MEET A PRO
Chasing new wide horizons at the end of the world
We should not deny that a nomadic lifestyle has always filled us with joy.
In our mind, it is associated with escape from history, oppression, law and mundane coercion, to absolute freedom.
And the road always leads to the North.
All of the photos are shot with 12mm F2.8 ED AS NCS FISH-EYE
I was born and raised in Florence.
In my 20s, I worked in the fashion industry for about 13 years.
Then in 2011, I left that business for a little break but never went back.
Since then, I have been in various countries traveling all over the world in search of my freedom, building a portfolio of travel photographs at the end of the world.
My life has always been a succession of changes: after working for more than a decade in front of the camera, I now find myself on the opposite side, in close contact with
people's emotions and in a more "spiritual", deep emotional side of the thing. Dealing with travel photography is one of the most difficult jobs: everyone is good at taking
a postcard, very few are able to communicate something deep and important through an image. Photography is an art - indeed it is more than an art, it is the phenomenon in
which the artist collaborates with the sun or with the lights of the stars. Photography is a difficult job that draws on the deepest soul of the person.
My mission is to make people understand how small human beings are compared to
the Universe and otherworldly nature that surrounds it.
In my photos, you can always find tiny and anonymous human forms in vast empty spaces, to emphasise what a small place human beings occupy on this planet compared to the
infinite greatness of nature. Each person influences another and this goes on, and the world is full of stories, which in reality are always the same, just like mine.
When I look back at my life, it’s like my future was already precisely sketched out: when I was a little girl, I loved the world, the sky and the mountains.
I desperately wanted to see the North Pole, Africa and South America but my family was not used to traveling, both because they could not afford airplane tickets and because they were not the kind of people who loved to travel. I remember that every night before going to bed I spent hours looking at the world map and with my fingers, tracing the paths that I would like to walk when I grew up. My parents tried to convince me that those were only dreams and my future had to be that of a "common person". But I never felt like this. We are all born with a precise blueprint for our future: always believe in your dreams, even if it means doing it alone against everyone's opinions. Find what makes you happy. Find your place in the Universe.
It's just a matter of different points of view and perspectives: like kites that think the earth is attached to a wire.
Our image of the world is incomplete in a truly anomalous way. We see only what we want to see. But a small change of perspective is enough to see the codes of the world in a different light.
The best thing about photography? It can totally change your point of view in life.
One of my favorite places on Earth is North Cape: “the end of the world”.
The name "North Cape" is due to the English explorer Richard Chancellor who landed there in 1553, during the expedition in search for the "Northeast Passage". He died in a shipwreck trying to open the way for future explorers. The Northeast Passage is a naval route that starts from the North Sea, continues into the Arctic Ocean along the coast of Siberia and, across the Bering Strait, reaches the Pacific Ocean. The first to cover the passage completely was the Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskjöld, who left Gothenburg on 4 July 1878 with the ship Vega. After being blocked by ice for 10 months near the Bering Strait, he succeeded in reaching the port of Yokohama.
It is not conceivable to call oneself a "free spirit" without being able to risk the jump that separates your reality from your dreams. Maybe you won't make it, maybe you can’t escape from time, not even coming at the ends of the world.
But even if your effort is doomed to failure, you have to push yourself and your spirit over there.
Because there are things that cannot be done without reaching the end of the world.
However, the infinite sky always fascinates me and it remains the main subject in my portfolio of photographic images. If I look up at the sky, I can truly see the wonders of a superior and otherworldly world. Each galaxy, star or person is the temporary owner of particles that have passed through births and deaths of entities in space and time. The atoms that make up our body have traveled for millions of years through the Universe; long after we and our planet are gone forever, they will still be part of other worlds and other existences.
We have spent whole centuries searching for a sign of extraterrestrial life forms in the vastness of the Universe, when at the end, those who come from deep space are us.
In my life I have traveled almost all over the world but firmly believe that on Earth there are places that call us with great strength, across the borders of space and time.
We human beings do not yet have the capacity to understand the reason, but even before having been to those places, we know that by following their call, we will find a piece of the story about who we are. There are places on Earth that are never just "those places": without knowing it we have brought them inside our souls for a lifetime and one day, by chance, we get there.
After a career as model, Francesca Dani is now a renowned professional photographer, who focuses on Arctic landscapes and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. She has exhibited in Rome, Paris, New York and London, and led photo-tours in Lapland and Ukraine for several years. Francesca is based in Florence, Italy, but spends around 10 months a year in Lapland. Her pictures outline wide stretches of nature, compared with the smallness of human presence. Her work can be seen on www.francescadani.com