Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back on Track...

One busy week. Ramadhan is over and I couldn't post on time on Thursday because of the feast (Eid) that, for me, is an occasion to sleep more and care less about the world around me. I neglected for a week now or two everything related to my "duties" toward Ayvarith recordings and just spent my days sleeping and eating, and of course looking for something to catch with my camera.
During family gatherings I worked with my camera a bit as the habit goes but well, this time not many good pictures. Plus most of them are private and I wouldn't be able to show. Now, I'm back to work with a severe insomnia forcing me to leave to work without even a nap for few minutes before going to work. Well, it just struck me for 2 days so far, and I hope I won't have this situation again. I do already suffer from insomnia and not enough sleeping as it is, but I don't go to work without sleeping at all like that!

During the last days of Ramadhan I was working heavily on "old" panoramas taken from Ireland back in 2010. I've figured out that I have more power with panoramas to create certain view points that I didn't imagine before. This was apparent specifically after working on my night panorama from the roof top some weeks ago...

Lonely Night

This thought made me go ahead and try various aspects for those panoramas I've done before, and thought my work with them is done so far. I was wrong anyway, there are things behind the little planet projection and the tunnel view, and even behind the flat and vertical looks and the QTVR rendering. The task, though, was not easy as I thought, since I've deleted most of the HDR slides after doing the primary panoramas with them, to save some space in my external hard disk (which sizes 320GB by the way!).

Ríocht na Ardeaglais
Kingdom of the Ardeaglais

Irish Home VI

These are jut two samples of the newly made views of the old panoramas. The effect mimics, to some extent, the fisheye lens effect on a full-frame camera. Maybe the view here is wider though, and stretches the horizon further. This stretch adds an illusion of space into the scene. Some people, for example, commented already about the second panorama (which if the side garden of Thornbrook House B&B) saying that it is such a large lawn to mow! Well, the garden was relatively small to other gardens I've encountered and not as large as the front yard for example (which mostly people didn't comment about its size in normal panoramas). Anyway, not all new-looking panoramas are supposedly to be stretched that way and to give a spacious look, because I think, after all, that it depends on the location and the scene.

To Salvation

This panorama for example, for St Dominic Abbey interior in the heart of Cashel town, does not necessarily give an indication of such a spacious land (mainly because the court here is narrow in fact), but the main concentration in mind here was on the geometrical shapes created by the pillars on the side wall, and the oval shape illusion of the ground, to make a mix of shapes. The sunlight, too, played a role, hence the name of the image "To Salvation," as if the sun rays are coming out of the gate at the far end.

Now, the previous panoramas were achieved with some twisting in parameters, starting from a little planet projection style. This is not the case all the way. A flat regular panorama can be used to create something out of the ordinary, other than the vertical panorama, like this panorama of Hore Abbey:

Curvae Hore

All what was really needed here after setting the regular panorama, is to pull the center down making a wave-like shape of the sky and the ground. Would be useful for future considerations if there is a valley-like feature to be introduced in a certain mood. All of the dramatic colors and effects were done of course after tone-mapping and with adjustment layers later on in Photoshop. This image was rejected from some stock sites for "jagged edges". I think they didn't accept the hard contrast between the two portions of the image. Isn't it supposed to be so?

But one of the surprises for me was when I've discovered that there is indeed one panorama that I didn't touch at all, all this time! Probably the reason that made me forget about this panorama a bit is the fact that it doesn't bear much of distinctive features (and that caused me also trouble stitching it). To go around such problems with stitching this panorama and just to make it worthwhile, the solution was to do a twist as well.

Crystall Ball Fantasy

The panorama was heavily edited in HDR mode first before tone-mapping, and in fact I was planning to remove the extras on the corners, but then I've realized that it does serve as some effect like a crystal ball (hence the name). On a large scale, the details are not to be praised in fact because of the black level I've added. Anyway, this angle was away from the stitching error point (which I just don't know what causes it). In panorama world, the more space you have in location, the more error-prone stitching you might have because of the inability of the software to find control points properly or mismatching control points because of similar features that do not belong to the same position.

I've decided to do some self-advertisement if I should say, by taking a photo for my own prints. Not prints that would qualify to high quality ones but they make a nice subject I guess. This tiny little experiment inspired me to "something" after all...


The problem with this shot is the fact that I was laying the prints flat on a white cardboard. The cardboard itself was flat on a table and to get a direct, on-plane shot was almost impossible. For this reason I had to do my best with after-shooting procedures to straighten things out a bit (and cut proportions of the table apparent in the image). The result was fine, but with somehow elongated or stretched shapes of the prints. I didn't want to hang the papers on the cardboard for various reasons, thus I had to satisfy myself with this, for now. This experience made me think of some tool to take vertical shots with ease, so I hit on B&H website again and I think I've found what I need...

Photek TRI-X-2500, literal arm extender
Source: B&H

Not only it will solve such a tiny problem but it might be a good solution for the eternal nadir problem for me, but the problem for nadir is the workflow on location itself. To use this to shoot the nadir I "must" use it at the end of my work with the panorama and I "must" elevate it to the same height of the camera on the VR-head, on the tripod itself, and most importantly of all, I have to unscrew and screw things which would take such a long time. Such a fuss and a mess for one shot? Well, seems it's really not paying. However, this item is on my list for next purchase that I might place at any time now.

I'm starting my photography class now (since Tuesday) and I will be having 2 hours class every Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 7 to 9 p.m.. It is a basic level, and I need it to go up on the stairs in a proper way. Who knows, maybe such class also will make some contacts for me to avoid troubles taking pictures outside in the future! It is so hilarious when I sit and think between myself and I, and find out that most of the architectural photography that I've done, is actually done outside for 90% of it. Time to get busy with life I presume. Oh how much I miss Ireland...

No comments:

Post a Comment