The Azores. I am incorrigibly attracted to remote places and this is what led me to explore an archipelago lost in the Atlantic Ocean. Flores and Corvo are the most westerly islands in this group and the only ones that belong to the American continent. They are volcanic islands, covered with dense, vibrant green vegetation. They recall an earthly paradise, a sort of Eden, so distant from the civilized world we are all familiar with.
The aim of Açores, the Midpoint is to illustrate these landscapes in an entirely original manner. The time–lapse technique makes it possible to convey the perception of unstoppable motion and the relentless vivacity of all natural elements.
The entire project has been included in a website that brings together photographs, videos and written work.
It took nearly 24 hours with two stopovers to reach the archipelago, where our propeller plane, skimming the surface of the water, finally made an acrobatic landing.
We took a laptop, a hard disk and a couple of reflex cameras, as well as half a dozen lenses, tripods, a self-made motorized slider and several camera filters and accessories.
During our twelve–day stay on the islands we moved around by car and on foot, taking advantage of the most favourable daylight hours to work. We came home with time-lapse sequences, each made up of thousands of shots, and quite a number of reportage photographs that portray not only the different locations, but also people, animals and objects.
The time-lapse technique consists of shooting single photographs at regular intervals. These pictures are then arranged in sequence, as if they were video frames. Since 25 to 30 frames will fit into a single second, it was possible to condense 100 photographs into every four–second interval.
This technique allows strict constraints, such as the long time needed to obtain a sequence and the large amount of data that has to be processed, to be turned into opportunities. The result of taking many photographs over an extended period of time is the classic speeded–up time–lapse effect, which allows the observer to perceive the slightest movements, like stars deceptively rotating above our heads, clouds shifting, or even shadows moving on surfaces.
At the same time, in contrast to video production, it is easier during the post production phase to work freely on each frame.
The website, with its scroll–down design, divides the project into chapters: first of all a brief introduction, and then a time–lapse video and finally the photographic reportage.