5 Frames… Of lightning on Fuji Provia 100F (120 Format / EI 100 / Hasselblad 500CM + Carl Zeiss Distagon CF 50mm f/4 – by Dimitris Chatzis

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It was around 9 o’clock in the evening when I was walking the coast of Thessaloniki in order to capture some long exposures of the ships with one of my friends. I was had my Hasselblad 500CM loaded with a Fuji Provia 100F and was searching for the ideal place to set our tripods. My friend, Charis, had a Canon A1 with Kodak Portra 400.

I love Fuji Provia 100F for long night exposures because you don’t have to be that accurate with light metering as you have in a daylight situations. As we were setting our tripods we noticed that a storm was starting at the other side of the gulf and some lightning strikes draged our attention in that direction. We decided to go back to our car and search for a spot in order to capture some lightning strikes instead.


My Hasselblad 500CM + Carl Zeiss Distagon CF 50mm f/4, Dimitris Chatzis

We were so excited as the storm became more intense and every ten seconds, the entire sky was lit like daylight. After half an hour we found the perfect spot on the beach — I say perfect because we could see all the lightning strikes on the sea and there was no even one drop of rain there!

The only lens I have for the Hasselblad is a Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm f/4 CF, as I bought this camera mainly for landscape photography. It cost me about 1000 Euro for the body and the lenses in very good condition. I was surprised by the sharp images that this lens produces. In general, all the Carl Zeiss lenses made for Hasselblad cameras are very sharp and deliver excellent results. You also have a large variety of lenses to choose from, too.

Back to the storm!

I set the lens at f/8 and shutter speed to bulb and, with a cable release, made some long exposures. After 3 or 4 strikes I stopped the exposure as I think that the film could end up burnt from the excessive light of the lightning bolts. After an hour, my twelve frames were finished, and returned home. I was so excited that I started the preparation for developing the film immediately. Here are five of my 12 frames.

Slide film development is a kind of a tricky process if you are alone but my friend Charis was there to adjust the temperature of the water tank all the time. I really like the results, maybe because it was the first time that I captured a storm! Thanks for your time!!

~ Dimitris


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This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.

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I am passionate about analog photography. I use only analog equipment with manual focus lenses. I started a year ago and film was my first touch with photography. I love landscapes but I am trying also with street photography at night and some portraits.

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