Unexpected encounters during a walk in the forest nearby my house.
“Every dentist would like to be a doctor, and every photographer would like to be a painter.”
“It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter, because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the ordinary.”
“The beach. End the sea.
It could be a perfection – an image for divine eyes – a world that happens, that is all, the mute existence of land and water, a work perfectly accomplished, truth – truth – but once again it is the redeeming grain of a man that jams the mechanism of that paradise, a trifle capable on its own of suspending all that great apparatus of inexorable truth, a mere nothing, but one planted in the sand, an imperceptible tear in the surface of the sacred icon, a minuscule exception come to rest on the perfection of that boundless beach. From afar he would be no more than a black dot: amid nothingness, the nothing of a man and a painter’s easel.”
Giovinazzo (South Italy) – 2010
(available as print)
It is so nice to stay on the beach until the twilight. The crowd disperses, the silence is rocked by the sound of the waves, the heat finally warms up, it does not burn anymore. And the light gives away its beautiful colors.
If also the clouds dance tango in the sky, without weeping their tears over silhouettes of human figures, busy with echoless chats or savoring the view of the sea for the last minutes: how do you resist the temptation of freezing everything into a still image?
Yet, I am not rapt by all this, I mean, I am mostly, but I hold on hard. As a poor fool, I am fooling myself that I still have time left and so I wait. I keep on sipping the image, I do not see the moment coming along. Until the man in the centre of the picture makes an unexpected move: he looks down and and so remains for a time seeming endless to me. It is the detail that ravishes me, maybe wakes me up from a dream, but makes me shoot, with mindful instinct.
Questions arise soon after. In the beginning they are just a few. Then they become a lot and increase with obsession, because they found a terrible ally: the imagination.
What is the man looking at? Why? How? What is he thinking about?
Perhaps, he has just realized he has got his big toe twisted or noticed a foot he does not recognize as belonging to himself anymore, or maybe has never recognized as such. Perhaps, he is looking at both feet and not only at his big toe? But his look seems to me slightly outstretched forward, maybe his feet are too long? Or maybe he has lost a contact lens or a coin? Or perhaps a fish swallowed it and is now making fun of him or agonizing?
No, perhaps he has seen a seashell of the same shape as the one given to his first love, precisely on that beach, many years ago. Maybe he got married to her? Or, who knows how awfully ended up their story. Or perhaps there is no seashell at all, but he is bowing to the sea. Is it a thanksgiving? Or a last goodbye before going back home? Does he do that every evening?
I cannot stop wondering, and I cannot stop shooting pictures.
Again in the title a little help to not miss a detail of this pleasant landscape, taken in Essaouira. If you click on the image, you can see a bigger version and it will be easier to note the man who is jumping.
Even though he was not my main subject, since in the beginning I was much more interested on the general view, I saw him in time and I waited enough to give a tribute to the decisive moment.