5 Frames… Of the Circo Atayde Hermanos on Kodak T-MAX 400 (EI 400 / 120 Format / Hasselblad 503CX + Planar CF 80mm f/2.8) – by Abel Montesino

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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

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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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3 thoughts on “5 Frames… Of the Circo Atayde Hermanos on Kodak T-MAX 400 (EI 400 / 120 Format / Hasselblad 503CX + Planar CF 80mm f/2.8) – by Abel Montesino”

  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 !


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