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About Martin Agius
Posts by Martin Agius:
The Hilton Malta Exhibition:
It was my first solo exhibition since 2009 but my third overall. It was also my second exhibition held at the Hilton Malta. I decided to hold it at this hotel due to its location and its popularity with both local and foreign patrons. The exposure to the exhibition was remarkable.
Although I have involved myself in many aspects of photography, Architecture was chosen as the main subject of this exhibition. Throughout my travels I have always enjoyed shooting buildings both famous and not so famous. I have always been fascinated by what the architect conjures and what the builders go through to get the monument or abode finished. All photos were produced in monochrome which I find its creative route is extremely artistic.
Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art. Ansel Adams.
As I was born in Malta it is obvious and stands to reason that Valletta is my favourite Capital City in the World. We, the Maltese call it “Il-Belt” (the City).
Valletta was built during the order of Saint John known as Knights Hospitaller. The foundation stone of Valletta was laid by the Grandmaster of the Order, Jean Parisot de la Valette hence the name, on the 28 March 1566.
The architectural soul of the City is Baroque in character, with elements of Neo -Classical , Mannerist and Modern architecture in some areas.
Many palaces and churches adorn the City and history abounds in all streets and corners one sees. This strip of land has two natural harbours, the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett where The Grand Harbour is Malta’s major port.
Valletta’s main church is St. John’s Co-Cathedral which was built between 1573 and 1578. This church is considered as a fine example of Baroque architecture in Malta as well in Europe. The interior is extremely ornate and decorated which is in contrast with the facade. The architect of the church was the Maltese, Glormu Cassar and the interior was mainly decorated by the Calabrian, Mattia Preti.
The official recognition of Valletta as a World Heritage Site happened in 1980 by UNESCO. In October 2012 Valletta was unanimously named European Capital of Culture for 2018. The historical City has a population of around 7000 inhabitants.
‘A city built by gentlemen for gentlemen’ – Benjamin Disraeli
This is Wikipedia’s definition of fine art photography “a high-quality archival photographic prints of pictures that are created to fulfil the creative vision of an individual professional.” It also refers to fine art photography as one and the same to art photography.
While Merriam-Webster describes fine art photography as “art concerned primarily with the creation of beautiful objects”.
So really the subjects for Fine Art Photography can be wide-ranging.
Since the 90’s my own photography has gone from street to stage to sports, from travel to abstracts to macro to architecture. Artistic and creative photography starts with the camera and the lens, and later with the added aid of software editing to further enhance the images.
I endeavour to create fine art photos mainly as an expression of my artistic mind and imaginations. There are some photos which I see before the shot is taken and know how it will end up, but on others more deep thoughts are needed which might take days or weeks to finish. Occasionally a grab or a lucky shot makes a wonderful photo.
I still treasure and miss the time I spent in my own darkroom and the photos produced from that time. There are a few photographers worldwide who still practice the traditional way to produce fine art photography, mainly monochrome and the market for such prints is still alive and thriving.
When it comes to printing digitally produced photos, using high-quality archival paper is a necessity.
All photos on my website are available for sale, they will be printed on archival paper with a guarantee of more than 100 years from the paper maker and the local printing lab.
“The use of the term art medium is, to say the least, misleading, for it is the artist that creates a work of art not the medium. It is the artist in photography that gives form to content by a distillation of ideas, thought, experience, insight and understanding.”
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
Late in December 2012 my wife Agnes and I travelled to Turin from Malta with Ryan Air. The flight took less than two hours to get to the destination. We wanted to celebrate New Year and my birthday there. We managed to find a very good hotel which was close to the train station ‘Porta Nuova’.
My aim of every journey is to shoot many subjects which can be used for exhibitions and competitions. If I see something I like I do not shy away from shooting a frame or two, at least.
Most locals know it is the city, the famous soccer team Juventus hails from. Although my aim was to visit their stadium, there was so many other places to see that I had to leave it for the next time. In a tour of only seven days you are bound to miss a few places, hopefully for another visit.
Turin or Torino has a rich culture and history, and is known for its numerous churches, palaces, museums and art galleries, a few of which I managed to visit. In all I shot over 1500 photos, that averages 214 per day of the visit.
We were lucky that the weather was excellent for that time of year, so due to that I could walk for many hours, with a map and my photo equipment. The amazing Italian food and wine are another reason why we like to go to Italy. Turin is famous for its use of aromatic herbs, fish and extra virgin olive oil. It is also known as the Italian capital of sweets, especially its mouth-watering chocolate. Famous wines from the region are Barolo, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera. For me you get the best of many things in one place.