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Behind the scenes of the Hasselblad H5D advertising campaign

By dpreview staff on Mar 20, 2013 at 16:58 GMT

Photographer Henrik Sorensen has uploaded an interesting behind-the-scenes YouTube video of his recent 'submerged fairy' shoot for Hasselblad's advertising campaign for its new H5D medium-format digital camera. Taking inspiration from the Danish folklore and its royal history he opted to use a submerged castle interior as the backdrop. He first went on location to the 18th century Ledreborg Castle and captured a picture of the main hall, then printed the photo onto a 8 x 4.5m plastic backdrop and completed the rest of the shoot in a swimming pool.

Hasselblad's H5D digital medium format camera series started shipping in December 2012 in 40, 50 and 60 megapixel models, as well as 50 and 200 megapixel multi-shot versions. (via FStoppers)

Behind the scenes video of the floating fairytale shoot

Comments

Total comments: 82
David Dolsen
By David Dolsen (10 months ago)

LOVED the photo, LOVED the video, GREAT JOB!

Another fine production by a great company. Wish I had shot it!

0 upvotes
Anthony Terrot
By Anthony Terrot (Apr 9, 2013)

I particularly like the uncropped version with the reflection of the girl in the surface above. The 'architecture' works for me too. What incredable fun it must have been. And all professional photography should be fun ... well except the sort of photography that Don McCullin was involved with.

Photoshop et al is a great photographic development. However, there is nothing to substitute getting it right in the camera, albeit commercial revenue issues then come into play.

Love it.

0 upvotes
miles green
By miles green (Mar 29, 2013)

Beautiful work, i love the pictures!

Why so many nay-sayers!? A few scuba tanks and a rebreather might have made it easier.

0 upvotes
Sanjuro
By Sanjuro (Mar 26, 2013)

For all the critizes this, maybe you should see the final shots:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B65JVhlBZg4

Of course then you can argue if you could get the same results with any other full frame camera and that budget :-)

0 upvotes
FartIng
By FartIng (Mar 25, 2013)

Could have been done with a Cann EOS 5d Mk3, Nikon D800......get my point? I have saved myself over £50k plus KIT? - not that I ever had the money for it anyhow!

2 upvotes
Dan Wagner
By Dan Wagner (Mar 25, 2013)

The Hasselblad digital cameras are aimed at advertising photographers with a fat budget. I don't know that this photo would appeal to this market. Maybe. To my eye, the castle background doesn't read very well. So without the explanation... my point is that a photo shouldn't require an explanation. I don't think the model was comfortable in the water, and the pose isn't working for me. I think she needed to be weighted down. As an ad for photographers, I believe photos showcasing the Hasselblad's sharp images would have worked better. But the photographers who are going to buy or rent this camera, will anyway -- because as pros they know it's capabilities. There's a photographer in the US who specializes in underwater photos of models -- he has a special pool in his house that isn't clorinated so the models can keep their eyes open. And he knows how to make the clothes look good -- which they don't in the above sample. Bottom line -- it's not a good photo.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
MediaDigitalVideo
By MediaDigitalVideo (Mar 24, 2013)

What can a GoPro Black do in such a situation ?

0 upvotes
Alex Krachko
By Alex Krachko (Mar 23, 2013)

I'm not impressed(((

1 upvote
steveh0607
By steveh0607 (Mar 23, 2013)

Geez, I thought they just threw someone in the pool.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Mar 21, 2013)

"captured a picture of the main hall, then printed the photo onto a 8 x 4.5m plastic backdrop and completed the rest of the shoot in a swimming pool."

What would you do not to learn Photoshop...

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 21, 2013)

they even did not know that they could make indistinguishable effect in the air (exactly the same actually according to physics).

maybe they know and all this is about wasting money (for more money?) and pollute our planet.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Mar 22, 2013)

I agree, might have been cheaper to do CGI also. Then to reprint a giant canvas. A good photoshop person might get it right too, but the water physic is something a good render software can do, since this is a set up anyways.

