Marc Haldemann

“I am fascinated by places that are as inhospitable and solitary as possible. The absence of human beings shows nature in its pure form.”

Your landscape photography is also traveling photography. What does this tell us about your work as a work of research?

For me, traveling is always an important part of photography. Taking time to explore the surroundings and to get to know the people contributes to a better understanding. Especially in regions with extreme living conditions, it is exciting to see how people live in harmony with nature and how they respect it. This understanding of nature has unfortunately been lost by many of us in Europe.

NamibiaCileBoliviaCaliforniaIslandSudafrica and Scozia. How would you give a short aesthetic description of each place? What most struck you of each of these places?

Namibia: Namibia is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited. And it is a dream to photograph. I love desert landscapes and I really appreciated the remoteness and closeness to nature. In Namibia, you can drive for several hours through the landscape without seeing a human being. I was incredibly fascinated by the different shapes and structures of the landscape.

Chile: Chile is very difficult to describe because the country is incredibly diverse. The north is characterized by remote and deserted lagoons and volcanoes. You have the feeling that the earth has just been formed here. In Patagonia, in the south of Chile, the impressive mountain landscapes are very spectacular and reverent.

Bolivia: You can find an unbelievable colorfulness in the mountains and lagoons here. Partly you move to altitudes over 5000m above sea level and the air is thin. Also here the remoteness has shaped me very much.

California: This region is very thrilling because the big urban cities and the remote landscapes are so close to each other. The contrast between these worlds is immense. You drive from one big city to the next and cross landscapes that are among the most hostile on earth. The diversity of nature is enormous.

Iceland: Iceland is a primeval landscape formed by fire and ice. Volcanoes and glaciers are as close to each other as nowhere else. You come across impressive waterfalls, huge glacier fields, and magical valleys. The landscape of Iceland is closely connected with the myths about fairies and trolls.

Scotland: Scotland fascinated me as a photographer because of the constantly changing light atmospheres. Nature is very wild and characterized by fast weather changes. There are many places rich in history telling stories of brave and lonely legends. This makes the landscapes very mystical.

foto paesaggio islanda
foto paesaggio namibia
foto paesaggio bolivia

No -or little- humans in all the places you visited. What is it about solitude that grasps you so much? What are you trying to capture and convey?

I am fascinated by places that are as inhospitable and solitary as possible. The absence of human beings shows nature in its pure form. Humans have not yet exerted much influence in these places. Nature is still extreme, untamed and pure. I try to capture the beauty of nature, but not on a documentary level but rather on an aesthetic one. In my photos it is no longer relevant to me where the picture was taken, but rather how the forms, colors, and structures of nature play together in the picture.

You are first a designer, then a photographer. Where do these two passions of yours meet? What are the boundaries?

Yes, that’s correct. Designing spaces and products are so far my daily work. I’ve always been fascinated by shapes, structures, and colors, so I guess that’s why I started to go in the direction of design. Working in design is very fascinating, but in the end, it’s always about making compromises with the client and at the end of the day it’s also about doing business. Design is always perceived very subjectively and everyone seems to have their own idea of it and of course considers it right. In nature, however, there is no such thing as right or wrong. The fascinating landscapes with their forms and structures are in front of you, detached from beautiful or ugly, they are value-free. You first have to achieve that in design. This aspect is what fascinates me about my photographic work in nature.

Any advice for people that are about to set out traveling and photographing?

Everyone has their own way of traveling or photographing. I usually choose a particular destination first because of the landscape. On the location, however, the culture is also a very important part for me. How do people live in these places and what connects them to the nature that surrounds them. The only advice that I think makes sense is to think in advance about why you take a specific photo.

A living artist you want to give a shout out to? Why?

There are many artists of whom I find individual works very interesting and good. But I don’t have an idol in that sense. But who I would like to mention here is my girlfriend and faithful travel companion Dunja (@dunja_somewhere). She is also a photographer herself and we share the same fascination and try to push each other.

Next stops and projects?

At the moment no specific projects are planned. We just came back from our 4-month trip a few weeks ago and still have a lot of work to do with the photos we brought with us. I am currently working on making prints of my work and would like to offer them on my website soon.

Thank you for your time! Want to add something?

Thank you very much for your interest in my work! It is always a pleasure for me to talk about the fascination of nature and photography.

paesaggio scozia
foto paesaggio california
foto paesaggio cile

Credits: Marc Haldemann

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