Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alexander 6, V37.

Well Well. One busy day I presume. I shall call this day, the day of Panoramas. I've taken lot of short panoramas either vertically or horizontally and most of them were with my fisheye lens. Too bad it doesn't have a zooming capability, as I am working with the images now, seems some of them are going to be small with big portion of the sky showing on. All of that, in Failaka island.
The sea is great. Can be full of wrath, but generous after all. Some of the panoramas I did today were not really exactly to be called a panorama, but rather I loved to include more portions of the sky in the image and hence, I prefered to take them on parts vertically to add a bit more of the sky. The weather was weird though, shiny and cloudy in the same time! And while we were approaching Failaka port, the Salmiyah city port on the main land was still obvious. Such view I've never seen before. The two do not appear in the same time usually.

As luck has it, I was able to view the shores of Miskan island from Failaka's northern shores. Also, there was this abandoned center for seafaring activities which, supposedly as stated on sign posts, would provide a pick-up to Miskan island. Yet, the place was abandoned and no one was there, despite the relatively apparently-new yachts or boats over there. I could see 2 long towers from where I stood... too bad I didn't snap it with my camera! Bad me! I wonder if they were lighthouses as I always thought, or some "chimneys" of some factory over there? Could be? I don't know. Everything is possible after the statement of this man in Silsan, in which he said going there is restricted by now! It was foggy, I could see that. Like some blackish or greyish smoke hovering around the two towers for some reason, and that's why I thought they were chimneys of some sort or an exhaust of some factory and not lighthouses. This view kind of revived the hope in me of visiting this island one day, and I was already looking for someone to ask about going there in Failaka island itself, but no luck.
Not only Miskan was visible, but also the lands of Auhah (عوهة) island was visible before arriving at Failaka's port. I don't know really why they translate it as "Auhah" since we say it as "Oohah" usually, but anyway this is how it is spelled and you check it yourself on Wikipedia.

In the beginning, I played a little prank on myself, again. I got shocked to see the schedule time in the time table for the ferry travels to be delayed more than I thought it was. It said the ferry would leave at 9:00 and come back at 3:00 afternoon, and frankly I wouldn't like to stay there till 3:00 by myself. Yet the date of today, 14th, was on Thursday. I really doubted myself "did I miss counting my days because of this little vacation of mine?". After all I discovered it is all because I was looking at the time table of January 2010 and not this month! Not the first time I do this really.

I was planning to take an inner panorama of that old mesh-holed building, which I think was some governmental place, but I changed my mind later and thought of taking a panorama of the outer area. Moving people there with their four-wheeled banshi all around really frustrated me. I could hard even park there and take the panorama from the outside.

The ruined building from the outside.

What seems to be an ex-electricity housing, in the periphery of the ruined
building and includes in the to-be panorama project.

This said, I'm looking forward now to have some sort of a software to fix my fisheye distortion for real now. The PTGui software, for stitching panoramas, usually takes care of such distortions, but I can't tell it does them as well for single images however. Thus, I'm looking for some software or plug-in to do so. Photoshop does it as well, but it sounds a bit tiresome in Photoshop, and maybe I would get more precise tools out of the framework of Photoshop. I wish if there is any program that would fix a straight line by specifying 2 dots marking the beginning and the ending of a proposed straight line in the image. Maybe there is one, I can't tell really.
Talking about a plug-in, I received a response from HDRsoft people about my suggestion for a web plug-in to view HDR images, and here I quote it for you:

Dear TJ,

Thank you for your interest in Photomatix and for suggesting an HDR plug-in for web browsers.

The closest thing to a plug-in for  displaying HDR images in browser that we know of is webHDR:

It might also be worthwhile having a look at Christan Bloch's 'HDRI Labs' website for such software:

Regarding Photomatix, we don't have any plans to develop a web browser plug-in to display HDR images at the moment.

Kind regards,

Photomatix Support Team

This is nice so far. I'm still checking the website as I am writing this (and I'm doing all of that after getting back from that tiresome ferry trip). I don't feel like concentrating on anything so I might leave it for later. In a quick glance over the webpage, there are some freeware included, but I can't tell which one is to be used as a plug-in to view HDR in the web browser, if any. I guess I'm going to ask Blochi for this! Blochi in case you didn't know is Christian Bloch, the author of this magnificent book:

The HDRI Handbook: High Dynamic Range Imaging for Photographers and CG Artists +DVD

As for now... I should take a rest and work on batch-processing my bracketed images and put them into OpenEXR format for heavy use later. I leave you now with Alexander's story, verse 37.

865. when the stranger calmed down he gazed upon Alexander
866. and Alexander smiled back at him and put down Charnagút
867. then Alexander began the speech again with the stranger
868. "tell me O friend, what is your name?"
869. and the thing said: my name is Birbuár, son of Árúc
870. then Alexander asked: you know this sword? why were you scared?
871. the strange thing then stuttered and said: of course I do,
872. it is the Charnagút, the sword of the great Ayvar king,
873. it is the torture of the sinners and the sign of kings,
874. thus now I believe you are indeed a king,
875. please forgive my impoliteness master
876. then Alexander said: I am not your master,
877. but I am happy to be your friend in this world,
878. I was a king in my world before, but not anymore,
879. tell me O Birbuár, where am I and what is this world?
880. thus Birbuár said: yes I shall answer your questions,
881. but if you do not know already, how come you are an Ayvar?
882. and Alexander replied: I am not an Ayvar, but a stranger here
883. and Birbuár had a weird look upon his face and eyes
884. and this he said to Alexander: but how you got the Charnagút?
885. and Alexander replied back: it is a gift from my father Pilippánút,
886. but I do not know how he got it or made it,
887. but this sword helped me a lot to come here,
888. and discover the truth one by one

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