Monthly Archives: November 2018

Rotunda of Mosta

Here’s another fisheye lens view of the interior of the Rotunda of Mosta—where the bomb fell through during WWII without detonating, or harming the assembled congregation!

Rotunda of Mosta via Fisheye © Harold Davis

Posted in Malta

Mosta Dome

This is the interior of the dome in the church located in Mosta, Malta. I photographed it with a circular fisheye lens, specifically the Nikkor 8-15mm at the roundest and widest 8mm setting. This is a specialty lens I don’t use much, but the interior of this gigantic dome seemed an appropriate subject.

Mosta Dome © Harold Davis

More formally, the Mosta Dome, also known as the “Rotunda of Mosta,” is the Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, a Catholic parish church. It was built in the mid-1800s, and patterned after the Pantheon in Rome. It is certainly a large dome: According to the church pamphlet, “At one time, the dome was the third largest in the world.”

During World War II, the Luftwaffe dropped a large bomb on the top of Mosta Dome, which descended into the rotunda where three hundred congregants were waiting for an early mass. The bomb didn’t explode, it wan defused and dumped into the sea, and no one was hurt. Obviously, this was regarded as miraculous, perhaps with more reason than many putative miracles.

If large domes float your boat as much as they do mine, check out the Duomo di Pavia, designed in part by Leonardo!

Posted in Malta, Photography

Time Machine

I asked one of the participants in this year’s Malta workshop what he wanted to get out of the workshop, and after a thoughtful response he turned it around on me, and asked what I wanted to get. I mentally sat on this question a while, and then this morning realized that I wanted to make some interpretive images of the Maltese architecture. Last year, when I was here at the invitation of the Malta Photographic Society, I did fairly literal imagery of Valletta—and now it was time to make some images that used (and implied) the mood and history, past, present and future. So I went out with my camera and tripod to capture some off-beat Valletta moodiness.

Time Machine © Harold Davis

Both these images are single, in-camera long exposures, with both focus and focal-length (zoom) manipulated during exposure. The camera was, of course, on a tripod. Exposure duration was twenty seconds. To accomplish this during daylight hours, I used a #4 neutral density filter.

Deconstructing Valletta © Harold Davis

Posted in Abstractions, Malta, Photography

Wandering in Valletta

Today I wandered in Valletta, Malta. This is a wonderful and extraordinary place to wander with layer upon layer of things to look at and photograph. The whole capital city of Malta is built out on a fortified peninsula that goes up and down, and never stays at one height. Ancient, old, and new cohabitate in a delirious fashion, and the architecture presents fanciful details. Meanwhile, Republic Street, the central thoroughfare in Valletta, is closed to traffic and throngs come evening with peaceful partying like it is still 1999 and New Year’s Eve.

Saint Ursula Street, Old Valletta © Harold Davis

Wandering Valletta, I found the door knocker shown below on the entrance to a medical doctor’s consulting room. I don’t know about you, but if it were me this might make me think twice before entering for a consult with this physician.

Door Knocker © Harold Davis

Posted in Malta

Goodbye Paris

It is with some degree of melancholy that I say goodbye to Paris for this time, as I have “sailed” to warmer climes. The Maltese Islands are a different universe, and I write from my desk overlooking the ramparts of Valletta. But for now one last look over my shoulder at Paris Paris.

Paris Paris © Harold Davis

Posted in Paris