Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Crazy Me, Crazy World...

Finally I can say we got winter. The weather is getting chilly a bit in the morning, and sort of nice at noons. I want to spend more time in the outside but then, with my life pace and the tiresome body and mood, I don't think I can do that in the current time.
I'm struggling to get back to my writing habit, writing and joining some words from here and there and calling these stuff a poem or lyrics. The latest was done yesterday and called it Alien. It is about my feelings in the current time. Just lost in space and time nd I don't know where or what I'm doing really. All I know is, I need to be alone. I'm using now a tool that helps on pushing my thoughts about the words a bit, or brainstorming if I should say. The website generates a random word and asks you to provide some words related to that random word then you should make sentences linking the idea of these keywords to the main idea you want to write about! It is so random that I like it really. Some people say that Alien is nice, but I'm not yet sure it is that good. The website can be found here, Creativity Tools (check the left panel). I think it is mainly for story writing but it serves everyone right I guess.

I've started to work a bit on a new facade for my webpage and I've made a general graphic representation then divided that into several parts using Photoshop and saved it as HTML. somehow piece of cake but yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg. A load is coming and I need some time to do the rest. For the time being, all I need to do is stick links to these cut out pieces, and the race with time begins on finishing various stuff. The dictionary that I've made for Ayvarith will be one big headache. My mind is already shattered and scattered that I've forgot that I'm supposed to go on a field work this morning and must, again MUST, go tomorrow, Thursday.

Camera-wise now. I've managed to take some pictures of myself in order to work around with them, even though I'm not quite satisfied with them. I need to study the light more AND I would need more tools to control the light. A desktop lamp will not do any good and a flash source is not always adequate in such situations. I've started morphing the image already in Photoshop but stopped now for some time doing some other things. The process of morphing my face to apply the idea I have in my mind is quite challenging for me, because I've never done such a thing before. I was looking forward to see if there is a plugin that can spare me some of the tiresome tasks I need to do, but no luck. I guess I need to do all by myself.

On the other hand I'm looking forward to order some stuff for my camera, and most importantly, a macro lens. The options are wide open, but to keep it under a certain budget, I've decided to go for something else other than Canon. Also, and because I don't seem to need a macro lens very often like I do with a fisheye lens in snapping architectural features and panoramas, I've decided to take one with a range of focal length and not a fixed one. The thing about this feature is that a lens with fixed focal length usually gives a sharper image. Besides, a lens with adjustable focal length tend to have some "creeps," that is when the sliders tend to be easy to move with a slight shake or movement. The main aim now is for a Tamron, or Sigma lenses.

Some of the options.

Along with these lenses I'm thinking of getting a new backpack to hold my camera stuff and lenses. As with a new lens to the group, my current case will be stuffed, ridiculously. Then there is the matter of the moving ball head for my monopod, and who knows, maybe a whole new tripod even? I'm not sure yet. Expenses. I'm trying to hold my horses back a bit and forget about my credit card. It already has unpaid amounts hanging on.

I've finished my fourth album recently for pictures from Ireland, 2010. For the time being, I'm taking a kind of a break. I don't upload images to that often right now. I used to upload around 3 images a day, in average, last month. My rank stepped back a little now because of my laziness, but until the end of the month I will be in the front page as the photographer of the month. I'm working somehow on uploading one image a day and give more space for comments and "likes" in the website, because too many images at one time might cause some chaos and people might not know even that there are new stuff in your profile.

One of the images though, that people seem to like it a lot, was one image I called "In Terra Gigantum," or "in the lands of giants"...

In Terra Gigantum

This image was taken with a mini-tripod that I think it is supposed to be used for webcams (since I got it from a computer store from here before going to Ireland). I went wild with it for some reason, I think that was my mood with the saturation of the image. I didn't like it much. It was too much reddish and I don't remember I was that cheerful that day. The best thing I could find in my mind was to make a vivid image with weird settings (typical for HDRs). This image at this angle really revives my hopes of a panorama on a low level to the ground. The technical problems are there but hey, here comes innovation. I think I should think of something but before this, I need a location. Imagine looking at a scene from the perspective of a smurf! Voila! I would some sort of high support to fix my VR-head on the top of this small tiny tripod on the ground. The tripod already flips over when I attach it to my camera and lens, be it my Canon 7D (heavier) or Canon350D (older and lighter somehow). Now imagine putting the weight of something around 2kg (around 4.4lb) on the top of that WITH a camera. The only good point about it is, once fixed the balance, you just need to rotate the head of the VR-head itself and not the tripod. I need to think about it and try it technically to decide what to do about it and how to balance.

Again, gone wild. With Mostphotos you really got the chance to show the world how crazy you are. This time, with a simple golden clock antique that was in the lounge of Thornbrook House. Most of the crazy part here was done in Photoshop after the tone-mapping, with many adjustment layers...

Lord Time.

Maybe you can call it an emphatic image about the importance of time, as for me, all I wanted to do is pronounce this clock and show its details. Along with my work I've found myself radiating the blue part and so it was. The main reason to do all of that was the position of the clock with that wall at the back. I was not free to remove all the distracting elements. It was hard to do so. Hence, the only solution that came about in my head was to simply, attract the eye by colors and their contrast as if the subject was hit by a spot light.

Now away from my crazy mind, there are moments that are crazy by themselves, e.g. my life. Last week and in a day like this, I was out in some sort of a secret mission if I should say (yeah and I'm talking about it here) with a group from the military. We were supposed to go to Boubyan island again, but then suddenly and when we were there, the plans changed. They decided to go to some where in the middle of Kuwait. Some area that was a junk yard for destroyed military vehicles and weapons. We checked 3 locations generally and in the first, I was surprised for that tank, that after we finished the general check-up work there, I snapped several images for it and made then back home several versions from HDR slides.

A series I called "Bellum et Pax" (War and Peace).

The junk yard is always a good spot for HDR images, with all the red and yellow hues of the corroded metals. The funny thing here is that the gun of the tank is missing as you can see from the images. Been told by the soldiers with us that some Asian workers come here put a tent over the junk and by night they come back to work and weld off the parts they need away from the eyes of patrols. I really don't know what they would do with it, but it sucks!
Our next stop was in an open area where some containers used to be collected, but nothing was interesting for my camera there (despite maybe the barbed wire that I wanted to snap but didn't find it attractive enough for my eyes). The third stop was the one that really made me hate such field trips once and for all and wish I wouldn't go there anymore. We drove into a field of junk ammo that didn't explode, with my own eyes I saw a huge bomb, obviously it's not a tank's or a normal gun. It got to be an airplane's. We stopped thinking about the matter (or I should say they were thinking and I'm stuck in the car) but then they decided to retreat backward and went around that junk, but yet, we were still surrounded by ammo, maybe lesser in amount than the location before. One of soldiers told us that this area was a mine field before as well (and who knows if it was cleaned in a proper manner or not!). We had to walk in a straight line following some traces of car tires on the ground to make sure that the land where we step is safe. At the end of our work, I picked the camera and snapped only one scene for the horizon, where the clouds where gathering in what was somehow a sunny day...

Forgotten Grace.

I called it "Forgotten Grace" because, maybe, for some time, we really don't know how lucky we are that we are alive still. After these moments in a mine field amid the ammo that can explode at any minute, who knows what or when or why your life might be taken. It is just a flick of an eye sight, and you're not here anymore. Praise it, as long as you can...
The image here was bracketed (i.e. for HDR) but I merely used the technique to show the details of the clouds and pronounce the more. Nothing crazy about this as the feelings and the situation, were not adequate for such a crazy mood.

Life goes on... but till when?

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