Dismaland with the Hasselblad Stellar
by Sebastien Bey-Haut
(From Steve: B&H Photo has a load of new Stellar special editions on close out for $895, check them out here if interested)
I just came back from a visit to Banksy’ s Dismaland and thought that it could be interesting to share it with the readers of stevehuffphoto.com.
Dismaland is a giant art exhibition (featuring 50 guest artists) disguised into a post apocalypse theme park (or the other way around). It has been created by Banksy in an abandoned open air swimming pool in Weston-Super-Mare (UK, close to Bristol) and will only last for 5 weeks.
Banksy is a very controversial artist; some see him as a living genius (paying close to 2MM USD for his painting “keep it spotless”), others as a maker of politically cheesy stencils with a big ego.
I’ll not engage in any kind of artistic judgement here, let’s say that I partly agree with both of the above statements but was curious enough to fly from Zurich to the middle of nowhere in the UK to see it by myself.
Let’s not make any suspense: Yes the messages are quite basic (War is bad, pollution is bad, consumerism is bad, Lasagna are made of horse meat) but I’ve been thrilled by the experience!
Dismaland feels like going to DisnXXLand after a zombie outbreak. It’s weird, surprising and looking at artworks in a semi-devastated environment gives you a strange feeling of freedom.
Both the public (a mix of art collectors, punks/weirdos and families with baby strollers) and the artworks made it a very exciting place to shoot as well, which is all it is about at the end.
Not being sure about the photography policy of the site and not wanting to cary my DSLR all day long I used my wife’s posh Sony aka the Hasselblad Stellar for the whole visit.
I started photography with a Canon G5 back in 2004, but never used a camera without optical finder ever since. It took some time getting familiar with the framing on the LCD screen, but overall this little Sonelblad has been very pleasing to use in this context. I really liked the ring around the lens to set my aperture. Zoom and autofocus are quite useful as well (I usually use manual primes) but the best aspect is really that nobody pays attention to what your doing with such an “amateur” camera!
Of course there are physical limits to what a small sensor can achieve, and IQ is not getting close to what I’m used to get from my main gear… But I’ve to admit that I’m know wondering if the IQ difference is not outweighed by the convenience of the “no brainer” use…At least on some occasions… Let’s say that I might actually borrow it a bit more often now that I had a chance to play with it.
Thanks for reading,
More of my work here: https://www.facebook.com/lumiere.exterieure