Fine art portrait photographer David Teran traveled the world with his 1969 Hasselblad 500C/M camera to capture beautiful black and white portraits of some of the most talented and powerful ballerinas. Teran has launched a Kickstarter campaign to celebrate the multi-year project to release a special book, Hasselblad Ballet.
“Over the past five years, I’ve taken from Hasselblad camera from 1969 around the world and photographed some of the most extraordinary ballerinas in 19 different countries using only one roll of Ilford black and white film,” Teran says.
“Drawing inspiration from the ballet world, David has meticulously curated an enchanting and sublime collection that showcases the grace and elegance of ballerinas from various countries around the world. David has crafted a visual masterpiece that pays homage to the artistry of both photography and ballet. Just as a ballet performance captures the essence of movement, David’s photography captures the heart and soul of each ballerina, creating a captivating narrative that unfolds with every image,” the Kickstarter campaign explains.
Teran describes his project as showcasing ballerinas in a quirky and whimsical way, bringing the talented dancers outside their typical studio surroundings and placing them in beautiful locations worldwide.
“Creating Hasselblad Ballet has been a true labor of love. This project has allowed me to combine my passion for photography (and food!) and the beauty of ballet in a way that is both unconventional and unique,” says David Teran.
The book features over 100 ballerinas photographed in 53 cities across 19 diverse countries. Teran worked with famed ballerinas such as Isabella Boylston from the American Ballet Theater and dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, and many others.
Teran worked alongside Sofiane Sylve, the renowned artistic director of Ballet San Antonio, Teran’s hometown.
There is also an interesting juxtaposition between the speed and agility of ballerinas and Teran’s choice of camera. Unlike modern digital cameras, the Hasselblad 500C/M is a relatively slow camera that requires careful consideration for every shot.
The Hasselblad 500C/M, like other 500 series cameras, has played an important role in photographic and human history. Hasselblad 500C cameras have been into space. NASA astronaut Walter Schirra took a 500C aboard the Mercury rocket in 1962, making the Hasselblad 500C the first camera to “properly document space,” per Hasselblad.
Teran joins an illustrious group of photographers who have created art with Hasselblad 500-series cameras. Ansel Adams, Sid Avery, and Gered Mankowitz are just a few who have used 500 cameras to capture landscapes and portraits.
Teran’s all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaign is essentially a pre-sale for Hasselblad Ballet, with early bird pledging options for the book starting at $75.
A Limited-Edition Box Set option for $250 includes a signed copy of the book inside a linen cloth clamshell box. It also includes a handmade gelatin silver contact sheet. Each one-of-a-kind sheet has Teran’s darkroom markings, offering purchasers a look at the analog photographic process.
Additional backing options include digital phone backgrounds, a Hasselblad Ballet t-shirt, and limited-edition prints. All backing options and complete campaign details are available on Kickstarter.
If Hasselblad Ballet reaches its $33,400 campaign target, the book will begin shipping in May 2024. As of writing, the campaign, which started today, has earned just over $4,000 in funding. The campaign ends on September 20, 2023.
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Image credits: All images © David Teran. Additional images from “Hasselblad Ballet” are available on Teran’s website.