Monday, March 8, 2010

Alexander 6, V11.

This is one tiresome day. I couldn't resist sleeping in my office at all, so I had to "snooze" off for about 2 hours! Thank God I got a flexible condition here.
I did one big experiment yesterday, at night, and hence the results still did not show up yet to post them here; I took a 360 panorama of the living room (which we call usually as a "hall"). It was a tiresome task, not for the complexity of the process (which does not change whatsoever), because the people there! Mom and sister were there only and then accompanied by my younger brother and all was such a fuss trying to control and stop people from going into the scene when the camera was working with the shutter.
The total images were around 168 images taken with 3 shots per angle (making it for around 56 angles of view). After finishing I went on right away and combined the images into EXR with the help of the batch processor of Photomatix, and also once again I batched them (in another folder) under Exposure Fusion process with certain parameters. I'm not quite satisfied with the general yellowish-brown hue of the hall (it is really like that), thus I will check later if I can change this to something more pleasant. Now you know why I was awake all night and did not have enough sleep!
This morning I tried to do a sample stitch for the EF version, and for some reason, there was some blurred area in the perview, although I'm almost sure that all images were taken in fine sharpness! I had to leave to damn work thus I couldn't investigate it more, but I shall do so of course once I go back home. It IS going to be a tiresome sleepless day.
Just now, I realized that I did sort of a mistake. I could use the camera in portrait position. I think that would reduce the time and the number of shots radically, like I did with our lab before;

Gamma Spectroscopy Lab - CRER, Kuwait University.
The difference here is that this image was taken normally without any intention for HDR, thus the shots were lesser by a factor of 3 than it would be normall for HDR. However, the advantage of using the portrait position instead of the landscape position (for me) in capturing such panoramas is that, and because I use the method of connecting points in the viewfinder of the camera when rotating the camera around its axis, that requires later on to elevate the camera up and down (in case your intention was a 360 spherical panorama). The farthest distance in the viewfinder can be found between the leftmost and rightmost dots, thus with neglecting the zenith point (above ur head directly), you can do 2 rows of images; one is low and the other is high, and then the nadir and zenith come in bottom and on top respectively. In my case yesterday (and I was working on degrees engraved on the tripod and not by the viewfinder), I had to take 5 rows of images in landscape position (not counting zenith and nadir), a row at each angle of: 0, +30, +60, -30, -60 degrees. "0" angle is the horizon of course or the mid-line of the panorama.
Now in portrait you might need only 2 angles (or 3 if you feel unlucky), as I did with the picture above. First, I fixed the camera in horizontal position (still in portrait of course) and I make a note about where the center dot resides. I, then, tilt the camera downward to make the uppermost dot reside in that place in the viewfinder, that was occupied by the center dot. I do the same for the upward direction where I fix the lowermost dot in the viewfinder into that center point. To insure that a stitch would go smooth with control points, I might as well take a third row of images from the center itself. Now if you have fisheye lens with 180 HFoV of course all your life problems would be, almost, over. All what you might need then is simply 4 angles and you're over with it and the rest would be a work on PC to unwrap the fisheye image (and fix aberration). Not only that, but you can just capture a skydome by lowering the camera as much as you can and pointing your camera upward exactly at 90 degrees and hence you got a view of the surroundings in one shot (or 3 if you like it in HDR, ore more if you want a more professional HDR let's say). The work later on is on PC for unwrapping the images.
I'm quite surprised by some manufacturers of photography tools when they put a label or a comment on their products or softwares and say "designed to lessen the time spent in front of the PC and make you spend more time behind the camera," or something that goes like that anyway. The thing is, most of the art is in the PC as I believe. Yes, I do require an easy-going program when I deal with things but if professionality requires complexity a bit, then I wouldn't mind spending more time facing the monitor; this is the fun! I'm not a busy man with my camera, specially with the lack of inspiration these days, and thus, spending more time in front of the monitor is not a big deal for me (the only thing is when I NEED to play a game or so and leave the images-work for some time). If the software is good I presume, for example, and that makes it complex, then it better be able to fix the errors done by the camera or the composition or the lighting coditions in the scene, and hence this is the real benefit as I believe! Less time behind the camera, more time in front of the PC. Why? Well, in past posts (last year) I guess I told you about some stories when I was stopped by security guys and by cops for many reasons and permit is required and all the blah blah blah with that. In such cases, I do need indeed lesser time behind the camera and finish everything as fast as I could and run back home to do what I want, and fix my errors that I HAD to do. I'm not pushing you to be an outlaw like I do (ah yeh), but there are many occasions when you are not comfortable in some situation and MUST hit and go. I think it is just my style that I can't take pre-planned images but I have to hit and run as usual, or just snap something beautiful I saw on my way while driving on some road.

Anyway, I leave you now with Alexander 6, verse 11. I have to look now after some cleaning brushes for the damn sensor!

241. this talk sparked the pains in Alexander
242. he can see the events in front him
243. like it is happening in that moment
244. just like it happened before thirty years
245. when his father, the glorious, fell in a trap
246. arranged by demons and wizards who followed them
247. because he banished them from his lands
248. because he punished them so hard
249. he can remember the image of his father
250. when he fell on the floor unconscious
251. and his skin turned red and purple
252. while his body was like a piece of wood
253. when the wizards and witches attacked
254. accompanied with demons on their sides
255. and started to eat the flesh
256. just before he attacks them with his CharnagĂșt
257. young he was at that time but he never forgets
258. the pains accompanied him all the way
259. until he buried his father under the sea
260. so no one would reach the body or see
261. and he could remember the face of KadmĂșn
262. the demon who who poisoned his father by trick
263. and the demon who tried to get his father's heart
264. how shall he forget the face of such cruelty?

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