“IL MARE D’INVERNO”: Discover the spirit of the beach with a vintage soul attitude
I just had to look for the right location to make my old X-Pro1 and the cheap 55mm F1.4 lens by 7Artisans communicate.
The opportunity: a day in Cervia while waiting for the première of the short film “La rinascita di Eva” (www.youtube.com/watch) that I directed with friend and creative designer Federico Ramponi.
The warm and sunny day helped my project. Even more decisive, if I have to be honest, was the ductility of the 7Artisans 55mm F1.4 lens. I had already shot with this cheap lens with an X-H1 and I was amazed by the photographic rendering and grain of the frames.
At live concerts in little venues, I had obtained a nice cinema effect. The cinematic mood is enhanced even more by mounting the Chinese lens on the old X-Pro1: the first shots on the beach of Pinarella, Cervia, sparked a fantasy halfway between Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini.
The extreme handling of the lens and the fluidity of its dials have definitively opened the soul of the X-Pro1 to me, leaving me suspended in a “photographic time” out of “real-time”. Only the noisy shutter mechanism of the camera brought me back between the hands of the clock.
Old lovely times… When as a kid, I shot at random with my father’s film camera while the voice of Italian singer Loredana Berté rose from the radio speakers singing the hit “Il mare d’inverno” written by Enrico Ruggeri.
With this combo – X-Pro1 + 7Artisans 55mm f1.4 – I started to explore the sensations that the sea during the winter season was giving me, trying to visually give back the feeling that was being born, footprint after footprint in the sand. Like the footprints, the frames were swept away by the breeze to make room for new discoveries.
The few human (and canine) presences on the broad beach guided me in search of architectural lines, silhouettes of boats and horizons on which to build a solitary but at the same time inclusive narrative: the silent beach targeted in my viewfinder could have been a paradise for someone else, a sort of Eden or Heaven away from the troubles of everyday life. The beach gave off a sense of calm. While I was shooting I was trying to guess the soul of the sea, the true soul of the sea – that of the sea in wintertime.
That song’s lyrics, “Il mare d’inverno/È un concetto che il pensiero non considera/È poco moderno/È qualcosa che nessuno mai desidera/Alberghi chiusi/Manifesti già sbiaditi di pubblicità/Macchine tracciano solchi su strade…” ring in my head.
In their moment of least beauty, the sea and the beach can give their soul to the photographer. The shots recorded in Pinarella were so vivid and sincere that I thought I had a film roll in camera. And it was the vintage technology of the X-Pro1, a technology “with a soul”, that opened a communication channel with the place I was exploring. More soul was infused in the shots by the incredible physicality of the 7Artsians lens that has nothing to envy to its most famous Fujinon sisters.
“Cold calm sea whitening whispering to the shore, stealing, hastening, swelling, passing, dying, from naught come, to naught gone”… I don’t know if I found the same “cold calm sea” described by later Samuel Beckett in “Watt”… The spirit of the sea brought me to this place… The soul of the X-Pro1 “managed” to capture part of the magic of the winter season on the shoreline before the gentle waves took it all away…
Matteo Ceschi – Milanese street photographer, essayist and journalist, writes for several magazines and has exhibited his shots in various locations. He is a member of f50/The International Photography Collective. His latest projects were in collaboration with English photographer John Meehan, founding member of the f/50 Collective, and with Italian fashion brand Lucio Costa. His latest exhibition “Ko.existence” (with the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Bosnia Herzegovina) was in collaboration with photographer Jim Marshall at Public Room Evergreen gallery in Sarajevo.