Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Here We Go...

Sometimes, your life can be so catastrophic that being screwed up at work is considered a happy event. This is somehow my new quote and motto. I've been out today (Wednesday) to do some field work in two locations. The work was smooth, but as I expected, this single field work event will trigger others I don't like. The sea is beautiful. I have to plan for more visits with my camera there. The weather is nice; chilly but nice, and windy. My hair was a mess after each location. This field work sparked my passion and hopes again to visit Miskan island, and also a thought of Auhah island (north of Failaka, south of Failaka respectively).

Still working on proof-reading the Ayvarith text for Alexander's story and going on with part VI. The process was sort of an easy one when it was for the previous parts and I would finish one part in one day (around an hour), but with part VI, I'm trying as much as possible to get an average of 200 lines to be proof-read in one day. This estimate can reach 300 or 400 lines even when the blood is bumped into the veins. There is pressure in the air though with the start of the new semester and my boss being back from his vacation. There is some work waiting for me. Too bad I can't work out recording my voice at work, because the time I spend in the work place seems to be the only time I would work with my Ayvarith projects, so far. Not only that, but mostly the time that I mostly write in some of my poems, like the recently done Daydreamer. An amalgamation of feelings that I do get either from being alone, or being awake from a dream. There are things I do write at home of course, but most of the heavy load of thoughts visit by morning or noon time, when I'm at work.

I'm technically trying to reduce my intake of music. Music is one of the well-known triggers to daydreaming, but cutting it out is hard. Specially when I do some work with my Ayvarith text for example, or do some work on some photos, but in the same time, it takes my feet away from my stable ground. Sad ground, but stable. Maybe that's why singing or listening to music is some sort of a taboo in pure Islamic way. The debate though fluctuates among scholars whether it is an absolute forbidding, or just a not-so-virtuous act, while religious singing is allowed as far as I remember. Yes, I do listen to music even though my teachings say so. I'm not an angel myself but this has been the way I steamed off my anger, depression, hate. I guess scientific- and psychological-wise, this Islamic judgment for songs and singing seems coherent to what such things cause to the human brain. I'm officially addicted to music and songwriting (somehow) that stopping them now seems to drive me crazy a bit. I'm exchanging this with running something else on Youtube for example, but the main problem is what to do when you drive your car in a stupid traffic jam with stupid people around? Yes. A big headache.

Been trying my new tools, but not so much to be done so far. One interesting venture though, trying to capture the night sky with the new Tamron telephoto macro lens (70-300mm). I've concentrated on a bright spot in the sky (after failing aiming to the moon which was around 90 degrees above my head and it was so hard to aim that way), later on I've found out this spot is actually Jupiter. However, I was trying the bulb mode with my Canon EOS 7D (never did as far as I remember). With my trials with the old Canon EOS 350D in bulb mode (and it was altogether set with (M)anual mode), the trials were kind of a failure and it was hard even with filters. Now, with my Tamron, and because of the hood around the lens as it seems, the "star trail" for Jupiter was obvious and I got a nice single line after 5 minutes of exposure under f36 (yes f36 not 32). I tried for few seconds and for around one minute, but the 5 minutes exposure was the longest in line and the black area around the trail was starting to get bright. The thing is, the brightness in the sky didn't happen so fast and I think the hood had a critical factor in the matter here. With my 350D and 50-200mm telephoto lens, the brightness was happening so fast in bulb mode.

One static shot and 3 trails for Jupiter blended together.

Another experiment done with my filters this time and my 55-200mm which I got an adapter ring for lately. I've tried to take a long exposure shot for a candle. Simple as it seems but we have some problems here with a candle. It's hard to make some interesting shot about it.
  1. Luminance is centered. The metering method plays a crucial part here.
  2. Not much movement involved in the flame itself in a quiet room, making a long exposure barely interesting.
  3. The candle was not easy-burning one, meaning a long exposure is REALLY long one. I don't have a time-remote (which I plan to get some time later) which can program my Canon to take certain shots at a fixed time interval.
  4. Fixing the WB won't change much of the yellowish hue of the candle and its body.
  5. HDR can hardly work for such flaming body (but still trying).
  6. For HDR, filters might not be a good option after all, and also tried to limit the EV to -/+2.
In the beginning I tried some relatively short exposures like 30 seconds. Later on for one minute and gradually raised the limit to 15 minutes. Maybe the most interesting result was the one taken with an exposure of a bit more than one minute (if I remember correctly, 102 seconds).
In The Dark...

In this shot, which to me looked like the most interesting one, I had to be on the side of the scene blowing air into the candle with some piece of paper trying to make some movement into the flame and move it. That's why you see the flame being spread to the sides a bit instead of being directly up (as it should be in my quiet room). The candle stick is green by the way and not pink, but the luminance plays some tricks here (along with hue and saturation fixes). This candle is supposedly aromatic one, but I left it burning for more than 30 minutes and yet I couldn't smell anything! Moreover, the stick didn't melt much, meaning if I was going for a really long exposure, God knows how much time (and power) I would need to record a slight movement in the height itself. An interval time-remote control would be a good option here. Unfortunately, I don't have it now. HDR trials with this scene were filled with grain and noise, so much beyond repair, thus I've neglected the idea.

Still checking the astronomical charts for the moon, and I wish if I can just head to the desert to do some star trailing with my camera, but going to the desert in somehow in the middle of nowhere, needs two instead of one person. My social situation is so awkward that sometimes I don't care about anything, yet I don't have anyone to go out with to such places. Thursday is a holiday here, and I wonder if I will be able to make it to Failaka. I just need the mood.

The time for a vacation is pressing so hard, but my life is a mess that I can't seem to decide even whether to go or not. How is it in New York?

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