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Hasselblad Master John Paul Evans: a different viewpoint

John Paul Evans chose to illustrate the Hasselblad Masters winners’ theme ‘Inspire’ with a development of work, alongside his partner Peter, in which the couple performed various incarnations of the couple/family/wedding portrait. His intention was for ‘Kings, Queens and Fairy Tales’ to approach the subject of the marriage union in terms of his childhood inspiration and fantasy.John-Paul-Evans1“I’m very pleased with how the project has evolved,” he says. “It was important that at an early stage my ideas were synthesised in the form of a written statement in order to create a framework I could work within. The idea was a development of the images made with Peter where we enacted various permutations of the marriage/wedding/couple portrait, and the project employed strategies from earlier projects in making studio portraits, landscape portraits and montage/still-life/model portraits that responded to the theme laterally rather than literally.”John-Paul-Evans4“Naturally there will always be a dislocation between the imagined composition and the realised image. In working through the image-making process, ideas evolve and develop in ways that are impossible to envisage at the start, and it’s important to allow the work to develop and to take on a life of its own outside of the initial ideas and statement of intent. “Everything has been shot on two Hasselblad cameras, the H5D-50c loaned to me by Hasselblad for the project, and my own 503 CW with a CFV-50c digital back. I used the 503 CW to produce the studio shots and still lives that form the basis of the piece and always have the digital back set to a square format as this mimics the thought and visual process I’m used to with medium format film.”John-Paul-Evans2“I then used the H5D-50c on location, as its rectangular format seemed more appropriate for the landscape. I’m used to handling a manual camera and normally only work with available light as I feel the need to visually perceive the scene before taking the image. However, the H5D is very user friendly in terms of menus and settings, leaving the photographer to concentrate on the image-making process. Both this camera and my digital back use the same sensor, and the combination of Hasselblad lens and medium format sensor produce astonishing images. These have the quality of an apparition, something that’s analogous to my subject matter.”John-Paul-Evans3

The Hasselblad Masters book ‘Inspire’ is available at

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