Elevate - An editorial with Rosemarie Abela & a drone

Lets’s start with the good stuff, and put the text at the bottom this time.

Photo: Kurt Paris (
Photo: Kurt Paris (

Check out some drone footage in this behind-the-scenes video. All drone footage was shot at Bahar ic caghaq, Malta using a Dji Mavic 2 Pro

And now here are some shots using the ‘traditional’ camera in your hands method :) - A Canon 5D Mk4 if anyone is keeping track

Photo: Kurt Paris (
Photo: Kurt Paris (
Photo: Kurt Paris (

Random Ramblings

One of the first hard decisions DJI forced me to make when buying the drone was - do I get the Mavic 2 Zoom? which would allow all sorts of interesting shots when shooting fashion, or do i go for the larger sensor of the Mavic 2 Pro.

As should be obvious by now, i went for the pro since 1” sensors are pretty much the baseline of what i consider to be acceptable in terms of photo quality (Turns out there might be an issue in video for the Mavic 2 pro but hey lets’s not get into that - the photos are pretty great)

The first thing that you face when using a drone for this kind of thing is that composition becomes much harder - purely because 1. you are fixed at 24 mm, 2. elevated shots are naturally shortening which doesn’t play well with fashion and 3. It’s not a scenario you’re used to and it takes time to adjust

Having said that, the possibilities it opens up are impressive - This was just a little dive to see what is possible and it's going to really open up some locations which would have been impossible to photograph ahem “on foot”

Another BigThing (tm) was the mix of photo and video. Once you’re flying the drone, it becomes a crime not to take some shots (as Andrew Randon once told me - motion = emotion, not sure if they are his words or not but they are definitely true) - and this brings about a new set of skills, a new workflow.. the list goes on.

I don’t feel I am ready to truly explore video yet - i’ll stick with Fashion & Portrait photography for now, but it’s nice to see where the road leads. Hope you like it! If anything crosses your mind please leave a comment below


Designer: Rosemarie Abela

Model: Justina Vai

Photography: Kurt Paris

Makeup: Rodianne Caruana

Hair: Dominic Bartolo @ Dreaaaaaaaaaaaaaads

Fabric (1st Dress): Ivory & co

A day around Malta by drone

If you’re Maltese you can probably skip this section :) If you’re not from Malta there’s a slim chance you’ve never heard of our little country. Malta is a small independent nation that looks like a little fish on the map, just below Sicily

This little fishy is richer in history than many countries much larger in size and we are lucky that some parts of it boast a natural beauty that you only find in the mediterranean. Yes, I must admit that I am biased :) I am both Maltese and a photographer and since i bought my first drone - a DJI Mavic 2 Pro, i am taking the time to visit all the beautiful places we have that we take for granted. It’s funny that around the world, people will cross the globe to see something in your own country - that you might not have even seen yourself.

Even though i specialise in fashion photography, i find the coastline fascinating (so much so that i have already release a series of coastal drone prints) and here is a tour around Malta - mostly our coastline. Hop on the drone, we’ll be visiting a tiny bit of Gozo, Valletta, Fort Manoel, St Agatha's Tower (the red tower), Xwejni Salt pans, Bahar ic Caghaq, Mellieha, Xaqqa Cliffs, Dingli and Zonqor point

Hope you enjoy it, and if you are interested in drones - check out DJI’s Products here - they are really easy to use and enjoy

My sunset is better than your sunset.

Ok maybe the title is a little bit click-baity. Please forgive me. This all started because of a particularly amazing sunset a few days/weeks ago. Add a drone and some epic music beats and taddaaaaa here’s a small video that i’m still working on :)

It’s interesting to see how different videography is from photography. First of all from a workflow perspective, the software available is vastly different. So far i’ve tried Premiere Elements, iMovie, Filmora and i might also try some more. I know i’m also taking some shortcuts - the raw shots that make up this video are shot with the default H.264 setting withing the drone. It also supports 10bit HLog on H.265 for a more cinematic experience, however that is still on my “to-do” list since i’m still learning the different shots, edits, transitions, etc that turn raw footage into the semblance of a cohesive experience.

Looking back, the drone has taught me that we are truly blessed in Malta - the amount of natural beauty we take for granted, and the amazing architecture (Valletta anyone?) we live in goes largely unnoticed.

So far i must admit that drone photography is still my first love (Check out this series of prints i made at the water’s edge) but video is REALLY growing on me.

A DJI Mavic 2 Pro in Malta - Still Camera Quality

Even though video and photo are such similar media, the way you tell a story with either of them is completely different. There is also a completely new set of skills that one has to master. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro even when handled very basically (ie find a nice open space, go up, point the camera downwards - frame your shot, done) gives a very different point of view to what we are used to.

One of the key things in photography (in my humble opinion) is to constantly be different and push boundaries - because only by creating novel, new and fresh content are users surprised and delighted.

Malta is a truly beautiful place, and in the last week i've been trying to find different locations to fly to train on how to use the craft and also how to take good aerial photos (all whilst not breaking the law, and not crashing the thing at the same time)

So here are some sample shots - these are RAW shots from the Mavic 2 and processed in Lighroom. Off the bat, the RAW files of the Mavic 2 Pro are not as forgiving as something out of a professional camera like the 5D mark 4. However overall the RAW files do have some wiggle room (mainly in the shadows, less in the highlights) to play with.

Some observations so far:

  • Long exposures (even up to 8 seconds) have come out quite fine
  • Underexposing shots slightly to preserve highlights is preferable to me than losing highlights
  • Make sure the drone LEDs switch off during long exposures, otherwise you will get a crappy pink hue at the top and bottom of the image
  • Don't touch the sticks during a shot - the drone WILL move and blur everything :D
Photo: Kurt Paris (

By far the most eye-opening experience has been that at face value, a drone feels like a toy that can be used at whim - but just like driving a car or boat, flying a drone requires a great deal of maturity and responsibility (and skill which i am still working on..). The technology today is (so far) quite easy, even for people new to the scene - but there is a lack of information and resources. Luckily there is a very healthy community who are very quick to help (Big shout out to Andrew Schembri from Dickens)

From a more photographic point of view, the same "don't annoy people" rules apply. Invasion of privacy is very easy and it's important that one is aware of where they are flying so as not to harass people, and more importantly what images they choose to publish. The Mavic 2 is a very silent drone so that helps keep people happy, also advising any bystanders nears takeoff/landing of my filming intentions has avoided any grumpyness