The Azure Window, Gozo, Malta

The Azure Window (is Gone)

Update: On March 8th, 2017, after days on which the coast of Malta has been battered by strong winds and high waves, the Azure Window has collapsed and it’s gone forever. The photo below remains my first and last of this magnificent natural monument. We sometimes think that “postcard” shots of popular locations are best avoided, but this event reminds me that the postcard shot might be our only lasting memory of such places, so they are always worth taking.

This rather amazing rock arch, known as The Azure Window, can be found on the Western coast of the island of Gozo, in the Maltese archipelago. Fans of Game of Thrones will probably recognize the location of the wedding of Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo.

Even though it was close to sunset, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the light was still very bright on this summer afternoon, so I used a combination of a 10-stop and a 3-stop ND filter to slow down the shutter and smooth the surface of the sea. My aim was to make the rough texture of the rocks stand out against the smooth sea and sky and give the image more of a tridimensional feeling than would have been possible if everything had been textured.

Conversion to black-and-white was also instrumental in making the image all about shapes and textures and not about the colors. Some localized dodging and burning was also employed to make some areas stand out even more.

The Azure Window, Gozo, Malta

The Azure Window, Gozo, Malta

Equipment used: Nikon D90, Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX.

Exposure data: 213s at f/8, ISO 200.

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