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Hasselblad Master Katerina Belkina: my big step forward

A collection of German folk tales gathered and retold by the Brothers Grimm gave Berlin-based Katerina Belkina the motivation for her Inspire project. She was intrigued by the way that the stories tapped into the era of German Romanticism. She made travellers and seekers of truth and absolute happiness, the heroes of her project.Katerina-Belkina3“I had just six months or so to work on the project and it went by like a flash,” she recalls. “I was so busy and involved in the process that it was difficult for me to think about what I was really waiting for. Of course all of us are looking for a good response when we work hard and do something interesting, but I’m very careful with any expectations. This is typical Russian mentality: let’s see!”

“However I definitely had a really cool experience during the shooting and enjoyed working with a team. Usually I work alone, but this time I decided to ask for some help and I built around me a good company of creative people who helped me to develop and realise the project. I deliberately didn’t show any pictures from the project in advance, and wanted their first showing to be at photokina when the Hasselblad Masters book was launched.”Katerina-Belkina2“I loved the H5D-50c camera and was surprised at how comfortable and confident it felt to work with it. I was shooting only with natural light and sometimes conditions were not so easy. For example, I was waiting for the special quality you get at sunset when the light is not very strong, and when I saw how good the result was I was truly amazed! It’s a great thing when you’re free to create in different situations and feel safe. Now I know for sure that this camera really suits the way I work.”Katerina-Belkina4“The project I’ve chosen to cover is so huge that it’s not possible to present it fully in a series of just ten to twelve images, so it’s already clear to me that I’ll be taking it further. Just for the moment however I’m having a break to think a little deeper and make more sketches and extra notes.”Katerina-Belkina1“I also expect to have to make several objects as sculptures and installations, and it’s the first time in my creative life that I’ve begun my work so consciously, going through the usual borders. The addition of a serious camera has allowed me to take a serious step forward.”

The Hasselblad Masters book ‘Inspire’ is available at

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