Saturday, May 14, 2011


I lose. Again...

There are times when the world seems to have no meaning. Plain... boring... and inside you just lose the ability to feel emotions; yours and others'. A week that begins with a panic shouldn't be considered a week on your calendar. Started this week off with realizing the fact that my passport is missing, and after looking around for 2 days, at home and at work place, it didn't show up. I was going to inform the nearest police station about the missing passport (the procedure to get a new passport here), or should I say I did go indeed, but they told me that I have to come by day time in the official working hours and not afternoons. Then, as if by a miracle, ta-da and the passport was in my hands. In the place I've least expected: my camera bag. Why? Don't ask me please.
Seems I'm growing a trend of "geekalization" in my blood. Why do I feel so comfortable going around in circles in ACE hardware store? I have to say that just looking up at tools (even those in the pet section) might, at any moment, spark some ideas for your camera. I'm going there from time to time just to check the latest WHILE looking for some tools that I do need indeed.
Even though I've decided to have a vacation from my camera for some time, still, I'm working with it somehow, by force, as my brother wanted me to take pictures of some products to help him in some graphic design he is working on for an ad. Not that my brother forced me to do it but I had to do it to help him out, using my softbox and my humble desk lamps and shot with my Tamron 70-300mm macro lens. The challenge was in using the flash unit (strobe as some call it). I'm still not mastering the lights, and needless to say, I don't have the right equipments. Is it time to order EZcube? I don't know...
As a new break to my vow, I made a trial with this "spiderpod" that I've got from ACE last week. I was afraid that it won't bear the weight of the camera, but it was fine. It can bear the heavy weight of Canon EOS 7D and a lens attached, to some limit, until you lower the camera level so much that the legs don't stand a chance for a support, then you might need to use your fingers or something at the base. Spiderpod is useful for many other situations of course, because of the flexibility of its legs, but for the time being, I just aimed at using it for a ground level photo shoot. The target: my car.

Seat Altea 2006
I didn't notice the cat until I began processing the image!
And just a glimpse on how it looks to be using a spiderpod on the ground...

Spiderpod in action
I took many shots from different angles in this experiment, but I've decided that the best angle is what you see above. Also, I was aiming for a focus stacking. My fisheye lens was configured on f/2.8 which means a shallow depth of field, and this is the effect I wanted in fact but I wasn't sure how to focus specially with the spiderpod being so slow (I'm not going to lay on the ground, would I?). Here, I've used the Manual Focus and rotated the ring according to the approximate distance as measured by my eyes.

Canon 15mm Fisheye lens. The focus ring and the distance indicator can be seen.
Source (B&H)

Despite the fact that we use the metric system, and all our education is in metric system, but sometimes it is useful to use the imperial (?) or measurements in feet instead of meters. This is because, as the name implies, the foot is indeed approximately more or less, the same length of your own foot. When I used to go for some field trips for my work and I needed to take some long measurements and the measuring tape would fail me because it is short somehow, I would simply count my steps and divide the number by 3 (if I'm having a calculator at hand that would be 3.3) and my steps are converted to meters now. Of course the whole thing is not supposed to be precise, but to give an estimation. I think we really need to distinguish between cases in our daily life where we need to be perfect and where we need to be, simply, practical. Well, Maybe matters of the heart are an exception.
However, this is what has been done here, the distance between me and the car front is about 0.5 meters with my own eyes, but I took also shots fixing the focusing ring at distances longer and shorter than 0.5 meters, thinking that I would go on focus stacking, but I realized when I checked the shots on PC that there is no need for all of that. One final shot was enough.
Photomatix, again, played some weird role. This time even though the slide was a single slide, and I'm not doing any batch processes, it did show white edges. The edges were not removed until I turned on the option to crop the images after aligning. The thing is, the pictures are aligned by the virtue of the spiderpod. I just keep the option to align the image on all the time because I don't like to change the options often when I work in between the projects. Cropping your images when doing a batch process in Photomatix, as by means to prepare for stitching a panorama later on, might cause you some headache. Most of the panorama stitching programs would give you a notice that the dimensions of your images are not equal, and maybe some of them won't stitch the images at all because of that (I remember AutoDesk Stitcher would display the images with equal dimensions only and neglects the different ones).

