Hans Strand

Manmade Land

Landscape photographer Hans Strand has always been captivated by Mother Nature and all her different sides, from the freezing Artic to tropical rainforests to dry deserts. Using the Hasselblad H6D-100c, Hans explores the interference of humans on nature from an aerial perspective in his project, Manmade Land.

Camera: Hasselblad H6D-100c
Shutter Speed: 1/750 Sec
Aperture: F/5,6
Focal Length: 50mm (HC 3,5/50 II)
© Hans Strand

Camera: Hasselblad H6D-100c
Shutter Speed: 1/750 Sec
Aperture: F/5,6
Focal Length: 50mm (HC 3,5/50 II)
© Hans Strand

At first glance, the geometric shapes captured from above resemble brush strokes found in a piece of Spanish artwork. But upon closer inspection, one sees that these marks are not natural – rather, it is manmade landscapes that dominate our earth. After years of photographing various sceneries around the world, Hans realized that, especially from the seat of an airplane, there is no denying the impact that human beings have had on the land. Taking advantage of the earth’s resources, humans consume and destroy without a second thought, resulting in a loss of diversity in wildlife and vegetation. “It is this kind of human destruction of the earth that I try to capture, both literally and figuratively,” explains Hans. “The patterns that human impact forms on the earth's surface are graphic artwork in itself that I want to make us realize the extent of our actions.”

Camera: Hasselblad H6D-100c
Shutter Speed: 1/750 Sec
Aperture: F/5,6
Focal Length: 50mm (HC 3,5/50 II)
© Hans Strand

One topic that Hans’ project turns its attention to is agriculture and how it has manipulated landscapes. Through acts of deforestation and digging up the earth for irrigation systems and growing crops, humans have weaved wounds into the earth’s surface. “The shapes of the fields are just results of the topography and the farming techniques and the aesthetic look from above is just a lucky side effect,” says Hans. Hans notes that with our population’s constant increase, and therefore a growing demand for nourishment, such landscape patterns will become even more commonplace in the future.

Another part of the project looks at the mine of Rio Tinto in the Andalusian mountains, an enormous crater that has taken over mountains, valleys, and even villages. Its name comes from the river that cuts through the area, which has become poisoned due to minerals unearthed from mining excavations, giving it a reddish tint. Seen in Hans’ aerial shots, the land is painted by these multi-colored substances that humans have brought to the surface, disturbing the original aesthetics of the earth.

Camera: Hasselblad H6D-100c
Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
Aperture: F/8
Focal Length: 50mm (HC 3,5/50 II)
© Hans Strand

To document these circumstances, Hans relied on the Hasselblad H6D-100c, coupled with both the HC 3,5/50 II and HC 2,8/80 Lenses, for precision and high resolution. With its dynamic range of fifteen stops of color, Hans is highly appreciative of the tonal accuracy that he can capture with this digital medium format camera. Just as important is the ability to make the best quality prints: “The reason why I used the H6D-100c was that I wanted to make really large prints for the [most recent] exhibition and the higher resolution of the 100MP sensor makes that possible. For the exhibition I made 20 140x140cm prints without any problem,” explains Hans.

Hans’ documentary project, Manmade Land, brings his viewers face-to-face with questioning the sustainable management of the earth’s resources, leaving you wondering how much natural nature is actually left. Learn more about Hans Strand here.

DISCOVER THE HASSELBLAD H6D-100C

JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN

THE TALES OF OLD FATHER THAMES

Fascinated by all the stories that the River Thames has to tell, fine-art photographer and Hasselblad Ambassador Julia Fullerton-Batten set out to bring these tales of life and death to light with the Hasselblad H6D-100c.

Read next story

Mats Lind

Abstract Art on the Slopes

Instead of shooting standard sports photographs, Mats Lind wanted to create abstract images of the world’s best skiers gliding down the slopes. With only a second to capture his subjects as they sped by him at 100 km per hour, Mats blended multiple exposures together to create painting-like imagery that illustrates the exhilaration of competing for a world championship title.

Read more

BROCK ELBANK

HOW DO YOU C ME NOW?

Over a span of 33 months, Brock Elbank photographed 30 individuals with Congenital Melanocytic Naevus (CMN), an extremely rare birthmark that can cover up to 80% of the body which less than 1% of the world’s population is born with.

Read more

HANS STRAND

LOFOTEN LANDSCAPES

Known for its dramatic scenery and arctic beaches, Hans Strand took both the H6D-100c and H3D with him to capture the Norwegian archipelago’s diverse environments.

Read more

KARL TAYLOR

THE VALLEY OF LITTER

British photographer and Hasselblad Ambassador Karl Taylor decided to make a drastic statement; with volunteers collecting thousands of pieces of garbage from the nearby coastline, Karl staged studio shots with the H6D-100c using a baby placed at centre stage in the valley of litter.

Read more

COMMEMORATING 100 YEARS

SID AVERY AND HIS HASSELBLAD

Audrey Hepburn. James Dean. Elizabeth Taylor. Iconic American photographer Sid Avery photographed them all, many of the shots taken with his Hasselblad 500C.

Read more

THE STORY BEHIND

Herring & Herring

Creative maestros Dimitri Scheblanov and Jesper Carlsen combine to form one of the most talented photography teams in the world of celebrity and music photography, Herring & Herring.

Read more

THE FIRST HASSELBLAD 1600F

As a passionate photographer fascinated by bird watching, Victor Hasselblad wanted to create a camera that could capture the beauty of nature and easily fit in his hand – a portable, high-quality piece of technology.

Read more

TOM OLDHAM

THE LAST OF THE CROONERS

Portrait photographer Tom Oldham's award-winning series, The Last of the Crooners, features a group of jazz musicians found right at his local pub, The Palm Tree, in East London.

Read more