Hero photograph
A frame from Lukas's film 
Photo by www.lukas-gawenda.de

Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing)

Wild Dunedin —

Lukas Gawenda, already an acclaimed photographer as "Germany's best youth photographer 2013″ and having his pictures published by National Geographic and GEO, left Germany for New Zealand to join the film making course at Otago University's Centre for Science Communication. For this 5 minute film Lukas chose the slow cinema genre with no dialogue or voice over, just music, sound and images. This serves the film's story on Forest Bathing really well.

Shinrin-Yoku – literally, forest bathing – is the mindful absorption/observation/appreciation of the forest atmosphere through all our senses (smell, sight, hearing, taste, touch): a process intended to improve the state of mental and physical relaxation – a simple and effective technique and philosophy to recover from modern-day "technostress" by connecting with nature instead with our phones. 

Click on the image below to view the film:

Shinrin-Yoku [forest bathing] Lukas Gawenda

We asked Lukas about the filming...

"I had the impression during the filming that we completely lost the feeling of time. And I truly appreciate the scenes and everything flowed together in such a natural way. Of course, I had a shooting script, a storyboard and pictures in my head. But on the day of shooting I went for a "walk" in the garden with Alba, we spontaneously discovered the filming locations.  Basically, the whole film was produced on one weekend (one day nature scenes, one day city scenes)." Lukas Gawenda

"This film relies on the significant power of an opulent, poetic visual language, which forms the primary focus for the viewer in combination with an atmospheric, finely chiseled soundscape (without dialogue or narration)." Lukas Gawenda — Image by: Lukas Gwenda

"As a cameraman I love to think, see and tell stories in pictures ;-)
On the other hand, Slow Cinema is a different, peculiar way of telling stories - which stands in clear contrast to the fast moving developments of our modern times and maybe that's why it has potential in my eyes.
And exactly this contrast I wanted to show - between the two worlds in which we live and which we can choose to live."  Lukas

Find out more about Lukas Gawenda (www.lukas-gawenda.de):
His latest documentary "Disconnect to Reconnect" (about smartphone addiction) will screen at the Scout Film Festival in Boston, Massachusetts.