A visit home would not be complete if I didn’t stop by my favourite site on the planet: The Azure Window of Dwejra in Gozo. To me, this place is as close to magical as anything can get.
Now, I am sure that many who look at this image will find it nearly too surreal to believe. There is warm light from a setting sun, stars visible in the sky (you need to enlarge the image to see them) and detail visible even underwater. At this point some might raise an eyebrow or two and surmise that the image’s surreal look must be due to editing, or as it has become known these days, “Photoshopping”. Well, actually not. Before you proceed to read the rest of this blog post, have a think; try and guess how this picture could have been taken without it being a composite of many different pictures. When you think you’ve got it, read the next paragraph.
Ok, so here’s the answer. First of all, it is a single frame, not a composite. It is a single picture taken at twilight (i.e. a few minutes after the sun has set). The picture is a long exposure; this smoothened the sea surface and allowed me to record the stars in the sky. It also allowed me to obtain underwater detail. At the time the picture was taken, the warm twilight colours had faded more than this picture would suggest. In fact, in reality the warm hues (as visible in this picture) were only visible a few good minutes before this picture was snapped. It was actually very dark when the picture was taken. But employing a long exposure helped to ooze colour out of the sky. At this point you might rightly ask: where are some of the contrasty shadows on the rocks coming from? That’s my favourite bit! Additional lighting was provided by a nearly full moon. Now that’s neat, isn’t it? 🙂 And that’s it folks. That’s all the fun about taking pictures: spending a lot of time until all the elements are present to create something different… something that looks magical.