Favourite Hasselblad X1D Landscape photographs of 2017

Looking back on my photographic endeavours from 2017 and my first few months with a digital Medium format system I’m pretty pleased with the results I’ve achieved so far. The most impressive thing I notice about my new system is its ability to capture amazingly accurate colour. The Hasselblad X1D is without question the most rewarding camera I have ever shot with. 

I am consistently impressed with the RAW files that come directly from this camera. My post processing workflow has vanished since investing in this system too which is also great as it means less time at a computer is needed. Since I bought my Canon 5DSR a couple of years back I’ve wanted a camera system that intentionally slows me down, makes me more conscious and aware of what I’m doing. Is it worth taking the shot.

I use the Hasselblad X1D predominantly as a Landscape Photography camera locked down on my Gitzo Tripod and I love that. Take time, compose a scene and actually look forward to seeing how that image looks on my workstation. It’s exciting as far as it can be. Like the Leica M-D, the anticipation is great. I’m what you might call a pixel peeper, but then I should be, I’m all about capturing the best possible image I can so I can make faithful, archival prints that will last a lifetime. It’s in my interest to invest in the best system I can and ultimately put my name to the best images I can possibly present. I feel like I’m doing that now more so than ever. Which highlights the biggest weakness in my system. Me.

As I write this on the first day of 2018 with a whole new year of unwritten adventures ahead of me, I am more so than ever looking forward with open eyes, a positive approach and with mindfulness of my ME. I’m determined to enjoy more of my photographic outings this year and feel I have a better mindset towards my approach than ever. I don’t need to be out everyday or even every week. If I come away from the year ahead with 5-10 really strong images I’ll be happy.

Below are my personal favourites from 2017, all captured with the Hasselblad X1D. While I went out on a lot of Shoots in 2017, all documented on my Blog here, it is surprising that these favourite images come from only a couple of trips. Namely, my only morning shoot of the year, at Rydal Water. A summer trip to the little Stream on Honister Pass where I visited several times throughout the year, Thirlmere was kind to me again this year, or did I go so many times it was inevitable.

Reflecting back on this handful of images which could have easily been created in two trips to the Lake District as a tourist gets me thinking. When I visit Skye, usually for a week at a time, I always come away with images I’m really pleased with. Yet despite the number of hours I spend in the Lake District my hit rate, so to speak of what I feel are really strong images isn’t so high. Maybe that’s due to my familiarity with the place and Skye is different or newer to me. Either way what I take from these images is a need to invest more not in terms of hour spent out but hours at the right time of day and year. I’ve got better at this over the last few year but still think I can improve here, namely get out for sunrises…

While I don’t believe there are wasted time and effort in being outdoors and learning or practising as all this effort turns into experience and knowledge. It would indeed be wasted if I didn’t reflect and learn from my efforts, as can be said of anything. So, going forward, I’m going to build on my learning, my experiences and be open minded to where I end up. It’s not that I want to spend less time outside or behind my camera, far from it, I want to spend more time. I guess what I’m leading towards is making more productive use of that investment in time with images that connect my time all together. That’s where a project comes in.

Once you tie a series of images together it all makes sense. Like in Capture Lakeland my Lake District Landscape Photography book. At first I wasn’t sure what the content would be, how I’d present my images. After months of consideration, splitting the collection into locations seemed to be the most obvious way forward and not only locations but themes, like Fells of Lakeland, Passes of Lakeland, Flowing Water, Intimate Lakeland etc.

Given the amazing success of Capture Lakeland I now feel the question I’ve chased the answer to for a couple of year has been well and truly answered and that’s more of the same, build on my small collection of images that sit together in a tightly packaged chapter in Capture Lakeland Volume 2. While I’d love to spend an entire year focusing on just one place within the Lake District I fear I may become bored of this approach and feel it’s maybe best for me to run several project in parallel. A location and a theme perhaps. I’m not fully sure what the plan is for 2018 but it’ll involve me, a camera and several amazing locations across the Lake District that is for sure.

Details on the Honister Pass

Through the trees to Wall Holm Island on Ullswater

Honister Pass again and my attraction to this small stretch of stream.

Ashness Bridge above Derwentwater, a total unplanned shot en-route to somewhere else. I love the colours and detail in this image.

Beside the stream at Thirlmere. Amazing greens, this image probably wouldn’t mean anything to me had it not been capture on the Medium Format system.

Finally, after 3 autumns I get the shot I saw years ago. I love the colours and contrast of this scene and I got it in time to include it in Capture Lakeland.

My only morning shoot of 2017 and while the condition weren’t as I’d hoped I am again delighted with the look of these images.

Thirlmere again and this small stream was the focus of my eyes for several visit. Including waiting for the colour to turn to capture the image below.

One of a lot of captures waiting for the wind to subside so the branches don’t move but allowing for a long enough exposure to blur the water behind.

Finally, another random image of nothing more than a rock. Again due to the amazing detail and colour captured by my new system regular images seem to have something about them that really appeal to me. I can see 2018 being full of moments and shots like this.

 Thanks for your support in 2017 and all the best for 2018.

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