Daniel Elbaz generously shares insights into his creative journey and how he conceived the idea of "12 Ways to...", for our 'How I Got This Picture' series.


12 ways to …

How I Got This Picture - Daniel Elbaz

Technical Info

Film Used





Hasselblad 503cw


Planar 80mm

Exposure Time

1/125s at f16

Other Equipment

Elinchrom Studio flash



Firstly, tell us the story behind this image. What inspired you to shoot it?

I have been passionate about black and white photography, the darkroom and printing for 35 years (I started at 13). Since that time I particularly like the contact sheet, even in the digital age. I wanted to pay homage to it in a photographic series.

It was while doing a tight portrait edit that I had the idea of "12 ways to...".

For this one, it's Stephanie who passes in front of my lens. It was our first real meeting, we only discussed on Instagram through a common friend. Interested in the concept, she told me about her need to quit smoking in order to undergo major surgery. The theme was found, we only took 30 minutes to create the set of 12 photos.

Did you come across any challenges?

The shooting was rather simple for a studio photographer. The only challenge is to stay focused, to evacuate the smoke from the room so as not to disturb the photographs ... and not to laugh and talk too much!

What process did you use?

Only one light was enough, an Elinchrom flash with an octo-lightbox 1 meter in diameter. The flash was positioned almost full face towards the model at 2.5 meters in height.

How did you process it?

I process all my films (whatever the format) in the Ilfotec HC at 1+31. For the HP5+ I develop 9 minutes at 20°c, I need more contrast and density for my diffused light enlarger.

What about printing?

I cut out the selected negatives to reconstitute the contact sheet. Then I went to create a classic contact print in my lab at home. I do all my prints using a DURST 1200.

But the result did not satisfy me, so I digitized each negatives, and I digitally reconstructed the contact sheet. My professional lab then made me a real silver print on FB paper with a Durst Lambda printer. The enlargement is very beautiful!

 Which paper did you use and what was your printing process?

I only use FB paper for the enlargements: The most beautiful prints, the prints to exhibit or to offer/exchange are made on ILFORD FB Warmtone  in Eukobrom developer.

The contact sheets for the archive are all made on RC paper.