The South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) is an annual South African awards ceremony that honours creative excellence in television and filmmaking; the highest accolade in our local industry, focused on building our legacy of storytelling both in South Africa and on the continent. With Hasselblad being an international photography brand, with a legacy of capturing iconic moments in history, it seemed appropriate to collaborate with them on this event, amplifying the status of the SAFTAs as a brand, through the association with Hasselblad and of course through the excellent quality of the winner portraits that were presented to the public and will hopefully inspire them to support our filmmakers, writers and performers in future.
I wanted the look and feel to be simple, with the focus of the image being the personality and character of the subject and the emotions associated with being acknowledged for their work. We were in the uncontrolled environment of the pressroom, with camera flashes going off around us and harsh television lights often filtering into the photos. We had to work quickly and effectively to capture the images and even though the photos were sometimes slightly under or over exposed, the dynamic range of the Hasselblad ensured that we had more than enough information to deliver good quality images.
My set up was very basic. 80mm lens on F8 at 1/200sec at ISO between 150 and 200 Main light Profoto B1 5ft Octa on a C-stand, nice and high to light the subject and 2nd soft backlight with Profoto B1 and 1 x 4 softbox to remove the subject slightly from the dark background background.
We were posting live to social media on the evening, which required a simple and effective workflow that would ensure the highest quality images in the quickest possible turnaround time. The Hasselblad software was freely available online and supported by both Mac and PC platforms, but under these circumstances it seemed safer to stick to Lightroom, which is the software I havebeen using up until now. I was a bit concerned that we would pick up issues when it came to editing and exporting the final images, but was extremely impressed with how the Hasselblad RAW images and workflow was recognized in adobe Lightroom without any freezing or delays.
Many people were doubtful of whether the Hasselblad was the right camera for this quick turnaround, uncontrolled lighting setup, but the camera handled the lighting situation with ease, producing high quality,detailed images, every time. Ease of workflow into adobe Lightroom and exporting to appropriate social media platform sizes, made working on the Hasselblad a huge success for the SAFTAS awards evening. It will be hard to go back to any other camera after holding this in my hands.
For more of Jurgen Marx’s work check out his website or follow him on your preferred social media platform.