0 upvotes
AndreasOberg
By AndreasOberg (Mar 22, 2013)

Seriously guys. Have you tried a scene this complex yourself?
This is a pretty complex shot with water caustics everywhere and not a simple lighting scene. To do this well in Photoshop would not have been simple and it rarely if ever looks as good as the real deal.
Another thing to consider is that maybe the creators actually liked shooting things in the real life and not to simulate. To push boundaries in the "real" world and not with CGI is a different skill set. If it was up to me I would shot things in the real world and then I would pump it up even more in Photoshop or with CGI if needed. Sonds like the most fun and will create the best result.
Just my 2 cents.
/Andreas

3 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Mar 23, 2013)

@everyone saying CIG/photoshop it- what an ignorant thing to say. You would not get the same look, it would be incredibly difficult and you could also get accused of not really shooting with the camera you are saying you are shooting with and advertising!

2 upvotes
marcio_napoli
By marcio_napoli (Mar 25, 2013)

You don't need to go really far as that CG explanation.

Just take a look at the comments in this page, there are tons o jealous comments, from people that have never, ever been involved at any level in such a complex shooting themselves.

They just talk too much from their armchairs, spreading their comments as experts.
Yeah, they know better than Hasselblad, their advertising people, and the acclaimed photographer that shot this image.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Mar 28, 2013)

bs, they shoot a swimmer in a pool and the background is already fake. There has been ton of underwater shoots from good photographer with model in dresses. See flickr. They can do it in CGI , look how good cgi is in movies today. There are alot of skill in cgi too. Faking a background is faking a background.

0 upvotes
miamifever
By miamifever (Mar 21, 2013)

How would one go about reliably triggering strobes through the water? I've tried to do it with pocketwizards but had no luck.

0 upvotes
TLD
By TLD (Mar 21, 2013)

There is a curly cable between the camera and the yellow underwater strobe (camera left). That would be bright enough to trigger a photo cell outside the pool I'd guess)

I'm wondering what the voltage is supplying the strobe in the softbox clamped to the spring board? Hopefully not mains, although I am not entirely sure how 240 volts would affect a volume of water that size.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 21, 2013)

Great images and a nice idea.. Hasselblad's give beautiful image quality.. I love the color from them..

0 upvotes
oomomo
By oomomo (Mar 21, 2013)

yeah... like the color wasn't manipulated

2 upvotes
TLD
By TLD (Mar 21, 2013)

But they sure are loud. The shutter sounds like a slide action shot gun being racked!

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 21, 2013)

it can hardly be called photography, almost never, if you do not manipulate, which means you put your work in someone else's hands, like some chemical or electronic engineers or the guy at the lab.

1 upvote
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 22, 2013)

@oomomo... Color is always manipulated,raw files are almost always a little flat and need the Raw converter to bring out the best in colour,unless you shoot jpeg like Ken Rockwell... ;-)

0 upvotes
oomomo
By oomomo (Mar 22, 2013)

In case you don't understand, i'm pointing out that it's impossible to see how the system renders colors because of the manipulation applied.

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 22, 2013)

@oomomo,It's simply a promo video which showcases a photographer's use of the camera,demonstrating color accuracy would require a different approach to this,really the best way to do that is to provide downloads of raw's which hasselblad does on their website.
as a video it's a bit of fun and the shoot is interesting....

0 upvotes
HarrieD7000
By HarrieD7000 (Mar 21, 2013)

I'm convinced I should buy a H5D, as soon as I have to shoot under water.

1 upvote
ysengrain
By ysengrain (Mar 21, 2013)

and during this sideral vacuity time, 800 millions of people on earth have no access to water !!

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 21, 2013)

point and shoot underwater is readily available at Walmart but I am still trying to figure out how to shoot kingfisher underwater with a 400mm telephoto.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tmurph
By tmurph (Mar 21, 2013)

Brilliant, the work that went into that shoot is just amazing.
What a job he's got, imagine having to get up every morning and enjoying the work that you do. Not many people can say that.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Armadal
By Armadal (Mar 21, 2013)

Please, what is the music?

0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 21, 2013)

Dawn by Michael Brun

0 upvotes
oluv
By oluv (Mar 21, 2013)

Dawn is a house-techno track, while the one in the video is rather chill-out. I wouldn't say both are the same.

