Sunday, December 19, 2010

Can It Get Any Worse?

There are some times in life that you would really wonder: what else could go wrong? or you might ask yourself: could it be worse than this?
Some harsh two weeks been passing over my life in all aspects that made me almost paralyzed. The only joy I can do for the time being is just to sit here in front of my PC at home and work on my usual pictures. The past week I was so tired from every single thing in my life, so much that for everyday and after coming from work I didn't even have the appetite to have lunch or anything. I was surviving on some coffee and some biscuits and sometimes, some cereals. My appetite somehow increased a bit in weekends but with some irregularity, ordering from outside most of the time.

To complete the course of the curse, today I woke up late, struck with the fact that my work place has no internet as well (while other places around has it), and with some "nice" news that I will have to move in a chopper with my director along with some people from the ministry of defense in order to demonstrate about some aspects of our field work. The flight is supposed to be to Warbah island, on the borders with Iraq, but later they called and canceled the idea, so we are going to Bubyan (Boubyan) island (largest Kuwaiti island) and by car. The fact that really makes me nervous is that I have to work with the military; a place and a rank of people that I always hated. Well... alongside with cops. After all, I'd rather not to talk about the matters of the heart; they are complicated, yet never to the satisfaction.

So, here I am again with my photos. If you like to see them just scroll down maybe without reading my boring explanations or, if you don't like any of it, then why the heck you are here anyway? Ah, I see. To feel good about yourself having a better life than mine? Yeah, probably true.
In the meantime there is one idea that is still pending in my head and I'm thinking of how to achieve the desired effect to it. This time I'm going to need some heavy work in Photoshop. It is not correcting a photo this time but, instead, manipulating a photo in some heavy way. Been surfing the net for some tutorials and I got some tips, but I don't deem them useful so much for the idea I'm thinking of right now. I have to my out with my own hands to know how things are going to work out. The main problem now is that I'm going to need to take photos of myself by myself; the usual panic.
The idea I'm seeking to implement here has a connection to the Asperger's syndrome. For some time and when I thought I have such a thing because of some attitude and some behavioral. Still though, even after an online friend (who's in the know) confirmed to me that I do not have such a syndrome, the experience of seeking an answer to some of my problems in focusing and other things that kept being after me since high school is on the go. However, this experience made me think about something to express how much this is tolerating for the mind and the psychology of the person indeed. You might spend years trying to figure out why you do things the way you do and why you feel the way you do and what makes you do certain things in a specific manner not like others...etc. All of that, specially when it does not coincide with other people's typical looks on things, can make you feel estranged at times, simply feeling no one does understand the way you feel, but you and only you.

Been working most of the time with my pictures from Ireland. Sometimes I would go back to those taken in 2009, from Galway and Mayo, and then back again to the newest ones taken in 2010. The work panoramas is light relatively, for the time being and after finishing to some extent the dining room, which was so hard to do because of the many problems related to the noise level and to the great difference in exposures in between the slides (specially around the main window in the room).

The Dining Room in LP.

The reason I've made this in LP (little planet) projection only is that, the stitching errors are lesser that way and somehow less obvious if they exist somewhere. I can't really recognize where did I go wrong with the panoramas of the Dining Room and the Lounge before, but my suspects in the case are the not-so-good settings in the camera and/or the shaky position of my camera on the VR-head. Like the lounge before, this panorama was first tone-mapped from HDR, then stitched. Typically, the tone-mapped stitching proved to have lesser stitching errors than the HDR stitching.
I've finished the second album already for pictures from Co. Tipperary and working on the third one, and it is almost over with. Probably would send it over with Christmas coming? Maybe. You can see the second album (if you care) by clicking the link below:

I've been trying to make more vivid images with my HDRs as I noticed people really them on, unlike other stock sites that think about marketing only. This really encouraged me to get out of the circle of the typical normal images just to please these stock sites (and big times, my images been refused for over filtering or something like that). The result of this enthusiasm is that I've been named as photographer of the month in, for being the most active member in the last 30 days! 
I keep my work now in sRGB and Adobe 1998 regions, but never trespass to ProPhoto again. I think the two former spaces make it enough to produce some vivid colors in the photos. Yet, the important thing here is to think of what you are doing and why you are doing what you are doing. 

Rare Auld Times

Yes, it is "auld" not "old". It's a famous Irish folk song. However, in this image here and in order to resemble and give an impression of antiquity, the drama of history, and also a sense of the saying "old is gold," I made the image look harsh and somehow like dirty, for a purpose. It is to give a tense look to the eyes in order to deliver a message of how old is this thing, and in the same time I have to keep it unique and smooth without much turbulence in the colors which causes the eye to get tired a bit, hence I added hue layers to turn it into more of a golden object (rather than the simple yellow and the reddish hue in the original after the effects were done). This effect also helped on getting out the patterns and the scratches in the face of the clock itself, which otherwise, would be hard to see in a normal image. Unfortunately, some people commented on this image in technical terms neglecting completely the message I want to deliver.
Another example of patterns that I wanted to extract was an example of a door. The door is for Cahir church and here, I wanted to show the pattern of the wood itself and hence I had to apply what I call the "dramatic effect" just like in the clock face above.

Cahir Church Door

The process for the image above was not all done by HDR and that's it. In fact, lot of effects and enhancements took place AFTER tone-mapping the HDR. My Photomatix didn't give exactly what I was seeking so I had to get to some point close to what I aim at, and then work on sharpening some parts while smoothing the others and then lighten some parts and darken the others and so on. The noise level here and because of the "harsh" tone-mapping, yielded a great deal of noise that was hard to remove without losing details in the most important part of the image, the door. I had to use layer masks, lot of them, to control my work area.
My work during the last week also included some fantasy, some dreams that kept on visiting me from my childhood days; the heroes, the swords, the dragons ...etc. There had been some images that I don't know why I did it that way, but some people did really like it that way! I'm more inclined now to use some Latin names to my images. I think it gives some power.

Somewhere, in My Dreams...

Lignum Vitae (tree of life)

The second image here, the tree, was actually modified in HDR mode before tone-mapping. I've added some blur to the image and made it go toward the tree. I just felt that it needs some life and action and probably, I would better do that before tone-mapping to make the light coherent more.

That's it for me with photography so far, and there had been some photos that I've been doing all over again with some change in the settings, specially images taken in 2009 from Ireland. Right now, I'm trying to organize my life a bit despite the shaky situation at work and home. Thinking about the Ayvarith page that I've promised myself to work with makes me stressed like hell like I'm really not up to it. Zillions of things pass on my mind and wait on the queue to be done but I just don't know what or when to do so. Two things I might have to get on with very soon is the matter of the new car that I need to buy, and also before that, my Asperger's project. As for the time being, I guess I won't be having my emotional part of life for now, and probably for some long time from now on...

No comments:

Post a Comment