My family and I recently moved to Sweden. I had owned the Hasselblad for a few months prior to moving, but documenting our first few months in the country of its origin seemed poignant! The first few film stocks I had tried were Ektar 100, then Lomography Color Negative 800 (which I had unsuccessfully tried to buy in 35mm).

The first few rolls of Lomography 800 did not blow me away, perhaps it was a case of getting used to the film, but the colours were less rich than I had hoped. Especially on the closer portraits I took, skin tones were nothing on Kodak Portra 400, although the speed felt useful during the grey spring we had in the UK.

I loved the ‘Blad from the first frame, the parts of the modular system work in perfect harmony. The shutter sound is formidable, and I always feel like each frame is a little bit special (until they get developed!). I decided medium format was my next logical step, having had my film intro via a Canon AE-1, and the small form factor of the Hasselblad was a big selling point.

I took the first frame of this roll in the departure lounge of Heathrow Airport, not really expecting much to come out, but since I had lugged my precious camera with me as hand luggage, I was determined to get at least 1 exposure. I lay in wait for the perfect blend of passengers to pass through the frame, and the result came out better than I could have dreamed, with a cinematic quality (so I think!). I metered using a phone app (Exposure on Android), and although light streamed in from the windows in the background, the foreground was all in shadow, with some artificial light from a nearby shop.

The day at the beach where I shot the last 4 of my frames was bright and glorious. Having been watching sunny 16 videos on YouTube, I felt like this seemed like a straightforward place to start! At f/16 and a shutter speed of 1/500, I started snapping away. The end result again took me by surprise and really captured how the day looked in my memory. Nordic daylight in the summer feels brighter than in the UK, so I was a little concerned I would be overexposed. Although I am still getting used to focussing on the Hasselblad, moving the lens out to infinity didn’t require much skill.

Next up is some Portra 400 and some ILFORD HP5 PLUS, can’t wait to see how they come out.

~ Luke

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About the author

Luke Marleau

Occasional taker of photographs, now 100% analogue. Originally from the UK, but now based in Sweden. Improving focus, one roll at a time.

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