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Matinee: 'The Faroe Islands With Marc Chesnau' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

30 March 2019

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 195th in our series of Saturday matinees today: The Faroe Islands With Marc Chesnau.

This nearly five-minute film by Gwenael and Johan Michaud (brothers who go by the name Les Michaud or The Michauds) accompanies the photographer Marc Chesnau as he explores the Faroe Islands archipelago in the North Atlantic. And it starts with Chesnau grabbing his gear from the trunk of the car.

When we heard the zipper opening his bag, we knew we were in for an adventure. He mounts a lens on his Fujifilm X-T2 as he begins to tell his story.

Wind-sculpted hills dusted in snow are carved by waterfalls and separated by rivers that lead to the sea.

He talks about discovering the Faroe Islands by accident and not being able to get them out of his mind. So six months later he returned. And he wasn't disappointed.

Neither were we as the video shows us what he saw.

It's a mesmerizing place. Wind-sculpted hills dusted in snow are carved by waterfalls and separated by rivers that lead to the sea.

We nearly fell out of our chair watching the camera peer over a ledge. We have to warn you the views are often dizzyingly dramatic.

But they are always spectacular.

For the most part, the video is live action with Chesnau narrating. But now and then, his stills take over the frame. You can see more of them from the Faroe Islands (just scroll down a bit) on his Web site. He has also published a book of them titled Faroe Islands.

On his site, he says of them:

Need to warm your soul? Need a place where you can flirt with the angels of loneliness? Drop into the depths of the North Atlantic.

From the top of the cliffs, we catch ourselves gliding. The blurred view, the emptiness inevitably takes our hand. Just a jump to compensate for this persistent emptiness, like the desire to be filled with delight.

No more fighting, breathing without limits, feeling nothing, biting into the essential. A sense of existing more intense here than elsewhere. Remain motionless, listen to yourself live, merge into the present, widen the silences.

Extreme compensation.

About halfway through, just as he talks about getting up before dawn and staying out past sunset, his legs tired, his back burning, he tell us the pleasure he has picking one image to edit in the evening.

Editing an image is his reward for the hard work of the day looking for something to photograph.

It may explain what he means when he writes, "You can only see well with the lens, the essential is invisible to the eyes."


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