Trying to find some means not to work with my camera as before and take a break, I turn from time to time to my arsenal of images from Ireland (2009 and 2010) and the Scientific Center, unless some idea pop up in my mind and makes me on the go and MUST use my camera. This will happen soon with the arrival of the sound trigger that I've ordered. For the time being, I've been re-submitting some of the old sketches I've made during the boring meetings or simply when my mind was having a walk in its own world...

Zombie Survivor (renamed)
I remember saying to myself that I want to take a break from my camera in order to handle other things that are hanging around, like my Ayvarith conlang. I've started already recording some verses but it was a slow start with some technical problems, hopefully though I will fix this soon. I was recording my voice in 16bit format, but seems I have to do it in 32bit, just to make the transition smoother, as the 16bit recording appears to be cut sometimes into some fragments. Either that, or simply, my PC processor is so slow at the moment! However, just as an example for how Ayvarith sounds, you can get a little MP3 file here. And just in case you need to follow up as well here comes the English and the Ayvaric text...


Once upon a time in the dusty past
when tribes dominated and hatred spread
the destiny was waiting and waiting it was
for the man of might who will come and unite
so destiny chose a man called Alexander
far away from the land of Caqobdar
king of kings whose father was Pilippán
ruled with just and spread the wise word
the kingdom of Caqobia now is unite
the kingdom of Caqobia now is mighty


wáħád maąiþ baZmén hú ğabrán
baMat xawanim sabíŧún ąaramramún mağ maskamah
xawan e-qazalzul minŧár vi-minŧár hú xawan
leAdam vu qáħayluþ yi ga-yiyawħad e-ħayyúþá
kazá e-qazalzul baxtar adam hú ąališgandar
mí hínhín, mí ąiric húþ Caqubdar
malík e-malíkún yi avvú xawan hú Pilippánút
yi dakal vi-našŧar e-miąšavúþá mağ ąadnakút
malakúþá Caqubdar húþ haylá mayawħadiþ
malakúþá Caqubdar húþ haylá qavíriþ
During reading some of these verses, I've noticed that my perception for the vowels' lengths had slightly changed, or it might be affected by my desire to say things in a hurry to sound like a fluent speaker of Ayvarith. The experience here is that, in the beginning of the creation of this conlang, I was concentrating on each individual word and how it sounds (to me of course), but the story was changed completely when these words are added together to form sentences; the level of hardship in pronunciations got elevated. Nevertheless, I'm on the way. Who said a language doesn't evolve? I realized even that the original UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights), that I've made in the early beginning of the creation of Ayvarith, is considerably wrong to the current state of Ayvarith and its grammar.

Well, for now I'm going to finish The Playful Brain, as soon as I can, as my shipment is on the way. It is here already but waiting for the clearance to finish. If I'm lucky (huh?) then I would be able to pick it up today. I've been trying to write something with a gush of emotions, and made something out of the haste...

It was but in these eyes,
one truth above my lies,
when everything scattered away.
Trying hard not to cry,
though my heart is set to fly,
from me, far, far, away.

Now it's like from above,
cruelty won over love,
wishing you good luck over my pain.

A tear on the cheek
laughter is all I seek
now, it's all over again
it's all over again
Learning how to survive
digging for a life
it's all over again, now
it's all over again
My life is beginning,
all over again...

Weird things happen, I know,
but to be lonely again, no, no,
I'm not identified, again.
Shadows of my past,
and the gloom they cast,
am I scared of love, again?

Now it's like from above,
not a thing to be thinking of,
two hearts dancing in the rain.

A tear on the cheek
laughter is all I seek
now, it's all over again
it's all over again
Learning how to survive
digging for a life
it's all over again, now
it's all over again
My life is beginning,
all over again...
all over again...

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