A Reflection on the #52rollsproject

We here at YOUR EXHIBITION have been following Rik Groenland’s work for quite a while, so when he agreed to join the family, we were ecstatic. A big part of Rik’s 2018 was the #52rollsproject. This year long project was simple: to shoot and develop a roll of film each week. Now that he’s finished the project, we took this opportunity to ask him about his experience:

What was the best part of doing this project?

“This project has made the process of shooting, developing film, scanning film and making dark room prints so much better. Practise makes perfect, so now I can develop a roll of film almost with my eyes closed, that would be a nice challenge as well.”

What was the worst part of doing this project?

“Sometimes this project felt like a chore. Do I really have to go out and shoot? I’m more of a deadliner than a planner, so this became a problem for a few of the weeks. Luckily the biggest part went pretty smooth.”

What was the biggest challenge about doing this project?

“The commitment, also during weeks when you’re very busy and have no time to shoot. And the planning part was also a challenge, when you really want to put out one roll every week. Without cheating.”

Have you learned anything from doing this project?

“I really got to know my Hasselblad 500CM very well, what it can do and what it cannot. I’ve learned that I just love the rendering of medium format film. I’ve learned that I really want to focus 100% on analog photography. So my digital gear is going to somebody else.”

If you were to do this project again, what would you do differently?

“I would try to plan ahead more and I would try to show the contact sheet of the whole roll. So people can see all the photos of the roll and which ones I selected.”

What were your favourite images from this project?

“The images that did the most for me are the portraits I shot during the project. I was always very hesitant to shoot portraits. But halfway this project I just started to do it. As a way of experimentation of light and how that works on a persons face and on film. The portrait of my grandpa is my favourite.”

Now that you have finished this project, what are you going to do with all of your spare time?

“For 2019 I want to get better in the dark room. Making prints of the pretty large 52 rolls project portfolio. And I would like to setup an ongoing project of my own, telling some kind of story.”

Now that you've finished this project, where can everyone find the work you produced during 2018?

“Everybody can find the complete 52 rolls project on my website www.rikgroen.land/52-rolls-project and at my Instagram @RikGroenland.”

If people would like to learn more about this project, how can they do so?

“They can always ask me by sending a DM on Instagram @RikGroenland or just send me an e-mail hello@rikgroen.land.”


Do you have any plans to do another project like this? Maybe with a certain camera, or certain film stocks, for example.

I want to learn large format photography. So maybe some kind of daily/weekly 8x10 photo project could be next. 

What would you say to anyone considering doing the #52rollsproject for themselves?

Just do it.