0 upvotes
StevenE
By StevenE (Mar 21, 2013)

Nice photo. Could have been with almost any DSLR. It's all in the lighting, location, and background

0 upvotes
AndreasOberg
By AndreasOberg (Mar 22, 2013)

Are you actually saying that almost any DSLR with say 10-18 megapixel resolution and probably a standard lens will compare to 60 megapixel with their own lenses?
It will not do that, yes if the resolution is low then you will not see much of a difference but if you are planning on printing it then the resolution and quality difference will be very big.

0 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (Mar 23, 2013)

I don't know.. printing 8x4.5m background from APS-C or even current FFs may be a little tricky.
Has anyone tried it? I'm curios to know how good such prints will be.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Mar 21, 2013)

an underwater case would cost as much as the camera. Most underwater case are the same price of a camera. For a dynamic scene you can't photo stetch 3-4 shots together. I do that of my D600 stitching 2-3 images together if need be for portrait for group of people.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (Mar 21, 2013)

sometimes more than half of the faces may have to be stitched?pasted from a dozen of shots among over a hundred.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (Mar 22, 2013)

the most I done is 4. don't overlap them 3x since it might confuse photoshop during stitching.

0 upvotes
24Peter
By 24Peter (Mar 21, 2013)

I don't shoot underwater scenes so am not sure of the answer, but I am wondering if he would have been better off placing all the strobes underwater to avoid the diffraction/ reflections from the surface on the backdrop and model. I find it distracting at best.

That said, I do like the concept and I'm sure the full rez images are breathtaking. And I certainly appreciate the effort to pull off a shoot like this.

0 upvotes
marcio_napoli
By marcio_napoli (Mar 21, 2013)

Peter, those reflections you mention are exactly what they were looking for.

It´s 100% part of the concept.

Take away these reflections, and all you get is an "ordinary" shot, of course, far from ordinary... but you get my point.

The beauty of underwater shots like these are exactly that water effect.

5 upvotes
24Peter
By 24Peter (Mar 21, 2013)

Marcio - thanks for your reply. Let me ask: would strobes placed under the water "bounce" off the underside of the surface of the water and create a similar but subtler effect? You probably have a lot more knowledge/experience with this but I can't help but wonder if the desired surreal effect could have been obtained without all the wave interference patterns/ highlights caused by placing the lights above the water line.

0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Mar 21, 2013)

The water surface acts pretty much like a mirror. Much of the refletion is not the light, coming from the top, but the reflection of the white floor of the pool. If you wanted to make the surface darker you would have to darken the floor and the remaining walls. Submerging the light could have helped in the sense that it could be directed away from the floor, but then it would be difficult to see the surface. I am pretty sure that those ripples on the surface is exactly what the photographer wanted to get.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
marcio_napoli
By marcio_napoli (Mar 21, 2013)

Hi Peter!
I may be wrong, but I imagine that if they placed the strobes under water, we would loose part of (or maybe totally) that wave effect on the background.

It would be so much more subtle to the point the image would look bland, like just a model floating in the middle of the frame, without much context and nothing special to look at.

The water effect on the background acts as a "special effect", that holds our attention.

A side effect that maybe would happen if they positioned strobes underwater, is that the image would present a very pronounced glow coming from the strobes, just like using a bad lens (without special coatings or ED glass) and pointing it to a light source.

That milky, low contrast rendering we get from cheapo glass, would happen here too, maybe?

Regarless of technique, the hard work these guys have is beyond amazing!

0 upvotes
Joed700
By Joed700 (Mar 21, 2013)

So the Mega Pixel war continues...I think the Nikon D800 deserves all the credits for raising the bar for medium format cameras. I wonder what kind of computer would one need to process a 200MP raw file? It would be more interesting to see what Canon's next gen DSLRs would be like...This is exciting stuff!

0 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Mar 21, 2013)

D800 Raising the bar? More specifically, it merely came close in terms of finally matching what MF has been doing for years. (See also 40MP Phase I, FLI, Kodak, etc) It's only that kind of resolution and detail retention caliber were finally made possible to afford for the pro-semi-pro market.

Now that advancements in manufacturing and technology have furthered what can be produced. MF will advance and make that will eventually make the D800 look like a normal mid-level resolution camera. The D800, although nice, is not the be-all, end-all camera. Rumor has it, that Canon had been working on a 100MP digital sensor years ago but it was far too expensive to mass produce. Also, keep in mind, Sony still handled production on the D800 sensor (albeit "to Nikon Spec",) so it's only a matter of time before they,themselves, produce some thing in the same line. As well as Pentax. All companies that use Sony sensor technology.

