Hasselblad decide to feature the work from the Lambertz Campaign based on quality of image and the diversity it produced in one trip. We pushed the camera though youth times, shooting with it on the top of Hintertux at 12500 ft and minus 5 in the windchill right the way across Europe to Pula in Croatia where the temperature exceeded 33 degrees all the time we were there.
Fashion specialist James Nader took on a marathon 6000 mile European-wide project when he was commissioned to photograph the 2014 Lambertz Calendar, and his trusty Hasselblad travelled with him.
Few commissions come along in a professional’s life that are as huge or involved as the 2014 Lambertz Calendar shoot James Nader took on last year. A prestigious publication that fights it out toe-to-toe with the likes of the legendary Pirelli offering, it was crucial that both the vision and the execution of the photographs – inspired by the theme of ‘mystical European Goddesses’ – would be top notch. The hiring of Nader ensured that the project would be in the capable hands of a top fashion specialist with the skill to bring the spectacular concept to life, while the fact he was shooting all of the images primarily with his Hasselblad H4D-40 meant the very highest quality image files were guaranteed.
“I use all formats within my work,” says James, “but for the Lambertz project quality was of primary importance because the calendar itself is huge: it’s printed at A2, and so any imperfections would show up immediately. Using the H4D made sure that the resolution would be immense, while dynamic range was also incredible. The files straight out of camera were so clear and sharp that the client initially assumed I had put them through Photoshop.”
The calendar turned out to be a huge undertaking, not just in shooting but in the fact that we had to take over production during the shoot,
The shoot involved some of the world’s top models and a 27-day 6000-mile road trip around no less than twelve European countries. “We hired a car in the UK and, via the Eurotunnel, travelled through France, The Netherlands and Belgium to link up with the rest of the team in Germany,” says James. “From Munich we drove to Austria and we finished up flying to Ibiza to photograph Dita Von Teese. Some of the landmarks we used were amazing: they included Stonehenge, the top of a mountain at Hintertux outside of Myerhofen and the depths of an atmospheric ice cave.”
The ice cave was the only location where the Hasselblad stayed in its case due to the hostile nature of the environment, but otherwise it was the lead camera throughout. James started each session working off a tripod, but then switched to handholding as he moved around his subject to get exactly the shot he wanted. “I would say that I shot around half of my pictures hand held,” he says. “The fact that I was able to work un-tethered in this way and sign off shots on the back of the camera was crucial.”