Tom Oldham

Silent Street Portraits

with the XCD 45P

Hasselblad H System photographer Tom Oldham was one of the first in the world to put the new XCD 45P lens, the world’s lightest digital medium format autofocus lens on the market today, to the test in the low winter light of London. Its compact design and nearly silent shutter coupled with the X1D II made for an ideal combination for shooting street portraits, minimizing the feeling of a camera between the photographer and subject.

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH Tom Oldham

I shoot Hasselblad H System currently, so I know the quality well and this lens offers the exemplary standards Hasselblad have built their reputation on. We shot these images in low winter light, on the greyest, flattest day, yet the files absolutely sang. There’s plenty of punch in that latitude to utilise and I’m really happy with what we turned in - shooting wide open and minimising the DoF really challenged us to hit focus and nail each opportunity.

© Tom Oldham
Model: Harry Kirton
Behind the scenes with Tom Oldham
© Tom Oldham
Model: Harry Kirton

The noise [of the XCD 45P] is so minor and unobtrusive – I believe positive aspects like this can help bring increased intimacy between shooter and subject.

© Tom Oldham
Model: Webster
© Tom Oldham
Model: Webster
© Tom Oldham
Model: Webster

Webster is an incredible dancer I’ve been shooting recently, though in a studio environment, and I really wanted to see how they’d respond to a less structured shoot format on location. Webster, I’m proud to say, far exceeded expectations and just looked glorious on the streets of Shoreditch, making shapes and creating pictures. The swift responses of the camera enabled the easy flowing of the shoot, which is vital in freezing cold and miserable London.

Harry, an actor known for his work on Peaky Blinders, has a very different look and style to Webster, so it felt like a fair test of the capability of the lens in the same lighting conditions. We wandered through the streets of Smithfield in East London and found portraits that aligned with his look.

© Tom Oldham
Model: Harry Kirton

The XCD 45P created an alternative style of shooting I’ve not adopted for a really long time and tested ideas and workflow which is always healthy for someone very familiar with their regular shooting techniques. There’s no doubt what a solid, welcome and popular position this lens will find itself amongst the XCD lens family.

© Tom Oldham
Model: Harry Kirton

ABOUT TOM OLDHAM

British portrait photographer Tom Oldham has photographed all sorts of talented folk around the world. Finding his calling at the ripe age of 21, some of Tom's biggest works include: Eldmodur, featuring Icelandic crossfit athletes; The Herder Boys of Lesotho, his proudest series; The Longest Day, where Tom stayed awake for 40 hours and shot one portrait per hour. Check out more of his compelling portrait work @tommyophoto. See more of Harry Kirton (@porvata) and Webster (@w3b_st4r).

LIGHT ENOUGH

FOR ANY ADVENTURE

More Hasselblad stories

All stories
Heath Holden | Disappearing Doha

Heath Holden

Disappearing Doha

Discovering his new home of Doha, Qatar through the lens of street photography, Heath Holden explored the older and more traditional neighborhoods of the historical city.

Walter Janach | A Love Affair with Aviation on the 500C

Walter Janach

A Love Affair with Aviation on the 500C

Unable to become a pilot due to his eyesight, the young Swiss photographer and later professor of technical thermodynamics Walter Janach channeled his passion for aviation into capturing these majestic flying machines on his 500C.

Donald Michael Chambers | 60 Minutes of Silence

Donald Michael Chambers

60 Minutes of Silence

No talking. No phones. No distractions. For 60 minutes, Donald Michael Chambers sat with each of his 30 subjects in complete silence. Once the hour began, Donald gave no direction and simply decided when to click the shutter button.

Gavin Goodman | Pleating Paper into Sculptural Headwear

Gavin Goodman

Pleating Paper into Sculptural Headwear

South African photographer Gavin Goodman had a vision to create a series influenced by traditional African headwear done with a modern and simplistic touch. Commissioning a local origami artist as a unique way to bring this vision to life, they transformed delicate paper into beautiful African-inspired sculptural objects. 

 Tomás Karmelo Amaya | Native Love Stories

Tomás Karmelo Amaya

Native Love Stories

Born for the A:shiwi, Rarámuri, and Yoeme tribes, creative Tomás Karmelo Amaya’s ongoing series Native Love Stories illustrates the abundance of Indigenous circles, including love, service to others, community strength, and the ability to thrive.

 Luka Trajkovic | Cinematic Scenes in Serbia

LUKA TRAJKOVIC

CINEMATIC SCENES IN SERBIA

Inspired by the greatest film directors and DOPs, Serbian photographer Luka Trajkovic creates images that appear to be taken right out of a film.