The most beautiful places on earth captured by world’s most expensive camera: Photographer takes award-winning image with 50 megapixel Hasselblad
A self-taught photographer has scooped a coveted award after taking stunning images of some of the most beautiful places on earth with the world’s most expensive digital camera.
John Chapple has been awarded the Hasselblad Owners Club Photographer of The Month for July for his mesmerising image of the Colorado River meandering around Horseshoe Bend, near Page, Arizona.
It was taken on a Hasselblad H3D-50 – considered to be one of the best and one of the expensive cameras in the world. The basic camera price starts at £20,000 but can quickly soar higher once lens are added.
The H3D-50 is a 50 megapixel camera – much, much higher than the standard eight megapixels found in the iPhone 5 camera and other digital recorders.
Award-winning: This image of the Colorado River meandering around Horseshoe Bend, near Page, Arizona, has won John Chapple the coveted Hasselblad Owners Club Photographer of The Month for July
The father-of-two, from Devon but now living in Southern California, took the Hasselblad on a road-trip through the west coast of the States to Canada and back down through Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Nevada.
It was his beautiful images from the trip, which also includes one of a man dancing in a beam of light in Antelope Canyon, that won him the prestigious prize.
‘I was really excited to get to Page, Arizona, to photograph Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, and really use the Hasselblad as it was intended.
‘The canyons are on Navajo land, and after a flash flood that killed 11 tourists in August of 1997, visitors are only permitted to enter the canyon with a Navajo guide.
‘I joined a guided tour group, and we were shown the best spots to photograph. When we got to the place I’d wanted to photograph in Antelope Canyon, I got caught up in what I was doing, and didn’t notice that the group had moved on.
The Hasselblad H3D-50 – one of the best digital and most expensive cameras in the world, pictured left, and the Linhof Technorama 617, pictured right, which takes 6cm x17cm negatives – meaning that it can only take four pictures per film roll
‘While I was waiting for a shaft of direct sunlight to filter into the canyon, the guide came back to get me to keep me with the group. I knew I only had seconds to capture the much-anticipated shot.
‘There was dust in the air that was illuminated by the shaft of light, looking incredible. During the long exposure, another visitor decided to jump in front of my tripod mounted camera and dance in the beam of light.
‘I’m ashamed to admit at the time I wanted to throttle him, and shared a few choice words with other photographers there. But when I previewed the image on the back of the camera, I knew I’d captured a magical shot and it was a 50 megapixel file.’
He has also used a panoramic Linhof Technorama 617 for much of his work, enabling him to take super-wide pictures that are so large the camera can only fit four images on every film roll.
The 6cm x 17cm photographs are much bigger and have a higher rendition than those taken by most digital cameras and can therefore be blown up to huge sizes without blurring.
The end result is wide panoramic pictures that are far beyond the range of normal visualisation.
Chapple also owns uses a top of the range 1DS Canon digital camera to take his shots.
Chapple was first inspired to become a photographer by the stunning landscape of North Devon where he was born.
From the age of 14, Chapple taught himself the ropes before becoming a news photographer in the UK, before travelling around the world on assignments.
He has covered the 9/11 atrocities in New York, Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado.
Chapple has also captured the lighter side of life covering Hollywood red carpet events featuring the biggest names in showbiz as well as taking celebrity portraits of stars including Jon Bon Jovi, Shirley McClaine, Samuel L. Jackson and Hilary Swank.
During his travels, Chapple developed his love of capturing landscapes and now spends his time discovering little known corners of the world to shoot in his unique style.
He said: ‘Taking these photographs has brought me great joy, and seeing my work hanging on the walls of people’s homes is the greatest honor.’