MAKING PHOTOS THAT
WILL LAST 1000 YEARS
I had a collector who owns a few of the very famous Irving Penn dye transfers and platinum palladium prints. I remember seeing the quality and thinking, ‘What is this type of print?’ It turns out it’s the highest quality of color and black and white printing that exists in the world. The only problem is that Kodak, without any warning, stopped making the chemicals for it in the 90s. A few people bought up what was left, including one of Irving Penn’s previous printers. So, I tracked him down.
– Tyler Shields
Los Angeles-based photographer Tyler Shields wasn’t sure how long the remainder of the chemicals needed for making dye transfers and platinum palladium prints would last. Cared for properly, these prints can last for hundreds of years without color fading or loss of quality. “If I have the chance to make something that can last up to a thousand years, I’d be a fool not to do it. I wanted to have a piece of that history,” says Tyler. Using his Hasselblad 503CW, Tyler did just that.
DYE TRANSFER PRINTING
Dye transfer prints are renowned for their outstanding color depth and stunning quality that is unlike anything else. Starting out as a black and white print, the colors are individually hand rolled on with film-like sheets called matrix film that is soaked in tubs of cyan, magenta, and yellow dyes. Requiring extreme precision every step of the way, if any of the matrix film is off by the tiniest millimeter when being rolled onto the final image, the whole photo is ruined.
Orchestrating these images to be specific dye transfer photos, Tyler wanted to test the richness of color with the luscious, painted red lips and the various tones and shadows in Catwoman. “Once I saw the final print, I finally understood that there’s nothing else that has this look to it. I didn’t even get the Red Lips print out of the studio before it was purchased,” explains Tyler.
PLATINUM PALLADIUM PRINTING
Not only are platinum palladium prints known to last for a thousand years, but each print is a unique piece of art with beautifully deep monochrome shades. In short, the necessary chemicals are mixed and “painted” onto the printing paper. After the paper has had time to dry, the film negative is put on top, and together, they are placed in a special UV light machine. Afterwards, the image is put in a tub of water and the chemicals used to develop the image are thrown onto the paper. The image develops immediately.
For the platinum palladium print, I took the portrait of the lady in the swim camp. I found a swim cap from the 40s that had never been opened. It would be more authentic I thought; I wanted that photo to literally look like it could have been taken in the 20s or 30s. The print does something to the image. It gives it something special. You don’t understand it until you do it.
ABOUT TYLER SHIELDS
Starting out as a pro rollerblader in his youth, Los Angeles-based image creator Tyler Shields traded in his skates for a camera and started to film and photograph skaters and create music videos when he was 17. As he began to shoot more and more, he looked into the top of the line camera and came across Hasselblad. “If it’s good enough for the moon, it’s good enough for me,” said Tyler about his first Hasselblad 500C. Exploding cars, covering models in paint, and hanging out of a window on the fourteenth floor of a hotel are normal days of work for this raw, innovative artist who goes to any lengths to get his shot. See more of Tyler’s work here.
More Hasselblad storiesAll stories ⟶
The Powerful Simplicity of Symmetry
A limited tonal palette and simple yet sharp props combined for a superb photoshoot with a focus on form, colour, and symmetry for South African photographer Gavin Goodman and his team.
COOPER & GORFER
Sweden-based Hasselblad Ambassadors Cooper & Gorfer embarked on a new piece, Delirium, that embodies the Covid-19 pandemic, capturing the constant struggle of healthcare workers fighting through this historical tragedy.
HASSELBLAD GOES UNDERWATER AMONG WHALES AND TURTLES
Freediver and 2018 Hasselblad Master Karim Iliya ventured underwater with the AquaTech REFLEX Water Housing for the Hasselblad X1D II 50C, capturing serene imagery of whales and turtles in their natural worlds around the French Polynesian island of Moorea and Maui, Hawaii.
CAPTURING ARCHITECTURAL GRANDEUR WITH THE XH CONVERTER 0,8
Sean Conboy put the XH Converter 0,8 to the architectural test, photographing the exquisite interior of the Winter Gardens Blackpool in England.
COOPER & GORFER
BETWEEN THESE FOLDED WALLS, UTOPIA
Using the Hasselblad X1D, Cooper & Gorfer intertwine photographic portraiture with beautifully executed collage techniques and hand-drawn textures, blending photography and painting in their series, Between These Folded Walls, Utopia.
UNLOCKING NEW LENS OPPORTUNITIES WITH XH CONVERTER 0,8
As one of the first to try out the new XH Converter 0,8 on the 907X 50C, British photographer Tom Oldham executed a brilliantly dynamic studio session with Greek model and activist Billie Dellios. The XH Converter 0,8 opened Tom’s typical portrait-taking style of shooting on f/11 to a wide f/1,8 to create stunningly bold visuals.
ALLOWED TO GROW OLD: ELDERLY ANIMAL PORTRAITS PRESERVED ON THE 503CW
As a project that started off with confronting her own mortality after caring for her mother suffering from Alzheimer’s, Isa Leshko embarked on a decade-long project photographing elderly farm animals. Creating connections with pigs, cows, turkeys, and sheep, among others, Isa captured the unique personalities of each animal on film through the lens of her Hasselblad 503CW.
THE SOLITUDE OF THE AMERICAN WEST
With an affinity for photographing the American West, Slovenian creative Dino Kužnik embarked on a two-week road trip across Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico after months of lockdown in his New York home base. Used to shooting on medium format film, Dino opted for digital medium format using the X1D II 50C and XCD 45 and 90 Lenses. Driving through the earthy terrain of the rugged desert landscape, Dino’s images let us travel back in time to an America of yesteryear.
ANNA DEVÍS AND DANIEL RUEDA
EXPANDING THEIR VISUAL UNIVERSE WITH THE 907X 50C
Drawing inspiration from Hasselblad’s long legacy, creative duo and Hasselblad Ambassadors Anna Devís and Daniel Rueda tried out the new 907X 50C to create imagery that celebrates some of Hasselblad’s most renowned features. Expanding on their own visual universe – including a cloning situation, blending in with a record player, and mapping out their own constellations – each of the photographs give a nod to the camera’s long-lasting build, classic design, and innovation behind the technology that also led to working with NASA.
ADVENTURING THROUGH THE SUBTROPICAL RAINFORESTS AND ACTIVE VOLCANOES OF NEW ZEALAND
As the world turned upside down for many in March 2020, Los Angeles-based photographer Adam Weist found himself removed from it all on the other side of the world in the middle of New Zealand’s magical scenery. Shooting with the X1D II 50C in wild conditions ranging from the middle of a downpour in subtropical rainforests to a snowstorm on an active volcano, Adam’s images expose the beauty of the country and transport us to a landscape photographer’s dream.