The Rainbow Road Series
I began playing with light-painting as a way to add some warmth to the images that I was making, and the idea of rainbows sort of just popped into my head. Harnessing the rainbow and grounding it to be this imaginary road that could be walked on feels like a nice balance between the magic of nature and imagination. It began as a playful experiment, but I loved the results of the Rainbow Road, so I’ve put more effort into continuing the project.
After moving from California back to his New England hometown in the winter of 2018, Daniel Mercadante was inspired by the cold blue evenings to experiment with rainbow lights and long exposure. The results: The Rainbow Road series. In the latest set of these “light painting” images, Daniel’s switch to the X1D has become essential for executing this surreal, enchanting path and making it even more tempting to follow.
Making the Rainbow Road
To create the Rainbow Road, Daniel built a lighting device deemed the “Rainbow Rig.” Attaching household LED lights with strips of colored gels onto a broom, Daniel sets a long exposure and runs through the frame carrying the Rainbow Rig. Shooting his images at f/8 or f/11 and ISO 100, exposure time can vary between 30 seconds and 2 minutes depending on the brightness of the environment.
Most of the Rainbow Road images have been taken in Connecticut and Northern California, but the magical path has also made its way down to Guatemala. Chosen based on their nature landscapes, adding to the fantasy feeling of the Rainbow Road, Daniel plans to take the project all over the world to multiple environments.
Capturing the Rainbow Road with the X1D
I was using a few different SLR’s for the Rainbow Road previously, and I wasn’t really happy with the process of working with any of them. Also, when I went to test some large-scale prints, I wasn’t very happy with the results. After getting the X1D, I realized it is an entirely different animal. Between the experience of shooting with it and the results I can achieve with it, I’m continuously impressed and inspired to make more photos.
The images the X1D produces are leagues ahead of anything else I’ve ever worked with. With the Rainbow Road, I am capturing bright highlights and deep shadows. The latitude of the camera helps me enormously to prevent overexposing the rainbow and underexposing the environment. When I inevitably need to lift the shadows, there is so much image information that I can mine. Even when I need to go to extreme lengths because of underexposure, the noise readout of the camera’s sensor has a beautiful organic film-grain like quality, unlike anything I’ve seen in other cameras.
SEEING IN THE DARK
“With these images, I’m capturing long exposures during blue hour into the night. It becomes really difficult to see what I’m doing. The design of the X1D’s button placement and software is so clean and simple that working in the dark is never a problem. I can see every bit of what I’m doing. The screen shows huge numbers counting down the length of the exposure, and I can stop it early if I need to. The timer is similarly simple and easy to operate and it flashes bright signals, so I can see from really far away.”
ABOUT DANIEL MERCADANTE
Daniel has had a camera in his hands for as long as he can remember. Originally a filmmaker, he’s focused his attention on cinematography rather than still images. While directing television adverts in his professional life, photography has become Daniel’s personal meditation and creative recess from film sets. See more of @danielmercadante’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.