NORWEGIAN ARTIST LIFE

FILM PORTRAITS WITH THE HASSELBLAD 503CW

I’ve always loved the square format and I think it’s the perfect frame for a portrait.

Bjørn Wad bought his Hasselblad 503CW when he was 18 years old. Over 15 years later, Bjørn still shoots with his beloved medium format film camera that has never failed him. As the photographer for Kunstnerliv (Artist Life), a Norwegian art book featuring 19 contemporary Norwegian artists and their work, Bjørn captured stunning black and white film portraits of each artist in their natural environment using the 503CW.

Kunstnerliv

Kunstnerliv showcases the work of 19 artists, consisting of 17 painters and 2 sculptors, ranging from minimal and surrealistic to more traditional, classic work. Starting in 2014, Bjørn traveled all over Norway, and even to New York, London, and Berlin, to photograph each Norwegian artist in their “habitat” to illustrate who they are as a person. He visited most of the artists several times a year; the more he met them, the more they let their guard down – that’s when great things unfolded in front of the lens. Collaborating with each of the artists, all of Bjørn’s portraits were spontaneously crafted.

The locations where we photographed were completely random and dependent upon the artist’s surroundings. It was very important for me to portray the artists in an environment outside their studios and their work as artists. I did use the studio as a background from time to time, but I wanted to keep away from the classic portrait of a painter with his pencil in front of a canvas. I was more into what hobbies they had instead of their profession – their history, their passions, and their background.

BJØRN WAD

Born in Zürich, Switzerland, Bjørn Wad now lives in Oslo, Norway. As a teen, he would flip through photo magazines from the 60s, 70s, and 80s – the grainy, high contrast images with deep black tones heavily influenced what would later become his photography career. He studied at the Norwegian School of Photography, and he specializes in portraits. See more of Bjørn Wad’s work here.

KUNSTNERLIV

Kunstnerliv (Artist Life) is the first of its kind as a comprehensive document containing the life stories and portraits of 19 Norwegian present-day visual artists. Its 400 pages focus on these unique voices who illustrate the diversity of Norwegian art today. Take a look inside the book here.

More Hasselblad stories

All stories
 Mathias Elmeskog | Image Quality Specialist Tests X and 907X Cameras in Namibia

Mathias Elmeskog

Image Quality Specialist Tests X and 907X Cameras in Namibia

As team leader and specialist in the Image Quality Team at Hasselblad, Mathias Elmeskog constantly puts Hasselblad cameras to the test in multiple locations to ensure the sharpest quality and smoothest colour accuracy.

 Ken Karagozian | Documenting Thirty Years of Building the Los Angeles Metro

Ken Karagozian

Documenting Thirty Years of Building the Los Angeles Metro

What started out as going underground for a one-time photo session with his Hasselblad 503CX turned into 30 years of documenting the creation of the Los Angeles Metro system by artist Ken Karagozian.

 Maria Svarbova | Swimming Pools of Another Era

MARIA SVARBOVA

SWIMMING POOLS OF ANOTHER ERA

2018 Hasselblad Master in Art Maria Svarbova is widely recognised for her captivating Swimming Pool series. After switching to the X System, Maria tells us about how it has dramatically affected creating her dream-like compositions.

 Julia Fullerton-Batten | The Art of Contortion

Julia Fullerton-Batten

The Art of Contortion

Dazzled by the enormous strength and flexibility of a young troupe of female contortionists, Hasselblad Ambassador Julia Fullerton-Batten brilliantly photographed these girls bending in all sorts of unimaginable positions.

 Commemorating 100 Years of Hasselblad Nature Photographer Sven Gillsäter

Commemorating 100 Years of Hasselblad Nature Photographer Sven Gillsäter

Swedish photographer and a friend to Victor Hasselblad, Sven Gillsäter used Hasselblad cameras to capture stunning wildlife photography from all corners of the globe while driving environmental concern and sustainability efforts.

 Linus Englund | Finding the Dramatic and the Delicate in Swedish Nature

Linus Englund

Finding the Dramatic and the Delicate in Swedish Nature

Whether wandering through forests or farmland, Swedish creative Linus Englund finds spectacular lighting that helps elevate his flora and fauna images on the X1D II 50C to another level.

Gavin Goodman | The Powerful Simplicity of Symmetry

Gavin Goodman

The Powerful Simplicity of Symmetry

A limited tonal palette and simple yet sharp props combined for a superb photoshoot with a focus on form, colour, and symmetry for South African photographer Gavin Goodman and his team.

 Cooper & Gorfer | Delirium

COOPER & GORFER

DELIRIUM

Sweden-based Hasselblad Ambassadors Cooper & Gorfer embarked on a new piece, Delirium, that embodies the Covid-19 pandemic, capturing the constant struggle of healthcare workers fighting through this historical tragedy.

 Karim Iliya | Hasselblad Goes Underwater among Whales and Turtles

KARIM ILIYA

HASSELBLAD GOES UNDERWATER AMONG WHALES AND TURTLES

Freediver and 2018 Hasselblad Master Karim Iliya ventured underwater with the AquaTech REFLEX Water Housing for the Hasselblad X1D II 50C, capturing serene imagery of whales and turtles in their natural worlds around the French Polynesian island of Moorea and Maui, Hawaii.

Sean Conboy | Capturing Architectural Grandeur with the XH Converter 0,8

SEAN CONBOY

CAPTURING ARCHITECTURAL GRANDEUR WITH THE XH CONVERTER 0,8

Sean Conboy put the XH Converter 0,8 to the architectural test, photographing the exquisite interior of the Winter Gardens Blackpool in England.