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Shooting straight from the heart with the Hasselblad H6D

Gothenburg-based photographic duo Marco Grizelj and Kristian Krän, otherwise known as AORTA, have been working together ever since they first met up during photography studies at the University of Gothenburg in 1996, and the fact that one of the best professional cameras in the world was being manufactured just down the road introduced them to the Hasselblad system very early on.

“We were able to borrow Hasselblad cameras from the University while we were still studying,” says Marco, “and finally became proud Hasselblad owners in 2006. It was our first digital camera and the timing felt right: until then we hadn’t come across any digital files that particularly impressed us.” Quality was a prime motivator in camera choice because Marco and Kristian’s frequently surreal flights of fancy rely heavily on stunning detail and the widest possible dynamic range. But it’s more than that: the pair are immensely proud of the fact that the cameras are made in their backyard and feel that they are an integral part of Gothenburg’s identity.Klyftan_Aorta_Hasselblad_H6DKlyftan photographed by Aorta using the all new H6D

All of which made AORTA ideal candidates to trial the H6D, “We loved the look of the camera the moment we laid eyes on it,” says Marco. “The dark camera body and the slightly orange trigger button and the redesigned form of the digital back all come together really well. It’s simply a beautiful tool to work with.”

“The image quality and dynamic range is, as we expected, absolutely amazing, while the increased ISO-range in combination with even faster shutter speeds is a huge thing for us. What this combination does is to multiply the power of our flash many times over, making it far easier for us to light our bigger scenes.”Pyramids_Aorta_Hasselblad_H6D Pyramids photographed by Aorta using the all new H6D

“The new LCD rear touch screen will make it easier for us to shoot in demanding environments without the hassle of being tethered to a computer. We’ll be able to shoot in demanding locations and still be able to judge the quality of our work.”

Determined to test the H6D out on a meaningful shoot, Marco and Kristian dreamed up a theme in keeping with their slightly unusual view of the world. “We decided to shoot a fashion story about a space traveller that explores a distant planet,” explains Marco. “He then encounters a hidden alien intelligence that taps into his mind and projects itself in a familiar female form in an attempt to communicate. Our inspiration were events such as the moon landings, wondering what thoughts went through the astronauts’ minds and what dreams they had.” Morph_Aorta_Hasselblad_H6DMorph photographed by Aorta using the all new H6D

“The images were made in two steps: first we took pictures of miniature landscapes that we created together with talented set designer Anders Hellström. These images then had to be focus -stacked [the combination of multiple images shot at different focus distances to create an increased depth of field] to make them sharp from back to front. Then we shot the people in a studio, simulating the lighting from the miniature settings and finally compositing everything together in Photoshop.” So will the H6D have the potential to change the way AORTA works in the future?

“Yes – and perhaps in some unexpected ways,” Marco says. “For us the big thing is that this camera will allow us to shoot more on location and to work with lighting in completely new ways that have not been possible before.”


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