Something that I love
For the longest time I was aware that I had difficulties reading, writing, and understanding certain things, but it was only when I was diagnosed with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia that is became clear why this was. I have enjoyed the art of photography for so many years and after a triple bypass surgery in 2019, I made the decision to return to college and learn at a professional level something that I love.
500 ELM Hasselblad camera
I enrolled in the photography division, at OCC (Orange Coast College), in Costa Mesa California and immediately felt at home. I enjoyed the course and where I was introduced to black and white medium format film photography, I felt that I’d found my niche. Taking things apart bring me joy, and a curiosity about how they work. So, when I had an idea about trying to run two 35mm rolls of film in a 500 ELM Hasselblad camera, it was the perfect opportunity to feed this drive.
Reeling the two films
The first steps to accomplish the single shot into two film strips is to heavily modify the camera and film back openings. (I used the Hasselblad 500 ELM and the A70 Film-back). Reeling the two films side by side onto the A70 Film-back spool is easy enough but that didn’t expose both films to light at the fullest when the shutter bottom was released.
Wasn’t an easy task!
This was also the most difficult part of the project. Having to carve the opening of the camera and the film-back wide enough to allow light to hit both film strips including the sprocket holes and the edges of both films without causing fog or light leaks wasn’t an easy task!
Copious amounts of gaffer tape
To prevent these light leaks from happening I had to make my own seals and use copious amounts of gaffer tape around the camera body and film-back. Turning my creation into the monstrosity, that I named Frankenstein-Hasselblad.
About The Author
I am originally from Guatemala but made the decision to relocate to California shortly after the 80s. During this time, a friend graciously allowed me to experiment with a Canon AE-1 camera. Although I didn’t invest a lot of time in fully grasping its workings, I knew one thing for sure – I had developed a strong liking for photography.
After my move to California, I took a hiatus from photography until Canon introduced the Rebel Digital cameras. It was then that I decided to rekindle my interest, and I subsequently upgraded my equipment.
In my day-to-day life, I work as a Sports Massage Therapist. However, in early 2019, I began taking photography classes. It wasn’t until 2021 that I was formally introduced to the world of film photography. These past few years have been incredibly rewarding as I’ve finally acquired a solid understanding of working with a film camera.