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Yesterday I woke up at 4 am once again. It has become an annoying routine that I really wish I could break. During the week it’s obviously worse as I can’t just hang around at the office but need to work, which is a drag after a sleep-deprived night…
Well, yesterday was Saturday so instead of twisting and turning and trying to get back to sleep I got up and made myself a coffee. A glimpse outside the bedroom window revealed thick fog patches and then it didn’t take me long to get dressed and go out with my camera!
As we all know, life definitely is a bitch sometimes, and yesterday was ‘sometimes’. I headed for the harbour as I’ve wanted for ages to catch one of those shots of Comino, Cominotto and Malta sticking out of fog banks, with the sea hidden beneath white cotton. But the fog apparently had other ideas about the perfect location – and the harbour was not it.
I had no idea which way to turn (I later learnt I should have headed for Ramla/Xaghra), so I decided to stick it out on the eastern part of the island. The results weren’t what I intended, but they still turned out ok I think.
Posted on July 18, 2010. 2 comments
I went back to work last Monday as planned and had some better days, and some worse. The heat hasn’t been helping at all – upon coming home I usually find the nearest horizontal area and collapse in a steaming heap, with nothing further from my mind than blogging about the photography course!
Well, a week ago today we met up late afternoon for a change, and the photo shoot took place at sunset. At first I was a bit miffed when I’d read about the chosen location – Dwejra. I’ve been down there so many times that I should be made a honorary something of Dwejra!! But I hadn’t known that it would be a sunset shoot much different to the ones I’d undertaken before. I loved it – except for the mosquitoes that attacked us like kamikaze bombers…
Model: Francesca Caruana
Our tutor, Kevin Casha, took photos with lighting… While I’m happy with my silhouettes, his pics make me green with envy!!
So on Saturday we all met up again at the Citadel for another lecture. The subject was composition, which wasn’t really that important for me. But the photo-shoot that followed definitely was: once again in the glaring midday sun, we got the opportunity to shoot away at a ‘real-life’ model! As you’ll have gathered from the growing collection of my photos, I’m heavily biased towards landscapes and animals. Where people come into play, I’m happy to shoot musicians at live gigs, but people aren’t usually my favourite subjects. For some strange reason, I’m lacking some kind of confidence, even feel awkward.
I’m quite happy with the outcome of our model session. The model is Tiziana Vella; I had seen other photos of her before, and if I’m honest I hadn’t particularly liked them. Now, I’m in no way insinuating that my photos are better. I didn’t do much more than taking advantage of Kevin Casha guiding the model, and then just shooting. Which was an eye-opener in the sense that I hadn’t thought about how important the photographer’s respect for the model is – and of course the ability to get the best out her/him. And Kevin is good at that! I doubt I would have gotten the same results if I’d had to do it alone…
Next Saturday there’s more good stuff to come; I’m really glad I had the opportunity to ‘slip in’ as participant when the course had been already fully booked! It has already been worth the money I spent on it. And apart from the main part, learning photography stuff, we are also a great mixed group that I look forward to meeting every weekend!
Finally, here are a few more shots I took “on the side”:
Posted on June 29, 2010. 3 comments
Yesterday was Day 1 of Kevin Casha’s “Fast Track to Photography” course. Woke up at my customary time of 5 am to very sunny, very windy weather. Trying to think positive, I found there’s actually an advantage to waking up too early: it gives me time to get going and let the Solpadeine take effect!
A theoretic lesson of almost 3 hours about aperture, shutter speeds and ISO preceded the photo-shoot – some twenty people besieged St George’s Square with their Can(n)ons (majority) and Nikons, with the mission to catch “Street Life” as well as portraits of each other. Rather conveniently a Fiat 500 gathering from Sicily took place at the same time.
As any photographer knows, noon is about the worst time of the day you could choose for a photo-shoot (especially in this sun-blessed country!!). It doesn’t only mess with the colours, but also your head!! I was a bit disappointed by how many shots turned out, but the overall outcome of day 1 was ok. It was the first time I consciously shot in full manual mode, and actually knew what I was doing LOL!
Here are the pics I deem the better ones – out of over a hundred shots I took…
(PS – There are also some great photos over at George Saguna’s blog!)
Posted on June 20, 2010. 1 comment
No news… (not to be mistaken for good news!)
