Remembering Our Maltese Summer Months

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We recently came across an interesting clip by Kevin Sciberras who embarked on a filming project using a Nikon d5100 and which shows various parts of the Maltese Islands. The fascinating tilt shift effect was brought about post production.

Seeing that summer is now over, it’s just great to remember all the good times we’ve had over the past few months. Droves of foreign visitors fly from across the world to enjoy what the islands have to offer whilst those of us who live here try our best to make the most of the laid back lifestyle of the summer months.

Since summer is a busy time for me, I unfortunately don’t make it down to the beach often enough. When I do manage to get there, it is all the more enjoyable. There are also so many events on, some social, some cultural, even during the working week, so I somehow get used to surviving on barely enough sleep.

So, by the time October comes along, I am actually looking forward to some more ‘me’ time. I also start turning to all those books which have been left unread for the past few months. And yet, this clip made me remember why I love the summer months on our islands except for those horribly humid days.

I am certainly no expert in photography but after speaking to a few photography hobbyists and carrying out a little research of my own, it seems that a tilt shift lens can produce some interesting effects. So, let’s start with a normal lens which has a flat focusing field meaning that if you focus on a subject that is two metres away, everything on that plane of two metres will also be in focus. A tilt lens offers the photographer selective focus which brings about the miniature effect.

This technique is also great when it comes to controlling perspective which is important for such things as architectural photography. With a normal lens, the walls and upright structures tend to look as if they are at awkward angles. Some of this effect can be adjusted using specialised software but a tilt lens reduces that effect quite substantially. Tilt-shift lenses actually involves two movements, the rotation or ‘tilt’ of the lens plane as well as the movement or ‘shift’ of the lens parallel to the image plane but it’s all getting a bit too technical for me so I’ll leave it at that.

The photographer presented some beautiful Maltese scenes in a very creative way. Crowds of people are seemingly ‘scurrying’ along Malta’s hotspots. There are also those who have managed to get away from it all and take a boat trip either in a traditional fishing boat, known as the dghajsa, or on a beautiful yacht. While many thrive on the frenetic activity of the most popular areas, others prefer to find a secluded spot for a quiet swim or for some fishing.

This juxtaposition of old and new also extends to the buildings in the clip, from the traditional cathedral in Gozo to the more modern building blocks and highways that are to be found right across the islands.

For comparison purposes, I’ve also attached another clip using the tilt-shift technique, this time of New York. While there are some similarities between the two clips, the differences are so much more obvious.

Kevin Sciberras has really managed to sum up all that is beautiful about our Maltese summers. From his clip, we can really appreciate how beautiful Malta actually is, from the bright crystal clear sea to the colourful fields and the honey coloured stone of many of our buildings.

I, for one, particularly love staying on the beach late to watch the sun set over the horizon.

New York: