Bladmiration – or what's in a name?

There is something about the Hasselblad that inspires affectionate name calling.  But is it Hassy or Blad? There’s a world of difference between the two.

Back at the beginning of the month we spent a Saturday afternoon trawling round the garden of a country house, admiring the surroundings and photographing it.

I used to be a self-conscious photographer, shy of doing anything more than snapping in public places, but two years of self portraits and a camera that stands out from the crowd has put a stop to all that.

Mostly by the time I’ve got my camera out, I’m in the zone. I don’t much notice people around me, and if I do they’re on the periphery of sound and vision.

To be fair I could hardly fail to see the guy stalking me with his DSLR when he leapt in front of me to get in first for the shot I was busy lining up.

Reflections on Biddulph by ronet

A little further round by the Chinese garden one of the volunteer guardians breathed a little Bladmiration* while I was waiting for Ron to take his shot and I stopped and chatted about the joy of using an old camera. (Please don’t tell Vlad I called him old – he’s touchy about these things).

Chinese garden by ronet

But when I was standing in front of the monkey puzzle trees, deciding how to best capture the spiky foliage and cursing myself for not loading Vlad up with black and white film, I didn’t notice the Spanish tourist, as he hissed “Hassy,” and then more insistently “Hassieeee!” until after I’d stepped away and he moved in to take the same shot.

Monkey Puzzle by ronet

I felt a bit mean about not acknowledging the Bladmiration but by that time he was already moving away, busy checking the screen on his SLR and showing it to his friends.

Vlad’s not a fussy camera. He’ll work in all lights. He even takes well to flash. But there’s one thing he’s particular about, and that’s his name. He’s no Hassie.

He’s Vlad. And Vlad can only be a Blad.

*Bladmiration: Admiring glances or comments from a camera enthusiast, usually an aspiring Hasselblad user or someone who has used one in the past. Not to be confused with Blad Envy which can result in the enthusiast copying the Hasselblad user’s every move (see above), and even lead to pointless square cropping  of a perfectly decent 4×6 photo.



  1. I know you’ll stab me in the eye with a fork for saying that but I am so delighted you didn’t have black and white film for that spiky shot! I mean look at them colours. Truly bladelicious.

    • I won’t stab you in the eye but don’t get too close to the screen.

      Don’t tell but I tried black and whiteising it but it didn’t really work.

      I’m glad you like it as it is, I do too, but it’s not how I imagined it would be.

  2. First of all: these are all truly amazing shots. Not snapped, but taken!

    It’s definitely Blad, not Ha… go to he.. with that word. To anybody calling it the H-word: just listen to it. Listen to the sound of the mirror and the release. Doesn’t that just sound like “Blad”?

    Mine still does not have a name. But I once compared it to one of my ice climbing axes: sharp, perfectly balanced, black and chrome, but it needs some effort and experience to place it well. Once placed, both the Blad and the ice axes are bomb proof. For indexing purposes, I assigned a letter to all my analogue cameras. That’s how I label my films: first character is for the camera, second is for B&W or color (B/C) and third is for slide or negative (S/N), followed by a consecutive number. When I got my Blad, the letter “H” had been assigned to my Holga already. But the “B” was still free!

    I truly love the “Bladmiration” part here, esp. the remark about the square cropping hype. And I think there’s a subpopulation of people who envy but would never acknowledge it. And the ones that truly believe that they become better photographers by upgrading their – mostly digital – equipment. Ha!

    • I have a similar indexing system and the same issue with H being taken. I chose V and use the film codes, so I don’t get Vlad and Velvia confused. I do hate all the film vs digital and the inverse snobbery when people tell me they could never afford a Blad as they get their Nth upgraded digital SLR.

      Finding a camera that you truly love and then going out and using it – that’s all there is to it really.

    • It’s strange isn’t it, some people love the H word, others hate it.

      And thanks. I’m coming round to the colours. Sometimes the photographer isn’t the best person to judge.

  3. Three amazing pictures. The first one bursts with resolution and detail. The middle one caresses and then melts the background and then the last one spikes the foreground whilst creating those purple shimmers behind.

    …and they are all gorgeous in colour.

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