Janas – shapes of infinity
“I’ve behind me thousands of years of silence, of attempted poetry, of breads for the feasts, and loom threads”.
This project is inspired by this line of the wonderful Sardinian artist Maria Lai. A road trip to tell about a mysterious and charming Sardinia.
A way to preserve, to not forget, to see the memory as a living thing. The small everyday stories like big treasures; Maria Lai’s art.
Photography itself is a way to catch a piece of infinity: in the end the human has always had the fear of forgetfulness, of the oblivion.
That’s the reason of storytelling. To keep a trace of our passage in this world.
It can be words, music, pictures, it’s always an attempt to understand and “grab” a little piece of the universe.
I’m writing and the GF20-35mmF4 R WR lens isn’t yet on the market as of now.
I’ve been chosen to test this new product and I immediately thought I needed a special story, capable of getting me emotional and dynamic enough to better exploit all the characteristics of this wonderful wide lens.
I chose to create a tale between myth and reality, legend and truth.
Three women and a loom are guiding this path. As the three Parcae, or maybe as “Sa’ Filonzana”, the Sardinian Parca, they weaved the thread that ideally connect the stories portrayed.
In a Sardinian legend there are small creatures, fairies, called Janas, capable of opening doors through different worlds, the visible and the invisible ones. I thought to use my photography as a “door” to watch through both worlds.
Like a Janas I tiptoed and listened in silence, watching carefully every action of the people I met.
In the end the stories show up by themselves and the photographer is like a kid; keeping a deep sense of awe towards everything is the best way to work.
I met every time different landscapes and scenarios: between helichrysum scented mountain roads and crystal clear waters, villages on massive mountain rocks and sinuous hills reminding the body of a woman, between herders, fishermen, dancers and musicians, young people keeping the tradition alive wearing ancient masks and artisans holding a memory made of actions rather than of words. I collected the beauty of a wonderful island.
The GFX system helped me in every situation.
Working with such a high performing camera like the GFX100S paired with the new wide GF20-35mmF4 R WR lens, allowed me to focus just on creativity and not worrying about anything.
The inner zoom of this new Fuji lens makes it more comfortable, light, not bulky and thanks to minimum focus distance of just 35cm, it’s possible to get very close to the subject creating spectacular effects.
The Fujifilm GF20-35mmF4 R WR is really versatile: this focal range, in situations where not everything can be under control, allows to alternate portraits and landscape, a smaller and a wider length for not losing anything of the story happening in front of us.
Perfect from edge to edge, this lens can cover the entire frame with the same precision.
No ghost or flare, even though it’s a very wide lens.
Working with a lens like this is indeed a challenge: you must take care of the distances and lines in order to give a scenographic picture that respects the shapes.
The GF20-35mmF4 R WR surprised me and its details make it perfect for a photojournalist and more in general to stimulate a photographer creativity. Not only a studio camera and lens on a tripod, but a versatile medium format camera capable to satisfy any need.
The GF20-35mmF4 R WR is a weather resistant lens giving me the peace of mind when I literally “dive into” every situation: I worked in the dust of the pasture burnt by the sun and on a fishing boat without worrying about what the fishermen where doing. Nothing can pass in between the ring and the body of the lens, I worked all the time sure that nothing would have reached the sensor impeding me to work at the best.
It’s a reliable, fast and precise tool that is necessary when making a reportage and you want to tell a world, a reality, a story, with the maximum precision possible.
GFX100S paired with GF20-35mmF4 R WR is a winning couple: a wide lens capable of covering a wide variety of situations and not making you feel lacking of others.
The initial challenge became fun. I take again some Maria Lai’s words: “I played seriously and at a certain point my toys have been called art”.
In the end a photographer is always a kid. Eternally awed, eternally enthusiast in front of the things, always looking for a different way to see, an alternative way, of “seeing beyond”, in the attempt of showing something more.
And so I seriously worked, with my usual wish of respecting every single story, every action, every movement that has been gifted to me by the people who are in this project, but at the same time I never stopped for a single moment to have fun and to think about the immense beauty of this job, that is passion, made of intense moments and visions we have to seize.
I think that working with the GF20-35mmF4 R WR gave me a great chance: seeing anything till the end, including everything possible, even the smallest detail there in the corner, that otherwise would have been missed.
Like a Janas, the small fate capable of opening doors between worlds, the new Fujifilm lens knows how to “look into and beyond” and with the GFX100S allowed me to tell an extraordinary story at my best.
Ps: I’ve a legitimate doubt. It can be that zooming in the frame you could spot a little Janas that tries to hide to the mortals. The lens is so precise that could catch her.
But I wouldn’t look for her and I’ll leave her where she is. She has been behind me during my trip – between mountains and seas, pastures and hills – bringing me luck. Certain things are magic as they are hidden in the mystery.
One last, but important thing: thanks from the bottom of my heart to all the people who allowed me to tell their stories during this trip discovering a wonderful island. Without them nothing would have been possible.