Hasselblad Masters Award: Olivier Valsecchi

The Hasselblad Masters Award is one of the most prestigious photography awards a photographer can receive. It is directly overseen by the camera company Hasselblad who produces some of the most high end cameras money can buy, and the price reflects this with cameras going for around £22.000.

Categories included in the contest include Fine Art, Nature/Landscape, Portrait, Fashion, Editorial, Product, Architecture, Social/Wedding and General Photography. Awards has also been given to rising talents.

The winners of each year have their photos included in a book published by TeNeues, and are exhibited in the big cities around the world, like London, New York and Hong Kong.

Olivier Valsecchi was the 2012 Fine Art category winner with his amazing photo featuring the human body in an abstract fashion. He is french, born in Paris in 1979 and started his interest in photography through his musical talent by producing photos to illustrate his record sleeves.

2012 Hasselblad Masters Award: Fine Art


The main aesthetic effect utilized in this photo is symmetry. Although the models on each side are different people their bodies form an almost perfect symmetrical pattern. The central models are also positioned to form part of the central symmetry of the photo. Another effect used in this photo is the placement of the light sources. Olivier ha used soft lights coming from a quite high angle which makes the muscle patterns pop out and creates a textural level of symmetry. The Outlines of the the two male models on the edges are are sharpended by a harder light coming from the sides or slightly behind them something that works to frame the rest of the subjects.

A certain repetition of form is also found when one looks at the lines the arms and hands form, along with the bodies forming repetitive patterns in themselves.

The grey-scale used in the photo takes away a lot of the noise one would have experienced had the photo been displayed in colour. This enhances the focus on the symmetrical patterns and repetition of form that makes this photo such a brilliant work of art.

Olivier has produced some amazing series in the Fine Art Genre. I am Dust features a style similar to his Hasselblad Masters Award winning photo with a similar dramatic light setup. In I am Dust he  creates a quite contrasting experience. The Photos are visually very dramatic, with a large amount of movement underlined by the dust clouds swirling around the bodies of the subject. On an emotional level we find something completely different. The facial expressions are all dreamy and serene effectively contrasting the dramatic movement .

I am Dust Series:

In Times of War



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