Encountering Space: Travels with the Hasselblad CFV-39

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Pittsburgh-based photographer Tom Persinger's latest photographic project "Encountering Space: The Fire Lookouts of Montana" took him into the backcountry of the rugged Rocky Mountains. Working miles away from the nearest road, carrying all of his photographic gear as well as overnight supplies, he made photographs of the people who staff fire lookout towers, and the majestic scenery in which they're isolated for days at a time.


When Tom began this project, he knew he would need special equipment to reveal the essence of Montana’s spellbinding beauty. He sought a solution that offered an exceptional dynamic range and image clarity, was easy to carry in a backpack, and was lighter and less cumbersome than traditional large-format gear.

Tom knew from experience that a standard DSLR with 21MP and a 35mm sensor would not be enough to convey the majesty and grandeur of these remarkable places. After much research and consideration, he reached for the Hasselblad CFV-39, a walloping 39MP medium-format digital back. It not only met all of his immediate project requirements and allowed him to leverage his existing Hasselblad gear, but also offered the exciting possibility of easily switching between digital and film capture.

Tom created the short video below using just a few of the images he made for the project with the CFV-39, and some audio he recorded on site. When he began the project it was his intent—through photographs and recorded interviews—to better appreciate each of their choices, understand their sense of place, reveal the perceptions they have of their surroundings, and offer each of us the possibility to better understand ourselves.

Encountering Space: The Fire Lookouts of Montana from Tom Persinger on Vimeo.

Tom Persinger will visit the B&H Event Space to share his experience of photographing in the wilderness of Montana with his 39MP Hasselblad, and how his equipment helped him achieve one of the most important projects he has created.

Celebrate the Hasselblad CFV 39MP back with an exclusive special instant rebate on the Hasselblad for three days only, at B&H. Purchase a new CFV 39 back and receive a special instant $2,000 rebate. It must be purchased between 12/12/2010 and 12/14/2010.