October 10, 2020
Hasselblad XPan camera made in Japan in partnership with Fuji. Dual-format 35mm and panorama, with the marketing strap line 'For a World Less Square'. Introduced 1998 - Discontinued 2002.
I first set eyes on a Hasselblad XPan in B&H Camera Shop in New York. On return to the UK I was straight on eBay to find one. I found one labelled 'mint' and it came with a telephoto lens. My first eBay camera purchase, and it was a good one. Unfortunately I didn't use it too much at first because I was exhibiting my work so much that I didn't have much shooting time.
I really used it for the first time in India in January 2013, shooting the series 'The Ambassadors Window', when I travelled from the South to the North on a pilgrimage to my grandfather's birthplace in Meerut.
This is when I adopted street photography, it was unplanned, it just naturally occurred, spurred on by development changing the world over, keen to capture a place's individual fingerprint before it is homogenised by modernisation.
In India my camera equipment was a magnet to the locals, everywhere I went a crowd soon wanted to be in the shot. I began my journey in India in Kerala, often photographing on the streets at night when there is a buzz of activity, often a religious festival would seemingly spontaneously appear. The lack of control you have over street photography in India was a new experience for me and when shooting in panorama you have such a wide view that can be even more problematic as it is difficult not to get something unwanted in the shot. One of my most successful photographs from the series, 'Prayer Flags' was a panorama taken with my Hasselblad Xpan. I took it at dawn in the foothills of the Himalayas in Darjeeling with not a soul around.
To be honest I don't get enough darkroom time, I have more negatives shot on the Hasselblad XPan that have only reached contact sheet stage at this point, I am yet to make prints of them, they're on my never ending list and one day they will be realised, until then theres a sneak preview below of some I took in New York in 2016.
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