Victor Hasselblad"s life became dramatic and successful. As a youth he sought refuge in nature and photography. With time he became a world traveller and a wealthy industrialist. Just before his passing he sold his camera company and established a foundation.
The Hasselblad camera made its huge breakthrough when the American astronauts began to use it in space.
The Hasselblad camera also figured largely for more earthbound photographers, amateurs and professionals alike, working in the fields of advertising, fashion, photojournalism, portraiture, nature, science and medicine.
The idea for his camera came to Victor Hasselblad (1906-78) in his youth when he travelled around the Swedish countryside to photograph birds. Never really satisfied with his results, he began to dream about a better camera. He published his thoughts and when the WW2 broke out he received an assignment from the Swedish Air Force to build a military aerial camera. Production started in a garage near the harbour in Gothenburg. The civilian camera was put on hold but three years after the war had finished, it was launched and it became an immediate success. Even now, the modern Hasselblad is built around the same basic concept of a modular camera system.
The book is the result of many years of research and is based on extensive interviews and voluminous correspondence. Apart from relating the story of the man behind the camera, the book also contains a record of Hasselblad camera models and describes the events that took place when the company changed from analogue to digital photography. Also included is a section about The Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation.
Sören Gunnarsson has amongst other things worked as a freelance writer and was the editor for the Swedish photographic magazines Hasselblad Forum and Camera Natura. He was also one of the initiators of the Friends of Hasselblad Center association.
Author: Sören Gunnarsson