Hermanos (Atayde Brothers Circus) with my Hasselblad 503CX and Kodak T-MAX 400 film @ EI 1600. The use of a tripod was not an option, the idea I wanted to have with the images was dynamic, I wanted to immerse myself for an hour in the life of a circus artist rather than a formal studio. I knew beforehand that the images would be contrasty and grainy, perhaps blurred or out of focus. After all, it was a very fun afternoon, when I was a child I went to circuses a lot, now I managed to spend an hour inside a circus and with my Hasselblad looking for a series of black and white images with a classic appearance.

I developed the film with Caffenol CL, trusting that the semi-static development would allow me to obtain the maximum detail of the lights without over-revealing the shadows and control as much as possible the grain of the film.

Despite the social isolation due to COVID 19, security limitations did not allow to continue taking photographs in other parts of the circus and with other actors, after all security is first, in any case, far from all pretense and leaving a aside from the addiction of continuing to take photographs with these charming actors; I was satisfied with the few images I got.

~ Abel

Submit your 5 Frames... today

Get your own 5 Frames featured by submitting your article using this form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.

Share your knowledge, story or project

The transfer of knowledge across the film photography community is the heart of EMULSIVE. You can add your support by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.

If you like what you're reading you can also help this passion project by heading over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and contributing as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

About the author

Avatar - Abel Morales

I am a person who uses photographic equipment to better understand what is happening around me


Join the Conversation



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Great images. Thanks.
    Thank you also for Cafenol CL with Tmax, I will try soon.
    These Tmax films are the only ones I did not want to test with the great Cafenol which is the more ecological way to enjoy photography !