Friday, May 28, 2010

Response to a few questions about Hasselblad

Question/Comments: 1) Do you use either of Hasselblad's zoom lenses?

2) What are your thoughts on the H4D-50 vs the H4D-60 cameras for your type of landscape photography?

Response to #1: I do use the Hasselblad HC 50-110 zoom. I would like to try the 35-90 zoom but canot really justify the cost since I already have lenses that cover that focal range. I really like the images made with the 50-110, in fact I think most of my shots that turn into fine art prints have been taken with this lens. It is a heavy beast for sure, but it takes wonderful images. It needs to be treated with care. I had to send mine in for repairs when the front lens element came out, so I never carry it as my only lens on a trip - I always take the 80mm as backup.

Response to #2: I have not tried either the H4D50 or 60. I was planning to upgrade to the 60 but went with the H4D 40 instead since that camera allows me to use higher iso settings and get great results. I do not think either the 50 or the 60 has the same high iso function. The 50 is available now, the 60 is not. I'm not sure of the delivery schedule for the 60. You can get fabulous deals now on the H3D39 cameras, so those are worth checking out if you are making the move up to MF, and once you have one you can get a great deal with upgrades.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Carmel Gallery May Newsletter just sent out - here is a link to online version.

You can sign up for the newsletter at

Monday, May 17, 2010

June 17 - Squaw Valley Institute Presentation

I will be speaking at the Squaw Valley Institute on Thursday June 17. Please attend if you will be in the area. Below is the press release for the event:

Photographer Elizabeth Carmel Speaks at Squaw Valley Institute Event


Olympic Valley, Calif. – Elizabeth Carmel’s new book, The Changing Range of Light: Portraits of the Sierra Nevada, takes center stage at a presentation on Thursday, June 17 at 7:00 PM at the UC Davis Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences in Incline Village.  A no-host bar reception begins at 6:30 PM.  Tickets for the event, co-sponsored by Squaw Valley Institute and UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, run $10.  Students and children ages 17-and-under are free. 


Carmel’s book combines the author’s remarkable landscape photography with important information about how the depicted landscapes are threatened by climate change.  Prominent climate change scientists Robert Coats, Ph.D. and Geoffrey Schladow, Ph.D. contribute insights in the book, and will join Carmel for the presentation.  The synthesis of art and science summarizes the changes that will occur in the Sierra from global climate change. Inspiring quotes and poetry by renowned authors are also included and play an important role in making this book an uplifting celebration of natural beauty.


Elizabeth Carmel is a Sierra-based photographer specializing in unique, expressive landscapes and “waterscapes.” Her prints combine dramatic photography, vivid colors, and artistic touches to create new, captivating visions of the natural world. She has spent years exploring and photographing the diverse landscapes of the world, often traveling on foot or skis in wilderness terrain far from roads in order to capture her unique images. Her award-winning images are featured in numerous galleries and private collections throughout the United States. Elizabeth and her husband, Olof Carmel, currently own and operate their own photography gallery in Truckee, California.


The UC Davis Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences is located at 291 Country Club Drive in Incline Village, Nevada.  Tickets for this presentation are on sale now on the Squaw Valley Institute’s website 


Squaw Valley Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to presenting programs having artistic, cultural and educational values. The Institute presents lectures, performances, forums, exhibitions and classes in the unique mountain environment of Squaw Valley, North Lake Tahoe, Truckee and surrounding communities, bringing together visitors, residents and friends in the truest sense of community. 


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shutterbug Article / Hasselblad H4D - 40 Impressions

This month's June issue of Shutterbug Magazine has a 6 page book excerpt of my book "The Changing Range of Light". They did a great job of reproducing the photos in a magazine format. The article is available in both the print and digital versions of the magazine. The print version is in almost every magazine rack in the country if you want to check it out.


 I had some time to head down to Big Sur a week or so ago and take my new Hasselblad H4D out for real world shooting. I was lucky to have some sunny weather since we were between April storms. Big Sur is one of my favorite places in the world - it is truly a photographer's paradise, especially this time of the year when the wildflowers are blooming. After reviewing my files from the new camera I can say that I am really delighted with the image quality and performance. The only problem I ran in to was an error message to restart the back when I used an off brand of CF card, so I think it is important to use the recommended Sandisk cards with this system - the problem was eliminated when I used the correct CF card brand. My unscientific analysis of the H4D files gives me the opinion that the image detail is better than the H3D - 39 - I find there is better detail in fine areas such as tree branches and leaves. The files also seem to accept sharpening better. The image below of the poppies along the coast in sunshine was shot at 800 iso due to the wind. This is an example of a shot I would not have been able to get with the H3D-39 since the poppies were blowing around and I needed to shoot the image at f22 for depth of field but at a high shutter speed to freeze motion. The flowers are tack sharp with no blur, and noise is minimal.  

Big Sur Poppies 

Here is another shot of one of my favorite places, McWay cove at sunset, shot with a split ND filter at 100 iso.

Mcway Falls at Sunset, Big Sur

All the files need to be processed in Phocus since Aperture and Lightroom do not support the files from this camera yet, but I am sure they will at some point. I also used the new Photoshop CS5 to do some post processing. CS5 is noticeably faster than CS4, and the content-aware fill tool is amazing. 

I also discovered that the Colorspace UDMA back up device will not accept files from the H4D (is does from the H3D). Colorspace needs to get with the program and update the firmware on this device. I called Hasselblad and they told me that they make the file formats available to all companies that request them so devices can be upgraded to accept the H4D files. Come on people get with it! 

I still have the H3D-39 kit available for sale, and an HC 35 mm lens, will consider all reasonable offers.