Four Photographers Armed With A Hasselblad Take On The Streets Of Tokyo For A One Roll Of Film Challenge

Oct 8, 2014

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer based in Hawi, Hawaii. You can follow her Twitter here and her personal life here.

Four Photographers Armed With A Hasselblad Take On The Streets Of Tokyo For A One Roll Of Film Challenge

Oct 8, 2014

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer based in Hawi, Hawaii. You can follow her Twitter here and her personal life here.

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one-roll-challengeWhat happens when you give a pro photographer a Hassleblad 503cx, a single roll of 120 film, and mission to tell the story of Tokyo in just 12 analog frames? Find out in this 18-minute behind the scenes look at the challenge where Mattias WestfalkBahagYoshiki Suzuki, and Paul del Rosario almost make it look easy. (It’s actually really difficult.)

The project may not sound like much of a challenge, as Westfalk points out in the opening scene, anyone can go out and shoot 12 frames, but to create 12 images worthy of printing is no walk in the park. The ease of digital photography and image storage allows us to fire off as many images as we like until we are happy with what we have, but ask any film photographer about their process, and chances are you’ll hear quite a different approach. Getting 12 usable photos from 12 frames of film takes patience, understanding, and a little talent and skill never hurt anyone, either.

Follow along as the four Tokyo based photographers undertake the One Roll of Film challenge to see what the creatives are able to come up with.

YouTube video

The One Roll of Film project is popular way for photographers to challenge themselves, forcing them to slow down and think about what they are doing. Have any of you taken on a similar challenge in hopes to get you thinking more about the images you are taking? Be sure to share your experience (and photos from the project) in the comments below!

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Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller

Tiffany Mueller is a photographer based in Hawi, Hawaii. You can follow her Twitter here and her personal life here.

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9 responses to “Four Photographers Armed With A Hasselblad Take On The Streets Of Tokyo For A One Roll Of Film Challenge”

  1. Wil Fry Avatar
    Wil Fry

    For me, the challenge is interesting as a *concept*, but nearly pointless in today’s reality. What if you did set up the perfect shot, or so you thought, but a bug landed on your lens just as you snapped the shutter? (Just a silly example.) With the 12th frame of a roll of film, you’re done and you missed it. I personally enjoy the ability to try again.

    Note: I’d have to sell my house to buy a Hasselblad.

    Note 2: I mostly make photos of my young kids these days. Getting them to sit still for more than a couple of frames is an exercise in futility anyway.

    1. Tiffany Mueller Avatar
      Tiffany Mueller

      Good points, Wil. Do-overs are certainly a nice commodity that shooting digital affords us and we can learn a lot through that process, too; however,thinking of the one roll of film challenge as just that, an occasional challenge, and not necessarily something we strictly abide by, can teach us heaps, too. Sometimes it’s important to slow down a bit and this type of challenge forces that specifically. And the Hasselblad isn’t necessary equipment, just exciting. ;)

      Kids are fun subjects to shoot, but keeping them engaged is not easy. Much respect to you for pulling it off!

    2. Dale Avatar
      Dale

      11 out of 12 is still much better than 1-2 out of 250. ;)

      1. Wil Fry Avatar
        Wil Fry

        Ha, yes. But my point was, I think, that you can take the same care with digital photography that you did (or do) with film photography. Some people choose not to take that same care — and I suppose some people didn’t with film either, though the ongoing cost was an incentive to be careful — but you *can*.

        I suppose there are people who can *think* about “Wow, I used to only have 12 shots per roll” and then more carefully compose digital images, and then there are people who can’t or won’t.

    3. tklfoto Avatar
      tklfoto

      I think you’re totally off point. This exercise isn’t about creating the perfect photograph. It’s about seing what you can perform within the limitations. How good of a photo can you produce with only 12 frames. After doing it a couple of times, I think it can really help your digital photography aswell. Not by shooting less, but by making you look those 3 extra seconds at your subject before shooting, so you know everything is perfect.

      Btw; You don’t have to sell a house to get an analogue Hasselblad. I’ve seen several 500cm with a Zeiss 85mm lens for around $1000..

      1. Wil Fry Avatar
        Wil Fry

        “It’s about seeing what you can perform within the limitations.”

        Yes. My point is that you can do it with digital too. I don’t understand what the controversy is. You just tell yourself you won’t make more than 12 images. Doesn’t matter how large your memory card is. *You* are in charge of how many times you press the shutter, and when. No one is obligated to fill their memory card.

        It’s an excellent mental exercise, but doesn’t require switching cameras or recording media.

        I guess I’ve just seen too many posts in the past few years about : “OMG what if you only had a 12-shot roll of film? What would you do?” And always wondered why people don’t just try it with their digital cameras.

  2. Keigo Moriyama Avatar
    Keigo Moriyama

    I did the same often with my fujifilm tx-1 and then develop photos by myself too
    Visit my site http://www.keigomoriyama.com
    And if interested in see them live visit my exhibition or join me in my photo walk

  3. Ralph Hightower Avatar
    Ralph Hightower

    It would’ve been interesting to know what films were used. I heard Tri-X, which is B&W; but others were given color negative film.
    I want to get two medium format systems, the Mamiya 645 and RZ67; but I don’t know when that’ll happen since I bought a DLSR 10 months ago and need to invest in lenses.

    1. Tiffany Mueller Avatar
      Tiffany Mueller

      The color film was Kodak Portra 160 :)

      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004WH3NWY/diy0c-20