TYLER SHIELDS

MAKING PHOTOS THAT

WILL LAST 1000 YEARS

I had a collector who owns a few of the very famous Irving Penn dye transfers and platinum palladium prints. I remember seeing the quality and thinking, ‘What is this type of print?’ It turns out it’s the highest quality of color and black and white printing that exists in the world. The only problem is that Kodak, without any warning, stopped making the chemicals for it in the 90s. A few people bought up what was left, including one of Irving Penn’s previous printers. So, I tracked him down.

– Tyler Shields

Los Angeles-based photographer Tyler Shields wasn’t sure how long the remainder of the chemicals needed for making dye transfers and platinum palladium prints would last. Cared for properly, these prints can last for hundreds of years without color fading or loss of quality. “If I have the chance to make something that can last up to a thousand years, I’d be a fool not to do it. I wanted to have a piece of that history,” says Tyler. Using his Hasselblad 503CW, Tyler did just that.

DYE TRANSFER PRINTING

Dye transfer prints are renowned for their outstanding color depth and stunning quality that is unlike anything else. Starting out as a black and white print, the colors are individually hand rolled on with film-like sheets called matrix film that is soaked in tubs of cyan, magenta, and yellow dyes. Requiring extreme precision every step of the way, if any of the matrix film is off by the tiniest millimeter when being rolled onto the final image, the whole photo is ruined.

RED LIPS

Orchestrating these images to be specific dye transfer photos, Tyler wanted to test the richness of color with the luscious, painted red lips and the various tones and shadows in Catwoman. “Once I saw the final print, I finally understood that there’s nothing else that has this look to it. I didn’t even get the Red Lips print out of the studio before it was purchased,” explains Tyler.

CATWOMAN

PLATINUM PALLADIUM PRINTING

Not only are platinum palladium prints known to last for a thousand years, but each print is a unique piece of art with beautifully deep monochrome shades. In short, the necessary chemicals are mixed and “painted” onto the printing paper. After the paper has had time to dry, the film negative is put on top, and together, they are placed in a special UV light machine. Afterwards, the image is put in a tub of water and the chemicals used to develop the image are thrown onto the paper. The image develops immediately.

SWIM CAP

For the platinum palladium print, I took the portrait of the lady in the swim camp. I found a swim cap from the 40s that had never been opened. It would be more authentic I thought; I wanted that photo to literally look like it could have been taken in the 20s or 30s. The print does something to the image. It gives it something special. You don’t understand it until you do it.

ABOUT TYLER SHIELDS

Starting out as a pro rollerblader in his youth, Los Angeles-based image creator Tyler Shields traded in his skates for a camera and started to film and photograph skaters and create music videos when he was 17. As he began to shoot more and more, he looked into the top of the line camera and came across Hasselblad. “If it’s good enough for the moon, it’s good enough for me,” said Tyler about his first Hasselblad 500C. Exploding cars, covering models in paint, and hanging out of a window on the fourteenth floor of a hotel are normal days of work for this raw, innovative artist who goes to any lengths to get his shot. See more of Tyler’s work here.

More Hasselblad stories

All stories
 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.

Cooper & Gorfer | Between These Folded Walls, Utopia

COOPER & GORFER

BETWEEN THESE FOLDED WALLS, UTOPIA

Using the Hasselblad X1D, Cooper & Gorfer intertwine photographic portraiture with beautifully executed collage techniques and hand-drawn textures, blending photography and painting in their series, Between These Folded Walls, Utopia.