Back to square #1

Hasselblad; the legendary, Swedish medium format camera – every professional or serious amateur photographer has, at some point, owned one or wanted to own one, and I’m no exception. A few years ago I managed to lay my hands on a particularly fine 503cx, however, during a moment of temporary insanity I swapped it for a Canon lens, a decision I always regretted. Ever since that rather unwise transaction, about five years ago, I’ve shot various other medium formats – 6×4.5, 6×7, 6×9 and even 6×12. In all of that time, I appear to have used cognitive dissonance to convince myself that I never really got on with the 6x6cm square composition of the Hasselblad, only to look back at some of the images I made with it and realise that I did.
Four days before Christmas, good fortune brought me back to Hasselblad in the form of a mint condition 501cm kit and various accessories, at a price so low I couldn’t say no. I’ve put about ten rolls of film through the 501cm, but at the time of writing this, I haven’t had any scans back (the images here are from my original 503cx). My girlfriend, Hannah, who took the shot of me ‘in action’, has taken a bit of shine to the ‘blad, I think she might be expecting one for her birthday. Obviously a woman of taste…img329SDIM0859-Edit img33515895584_10154176025571787_1375947227892376467_oimg_5595untitled-1


  1. I also look forward to seeing your work with the new ‘blad. The ones on your blog post are fabulous; I love the smart suited gentleman pointing with the cigarillo is just excellent and the ‘Elvis on the Beach’ shot screams Manic Street Preachers to me (20ft high on Blackpool promenade anyone?)

    I’m particularly excited to see your work because I also took the step of getting a Hasselblad about six months ago and I adore using it. I also have a 501c/m in similarly pristine condition, though I paid a very full price for mine. I added an unmetered prism finder to mine as I find it makes focusing a lot easier though it does add to the bulk.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw that shot of the guy in the glasses and honestly thought it was an Anton Corbijn! So fucking incredibly good is your work Phil. Why do we not see more of Hannah? She’s hot man!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love to shot my squares, a Rolleiflex from 1954 and a Hasselblad 503cx. And the Hasselblads 100mm Planar is one of my alltime favorites lens.
    Prying to see your new 6×6, I definitely like your old ones.
    Greet from Vienna


  4. Square is a notoriously difficult format to nail properly, but it’s something you appear to have nailed a long time ago, Phil, in this era of Instagram, where everyone is shooting 1:1 format and getting it wrong. Even the three black and white images above are iconic images alone.


  5. You have that very rare status where one of your images can appear in a Google search, and I’ll know, even before seeing who the photograph is by, that it’s one of yours. I certainly look forward to seeing what you do with this Hasselblad… and I know it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer 🙂
    I have one question if you could possibly spare some time to answer it? – with so many outside and subliminal influences – how do you develop and maintain such a unique and individual style and ‘look’?


  6. Congratulations Phil–you certainly seem to get along with it well!

    I too have come full circle back to owning one…

    There is nothing quite like shooting a Hassy: That “mirror-slap-and-wind” gets into your blood, and you are done-for!!



  7. Im no professional, but I imagine you just made the best point. You certainly understand what youre talking about, and I can actually get behind that. Thanks for staying so upfront and so sincere.


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