Sunday, March 28, 2010

Alexander 6, V24.

It was a calm weekend relatively, but full of dust. We had a bit of rains in the beginning at noon time on Friday, yet, the same day at night time, the dust attacked! It was so hard to see at all, and my black car is now, literally, white. Or should I say, yellow!

I've been working in the weekend on fixing the panorama of the house yard in several ways. Although I've made a template before from a "simple" set of images of the same scene but it did not quite work on the HDR panorama that I was attending to stitch. There had been several mistakes. Maybe if I didn't use the regular angular displacement in the tripod head, it would have been much worse than this.

Original stitch made by the first images in the groups of three

The original packs actually contained some mistake in taking the photographs, specially for the top part of the gate (or entry door in the middle here). The group was darker than the other when it was combined into HDR. I think I've forgot to fix the shutter speed to some proper timing and measure the exposure (because I was shooting in Manual mode, I had to measure the exposure and make sure the bracketing goes into -2,0,+2 at every angle and fixing the shutter speed accordingly). However, this original stitch was not without mistakes as well but they were not as much as the other trials with the HDR panorama. The optimization in PTGui seems to work always against me, and what seems "not bad" in calculations, sounds "good" to me!
Anyway, I thought of doing another template or another set of control points to help me in stitching the HDR panorama here, and this time I used the brighter set of images in the groups of 3 images (from bracketing exposures). After saving the template and applying it again to my HDR panorama (and without using the optimization option) I got somehow a fine panorama which needed some fixes at some points specially at the gate of entry. In the previous versions or trials, there were errors in the pillars, the ground and the gate, but later most of these points were fixed, except of the gate of entry and maybe the white door.

A simple trial to tone-map the panorama manually did not yield much impression actually, and it was hard to do (for me), thus I decided directly, to be tone-mapped by Photomatix. Finally I got 2 versions, one which I would like to call "normal" and the other I would call "dramatic";

Normal looking (to some extent), tone-mapped in Photomatix.

Dramatic version. Tone-mapped by Photomatix.

I was trying to give the image a sense of antiquity, something that comes from the golden era of the Roman empire and the gardens that usually found in the houses of that time. Thus, I worked on giving some dusty and vivid hard contrasts.
The weird thing is how the ground looks to be inclined to one direction rather than the other. Could it be that the original design is so? I just don't know! Generally speaking now, I think I can say that working with my fisheye lens would be fun!
Meanwhile, I've been looking through the net for some software to view OpenEXR files, without the need to run Photoshop every time I need to check the image. So far, all the programs that I've encountered were for Mac OS, and I barely found one simple program (that does it exactly as I want) to view .HDR files only. It is an old program and free (you can get it from here), and it comes handy when I just want to view the panoramas in a quick glance just to check if they contain any dramatic errors before stitching them into a bigger format. Thus, every time I work, I must stich first in .HDR format (sometimes called Radiance format), and then, if everything goes well, I would stitch the larger size, in OpenEXR format directly.

With this and that, and with some games I have to play already, I'm not having enough time to read the books I got from Ireland so far. As for Ireland, the mind is still busy with thoughts of going back there this year, but I'm not sure about the expenses that I can bear so far...
553. Ázilis then looked at the huge man beside Alexander
554. and said with a weak voice: Utéfah, leave us alone please
555. thus Utéfah without arguing left the tent
556. and Alexander felt that it is a secret of secrets
557. then Ázilis continued his talk to Alexander
556. "listen to me O good king of Caqobia,
557. you are chosen to know the secret of life,
558. and no one is supposed to know this except of you,
559. it is a promise from my father, from my grandfather, from his father,
560. those who lived the lives of shepherds and nomads,
561. who knew the ways of the stars and heavens,
562. and those who met the real Ayvars of antiquity,
563. it is but one king that owns the lands of far and near,
564. shall know the secret of secrets and why we are here,
565. a secret that was taken by the Ayvars to the deepest of lands,
566. because no living on the surface was to understand,
567. watch out O dear good king for the next full moon,
568. and when its time is due you must be out of here,
569. you must be out where the shaking lands are,
570. somewhere in between the Ghutans and Fulkan Muttere,
571. and in between the Hermits and the two waters,
572. and just before the mounts to the south of the Great Lake,
573. walk and walk until the moon becomes reddish from dust,
574. and almost you will not be able to breathe,
575. just then, sit and wait and be patient,
576. and wait for the lands to shake and..."

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