Also, since Kodak is back in the game, keep an eye on them.

3 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Mar 21, 2013)

I have quite a few issues with Hasselblad's promotion:

1. I do not see the value in this video. It does not show how the scene was lit, and what settings on the camera were used.

2. HB comments how important the color fidelity is and tout their 16 bit files. I do not see anything in this image that implies color fidelity. Especially when they then talk about tweaking colors in postproduction.

3. They talk about shadow areas - but the hair has lost all detail above and to the right of her head. We are not talking about capture with a high dynamic range, it's simply an image exposed for shadows. Even the current 4/3 sensors have enough sensitivity to expose like this in shallow water, and possibly even smaller sensors. So what exactly are they advertising in this case?

2 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 21, 2013)

It's a promo video not an instructional video,and it would would be very difficult to see the benefit of 16Bit MF color in a highly compressed mpeg you tube video...

1 upvote
love_them_all
By love_them_all (Mar 21, 2013)

Interesting shoot. Before watching the vid and text I would have thought the back drop was all digital, and the model was in a tank! Guess they wanna make a statement the Hassy can go underwater?

0 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Mar 20, 2013)

What about their disco campaign? This is really old. Hasselbald went nuts when digital came out, they've still not recovered. Peddling red Ferrari cameras to arabs is still a bad sign.

0 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (Mar 21, 2013)

(chuckle) The first time I saw their "Ferrari Edition" bodies, I thought it was a cheesy product. Even if offered at the same price point of the other models, I'd feel weird (actually embarrassed) toting around a camera that's loud red with Ferrari's prancing horse depicted on the side. Yuk. :)

I'd like to see Hasselblad breathe new life into the old 500 series which hasn't been updated since the 90's I was told. A refined mirror action, basic AF or at least in-camera metering would be a great start. I think Hasselblad should've made the 500 series into something like a "lite" version of the Hy6.

Offerings from Mamiya and Phase in my mind make Hasselblad (generally) a bad purchase decision today.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
chrisj8891
By chrisj8891 (Mar 20, 2013)

I think some of these comments are about 10 degrees off,, intentional yes, but good grief,, its a good shot taken by a respected photographer,, stop being so anal

3 upvotes
photorick1974
By photorick1974 (Mar 20, 2013)

Fantastic! Very imaginative setting for a photo shoot. Too bad some photographers have to show their jealous side on here. If you don't like it, give it a fair critique, don't just blast it for no good reason.

6 upvotes
marcio_napoli
By marcio_napoli (Mar 21, 2013)

Naturally... lots of folks here (not all, of course) only shoot mundane, boring subjects, or brick walls, with pro caliber DSLRs.

But what you have here is a gorgeous Hasselblad, used to the higher standards we expect to see a Hasselblad being used.

When jealous folks see such campaign, beautifully conceived, organized and executed, all in a really challeging situation, the jealous folks can´t help to bash it.

4 upvotes
facedodge
By facedodge (Mar 20, 2013)

The camera is about 10 degrees off level. (sure it was intentional... but still)

0 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (Mar 21, 2013)

"But still" what? The shot creates a nice isosceles triangle (almost) at the top. Convention is great, but sheesh, I'm not the only one tired of seeing perfectly straight horizons, etc.. I find it refreshing to see a scene as my eyes might see it in the context of angles.

Stanchung mentions "blown highlights".... let me guess... the lens the photographer's using doesn't have perfect edge sharpness either right? Sure, layers could easily make the cloth perfectly exposed, etc., but good grief- all this "10 degrees off", "blown highlights" and other sanitization photography stuff has reached a unreasonable level of ridiculousness. ;)

0 upvotes
nyc2012
By nyc2012 (Mar 20, 2013)

I am surprised that did not get Howard Schatz to shoot it.

1 upvote
Stanchung
By Stanchung (Mar 21, 2013)

my thoughts too.
nothing special about the picture. overexposed, blown highlights, asking myself if it really is great.
100MP of BS even if I'm jealous of not getting the chance to play with one.

