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Painting With Light

Daniel Meuli had eventually tired of his work as a plumber. He built a powerful, accessible camera, one of the largest in the world – as big as a horse box. Since then, Daniel has been following in the footsteps of the legendary painter Giovanni Segantini, wandering the Engadin landscape with his “Camera Magna”, chasing the light of his homeland.

Slowly Does It

It takes him hours to find a scene, then expose and develop the photo with chemicals in the camera.His work is an anthem to slowness – even when he was photographing a star, which was unusual for his landscape images. Icon Lindsey Vonn gave Daniel seven minutes. But the analogue capture of the ski star in leggings and a jacket with a fur hood took a long time; slow photography, or as Daniel puts it: “No abstract coding of ones and zeros, but real, analogue magic. Timeless.

Results With Patience

With his mobile black box, litres of water in canisters, fixers for the image and photo paper, the artist from Silvaplana sets off, using the simple pinhole camera principle to use natural light for his large-scale photos; to achieve a sharp image, Daniel also uses a lens.    

But even so, the infamous Maloja wind sometimes spoils his fun, for example, when it creates ripples on Lake Sils. Then for this whole time, all of this effort has been for nothing. But Daniel remains a patient chaser of light: he knows that eventually, everything will turn out fine.