Image above: Northern Roads XV © Dinah Junker
A German photographer living in Finland, Dinah Junker seeks out the unusual viewpoint in her imagery. Here she shares her love for the Lofoten Islands and the joys of living close to the Baltic Sea.
Hello! First of all please introduce yourself: tell us the type of pictures you like to take and how you first got into photography.
Hi! I’m a German living in Finland for the past 14 years. My background is in art and art science and I’ve been around photography nearly all of my life. After my husband and I moved to Finland I started to photograph the unfamiliar landscape around me, but it wasn’t until our trip to the Lofoten Islands in 2008 I started to take photography seriously. I still mainly do landscapes and I like to play with perception by using techniques like long exposures or ICM.
How often are you able to get out there and photograph, and is there a particular location you normally go to?
I live very close to the Baltic Sea near Helsinki. It’s a lovely area but for the real drama and that special light I prefer to go up north, to the Lofoten Islands in particular. With a distance of 1,000 miles that’s not exactly around the corner, so I can visit my dream landscape only once or twice a year. The rest of the time I go out to my local area.
Image credit: Long Exposure I © Dinah Junker
What are you working on at the moment?
There’s no particular project I’m specifically working on. Wherever I am I strive to find unusual views or do the classic view and give it a twist. I like to go over the top and step away from the beaten paths of where you’ll find the traditional viewpoint.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everything from masters painters (such as JMW Turner and Claude Lorraine), to a well photographed movie or TV series, to all those brilliant international exhibitions like Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Whenever I’m in London I love to spend quality time at Tate Britain and the National Gallery.
What’s your dream photography project?
It would definitely be a longer trip to somewhere north – involving Scotland, Norway and Iceland. I’ve only been to Scotland once and have never been to Iceland. Driving around Scotland or Iceland for a month or two would be amazing. I’ve been to Lofoten 15 times now. I’ve been to Finnmark in northern Norway only once and it would be a dream to go there again.
Image above: Mountains XVIII © Dinah Junker
Is there one thing in particular you think would help you improve your photography?
I’d like to have more patience when out photographing but as I only often have a week in my photographic paradise at one time there’s a certain pressure on getting the right images. Getting rid of my vertigo would help as well! I envy people who can hike for days in the most inaccessible areas.
What do you think is hot right now in the photography world?
The continuous technological improvements of smartphones and drones have set major trends in photography. The bar is being raised higher and higher too with capturing certain viewpoints – everybody seems to need to climb the highest mountain to prove their ability as a photographer. Sometimes I feel this is not the core of photography or art, but on the other hand everybody should do what he or she likes best.
Image above: Mountains XIX © Dinah Junker
Where do you see your photography in five years time?
Considering my photography five years ago and today, I would say: everything is possible. I want to develop my work on a constant basis and further refine my own style. But I don’t know where this path leads me, so I live very much in the here and now with a slight forecast of the next six months or so. My dream would be to have a helicopter ride over a breathtaking landscape…here’s hoping.
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