Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cropping Away...

Week of delays and troubles, yet I'm still alive. Trying to forget some aspects of my own world and life by trying to work more behind the camera. Some ideas come and go, but seems like I'm running out of time...

Friday, on a sleepless morning, I've decided to break out the vacation from my camera and do something. It was morning time, and not in mood to drive, so I just decided to take pictures from my home. My first goal was to catch something from inside the house with some scene made by sun rays striking the stairs. Unfortunately, the maid was working in the hall and I didn't want to give her a hard time (or should I say the opposite?). Anyway, seeing this I've headed outside just roaming the vicinity.

My home's yard

The picture above is for my house's yard before some adjustment that appeared later on. I have to say that I'm not happy about the changes that were made later on by my brother, when he added some small bathroom outside for guests (although we have one inside). Anyway, just for fun, I've decided to do some experiment with this structure (even though I hate looking at it).
First of all, it was some trial for some abstract art I would say. Nothing special about this little bathroom from the outside except when it's cropped, or so I'd say.

Cabin Cut

A friend once told me that one of the tricks of illusions is to remove the edges and let your vision swim freely into the object not knowing where it starts and where it ends. I was trying to do this here when I removed the top and the bottom of this cabin or bathroom. I think it would appear more flat if only these screws on the right side were removed, and the vent fan would be removed as well. I didn't want to crop more than this or to clone out. The shot was taken from the side, centering the corner of the bathroom. Cropping here beats the depth I guess.

The original cabin before cropping.
After "snapping" this shot, I went around and fixed my Tamron with my Vivitar teleconverter and went on trying to catch something, aiming at the little cat (veeeery annoying one) that lives in the yard. With a manual focusing and handheld camera, it wasn't easy for sure, but I got something after all, which made me think of a particular theme!




The images got a colored version but I don't like them as much as I like the black and white version (with the last one being selectively colored). I have to say that I didn't get much out of the collection, but I might work out something other than the ones above. I've found myself, having an image of animal in my mind, that I'm naming them with some basic elements of behaviors (animal or human). I didn't plan for such a theme for the 3 images, but it just came out, and that makes me think of doing more around this, either now or in the future. Maybe...

Cropping, cropping, cropping. This is all what I'm doing recently with some of the old images that I've forgot about; mainly those taken from Ireland in 2010. One of the pictures that I've totally forgot about (intentionally) because I didn't find any much interest in it, is re-visited. Well, it was there in one of my albums for Co. Tipperary, but this time, with cropping, lot of people (specially on MostPhotos) appreciated it...

As a background, the image was taken in one rainy day in the lounge of the Thornbrook House. I think it was taken on October 2nd, 2010. In the beginning, I was going to work with a single RAW, but decided to go with HDR to pronounce the greens more and brighten the white frames, and also pronounce the rain drops on the glass, as a single RAW would show some and hide some for a single EV value.
I started cropping from the top right keeping the frames visible, but some friends online suggested to crop more. I think they're right. It would be nicer to hide the frame. My main thought thread when I did this was to make the frame as a frame of the image itself in that corner. I also noticed that the lower left corner needed some cropping, but I didn't notice this till I uploaded the image.

Usually I crop keeping the aspect ratio of the image. Unless I'm doing a panorama (more specifically, small planet projection), I like to keep the aspect ratio of the image because in case of prints are to be made out later, or some email of pictures I'd like to send over to someone, the images would fit within each other like bricks; same height and same width, with almost equal visibility.
After reading further in George Barr's book, Take Your Photography to the Next Level: From Inspiration to Image, it kind of pushed me to break the "taboo" as he calls it. Well, I don't think this kind of break is or must be done every time I crop, but there is one image that got me into that situation. I have to admit though, I've just discovered that the image was taken wit a wrong tilt, but on the bright side (at least in my own brain that is) it makes some kind of optical illusion...

Over Suir
single RAW.
I really can't remember how I was sitting to take this image but apparently I didn't frame it correctly in the camera's viewfinder. Some edges were swollen already. Anyway, I had to crop the sides and keep the top and bottom untouched (to remove a trash bin!). I can say that going down with a low angle wasn't comfortable at that location!
However, I've been preparing some stuff from Ireland that I, myself, didn't like as well. There are times when cropping or whatever you do won't work out on such an image, but oh well, the image can still be dear to you for some reason (specially when it is from a vacation!)...

Moment of Silence

The only thing I really liked about this image above, is the sun rays coming from the upper right corner. I didn't like the colors much too (prepared from a single RAW) so I changed it to Black and White. Try my best to add such a drama with the contrast, but yet, I don't think I did it quite well. Still, some people liked it in fact, and like George Barr says, you wouldn't know if the picture you hate the most from your work, can be the one that the public admires the most. The image above was taken from behind the gate of St. Dominic abbey in Cashel town. I was going around the ruins trying to find a way to get in and stood there taking these pictures of the graveyard, just before a lady comes out from next door to ask if I want the key! Days... I really need a vacation.

As I've mentioned before, I was going to try to print something noisy and see how would it look, on A4 size. The target image was Companions, and I got the basic shape without filtering the noise, and in fact, I've made sharpening in NIK plugin , under Glossy paper profile.

filtered here.
The print was acceptable with my HP Photosmart (I think C4783?). I made the print with HP Premium PhotoPaper (not Premium plus), and the result was fine. makes me think really about the realistic attitude for eliminating the noise from the images I take. Noise is my nemesis and seems I'm always losing the fight. Removing the noise would remove the details and so on. But, is it really necessary to be that way? I think I've adapted such approach because of the stock sites that rejected many pictures because of the noise level. The image above was taken with ISO2000 and printed it without filtering the noise, and with sharpening. I don't see it was a really bad print even though I have to say it is a small version, and when used in other publications it might be even smaller in size and the noise level would almost disappear then. I think so, at least.

Left to say, we had a lunar eclipse on Wednesday (yesterday), and it was a chance I didn't want to miss, but as usual, it was not easy to catch. There was dust and wind, and things like that get on your nerves when working with a tele-lens. the slightest movement will shake the image and so on. Although I'm the one who was working on it, but I have to say it was like a nightmare and I'm glad it's over!

Lunar Eclipse
Wednesday, June 15th 2011. Around 10:00 p.m.
This shot was taken at the end of the process in fact. The real thing was a time-lapse photography with my Tamron. However, I had to zoom out a little to automate the process of the shooting the moon phases (every 2 minutes). I was planning to take images all along the span of 3 hours but the movement of the moon, while you zoom in, is so fast to catch up with. One hour is enough to see the moon going from the lower left corner of the frame, to the upper right corner. Well, I could zoom out a bit, but I doubt any further zooming out will give any indication of the eclipse. Add to my troubles, some frames were shaken as well because of the air blow to the set. However, I've managed to do a little time-lapse clip, though I'm not quite satisfied with it.

Well, it's weekend now, almost. The time has come to wash away some of my hard time with some good sleep, if any. Been a slow week... full of discomfort...

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