We are back on the blog with another Artist Spotlight. If you are new to the blog, this is a weekly feature, where we spotlight photographers and artist that are inspiring others with there instant film work.
This week, the spotlight is on a photographer based in Sweden, Dan Wallin. Dan has been posting some beautiful shots to the Snap It See It Flickr pool and recently has been tagging us on Instagram. Only one word comes to mind when describing Dan’s work, and that word is BEAUTIFUL. You can see more work from Dan and follow him online at the links below.
• A little about yourself. Where you are from and what you do.
My name is Dan Isaac Wallin. I was born in 1977. I live in Gothenburg, which is the second largest city in Sweden. 1996 was the first time I went in to a darkroom and that started everything for me. I was hooked from that moment and bought my first Canon camera and darkroom equipment. After that, 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.
The last 3 years I have only done small freelance/commercial work projects and mainly try to focus on my art photography, projects, books and exhibitions.
How did you get into instant photography?
We used it a lot at photography school to check the light before we took the photo with film. But in 2003 I bought a beautiful sx-70 camera, it’s still is my favorite, and then everything started. Next was a Polaroid 180 and a 600SE. I was totally hooked and quickly started to buy a lot of film. The polaroid material is amazing I think, there is so much you can do with it.
What is your favorite camera used for instant photography?
It’s a hard one to pick one camera. I use different 4×5” and 8×10” cameras a lot with instant film. But my NPC195 has always been close to my heart. It’s not so heavy and I can always trust it. My favorite 4×5” , I have the swedish made Szabad camera.
What instant camera have you not shot with, but would love to try?
I been shooting with most of the different professional cameras but one that I never tried out is the KONICA instant press.
What’s your favorite Impossible film or pack film type?
Don’t have one. I still stock a lot of polaroid original film and are safe for many years with them.
How have you incorporated instant film into your regular workflow?
I work as a freelance photographer and been doing that for 11 years now. I always really try to put my instant work into my normal works. My last work for the singer Ebbot, that used to play in the band ”Soundtrack of our life” I used only instant film. We shoot 100-pack film, 4×5” and 8×10 film.
How would you describe your voice or vision with instant photography? (does it differ from your other work?)
I love to shot large format, especially 4×5”. It’s slow and you really need to think before you push the trigger. It’s different from shooting normal film or digital, in that I get to see the image straight away and I know when I got the picture.
I also like the way of working, it suits me better to work analog and feels more like a handcraft.
Instant film smells very good and digital doesn’t smell at all. The instant film also gives me the feeling I’m looking for straight away. To get the same with digital you need to ad a lot of different plug-ins in photoshop and still it doesn’t get the same for me. But every different technique has it charm I think.
Any personal projects we should know about?
In 2012 I released my second book “Steps on snow, dust on the lips” which sold very well. Some of the photos you see here are in the book and it’s still available to purchase.
“A beautiful and poetic journey into the land of memories. The search for myself, recollections from childhood, leaving things that have been and seeking new meetings and places; all these things permeate the pictures in this book which are from 2009–2012”.
What other photographers do you look up too?
People who make something from the heart and put all their effort and love into what they do, whatever that is it influences me a lot. A photographer that really influence me is Sarah Moon.
What advice would you give to someone just getting into instant photography?
Get one camera, get one type of film you like and get to know how the film works. Go slow and follow your heart.
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you seek it out or wait till it finds you?
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. Walking along the water here makes me feel alive. Feeling the breeze, the fresh air, and the smell of the ocean. It’s quiet, and calming.
For me it´s like meditation to be out in nature, and to photograph it and translate it into my way of seeing it.
I’m trying to freeze a world that I feel I belong in myself, a dreamy melancholic feeling, where my mind often ends up. I return a lot to my roots, and many of my pictures are from journeys I took as a child; from the blue of Sweden, to the black and white desert landscapes of Israel. My pictures are, for me, a reflection on the human need for silence and reflection. Far away are the quick impressions and the daily stress of everyday life, leaving only our original values, roots, and tranquility. What is more elementary then the sea, the mountains, and the earth?