Thursday, September 9, 2010

Could Not Resist...

Well, been many days now since I've posted stuff here. Mainly because my work is boring and slow going, I spend it all watching stuff on youtube waiting for the working hours to finish and sometimes I sign up for a short leave to leave work earlier than the regular time. My life at home though is not that idle, however. I have a list of games to play for now, and just recently I've finished the Dark Fall II - Lights Out. It is a ghost story of he Sci-Fi type. Despite my fascination with the story itself and the great design of the 1912 lighthouse and the sea village, despite of all of this, I had to go on and depend heavily on the walkthrough all around the game, mainly because of some minute details and my fast-paced way of playing such games wouldn't help with that! However, I've been always fond of Jonathan's games. Made me think seriously of being a ghost-hunter myself! The only thing here is that in the oriental world, we speak of demons and rarely ghosts as it is in the western part of the world. For such a task, Failaka island would be the first target for such investigations I believe, after the turmoil and the war and the deserted houses witness that.

I've been weak. So weak. I couldn't control myself and my expenditure. I fell in love with a new tool that costs more than one thousand dollars. In the beginning I was so ambitious to own a full-frame Canon camera, namely the 5D or the like, but the prices got me into shivers and I almost wanted to cry! Looked again for something "cheaper" and yet I couldn't find something that satisfies me completely, except of the Canon 7D and the cheaper variety of Canon T2i. I was in favor of the T2i mainly because of the price.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II 21.1MP Full Frame CMOS Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
Canon 5D Mark II

Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-inch LCD (Body Only)
Canon EOS 7D

Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
Canon EOS Rebel T2i

The 5D Mark II is 21MP in resolution, while the 7D and the T2i are both 18MP. The T2i is cheaper mainly because the type of memory cards used as it seems. Generally speaking, the 7D and the T2i are both the same except in some criteria like the memory used and maybe the timer option. Also, the Canon 7D has a wireless control over Speedlite flashes which benefit me a lot, but I'm not sure that the Canon T2i does have that or not. I even went down with my ambition and thought of getting 15MP camera, like the Canon EOS 50D,

Canon EOS 50D 15.1MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) 
Canon EOS 50D

I was frustrated. I have limited time because the B&H stores are closing for the Rosh haShanah, the Jewish new year's holiday, and in the meantime, I have limited time as well because it would be nice to take this camera with me when I travel to Ireland by the end of September, and hence I have to make a decision so fast. It was really a turmoil. Add to that frustration, I'm thinking of saving a bit as well to get me a used car by the end of the year or by the beginning of the next year. I've found one store based on UK that sold the 7D for a bit of cheaper price (in dollars as well) but then I was struck by the fact that I have to pay extra charge for using my credit card! I never saw such regulations in my orders from USA before, at all. Hence, I've canceled this idea from my mind and mainly thought of ordering from the B&H only. Finally, I decided to sacrifice with some money for the sake of some long term investment, and I placed an order for the Canon 7D with an extra battery for it, for an estimation of something around 518KD, which was something a bit more than 1,800 US$. The main problem here is that those cameras now have a video recording capability, which is something I do not need and do not use at all, and that, as I think, contributes greatly to this price!
Because of the previous commitment to such equipments, I'm thinking of seriously pushing my limits with photography and arts in general somehow in some way, but yet, I can't find a way. An exhibition seems a good idea, but yet, I can't really figure out how to do it or how does it work and how much would it cost! All I can do now, is wait to be noticed maybe.

Back to my simple life now and my regular work. I've dug some more websites that mainly sell photographs from Ireland, and I've emailed some to see if I can be a contributor or asking about some regulations but so far, no reply at all! I'm planning to dig for more and find some opportunities out there.
In the meantime, I got some ideas going through my head, specially when I started doodling again in my office trying to pass the time to escape that prison. I've decided after some sketches to make a series of vectors suitable for weather broadcast and seasons of the year, and submit all to Canstockphoto (and who knows, probably Bigstockphoto too).

Some vectors so far. (Top left) Circular ornamentation made by a repetitive pattern of a single shape, 
(Top right) A tide, (Bottom) Wind vector.

I'm still working on these sketches so far, as I'm planning to make doodles for the four seasons. I have to resolve some problem with the vector uploads in Canstock and waiting for their reply so far. The JPG display does not show and makes it hard for me to organize my files.

I made an experiment again with a software that I've forgot about some time now. That would be the PhotoAcute and its options for producing Super-Resolution (SR) images. I really can't remember how I thought of it or what sparked the idea, but it was about making a serious trial for a SR image, because I don't remember I did something similar. The target was the texture of a toast surface in a close-up. I've bracketed the exposures like I do with HDR, but here I've used a short distance, mainly a 1/3 stop only, with a small aperture (f32), at 55mm.

Toast Texture (minimized)

After converting the RAW files into TIFF (and this is one awkward thing about PhotoAcute, that it does not deal with RAW files directly), I've put them in PhotoAcute and set the option to increase the resolution. The resulting image was saved as TIFF as well, and the size was 6904x4604, making the resolution up to 31.7MP, or rounded to 32MP (the resolution is simply a multiplication of pixels dimensions). The TIFF version was already 225MB! While the JPG version was already exceeding 25MB. I've submitted the image in hope of acceptance now. I might be using this method a lot lately, specially in a close-up images for patterns and textures. Now imagine this peaking in resolution, accompanied by a proper gear, like a 18MP camera!
By a simple comparison, if it is accurate to state this, my 8MP camera produced at the end a 32MP image almost, which means 4 times the original resolution almost. Hence, a 18MP image, would produce I suppose a 72MP image at the end. My hand is itching.

Beside all of this work, I'm trying to make a final collection of photos from Ireland, but this time I'm trying to fit it into a movie file by using Windows Movie Maker. So far, I suck at this. I can't manage to put it as I like. This way though would be fanciful and better than clicking images to see a larger version in the email message. Plus, I can add music to it, and so far I picked some "noisy" music that I like; The March of The King of Laoise. A tough bagpipe tune. Let's hope I figure this thing out before my vacation (which I'm burning to start ASAP).

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