Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year. Really?

Happy new year. So they say. Anyway, not much difference to me, for all days seem to go on one direction in a monotonous rhythm.I didn't even touch my camera for a month or more, well, except for trials to take a picture of myself to work on my idea for Asperger's but even that was a fail. I need a hand at this, but all I have is myself to work here.
I've began to really hate the start of the week for all the bad news that might come to my ears, just like the situation with my dear friend, who gets all the heavy dose of bad news in the first day, in the early hours of the morning as he steps into his work place.
I try to amuse myself now and then in my idleness by working on some of my photos from this year and the last year, and of course most if not all of them are from Ireland, as I didn't capture many photos from here. I did however catch few that are somehow worth the mention, mainly two, from Boubyan island 2 weeks ago, which brings me to the point here that I'm supposed to go to Boubyan tomorrow, Wednesday. The news makes me sick somehow in that it is, again, with the military. The view is nice really, but I'd rather work in a different environment. Moreover, we are limited by time in that we have to get back to my work place for the damn fingerprint scanning.

Boubyan incipit, Boubyan fines.
A road on the island.

As mentioned before, I've started to use Latin to name my images, thinking it gives some sense of power or mysterious hue (but Irish Gaelic can be included sometimes of course). The name here means "Boubyan begins, Boubyan ends," denoting the fact that this island is simply, clear. The long road won't make much difference in the views. Well, maybe in the middle of the island it is different, who knows! Tomorrow we are supposed to go deeper into the island. I will try to bring my camera and see what I can snap. On the right side you can see the bridge that leads into and from the island. I took a small panorama of that bridge from the same position but I didn't look after it. I don't think the angle was good.

Post-war Traffic

This truck maybe was the best catch in that trip. The rusty metal is always a good subject for HDR composition, with its destinctive reddish hue. The soldiers gathered around their officer and discussed the matter of the bullet hole in the front glass or the windshield. Some say it is the one that killed the driver while others say it is an after-math process. What an intellectual dicussion! I tried to catch the scene again with a fisheye lens but in fact, didn't make much a difference. I think I should have stepped a bit further away from the truck to allow more space for the land on the right, and to give a clearer view of the fisheye effect.

Beside those, there were many pictures processed from Ireland, old and new. I've finished my third album and going on completing my fourth album. If there is anything worthy living for right now, in my life, is the pictures I make. I'm trying hard to put my feelings into them, but I do give some space to technical matters as well sometimes. On the technical side, I'm fluctuating between sRGB and Adobe spaces, but I do become naughty sometimes and feel like I want to work in ProPhoto even though I know it won't fit my needs perfectly. It is just the need for vivid colors that makes me eager to work with this color space.

I'm tending now to use more and more adjustment layers (after tone-mapping the HDR slide of course). All to give the vivid or the mysterious look. Not everyting can be done in the tone-mapping process but at least, controlling the light and the sharpness of some zones in the image. Not much panoramas now since I worked out most of them in the early trials as I arrived back from Ireland, but nonetheless, there was one or two and some of the small ones that I needed to do. One of those was the panorama taken from the front yard of Hore Abbey, which in fact, generally in shape, didn't differ much from the previous done panorama from the inside of the abbey:

Hore Abbey in the front yard.

Hore Abbey from the inner court.

I think the two differ only in the amount of details of the structures, of course. In order to make the new panorama a sort of a magical place (and I called it already Horeus Magicalis), I used many adjustment layers to control the color of the skies and the grass (which was green of course). I preferred the yellow here because normally it adds a good contrast against a bluish sky. One of the major tools that are in use in my work is the Selective Color adjustment layer (of course beside the normal and everyday tools, like Curves and Levels). This adjustment layer allows me to blend-in different colors into some other color in varying degrees, and that affects the appearance and the mood of the image a "lot". Having the mood I want for an image is a serious, hideous and tedious work when it comes to sRGB space. Thus, as a norm, I tend to use Adobe 1998 color space the most. Ghosts and artifcts forming in HDR slides is another problem, along with the chromatic aberrations which Photomatix doesn't seem to fix them properly, hence I need to use Hue/Saturation adjustment layers often to eliminate the magenta lines from the edges (and sometimes cyan as well).

One of the small panoramas (vertical this time) that I've done recently was the chestnut tree taken from Cahir town, along the long path beside the river bank leading to the Swiss Cottage.

Castán (Chestnut)

This little vertical panorama is weird a bit because the upper part of the tree is in fact dangling over the path, i.e. it was above my head when I took the shots for this tree (handheld). Here it appears likeif the tree is springing outward like a flower and not really bending over my head! Just the effect I want! The problem here though was, as usual, fixing the colors AFTER tone-mapping. If I remember correctly, the space here was sRGB and it was so hard to convince myself with the saturation in general, but here you go. I was aiming really at elaborating more of the trunk's color and make it more reddish like. Nowto include the whole tree is another story. I would have to take a wider and higher panorama, which in fact would be probably better be done in a 360 panorama. The situation there is complicated!

Now in the mess, I'm starting to work just a little bit on my web page. Just a little and not much. The previous design I've made before was not really to my likings, so I decided to work on another one. This time I will try make the whole ting in GIF (with transparent background) and then cut it out into slides and convert the whole thing into HTML. Hope, that won't take much of the connection speed needed, and the design is simple I believe. I finished reading my book about manuscripts, and hence I have some time at work to do something about my webpage. All I need right now is just a push and a flare in my brain. I tend to sit idle in this place not able to do anything because of the bad mood.

I need some push with my poetry. I didn't write anything in a long time. I just hate it when this happens. I got the damn feelings, but I don't have the damn connection to put them together. What's happening!!!

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