the walk

Yesterday Paola and I made the 27km journey on foot from Le Caselle (Pietrafitta) to Sora and the childhood home of Vittorio de Sica.  We started out at 5am, before sunrise, both to avoid the midday heat, and so that I could record the change in light along the way.


Using Fischinger’s technique of frame by frame shooting, I took individual photographs along the way, sometimes in briefer sets of 2 or 3 frames, sometimes longer segments of up to 15 or 17.  As in Fischinger’s original film Walking from Berlin to Munich (1927), this makes for very speedy motion through the landscape and figures within it.  Walking also has natural exposure changes, sudden flares and plunges into blackness, that I hope to incorporate into my final document.


After about 20km of walking, and thanks to Paola’s careful planning, we were able to stop at her sister Rita’s home in Broccostella just as the heat was becoming intense.  We had a rest and lunch there, then sat a local bar to sit out a quick thundershower before continuing on our path and reaching De Sica’s home at approximately 5pm.


In terms of the imagery captured, the one predictable contrast between Fischinger’s document and mine—apart from his obvious superior handling of the frame—is the relative dearth of people within it.  Even so, there were more than I’d originally expected, and cyclists were particularly numerous along the route.


I was also keeping an eye out for frames from which to construct my planned series of collages once I return to Canada. Below are some photos from the walk, and around Le Caselle and nearby villages in the valley that may be used in collage work when I return.  I’ve also included an example of a collage completed a few years ago using the same technique—of reconstructing the shapes, colours, and tones of a photographic image using non-photographic material (in this case coloured paper).


The walking journey was pure fun.  A hugely varied landscape, the dramatic changes in light, and the variety of structures made it difficult to decide what to capture and what not to.  By the time we reached the bar around the corner from De Sica’s house we were exhausted, and when Paola explained to the barman what we had been doing, he and a group of locals surrounded us with food, drink, and questions, which was perfect.