2014-11-17 In a brand new project using a Hasselblad film camera and Kodak Portra 400, 12 photographers will take 12 photos, telling 12 stories across four countries on the same roll of film. If you only had one shot, one chance, what would you shoot?
Film. It’s still adored and revered by countless numbers of photographers across the planet. Many ‘Old-School’ pros that shoot digital for clients on a day to day basis are happy to boast about still owning film cameras – and in a number of cases even a darkroom set-up for personal work.
Now a London-based technology group is set to launch a new ‘Zencam’ app that aims to revive the art of print photography by enabling photographers to download a virtual film. It limits users to twenty shots ‘to recapture the nostalgia and emotional connection of taking photos’. (The photographs will also not be visible to the shooter until the ‘film roll’ pops through the photographer’s door – printed.)
And coincident with a resurgent ‘think film’ environment Andrew Spencer, a Hasselblad-loving Manchester-based photographer who loves to ‘tell stories’ through his camera has founded Twelve – a highly original new, 12-strong photographers’ collective.
So what is Twelve? It comprises a dozen photographers (Andrew Spencer, James Tarry, Matt Wilkinson, Atle Ronningen, Johnny Patience, Jakob, Ben Hinceman, Ann-Kathrin Koch, Tom Welland, Andrew Areoff, Darren Seamark and Bijan Sabet) They share a passion for film photography, shooting a variety of formats, but for the purpose of this unique project, medium format, specifically on a Hasselblad camera.
Explains Andrew: “In the modern digital world it has become very easy to shoot as many pictures as you like. But we believe film slows you down- and that’s a good thing. It makes you think and helps you enjoy the moment more. The idea behind The Twelve Collective is simple. 12 photographers will take 12 photos using an A12 film back, telling 12 stories on the same roll of film.”
“No checking, no re-shots, no instant upload to Facebook. Just one chance; one frame and a very long wait. How long? Who knows? This film will pass from Norway to the UK, to Ireland, and then over to the US where it will be developed”. “The versatility of this Hasselblad makes it easy to swap film backs in between shots – the idea being that you can interchange between colour and black & white or different film types mid-shoot. We plan to use this versatility to create something unique. A roll of film shot by twelve different people across 4 countries. One shot each!
We will shoot with Portra 400 and the only influence as to what people shoot will be the overarching theme, which is simply: ‘Home’.”
Andrew has a broad selection of cameras, mainly rangefinders, but after acquiring his first Hasselblad earlier this year he instantly fell in love with this format and the camera. He always wanted to be part of a collaborative project and the flexibility of the camera gave him the perfect opportunity.
As the film travels, each photographer will be writing about their experiences of taking their one shot, without revealing anything more. When all twelve shots have been taken then decisions will be made about how to display the final product. Adds Andrew: “We have had a great deal of interest in the project, including many people who wanted to join in. Clearly, the concept makes this difficult, but we have some great ideas on what happens next – so watch this space.”