CHIARA ZONCA

EXPLORING BEAUTIFUL ODDITIES

Led by her curiosity of the strange and foreign, Canada-based photographer Chiara Zonca is drawn to natural scenes that illustrate the unexplored, lost, and otherworldly. Staying away from the trappings of common landscape imagery, Chiara balances preparation with spontaneity while photographing. “I like to plan my locations carefully but once I am there it becomes very instinctive. I don’t like to overthink the composition too much; I usually let colours and textures determine my frame.” Exploring the far reaches of Earth, Chiara’s desire to document landscapes and textural dimensions led her to the deserts of North and South America to explore their silent beauty with the Hasselblad 500C and the X1D-50c.

Atacama Desert, Chile
CAMERA: HASSELBLAD X1D-50C
FOCAL LENGTH: 45MM (XCD 3,5/45)
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250 SEC
APERTURE: F/8

Atacama Desert, Chile
CAMERA: HASSELBLAD X1D-50C
FOCAL LENGTH: 45MM (XCD 3,5/45)
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/250 SEC
APERTURE: F/8

Atacama Desert, Chile
CAMERA: HASSELBLAD X1D-50C
FOCAL LENGTH: 45MM (XCD 3,5/45)
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 SEC
APERTURE: F/6,8

MIXING ANALOG AND DIGITAL

In her current workflow, Chiara mixes both digital and film-based capture, choosing each to achieve a specific mood and result in the final image. “My film camera is a Hasselblad 500C which is fairly old, cranky, heavy but that takes such beautiful pictures I still manage to carry it in my backpack on all my travels.”

Chiara continues, “The strength of digital photography comes into play with the demands of commercial work where delivery and detail in large format prints is of great priority.” Throughout the hybridization of mediums, her devotion to film-based photography remains strong: “It feels more intense, more nostalgic. I like that about film – the extra depth, that beautiful sadness to it.” 

Atacama Desert, Chile
CAMERA: HASSELBLAD 500C

MEDIUM FORMAT IN THE DESERT

On a series of recent trips to the Atacama Desert in Chile and Death Valley, Yellowstone National Park, and Bisti Badlands in the American West, Chiara tried out the X1D-50c mirrorless medium format camera alongside her Hasselblad 500C. “I felt like I could take the power and magic of my old film camera into a slender, quicker body. The results were also very different in their own way; anything that came out from the X1D looked colourful, vibrant and modern. On the other hand, the Hasselblad 500C delivered soul, depth and feelings.”

Atacama Desert, Chile
CAMERA: HASSELBLAD 500C

American West
CAMERA: HASSELBLAD 500C

American West
CAMERA: HASSELBLAD X1D-50C
FOCAL LENGTH: 45MM (XCD 3,5/45)
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/125 SEC
APERTURE: F/5,6

NEXT STEPS

In her ardent pursuit, Chiara takes inspiration from a wide variety of media spanning books, paintings, and historical work, allowing for inspiration to come from unpredictable sources and taking meandering paths. In all things though, the challenge of personal development and reward is present. “Shutting down the external noise is the hardest thing for an artist as we’re constantly looking for approval. But it is important to be aware of why we create art in the first place.” Moving forward, Chiara is working on a new project focusing on the urgency of being a photographer. “I’ve been working on this project for more than a year now and it will be released very soon. It is very different to anything I have done before and I am equally thrilled and terrified to release it!”

American West
CAMERA: HASSELBLAD 500C

American West
CAMERA: HASSELBLAD X1D-50C
FOCAL LENGTH: 45MM (XCD 3,5/45)
SHUTTER SPEED: 1/350 SEC
APERTURE: F/6,8
American West
CAMERA: HASSELBLAD 500C

ABOUT CHIARA ZONCA

With widespread recognition amongst her contemporaries, it’s a small surprise that Chiara Zonca has only recently rekindled a passion for still image making. Initially studying photography while at university in her hometown of Milan, jobs and work in other mediums took priority but ultimately, she found her way back. In 2018, Chiara’s work was published by New Heroes & Pioneers publishing house in the monograph, Desert Portraits.Her work continues to be published in magazines including My Tiny Atlas, wilderness, boom saloon, SATORI, and more. Today she calls Western Canada home though her travels take her far and wide. To see more of Chiara’s work, visit her site or @shadowontherun.

Terry O'Neill

Capturing The Beatles, Bowie, and More Iconic Faces of the Sixties

As the celebrity photographer of the 1960s and 70s, Terry O'Neill photographed them all, from Audrey Hepburn to Brigitte Bardot to Frank Sinatra – and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Capturing these figures with his Hasselblad 500CM, his images have stood the test of time as iconic snapshots of some of history's biggest pop culture icons.

Read more

AORTA

Waiting Room

Swedish photo duo AORTA wanted to create a set of images that said something about the complexity of shaping an identity in the contemporary world and the paradox of choice. To illustrate this, the duo collaborated with sustainable Swedish fashion designer Helena Lundström, showing different phases of the subject trying to cut, measure and sow their way through the journey of figuring out who they are.

Read more

Chris Gunn

Documenting NASA’s Work on Planet Earth

Blending science and tech with an abstract touch, NASA contract photographer Chris Gunn has been the lead photographer on documenting the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope since 2009.

Read more

Douglas Kirkland

My Evening with Marilyn and the Day Victor Hasselblad Stopped Me in the Street

Douglas Kirkland shot some of the most sensual and unforgettable images of Marilyn Monroe ever taken with his Hasselblad 500C. It’s the stuff that legends are made of, but even before that, Douglas had a chance encounter with Victor Hasselblad himself.

Read more

Tobias Hägg

Above Stockholm

Capturing the cityscape of the Swedish capital during golden hour, Tobias Hägg's imagery takes us on a journey from above, between Swedish homes and golden-topped trees neatly woven together in combination with wide expanses of the city stretching all the way to the horizon.

Read more

YANAN LI

From China to Sweden with a Hasselblad

Yanan Li fell in love with analog Hasselblad cameras while studying at university in Beijing. Over 40 years later, Yanan finds himself working as the official photographer for Stiftelsen Silviahemmet – founded and chaired by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden – as well as for the Nobel Committee for The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the Stockholm County.

Read more

John Alexander

Generations

Adventure photographer John Alexander travelled to one of the least densely populated regions on Earth – the western reaches of Mongolia – to trace the traditions that lay at the heart of Kazakh culture and to capture the characters that form the fabric of their community.

Read more

Gleeson Paulino

Bold Brazil

Brazilian photographer Gleeson Paulino invites viewers to see contemporary Brazil from a new eye. Provoking the senses through a sublime colour flow and exquisite image juxtapositions, Gleeson’s series explores the beauty of Brazil’s bold diversity, from its people to its landscapes.

Read more