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Colours and contrasts
Matilda recently returned to Sweden after four years abroad in New York, London and Paris. She is an independent woman who knows what she wants and loves a challenge. 'It's a matter of getting yourself into a situation and then finding a solution.'
Matilda travelled to New York in 1996. 'It was an incredibly rewarding time for me, as I got to work with many different photographers, including Michel Tcherevkoff and James Porto, two of New York's foremost photographers in digital imaging. 'They made me realise just how many opportunities there are when you use a computer as tool.' It was this that gave the impetus to her digital career.
On her return to Sweden she found she still had a strong urge to work abroad. She travelled to London and spent six months in a wonderful studio on Old Street, and got the chance to work with several talented fashion designers.
After London came Paris, where Matilda stayed for two years. Here she continued on her chosen path, working on fashion assignments while developing her skills in digital photography. The latter involved a year at Parsons School of Design, where she studied digital imaging. Matilda describes the year she spent at the school as the most intense and creative time she has experienced. 'I experimented a lot and used many new techniques. It was fantastic to be able to work with several images on the screen at once in order to create an exciting end product.'
Matilda stresses that it is important to acquire a sound understanding of the basic techniques before starting to use digital technology creatively. During her year at the school she gained a broad grounding in many different areas of image processing, graphics, web applications and 3D.
Matilda creates her images in the borderland between conventional photography and digital imaging. She is fascinated by faces, and particularly enjoys working with colour and contrast. One good example is her latest exhibition, 'Face the World', which was exhibited outdoors on the facades of buildings in Stockholm and Gothenburg. The series consists of seven images of dolls' faces, each measuring three by five metres, on which she superimposes human features with the aid the digital technology. The idea for these images came from the ongoing debate about modelling and the ideal it portrays. 'Instead of making up and retouching a model to create an almost doll-like being I chose to take the opposite approach here. I wanted to give the dolls a degree of life, yet still retain their static expressions.'
When Matilda uses human models she prefers to work with people who have distinctive features. 'I sometimes ask people I meet on the street to model for me.'
Matilda currently works with a Hasselblad 500CM and 503CW with four lenses: 40mm, 80mm, 150mm and 250 mm. She prefers to work with a 250mm lens set to a large aperture and fitted with an extension tube. This allows her to get close to the model and achieve the short depth of focus that is so typical of her images. In the studio she lights the model with a single lamp, and filters virtually all the light to achieve the desired mood. Often the images are retouched using a computer. 'I am incredibly finicky. Although I try to get as clear an image as possible when I take the shot I often make fine adjustments to the detail of the image afterwards,' explains Matilda.
As a daughter of photographer Ragnar Lindeblad she naturally grew up surrounded by images. Matilda now lives in Stockholm, where she works as an advertising and fashion photographer. She has deliberately sought out places that inspire her creative side. Now she has returned to Sweden with her very own style.
Article by Kerstin Fiedler
The Hasselblad Masters 2001
Matilda Lindeblad is one of the Hasselblad Masters - 12 highly skilled photographers, carefully chosen by Hasselblad to feature in the Hasselblad Calendar 2001. Work of the other 11 have or will appear in this portfolio area.