Giacomo Favilla is an Italian photographer and a video maker. Aside from his professional work for famous brands, he also likes to experiment with personal projects, where he explores different topics and expresses his moods.
We let him try the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System, which he used for making an experimental nocturnal video and a very interesting photoshoot. Let's get to know him a bit and see his first impressions of this art lens system for video making and photography.
Hello! Can you tell us a bit about your background in photography and video making?
Hello to you Lomography! I started in a video production studio in Tuscany 14 years ago. Then I moved to London and I worked as a freelance fashion photographer for about two years. The next step was in 2011 when I moved to Milan and opened a studio. I started collaborating with clients such as Google, Heineken, Kartell, and Fendi, for which I’ve been making videos for about four years now. On the side, since 2013 I have also been following an artistic and personal path. These are projects untied from external decisions but born from collaborations and encounters I had with art directors, graphics, and artisans in Italy and abroad. From this, images that are connected to the human face and to the concept of identity come to life. I had the opportunity to exhibit them on many occasions. Recently, I realized with Rossella Farinotti a documentary about contemporary art, which was projected at the PAC in Milan.
How would you describe your style?
Variable, in evolution. Our eyes see and evolve based on our own culture. The more our knowledge, our life experience, personal baggage, and our self-knowledge grow, the more the results we produce change. Still, there is always a minimum common denominator for everything we create: sensibility is always our own, always recognizable even far away in time.
Which were your first impressions upon seeing and holding the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System?
I was immediately impressed by the lightness and size of the optics; they are similar to the ones you mount on 35mm rangefinder cameras. I also like its aesthetic, truly appealing and well-finished.
How does the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System adapt to your artistic needs?
It adapted in a super easy and quick way. I immediately felt like they were mine: they disappear in your hands, allowing you to be more concentrated on what you want to create.
What did you realize?
I made an experimental short movie using the special aperture plates. I shot during the night without a script. There isn’t a clear story, but rather suggestions and sensations. These optics connect you with the deeper and more sensible part of your expression, the one that is more spontaneous and significant, where there are no rules to follow so you can show who you really are. They focus on your instincts, while the rest stays pleasantly.
The photos have been shot in collaboration with the artist Matteo Giuntini. His works have been realized on transparent plexiglass, letting the faces glimpse without unveiling them completely, creating an interesting mixture of the painted message and the expressions of the subject. I wanted to shoot in a decadent location: a place with soul, with many things to tell. Earlier, this place hosted a charity organization, which narrates his story through its crumbling process. I used all the three focal lengths of the Neptune Convertible System: 35mm, 50mm, and 80mm in order to fully take advantage of its creative potential. For the photos, I used my Canon 5d Mk3.
How was your experience with video making using Convertible Art Lens System?
When I make videos I always work with manual focus. I absolutely enjoyed using the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System since the aperture stays always in the same position even when changing the focal length. This is very useful also for those who work with Follow Focus, as otherwise, you will need to re-arrange the elements after changing the lens.
For this video, I used all the three focal lengths and two special aperture plates for shaping the bokeh. I really like this system as it surprisingly combines two characteristics that, for me, are really important: image quality and the compact size, as it is super easy to carry around.
I have been really surprised by its results and the tridimensionality the lens can produce, it's really unexpected. For the video, I used the lens along with my Sony A7sII camera for nighttime shooting and the output is something beyond the technical value. Neptune helps to make things easier and allows you to go straight to the core of what you want to communicate through the visual medium.