Sunday, June 27, 2010

Alexander 6, V88.

I would say it is fair enough to say, it was an awesome weekend. Not for any gift or present or any good events happening in it, but merely because I slept for 12 hours! Yes! Twelve hours! I rarely do such a thing but it is true and it is indeed there! I could do it!

Anyway, back to business. Despite this 12 hours of sleep kind of wasted my time that I've planned to spend in front of my PC working on some issues, but anyway it was a nice venture. During this weekend I worked on the 2 panoramas that left for me; the office, and the gamma lab.
The first to be mangled with was the office panorama. The main challenge here was that I've shot myself in several positions (with the help of the timer in the camera of course), and my aim was to make a QTVR out of it. Unfortunately, I had to give up this dream for many issues that I've encountered while stitching and I've discovered that I made many mistakes in the location itself!

Me, Myself and I

The mistakes I've done here were sort of many, but in brief, I was not careful when I moved in the scene and caused some chairs to move here and there, which later on proved fatal for the stitching process. Also, I discovered that in my middle picture on the sofa, the original shot did not include my right feet on the ground! Hence it was impossible to recover this at all, and I was not in mood for Photoshop tricks really. For this and that, I've decided to put down the idea of a spherical panorama with this trial, for the time being. I don't know if there will be a second time. The theme and colors of the tone-mapped image here is to give some drama or action to the boring lighting conditions in the office. Some people told me it looks nice, so I hope.

The second panorama to deal with then was the Gamma Lab. In fact it was already finished with some days ago but I didn't work on fixing the image an removing the unwanted bottom (tripod legs) till yesterday. There are some noisy part of the image which were not related to the noise of the camera itself, but because these slides were dark, and I think it was a mistake from my side, when I was not careful to track down the exposure reading. Finally, I fixed it and made into a QTVR, which I hope it makes everyone happy to look at!
The Gamma Lab, at CRER, Kuniv.

However, the resolution of the QTVR was put down to 80% to reduce the size as usual. They usually say 80% quality is good enough, specially for such a small window.

Now after all this work with several panoramas, it is time to take a look a bit at what I got earlier that day (after shooting these panoramas). They were several single shots that I need to examine closely and decide whether to upload them into stock sites or not. The snaps are taken from the front space of my working place, for some pile of bricks that they dumped there (and causing some annoyances for me when I park my car!).

Good news arrived today. The DHL called and told me that my passport had arrived. It is due delivery at 3 p.m., but I know these guys will deliver it earlier when I'm not at home, as usual. I've just forgot what's my application number so I can check online about the status of my visa request. I just hope it got accepted and everything is right.

I've decided today to place an order as well. This time an order on Amazon. I thought it is better to get everything at once instead of placing everything separately. This time I had to some research of my own about what kind of monopod do I need. I just figured that a monopod is more practical than a tripod, but the real challenge is, is it possible to do a panorama with it?
After many look-ups and checking, I've decided that I might need this specific one:

 BENRO MA-96M8 Aluminum Monopod
Benro MA-96M8

There were many good monopods out there, with several specifications that can fit any purpose almost. But I picked this one specifically for several reasons:
  1. It has suppostive legs to turn it into a mini-tripod.
  2. The maximum height is around 173 cm, around mine.
  3. The maximum load it can take is around 20kg, and this is exactly what I need. Why? Because I'm planning to try it out with my VR head.
  4. Relatively, cheaper.
There were even some monopods made by Manfrotto, same brand as my VR head, but they were sometimes almost double the price of this one. Now, I'm quite sure that I will have problems when I decide to try this out with my VR head (weighs 2kg), but I'm up to it and will see if I can overcome this problem by some trick. The problem here is that, no real reviews for this monopod were available, not in Amazon nor in BH websites. Thus, I had to rely heavily on reviews made by customers for another, somehow similar, tripod.

BENRO MA-91M8 Aluminum Monopod
Benro MA-91M8

This tripod is almost the same, but different in weight, and height and the maximum load it can take (18kg). The height is 163 cm and that's shorter than my built, so I preferred to go to the longest one. I was hesitant first because when it is folded, it might not fit in my backpack whenever I want to move here or there, but anyway, it is an easy stick to carry on. The real challenge is to make it work with the VR head. The reviewers, however, decided that it is a great tool, but with shaky base when it comes to a tripod, and here you go with your expected problems!
The work with VR head and a monopod would be awesome indeed. I had many hard time erasing and fixing the images with Photoshop after taking my panoramas with a tripod. The three legs and the panning handle gave me a great deal of hard work in Photoshop to remove, and not completely in a good way. A monopod would ease the problems, considerably!
Finally, I do need a tripod for easy snapping without the need for my usual heavy tripod wherever I go!

Along with the tripod I placed as well 2 books in the same order, and decided to let the other books wait for the time being now!
Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity, and Personal Style Photographic Multishot Techniques: High Dynamic Range, Super-Resolution, Extended Depth of Field, Stitching 

Now, it had been some days that I didn't write anything in my notes, and it makes me a bit annoyed. I don't want to stop writing ever. I must get myself busy, either behind the camera, or on a piece of paper, or of course gaming around! I've changed my working time starting from today, for I found out it is really useless to stay here till 2:30 p.m.. That's way too much for such a place I would say. Thus, my time has changed from 7:30 to 2:30, to 7:00 up to 2:00. That's why I have to plan to write my blog earlier than I used to before, maybe. I'm sort of used to blog while at work more than at home!

Now, it's time to wait for the events to come along...

2089. Alexander sat down on the grass and was tired
2090. and asked Aramramátáníth: am I allowed to ask?
2091. Aramramátáníth replied: go ahead O warrior of goodness
2092. and Alexander asked his first question
2093. "who are you?"
2094. and the mother of nature replied: I am Aramramátáníth,
2095. I am whom God made to guard the health of the land,
2096. I am the guardian of farms and valleys, meadows and hills
2097. then Alexander asked his second question
2098. "what are you?"
2099. and she replied: I am the Light beyond the sight,
2100. I am the voice of conscious inside everyone's heart,
2101. I am the breeze, I am the wind, I am the storm
2102. then Alexander asked his third question
2103. "what is Mikanazzar?"
2104. and she replied: my fierce enemy on Uhir Daynur,
2105. the bringer of sickness where it goes and comes,
2106. he is the damned one, who seeks not the Mercy
2107. then Alexander asked his fourth question
2108. "why you did not heal the tree yourself?"
2109. and she replied: I was not commanded to do so,
2110. and to heal it, we needed a brave heart,
2111. and to fight Mikanazzar in it, that is dangerous,
2112. thus we were ordered to wait for you, and teach Kaliván

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