The Hype

Professional Photographer Magazine - The BIG Interview

Article text
Professional Photographer Magazine each month conduct what they call 'The BIG Interview' with a professional photographer from around the globe and in the May edition that went on sale today this 8 page feature was an interview with AmbientLife photographer Tim Wallace. The article however was not regarding Tim's car or commercial work, which is often what Tim is interviewed about, but was about some of his 'personal work' and in particular some recent work that he shot in Death Valley in the US around the mysterious abandoned town of Darwin.

The town was first established by American explorer Dr Darwin French in 1874 after he discovered silver ore deposits in the mountains, just south of Death Valley but the mining area is now closed off and out of limits to people with many signs warning of the dangers of open mines still being there and potential death traps to those that wander into the area. Just a year later, 700 people were found living in the town where around 20 mines were discovered - the population peaked in 1877 at several thousand people.

Project Darwin
Online dedicated portfolio of the Darwin work is available to view here

As with many ghost towns across the U.S., once the industry has died, life in the town becomes lost and soon after years just simply disappears. However in Darwin, a small community of artists and those preferring life in the wilderness, has remained in settlements further down the valley from the 'original' settlements. The population is made up of mainly couples and with no one under the age of 18, so no children at all exist there. There are no stores to buy anything and nowhere to stay - the nearest supermarket is well over 90 miles away and the tiny community that remains in the dust had only a local post office where residents could gather to pass the time of day and even this now is shut and abandoned forever.

Just further down the hill we started to come across the houses of those both past and recently present, many just left abandoned and with the contents still in place, refrigerators, clocks and books still on the shelves…
We shot there for over an hour, being respectful to those that still call this dusty town home and exchanged a few hearty hello's to those few that we met along the way walking through the small town.

Darwin is in many ways a place of both sadness and wonder and it remains sat in the middle of Death Valley and the days and nights pass like a ticking clock with no impact or change on anything that remains, a modern day time capsule sat baking in the desert sun….

Professional Photographer Magazine full interview PDF Tim Wallace - The Big Interview - May 2014