Search and sort

Hasselblad Master Swee Oh: capturing the soul of a museum

Swee Oh – Hasselblad Master 2016 in the category of Architectural

San Francisco-based Hasselblad Master Swee Oh has always found museums inspiring. When it came to choosing a subject to photograph for the Hasselblad Masters book, she decided to capture the soul of ’The Broad’, a contemporary art museum in Los Angeles. Designed by architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, the building enshrines the collection of Eli and Edythe Broad, two of Los Angeles’ leading philanthropists.

Swee-Oh3Swee’s approach was to photograph details and textures while studying different angles. She used light, contrast and shadows to create depth, while framing and composition were critical in adding to the narrative of the image.

Swee-Oh2“The project worked out very much as I envisaged,” she says. “I had planned ahead and agreed time with the Broad Museum to allow me to shoot the exterior of the building. I spent three consecutive days shooting, waiting and watching for the right light to be cast on it. The building is famous for its distinctive honeycomb-like ‘veil,’ which consists of 400 different trapezoidal shapes, and it was crucial that the light was right in order to create the contrast and shadows necessary for the building to come alive both in the day and night time.”

Swee-Oh4“Shooting with a Hasselblad medium format camera for the first time was a whole new experience for me. It was definitely a learning curve as I had only a week to learn how to use the H5D-50c before spending three days working on the project shoot. The image quality this enabled was superb; the fine details are just amazing, which is perfect for architectural photography.”

“For me one of the best features of the camera was True Focus technology. This enabled me to lock in on the subject and then recompose the shot without losing my original focus point, even if I was shooting handheld. With the Hasselblad 28 mm lens the images I achieved were tack sharp from corner to corner as well as in the centre of the image. I also noticed that the colours were beautifully rich, thanks to the camera’s 16-bit sensor, which brings out the many subtler tones.”

Swee-Oh1“Overall, I am blown away by the Hasselblad’s performance and look forward to using it on a more regular basis in the future!”

The Hasselblad Masters book ‘Inspire’ is available at

See what the Masters of 2016 created at

Camera model
Exposure time
Exposure mode
Auto exposure Manual exposure Auto bracket