Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Despite the stressful beginning of this day, but it goes well so far with my camera back to me! I feel I want to hug it for real!

The process of retrieving my camera was a tiresome with all cops hovering around my work place. For a moment I thought I commited some murder or something, but anyway I said No, that's not possible. Cops don't care for the death of simple people achieved by simple people (like me)! :)
After all, I've found out that the Emir (Amir) of the country is going to be around the campus to attend to some ceremony opening (for Quran reciting competition I guess I heard?). Anyway, I had to drive back home first because I forgot the receipt (and I used to carry it with me by every single damn day!), and I got the chance to put some stuff back home and put some food for the poor cats, and then drive back to Al-Rai (drive back because it is not far away from my work place and would look like it is to the far north while my house is far south!). But before driving back to Al-Rai area (industrial area if I should say), I got the idea of driving to the port or marina (putting some gas before that because my car was coughing), to get the schedules for the ferry that goes to Failaka for the month of January. It was a straight long road (long in our measures) from Salmiya area up to Al-Rai, and there were little jams on the way (many of them). I ran up a simple test with my camera after I arrived to my office with a full bladder; I've taken a snap shot for the blank white wall and viewed the image on my laptop to check if the spots were still there. I was shocked to see some spots but then discovered that my monitor needs cleaning! Otherwise, everything with it was fine for the first glance by now... I still need to do more check up when I go back home.
My time today was taken over by some inquirer who wanted to ask about the study of physics and the nature of my work place and my work itself and what we do... he is a freshman actually, and my boss had me to explain things to him, so I spent almost like an hour talking about various topics. Thank God he had a class so he had to leave, but yet, he promised to come back to check some of our labs again when he has enough time! Not a very good thing to do really, for a loner like me...

Back to the photos from Ireland, I've prepared 2 images yesterday. In fact, it was only one imge but saved on 2 settings with tone mapping after merging as a HDR image.

Dramatic Tree 2. In front of The Waterfront

Dramatic Tree. Front of The Waterfront
The purpose was to put some drama effect on a shot that was taken in somehow bad white balance and in bad weather, and yet, a not-very-significant composition as I see it. The original shots were taken with "daylight" white balance as I was attending (back then) to add more saturation and pop the colors out (specially the red and the green). Fortunately, since the shot was in RAW format I was able to get around this choice and fixed it to "Cloudy" which proved to be, somehow, to be better when it comes to the color of the clouds after merging into HDR.
Tone-mapping was done twice for the same EXR File, once with more "natural" drama I would say, as I was concerned about the level of noise in the image (which in fact is more like a "style" rather than a noise in the image). This step increased the contrast, and add more blackish view to the clouds (which were completely white with no obvious details, and here comes the magic of the HDR to show the details). The second one, was a more dramatic effect and very dark clouds. There was a lot of noise or grudge in this one but I had to resort to Neat Image to clear the way and smooth out generally and then resort to some sharpening to get some details on the edges back. The main thing that was causing me a headache is the halo effect that is produced by the automatic tone-mapping which I did not know how to remove from all around the edges of the tree itself, but I think I did somehow reduce the appearance by enlighting the surrounding of the tree rather than working on the halo itself!
I've submitted the 2 images to Canstockphoto already, but I'm sure, or almost sure, that both will get rejected because my experience tells me that HDR tone-mapping is not preferred by stock sites, and they would prefer more naturally-looking photos, and for this reason it is always better to use the EF method (Exposure Fusion), to give that natural theme with nice gradient of colors. Unfortunately on my sample here I didn't try this at all!

The yield for today was 2 verses only. Natural. With all the fuss in my work place and in the outside world and driving here and there... I even needed some courage to achieve this!!! And finally, I've finished my brochure for my work place and my boss is delighted to see it.I might add a scan of it here some time later. Hope to finish this completely soon, to get on with website checking this time.

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