Tell us about the location in the photos.
This series of pictures is from the Judaean Desert around the Dead Sea area in Israel. It is a giant desert that extends from northeastern Negev to the eastern Beit El. It ends in a steep escarpment dropping to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley.
The Dead Sea is a salt lake located on the border between Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. The lake is 65 kilometers long, up to 18 kilometers wide and the maximum depth is 378 meters. The Dead Sea is one of the most saline lakes, and the water is about 422 meters under sea level, lowest of all the places on earth.
It’s a place I regularly return to. Every time I come to Israel, me and my heart just go straight there to soak in and feel the clean air, the silence, the heat, the cold and barrenness. To walk there and see this mighty desert landscape where water and wind created quite peerless formations is something that everyone should see.
How did you get started in photography?
1996 was the first time I went in to a darkroom and then everything started. I was hooked and bought my first Canon camera and darkroom equipment. Then I went to two different photography schools and from 2003 I’ve been working full time with photography. I was a freelance photographer at the same time I was running a small analog shop and gallery from 2003 to 2008. During that time I held a lot of workshops in alternative photography processes. I used to work a lot with van dyke brown, salt prints and gum bichromate prints. I loved it when it could take up to a week to make a gum print. I’m very lucky to know some old photographers in Sweden that are world famous in these processes, and they have been my teachers.
Since last year I have only done small freelance/commercial work projects and mainly try to focus on my art photography, projects, books and exhibitions. In 2012 I released my second book “Steps on Snow, Dust on the Lips,” which sold very well. The photos above are ones you will find in the book.
Does anything in particular influence your photography style?
People who make something from the heart and put all their effort and love into what they do. That influences me a lot. Nature makes me feel good and gives me energy and power. Everything is so changeable in the landscape. If you stay in the same place for long time and really focus, you can see it. I love that feeling. And no day is like any other. For me it´s like meditation to be out in nature, and to photograph it and translate it into my way of seeing it. A photographer that really influence me is Sarah Moon.
What photography gear do you use?
For the past 5 years I´ve only used Polaroid film, and mostly very old expired Polaroid film. I´ve spent a lot of money during these years to stock up on film, but now I´m safe for many years and that feels great. I love all the different ways I can work with the film. There´s no stop in the process and I gently treat and mistreat the Polaroid film while it´s developing until I get the soft ”other worldly” look that I´m looking for. And the colors are just outstanding on the old Polaroid film. It feels more like a painting than a photograph sometimes. Mostly I work with a large format 4×5” or a 8×10” wood camera named Szabad, SX-70 or my NPC 195.
All the pictures you see in this series were taken with a 4×5 pinhole camera made of wood and Polaroid 59-film. The pictures are not edited in Photoshop. When using long exposures with the pinhole camera and polaroid 59-film it turn out in this blue tone.
Are there any products you swear by?
I swear by my plastic bucket that I put my polaroids in, I always have it with me wherever I go.
What is your dream adventure photography location?
Last summer I visited Iceland for the first time and it had always been a dream location. I went for work and only for a few days and really need to go back. It was exactly as I thought it was, like being in a dream where ever I went. Other places I would love to go to is Nepal, Greenland and back to the Andes in South America. There are so many beautiful places on earth and I hope I will get the chance to see many more of them. Also, not to forget I want to explore my own country Sweden more. I never ever been far up north and I’m planning to go there soon. We have the midnight sun there where it´s light all night long in the summer.
Name Dan Isaac Wallin
Location Gothenburg, Sweden
Featured In Issue Three - October 2013
Gear & Equipment Large format cameras, expired Polaroid film, and pinhole cameras (see above)
Websites Website, Facebook, Instagram
Chosen By Bastian Kalous