Photoshoot With Lady Antebellum Using The Ferrari Edition Hasselblad H4D

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Had a recent photoshoot with the talented top 40 trio, Lady Antebellum. This was another one of those quick shoots where I only had 10-15 minutes to do a couple of setups due to their tight schedule. The band and their crew was EXTREMELY nice and pleasant to work with.

I opted to go natural/environmental light for this shoot, despite bringing my normal 4k watts in lighting on set. One setup was outside shot in the shade and the other was in front of their stage (to be used for their evening performance). I had the stage lighting director turn up the haze/fogger and turn up all of the stage lights to create a hazy ethereal environment. I made sure to arrange all of that before the subjects walked onto set. All I needed to add for the stage shoot was front fill light was created shooting HMI lights through diffusion material.

This was my first shoot with the medium format 40 megapixel Ferrari H4D. Its a hefty camera to shoot with, but feels good in the hands. It’s not made to be an event camera with the max iso being 1600. You definitely notice some noise at 800iso. Although, when compared to my Canon DSLR’s, the color and tonality depth as well as the beautiful depth of field is second to none. Did I mention the epic shutter click? It may be slow but it’s loud and solid. An indescribably satisfying feeling when it clicks. Like a really good sneeze or the end of a perfect stretch.

Check out this quick video clip to hear the awesome sound of the shutter on set:

vimeo Direkt

The H4D files are just beautiful. Makes me never want to go back to DSLR shooting. Although, I definitely would not use it for every job. For example, I would definitely need the 5D Mk2’s for documentary work or concert coverage with its lighter weight body and better low light capabilities. Oh, and the files sizes are huge. They open up to 100 megabytes and my computer feels the weight of the files when I start adding any layers or doing any edits. Just had to order a lot more RAM. Haha.

Used my trusty Nik Software for the post production. I used Silver Efex Pro 2 for the black and white conversion (see a video tutorial on how I do black and white color conversion). On the color images, I used Color Efex Pro 3 “Color Stylizer” tool on the color images to create a more contrasty desaturated image. I followed up with the “brilliance/warmth” tool to add a warm feel to the image. I wrapped up all of the photos by using Viveza 2 to bring out detail using “structure” and using control points to bring out brightness and detail. You can check my previous Blink 182 blog to see how I use Viveza to bring out detail in my images via video tutorial.

You can see more of my celebrity portraits on my website HERE.

5 thoughts on “Photoshoot With Lady Antebellum Using The Ferrari Edition Hasselblad H4D”

  1. Nice article. Like the high-key indoors image that ends the article — the lights are so bright that my eye stays in the center of the image, precisely where it should be. Timely, too — I’m just previewing Lady Antebellum’s third album on iTunes. Think it’s a must-have, but I digress. I think I’m surprised that the H4D tops out at ISO 1600 and gets noisy at 800. Still a handsome piece of kit, though.

  2. Hi Doug,

    As old (and I mean old, read- ancient pentagenarian) and avid (read- rabid) mechanical Hasselblad shooter I know what you mean. Don’t respond to your links very often but want you to know that you are doing a terrific job keeping the art of fine commercial photography advancing. Absolutely outstanding work.

  3. Hi Doug,

    First thanks to share this with us. the photo shooting in video is really cool.

    Just one question; Do you really find the 5D MkII better in term of dynamic range than the H4D ?? as this 5D sensor has much lesser photosites than the medium format sensor of the H4, so less dynamic range.
    I agree that you can get better “high light” but then you’re loosing shadow because of the “limited” dynamic range compare to the H4 sensor?
    H4 produces also less noise than the Canon & I guess you don’t really shoot often at 25600…

    I also have a H4d, & previously a 5D, switch for a 1D MkIV which is much faster for documentary & concert / event (to my humble opinion), higher dynamic range(as bigger photosites than the 5d – which explain why lesser pixels for the same size of sensor)

    I still find the B&W the most difficult exercise for these digital camera but lot of improvement for the past few years.

    Great color treatment & pictures !!! Congratulations & again thanks for sharing this with us (big thumb up) ;)

    Please continue to share this kind of great experience !!

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