Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alexander 4, V6. Last.

Ugh! Another failure!
Doing the experiment with filters and fixing aperture and time was not a good choice, despite the fact that I got some nice images with differences in exposures and lighting. The main problem is that, I never though of the consequences of the EXIF data that would be attached to the images, and which are used primaily as a source to calculate the exposures relations. Hence, both softwares, Photoshop and Photomatix, had a problem with setting the exposure values to the images even though the images are clearly different in the light level.
In photoshop it was even harder to set up the values manually (even though it gives you the option to do so), but Photomatix, was a bit more flexible in changing the values.
The other problem was that changing the filters is not a practical mean at all, specially when the lens are on manual mode (auto-focus mode is hard to work with in such darkness if not impossible at all!). When moving the filter in and out of the filter holder,  there is a great chance to change the focus of the lens a bit after fixing it (and for someone clumsy as me, it was one hell of thing to fix the camera in the first place!).
There were two methods of shooting that I followed, and hence I made 2 series of shots related to each other (but when combining I felt somehow free to combine some elements from this series with others from the other series). The methods were like (of course with a flash pointing somewhere):

  1. Stacking the filters altogether and start the shoot. Then, remove one filter and shoot again, and doing so until all filters are removed.
  2. Shooting each filter alone without stacking them altogether.
However, with putting and removing, I tend to move the lens lil bit and that made the focus get corrupted and the image was little bit blurry. Tone-mapping, was another disaster.

Censer (matix) - filters
One of the series, tone-mapped with Photomatix

Censer (manual) - filters
One of the series, tone-mapped with Photoshop

As you can see from the previous examples, the image was blurred and not sharp enough, and as for the second tone-mapping with photoshop, it is a complete disaster! You might say "I have the choice to not tone-map it to that level," but actually it was hard. This is the most reasonable curve I could get. By the way, it was one file saved in Photomatix as OpenEXR (PIZ compression), then tone-mapped in both programs.
The reflection of the flash is still annoying despite the fact that it was pointing downwards toward the ceramic floor (but in some shots I made it point to my back and up and to the other direction away from the censer).
I'm not sure I will do other experimenting today, as I am out of ideas really, but I might work a bit on some photos from Ireland, as I stopped for some time for the time being now.
I finished yesterday one of the hardest images that I encountered so far (because of my memory problems). It is the Aughnanure Castle Field again (360 panorama) but, in another projection;
Aughnanure Castle Field. Co. Galway, Ireland.
The colors are not so accurate since I saved it as a GIF to preserve the transperancy. Anyway, the ring shape is not what I was intending to have really, and I was aiming more at a perfect sphere, and that's why this type of projection is called commonly as "The Little Planet Projection." However, because of the large size of the image and the hardships for making such a texture to fill up the middle area, made me neglect this idea. The image was originally around 20,000 pixels (height and width almost like a square). Yes, twenty thousand. I've reduced the size after tone-mapping to ~9000 pixels, but that was not enough still for my sick memory, so I settled down to ~6000 pixels. Of course the final output was also converted to 8-bit to work on some other adjustments, as it was also hard to work in 16-bit with such memory. I'm thinking seriously of changing the whole system, but after the difficulties I had yesterday with my connection and setting up my router back again, I was thinking "no man thank you not now."
It's TGIT time!
121. and when the events calmed down
122. and Alexander was back again to normal
123. the prisoners of Zimúrá were taken away
124. to stand in before Alexander, the hero
125. and there they told him their secrets
126. their tongue and their strings of writing
127. and how are they born and buried
128. some of them are burned when they die
129. and some others are buried in trees trunks
130. and Alexander commanded the wisemen
131. to record everything they see and learn
132. and when all documents were recorded
133. he ordered the beasts to be cleared out
134. and their bodies shall be hung on the trees
135. for they are children of sinners and beasts
136. and no use of them in this life and this world
137. and thus Alexander wanted to make them a lesson
138. for the other beasts and cruel hearts in the place
139. and then he ordered what had remained of his men
140. to dig up graves for what is left over of the bodies
141. and the mourning for three days started
142. and he cried with a saddened heart
143. for the lost of his beloved, and the lost of loyalty
144. while injuries were handled and supplies were taken

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