Dancing on Air

The Unpredictable Nature of Movement in Jumping Photography Study

Lithuanian-born photographer Tomas Januska photographed dancers from companies like Rambert and English National Ballet, as well as non-professional, ordinary people, in that split moment between hurling themselves into the air, and falling back down to the ground.

‘It’s possible to argue that the style of my work is minimalistic as it concentrates on one major idea throughout,’ Tomas comented. His project, partly inspired by American photographer Philippe Halsman’s  ‘Jump book’, conveys his fascination with movement, life and freedom, of which he laments that people are missing out on.

‘One of the main ideas that inspired the birth of this series is the passiveness of modern life,’ he told us. ‘Since I photograph many professionals that are involved in extreme sports, it has made me see the effect of activeness on the quality of a person’s life.’

Each of his subjects jumped between 150 and 600 times per session. He photographed them using a simple one or two flash setup and spent seven months working on the series, entitled Gravity. His previous works includes studies of skateboarders, surfers and paddle-boarders.

We asked Tomas a little more about his work:

The Plus: What do you want people to feel from looking at these photographs?

Tomas Januska: I want them to feel a sense of freedom and space whilst looking at it, and to feel positive emotions like the people in my photographs. I would also expect them to want to jump in the air for about 5 minutes just like my models. Muscles are there for people to use, so I would like them to want to move physically, and to feel the sense of freedom, getting away from daily routine of life for some time.

TP: How did you take these photographs?

TJ: I personally am in favour of photographing in the simplest way, usually using only one light source. This series was photographed in a studio and I used a Nikon D800E camera and a studio flash.

TP: Do have any exciting projects planned for the future?

TJ: I’ve been working with extreme sports professionals for a year now, and there is a growing idea for a new series. Also a friend and I are trying to run our photo and video production company, Digitoast Production.