“Autumn is the very soul of metamorphosis, a time when the world is poised at the door of winter – which is the door of death – but has not yet fallen. It is a world of contradictions: a time of harvest and plenty but also of cold and hardship. Here we dwell in the midst of life, but we know most keenly that all things must pass away and shrivel. Autumn turns the world from one thing into another. The year is seasoned and wise but not yet decrepit or senile.” (Catherynne M. Valente)
Since my last post in June, I’ve been pretty much in constant motion.
I took ownership of an 18th century house in the mountains of beautiful Tuscany, (this itself deserves a blog post, and it will come eventually), and I spent most of the summer embracing my new home. I explored, lived and struggled a lot, but I needed it all.
This post however is not about my summer months in Italy. Right now I’d like you to dive into the autumnal light and colours of Lucca with me.(Who says that everything needs to be in chronological order all the time?)
Lucca is my absolute favourite Italian city.
The centre is surrounded by gorgeous walls that were built during the Renaissance.
This beautiful city is elegant yet down to Earth. It is cosy and it is homey. It is vibrant but also relaxing.
Lucca is a major cultural hub, and it is also home for the world famous Lucca Comics. (I haven’t had the chance to attend yet but hopefully I will make it next year.)
There is no place like Lucca.
You should really pay a visit to truly understand what I’m talking about, but hopefully with my photos I can pass you some of those feelings that this magnificent place created in me back in October.
The images are more like digital paintings than photographs, and they were created with freelensing technique.
During freelensing you detach your lens from your camera body, and as bizarre as it sounds you shoot through the lens by holding it in front of your camera.
All images are one of a kind and can never be repeated.
Depending on which way you move and tilt your lens, you can create gorgeous blur in different areas on your photograph.
Alternatively you can make the entire image out of focus. (Yes, your image will be still very beautiful and also unique.)
I have always been an admirer of street photography, but I have never been brave nor bold enough to practice it myself.
In my personal opinion, street photography an incredibly difficult genre. Whenever I attempted to capture strangers I always felt very intimidated by the fact that these people in my frames were completely unaware of being photographed. It almost felt like stealing their moments and their identity. (Of course this is not true, this is just my personal experience and perception.)
I have always been amazed by my ‘street photography hero’ Joel Meyerowitz’s work, and his attitude towards this peculiar field.
“We all experience it. Those moments when we gasp and say, Oh, look at that. Maybe it’s nothing more than the way a shadow glides across a face, but in that split second, when you realize something truly remarkable is happening and disappearing right in front of you, if you can pass a camera before your eye, you’ll tear a piece of time out of the whole, and in a breath, rescue it and give it new meaning.”
This is exactly how I felt as I was wandering the streets of Lucca that was bathing in gorgeous autumnal light … I was capturing architectural elements of ancient buildings and I literally found magic in every corner, and I wanted to preserve it all.
I had absolutely no intention to photograph people, but as I was taking pictures of a beautiful arch, unexpectedly, they wandered into my frame …
I told myself: ‘It’s okay, I’m going to delete these images later.’
When I checked out the photos later, on my laptop screen, I got absolutely mesmerised by, how human presence added so much life to my images.
Since my pictures were freelensed, only blurry silhouettes of people appeared in the photos, and their identity remained a secret.
I no longer felt like a thief … I was more like an architect, creating and designing my very own world, the way I see and feel. Humans are important part of this, so I’m very happy that unintentionally I found a way to include them in this sphere.
The images I created remind me the work of Cezanne … bright and juicy colours … rich orange and yellow shades … and light … so much light …
I spent almost two months in Tuscany during the summer but it is nothing compared to this glorious autumn.
In August I was struggling to create as I was suffering from the heat so much. Even just carrying my camera around felt like a huge effort. I had to realise that the climate in autumn is just perfect for my creative flow. The mornings and the evenings are fresh and crisp, but during the days it still gets warm with the temperature around 20-22 degrees Celsius. The gorgeous colours and light are the icing on the cake. They truly are out of this world …
I always say that I am a citizen of the World, but Lucca really feels like home.
I am not exactly sure what it is that makes me feel this way … In September 2020, I was fortunate enough to travel Tuscany for two weeks. I visited beautiful cities and many picturesque little towns, but being in Lucca wasn’t just about a visit. Even though I have never been there before I felt content and grounded there, and I knew, one way or another I have to return.
I cannot wait to be back in this wonderful place, where even the most ordinary subject turns into extraordinary, and magic sparks up in such unexpected spaces, like in a home decor store ….
I hope you enjoyed this colourful and light flooded trip to my ‘home at heart’. If you have any questions about freelensing, Lensbaby products or you need guidance on your photography journey, I am offering one to one creative mentoring via Zoom. I hope to hear from you soon, but until then, wishing you all a wonderful weekend 🕊️