Medium Format camera systems aren’t just for the studio. In this feature we speak to Quinn Humphreys about his experience shooting a Medium Format Travel Photography project, and share some images from his recent trip.
Tell us a bit about yourself, Quinn.
I’m an artist primarily working with documentary photography, currently studying in London. I’ve just completed the first part of my final year project, shot in Europe.
Where did your passion for photography come from?
I moved towards photography after a short stint making films for YouTube in my teenage years. Photography fit where I wanted to go with my art for the time being, though I’m not opposed to making films too when the time is right. Photography allows me to view things in a different way to moving image, as it requires me to say something in a single frame. While I’m not a huge believer in the notion that photographs can say 1000 words, I do believe that when put in context photographs can provide another point of view not able to be expressed through other art forms.
What kind of work do you shoot, and where do you get your inspiration from?
I mainly shoot documentary photography, and this project was my first real outing to shoot a specific body of work. I used to photograph on the streets a lot, and was inspired heavily by Daido Moriyama and William Klein. Over the years I’ve been more drawn to work that allows me to research and plan in advance. In light of this, photographers like Stephen Shore, Alec Soth and Catherine Hyland have all inspired me to undertake long-form projects with an overarching goal or theme. This is what led to me making this current body of work.
Why did you choose to shoot with medium format for this project?
I’ve worked with analog medium format before, shooting on a Bronica system. I decided that this project might work best with the higher level of definition that medium format offers, as opposed to 35mm. I also wanted to challenge myself, so the added task of using a full frame digital medium format system for travel photography was enjoyable.
How was your experience using this system for a travel project?
The combination of the Phase One IQ1 100MP back and the Hasselblad H6X body worked well together as a fairly portable system for travelling around cities with. Naturally the weight was a consideration because of the amount of walking I was doing, but the camera performed flawlessly, even when used handheld.
The new Phase One XT camera system would be a better option in the future for more lightweight shooting, but I’m very happy with how the system faired in the field. I worked in low temperatures, and the battery life far exceeded my expectations.
What do you have planned for the future of this project? Any other projects in the pipeline?
I’m now moving into the post-processing, where I’ll be colour balancing, dust spotting and cropping the images to their final states, ready for me to assemble. From there I’ll be working on test prints in Brighton before sourcing a paper for me to print the images onto in their final book layouts. The end goal is to produce a bound book of around 30 images ready to be used as a dummy for a further publication run in the future.
I have a number of projects either in the pipeline or currently being worked on, namely a long-form project based in my hometown of Horsted Keynes in Sussex. This will be focused on documenting the village over a number of years, to form as a a record for the future. I also have ideas for projects in Scotland, and am in contact with the GB Olympic Team with the aim of accompanying them to Tokyo 2020. One can hope!
If you’re interested in what medium format could offer your next project, get in touch!
0207 323 6455