During this workshop Gilbert Vancell will take you to ‘Ras il-Waħx’ which has a beautiful landscape of boulders and wild plants that can be photographed against a backdrop of the night sky. This is also the best spot in Majjistral Park to shoot the Milky Way as early as 9pm when astronomical twilight ends.
You will need to be adventurous! To reach this spot, we have to walk across clay slopes and rocky terrain, which requires some light bouldering. Getting used to hiking trails is an essential part of landscape astrophotography, and why not do it in the company of an experienced hiker!
We will have 2 sessions as follows:
SESSION 1 — Field Session — Friday 30 August
We will leave at 8pm sharp so please be at the centre by 7.30pm for registration.
After a twilight hike through Majjistral Park’s coastal landscape, Gilbert will show you how to set up for landscape astrophotography shots, how to focus at night, ideal exposure times (to avoid trailing) and light painting techniques. The time of 3 hours will be used well to choose your subject/s and practice. At 11pm we will make our way back to the Visitors Centre.
SESSION 2 — Post Processing — Day and time will be decided during Session 1
During this session Gilbert will show you how to process Milky Way shots in Adobe Lightroom and PhotoShop with the help of masking and target adjustment layers.Plugins and external software are used for stacking multiple images to increase sky detail. Other techniques will be discussed including creating star trails and how to capture and process them.
*Meeting point for both sessions - Majjistral Park Visitors Centre
*Fee - €50
*Booking - please send an email to [email protected]
*The maximum number of people will be 10 due to delicate ecosystems in the area
*The workshop requires a basic knowledge of photography
All proceeds from this workshop will be shared equally between Gilbert Vancell and Majjistral Park since the collaboration is an initiative by Gilbert Vancell to support and promote Malta’s National Nature Park.
What you need:
• Headlamp with red light*
• Trekking boots- these would be ideal but trainers with a good sole will do
• Long trousers (vegetation can be quite harsh on the legs)
• Trekking poles (not a must but these help with balance when going up or down a slope)
• Wide angle lens – 14 to 35mm – with a maximum aperture of f2.8 or less
• DSLR that can handle ISO3200 with minimal noise
• Remote release or intervalometer
• Speedlight / flash gun or extra torch for light painting
*Red light helps you keep your night vision when changing settings on your camera once your eyes adapt to the low light. This is less stressful to the eye and will not disturb the other participants.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Gilbert Vancell has more than 6 years experience in shooting the Milky Way, taking the Landscape Astrophotography style in Malta to the next level with his collection and ongoing project ‘StarScapes of Malta’.
One of his favourite images is his astro panorama of the Milky Way over the Azure Window shot back in 2015.
He is a passionate hiker and traveller, always looking for new landscape and natural wonders to shoot against the night sky. Gilbert started hiking around Malta in 2009 and was amazed by the pristine coastline and valleys that he discovered in his own country. Combining his passion for the outdoors with photography, Gilbert wants to create awareness and respect for our natural heritage by sharing its magic through his vision. He also supports Majjistral Park through the sales of fine art prints of his photographic collections.
Photo Credit: Gilbert Vancell