Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Vacation?

What a little vacation I was looking for. Since Sunday there had been winds and dust that canceled the trip to Failaka island on Sunday and Monday, while Tuesday is off. The good thing though is I can sleep as much as I want, and also I kind of had time to clean my room! (Yes, clean my room). Also, I've been taking some simple pictures in this weather for the beach and doing a time-lapse (since the tripod was there preparing to shoot a video on Failaka from the car). By coincidence, I blocked the camera rear when the camera is on the tripod inside the car, and that's by putting my handbag which contains my old tripod and the VR-head on an extra shelf in my trunk. I always wanted to do that before because when I shoot a video, the LCD of the camera will be obvious and people can see (from the back) that I'm running the camera, specially when I raise the tripod's neck a bit.

Vivid Dreams
With the turbulent weather in the early morning and before the arrival of dust in the air, there was a moment when the clouds (and not the dust) blocked the sun on the beach, after having my breakfast there. With the sun, it was naturally my first choice to go on with HDR to show the details in the clouds later. Maybe not much details are shown here but originally, the images didn't show much details for them at all (except of the darkest one at -2EV). Maybe I should have adjusted the interval of the exposures. Nevertheless, some shots were indeed processed directly from the RAW files and not into HDR. The only problem here is, I like to process those in ProPhoto space which Photobucket and MostPhotos websites don't recognize!

Vivid Dreams II
from single RAW

Of course the colors you see here are a bit desaturated and not as vivid and wild as they should be in ProPhoto. However, some people liked it "soft" like that already, which is something good, for now.
On Wednesday, I decided to go to the Scientific Center and try my luck with photography if I was allowed. Well, the beginning was scary a bit and the security was hesitant to let me in, but at the reception I've discussed the matter with the receptionist, while the hall looked so busy with lot of students as it seems! Great; another strike from my luck. However, the receptionist made me sign a paper which had some legal terms of how to use the pictures and I'm supposed to give them the pictures on a CD or something after I finish. My shoot was in RAW and I completely used my 16GB CF, then my 1GB then my last resort, the 8GB CF (which was in the old Canon 350D and I didn't want to remove it till I really needed it). Quite a load! I'm not sure if I can use these pictures online though but I did submit some of them already!
For me, it was only an experience to take pictures in the darkness. Thus all the shots were in high ISO (meaning more noise). I've tried to process some snaps but the results were not really to my liking, and I had hard time as well because of the "mess" around with all these kids! UGH!

Random Theory


Zebra fish
The rest is still waiting to be processed of course. The noise level is high and the pictures are better viewed in small size and not in the original 18MP size, obviously! This trial made me think of other trials in the future since it is kind of easy to just "sign a paper" and "get on"! The other bad point is that I didn't have my tripod or monopod; with my fear already I didn't want to take a risk, and the result was a lot of shaky images.

The Turntable:
Now, I've been thinking of some concrete way of making this turntable and I think I've found the solution in a cork mat and a Velcro sticker. After some trials I think this will do (as I didn't try it for real yet). Of course I had to add a white cover for the cork mat to make it more proper in white instead of the brown shade!

The cork mat with Velcro patch on the soft face, and 4 small patches stuck on the slider on the right of the cork mat. The slider is a piece provided as an extra with my VR-head (Manfrotto SPH303) as an accessory to use small cameras with this VR-head. And yes, those are my slippers on the ground.

The cork mat with a white soft sheet stuck on its top (or on the harsh part).

Now, all what is left is to put this cork mat on the slider and then fix them on the top of the rotating part of the VR-head. Voila! A turn table. The point is stabilizing the disk itself and not rotating it by itself, as the rotation will be done by the base, hence, I guess a hard type of Velcro to make it stable while rotating is enough. Maybe extra stuff needed to stabilize the object on the top when at work, and currently I'm using some playing clay (play-duh or whatever brand that is) to stick my objects. It's not always a good option though, as I did with this simple macro shot...

Black Beauty

In this shot, the yellow clay was all around the shell in the background, which was stuck to a white board, however, Photoshop did the job and I managed to remove it. The problem is, maybe a small amount won't be enough to stick some objects. This shouldn't be a big deal on a flat turning table, but just in case. I still need to try it out. The next step now is to work seriously hard on my "flattening objects" project.

Well, all in all, it wasn't that bad in this short vacation, although lot of things I wanted to do, I didn't; like my trip to Failaka which was disturbed by the weather, and also my own recordings for the Ayvarith text which I completely forgot about, but at least was able to sleep and wake up without any stress for one week, but all of this will be back the coming week...

Silent Observer

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