Having prescribed myself 2 days of computer abstinence didn’t do zilch to help my condition, it only ran me deeper into depression as I started fiddling with the facebook application on my iPhone, which isn’t really all that useful, refusing to give me much more than bloody farm crap and not leaving space for “real” updates by my friends. Oh well…
Yesterday I mostly let a normal weekend routine run its course, going to Victoria in the morning for some errands and shopping, even taking a quick detour to snap a couple of pictures down at Mgarr Harbour. This photo is really rather nonsensical. Why would one want to take a long exposure in broad daylight for a panoramic shot as this one! But I just wanted to see what difference stacking the ND400 and a polarizing filter made. Well, it gave me a couple of seconds more exposure time but also some vignetting. At least I also obtained a little gimmick on the side: the Gozo ferry speeding crazily out of the harbour…
Mgarr Harbour, Gozo, Malta (click to enlarge)
Hubby and I had even made plans for the evening, to go out for a pizza (to hell with the cholesterol!!), but by afternoon the pain got just as bad as usual, and I ended up in bed. Tomorrow being a public holiday, I tried something different today: I took a proper rest, staying in bed, and bravely refusing myself any painkillers – that courage lasted until 2 pm. Normally the Solpadeine’s effect lasts for 7 hours, but now, barely 5 hours since I took them, it’s wearing off already. I’m pretty scared of that stuff…
So, not much news to tell you, except that on Tuesday evening I have that long-awaited physiotherapy appointment and I so hope it’ll do the trick. To be totally honest, I can’t get myself to believe in it. But who knows, maybe I’ll be in for a pleasant surprise for a change! *crossing fingers & toes*
When we went to Malta a couple of weeks ago, I took these photos upon leaving Gozo. I didn’t want to add them to the post with my Malta pics; then I forgot about them and in the end things happened that reduced my computer time drastically.
So this is Mgarr Harbour, the place you’ll see first when you come to Gozo – and last, when leaving the island…
Posted on May 23, 2010. 1 comment
So that crippling headache of mine is becoming an epic bore of sorts. I’m not totally incapacitated, though slowly but surely I’m kind of losing it. I can’t concentrate and sometimes I just feel like throwing things at walls in my frustration! The tranquilliser course was fine for sleeping at night (too good, actually), but nothing else. Not only didn’t it keep my mind off my headache, but on the other hand it succeeded in taking my mind off pretty much everything else. Not a very satisfying state of mind, I can tell ya!
A few days ago the Kempinski’s Ayurveda centre very kindly took me in and I received two head massages and a truly relaxing shirodhara, but both times the effect didn’t last for more than half an hour. Thanks to my bosses and Dr Reshmi, by the way!! A bigger thank you even to Tanja, who’s offered to take over my MOD shift tomorrow, which means I’m now on leave until the 17th May. I’m so hoping that all this is really just stress-related because if it’s not I don’t know if I’ll be able to cope with what might be in store for me…
’nuff of that stuff. This weekend there’s the Valletta Grand Prix in Malta, which I sadly won’t attend. BUT last Wednesday many of the classic/historic cars crossed over to Gozo, and I had made sure to take that day off for some photo-snapping…
It was fun, but after Marsalforn I left the group as it was just becoming too hot and tiring. At least I had a different subject for my photography, for a change. I am getting a little bored with the rocks and the sea…
Posted on May 8, 2010. 3 comments
Note: Title is borrowed from lyrics of “Clouds” by Bread – it just seemed fitting.
Yesterday and Friday were rather cloudy, not in the sense of a thick grey mass (such as today’s!), but the more dramatic kind, which I’m so fond of!
I spent most of Saturday indoors, trying to relax and force my stupid headache into submission (which seems mission impossible and starts worrying me, by the way!). In the afternoon I noticed we’d be running out of cat food by today, so I had to go out to get it from Victoria. Though I grumbled a little, I made the best of it… I took my camera with me and drove around a little in search for suitable subjects to match the beautiful celestial background!
This is the pretty church of Santa Lucija, just a kilometre or so from Victoria.
From there I proceeded to Dwejra, but the views down at the Azure Window were not what I expected. From higher up it was a different story though!
From there I headed back home and discovered that sometimes you don’t really have to venture far for a nice shot: Gharb’s parish church is just a stone’s throw from our house… (the time showing on the clock is wrong – it actually was after 6 pm!)
Finally, this one I actually took on Friday, for Renzo‘s blog post on Discover Gozo. The chapel at Ta’ Hamet (between Xaghra and Xewkija) was built as a gesture of thanksgiving for Gozo’s victory over Napoleon’s forces. What, you didn’t know that part of Gozo’s glorious past yet? Then I suggest you hurry over to the blog, where the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz shows and tells a lot of interesting snippets about our island!
I’ve got more pics to show of this weekend, but they are completely different from these cloudy shots, so they merit their own post – coming soon!
Posted on April 25, 2010. 3 comments
I meant to grumble about it but suddenly I’m not bothered any more. Whether tonight’s power cut is nationwide or “only” widespread, who gives a f*ck. Suffice it to say, it’s getting old. And on my nerves.
We were in Victoria to watch the procession at the time of the blackout at 7.35 pm, and the photo under this post was taken right before the lights went out. Right now we’re still without electricity, so I won’t be able to edit any pics. Funny thing: the last time we enjoyed this kind of forced preservation of energy (less than 2 weeks ago!) I was also editing photos…
Astra Theatre decorated for Good Friday - before the power cut...
Posted on April 2, 2010. 4 comments
Ever so slowly I’m wading through hundreds of photos I took in the past few days. The power-cut on Monday afternoon, that blacked out the entire country, certainly didn’t help matters!! Here’s a small handful of pics I took in Xlendi, when a group of jet-ski enthusiasts took advantage of the wonderful spring day. I was especially grateful for the luzzu entering the little harbour just in time to get its photo snapped. This is the favourite view of my favourite bay, by the way, when the sun reflects in millions of sparkling stars… It’s just plain beautiful!