Dragonflies in flight: Behind the scenes with Ghislain Simard and his custom Hasselblad H6D-100c setup
posted Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 7:00 AM EDT
Nature macro photographer Ghislain Simard has been photographing insects since he was 10 years old. As an accomplished photographer, his childhood love of photographing agile flying insects has remained. Simard has become well-known for high-speed photography and has even designed his own tools to freeze bugs such as dragonflies in flight, including a homemade laser system to trigger his flash.
In the video below, Simard uses a camera not often considered for high-speed photography, the 100-megapixel medium-format Hasselblad H6D-100C. Dragonflies are quite timid and fast-moving, so it is difficult to get close to them. To help overcome this, Simard uses a 300mm f/4.5 Hasselblad HC lens. To achieve a sharp image, Simard has set up a laser-guided system to detect when the subject flies into the plane of focus and then triggers the camera. To avoid blur, Simard has upgraded flash units to fire a flash as short as 1/111,000 of a second. There is still the issue of shutter lag. While the leaf shutter system of Hasselblad lenses is fast, Simard needed even more speed so he worked with Hasselblad to trigger his flash directly from his sensor, which makes his "H6D far faster than any 35mm DSLR" he has previously used.
"There's a kind of 3D effect with the H6D-100C that I have never seen delivered by a 35mm DSLR," says Simard of his 100-megapixel medium-format Hasselblad camera. You can view and zoom in to some of Simard's brilliant dragonfly macro images by clicking here.