0 upvotes
carlosdelbianco
By carlosdelbianco (Mar 20, 2013)

Was the pool filled with Perrier? Otherwise, IQ would be compromised.

8 upvotes
KariP
By KariP (Mar 20, 2013)

It is totally OK to copy - or invent - same ideas again. Perhaps it is interesting to all of us to check these images from 2009 ( young Susanna Majuri , then a student in "Helsinki School" )
Link to her interesting portfolio:

http://www.helsinkischool.fi/helsinkischool/artist.php?id=9029&type=portfolio

Hmmm - familiar ? The idea of canvas under water and submerged ladies is circulated in 2012 on a very high and classy level.

1 upvote
samhain
By samhain (Mar 20, 2013)

Nice!

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Mar 20, 2013)

Art evolves mainly by copying and improving.

0 upvotes
joe6pack
By joe6pack (Mar 21, 2013)

Not so familiar to me. All I see are people drowning. Quite disturbing, IMO.

0 upvotes
Michael Perham
By Michael Perham (Mar 20, 2013)

Interesting. However, I don't think it shows the best of what this camera can produce.

0 upvotes
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Mar 20, 2013)

You are right. It don't. This shot could have been taken with a smaller camera. But ... its a nice shot anyhow.

0 upvotes
Plakanina
By Plakanina (Mar 20, 2013)

about three decades ago now on a pool fashion shoot a model and photographer were killed when one of the strobes hit the surface of the water. I am very surprised that the equipment was secured in that way. They were very lucky!

2 upvotes
Duncan Dimanche
By Duncan Dimanche (Mar 20, 2013)

three decades.... time to move on. I'm supprise that it even happen in the first place. And the video only show little of how he secured it.... so cheer up and enjoy the picture cause apparently you ain't going to create one like that.

Cheers from France

1 upvote
JKP
By JKP (Mar 21, 2013)

Yeah, totally agree. She should have worn a helmet.

1 upvote
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 21, 2013)

Yeah dude..she should have worn a life jacket..

0 upvotes
plasnu
By plasnu (Mar 20, 2013)

I can't really tell these images from computer graphics.

0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (Mar 20, 2013)

That was really cool, thanks for sharing DPR!
I'm suprised by the negative comments from 'fellow photographers'. Smh.

1 upvote
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (Mar 20, 2013)

Not blown away by the final image... maybe I need to see the actual campaign. Would have been cool to put some "replica" funiture in the pool to make the background 3D. But bravo for the effort to create a sales campaign that is above and beyond the average.

1 upvote
samhain
By samhain (Mar 20, 2013)

They can't all be as good as you Paul Farace. I'm sure you could've shown him how it's done.

1 upvote
Paul Farace
By Paul Farace (Mar 21, 2013)

Samhain I liked it... too bad you're obviously a constipated, friendless Hassy fanboy. I feel so sorry for fanboys of any type. They live lives devoid of real relationships...

0 upvotes
OldDigiman
By OldDigiman (Mar 20, 2013)

Hassy lost me at the Lunar....

3 upvotes
apiza
By apiza (Mar 20, 2013)

A lot of $ and production for pointless images.

8 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (Mar 20, 2013)

Money well spent imo. But then again, i'd guess your not in their demographic.

1 upvote
Surefoot
By Surefoot (Mar 20, 2013)

@apiza: Because photography is a very serious affair. I suppose your photos are never "pointless" and of course, devoid of any artistic pursuit, which is pointless by definition...

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Stanchung
By Stanchung (Mar 21, 2013)

indeed. it climbed a low hill instead of attaining a pinnacle and the guys here are lapping it up. meh

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Scorpius1
By Scorpius1 (Mar 21, 2013)

Wel thats just your opinion dude...

1 upvote
massimogori
By massimogori (Mar 20, 2013)

Some thirthy years ago the 500C was one of my dreams. Now I cannot name a single Hasselblad product with such a character. Maybe they really should focus on swimming pool services.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Mar 20, 2013)

Always nice to see photography-related materials on Digital Camera Review

10 upvotes
OBI656
By OBI656 (Mar 20, 2013)

No need to go "out of frame" for Hassy advertising since this Hasselblad Camera instrument is amazing.
To me it is very much from what we have available in nowadays the only replacement for Sinar F2 which I used to use ...

3 upvotes
Total comments: 82