Thursday, January 12, 2012


Not bad for such a week, even though I got myself screwed up a bit, but seems it is the sense of adventure! Details about that will come later on anyway, when it comes to my talk about my work with the camera. As for the time being, I'm busy thinking more and trying more for creating my new con-script and conlang; Geltani. All I can say about this week for now is: it was nice. Started with some work and hopefully ending with some inspirational work, all what's missing is some good news!

I. Geltani:
As for the new conlang, I'm still working on the basics, like general shapes and logograms (pictographs) and also putting the first blocks of the grammar itself. The grammar is not supposed to be as complicated as Ayvarith is (and still Ayvarith's grammar is simpler than ordinary languages). So far, I made a decision to neglect the masculine and feminine cases and neglect the definite article (the) but use an indefinite article (a, an) only - like the case is with real Chinese and Turkish. I've developed, as well,  some special logos for other grammatical cases, like the verbs, and the plurals, as well as putting a rough sketch for the numerical system which will be decimal of course (base 10). The test is still going on however to see how flexible such symbols can be when writing them down in combination with others. But the hard part didn't begin yet.
In my previous post I've explained the main idea of dividing the word into syllables of two, where the first phoneme is the leading sound and the next would make an effect. For simplification, I've decided to call them Leading and Driving respectively. To explain it more I would refer to my previous post's example (the word "Honey"):
Honey: RLW
RL - W
[RL]: "R" Leading and "L" Driving

However, I'm constructing still the major sheet that explains the values and sounds of the Driving portion of the syllables. Almost not much concerns about the Leading part, since the sounds are specified already. It is a relation, somehow, of a cause and effect. It is close to the way aspiration and eclipse work in Irish Gaelic, to some extent. I'm shifting values here and there and there is a big uncertainty in this matter still.

Example of initial values for Leading and Driving sounds (click to enlarge)

I have to think as well and decide, whether to allow duplicates in sounds in this large collection. I also think of adding some Semitic elements to the Chinese-like conlang by adding sounds like fricative "H" (Hebrew: chet) and Glottal "A" (Hebrew: ayin).  There is still long work to do on that, and then later I have to think of some way to present my work to Omniglot. Think, think, think...

II. Soak or Not:
One of the most beautiful aspects of this week is the fact that we had rains. Yes, rains. I should start a feast and a special holiday for announcing the first drop of rain to come on this land. However, despite the amazing weather (which might not be so for some people, specially those who live in rain-soaked areas) it is of course hard to work in such conditions, but all I can do is open the window and listen to the drops of rain until I snooze.
Anyway, after some wave of heavy rains, I've discovered that the "playground" or the parking place where I usually park in my work place has turned into a swamp of mud. I almost slipped there, many times, trying to find my way into or out of the building. However, the structures there gave an idea of some shots to do, and luckily I was having my camera and tools with me!

Mud Rider
Rokinon 8mm @f/22

I've erased the car logo from the tire's cover for commercial purposes. In the shot above, I had to expand my tripod's leg and make it lower to the ground level (and getting dirty). One of the hard things to control is to take a proper shot with 8mm in such low and extended legs' level. However, after merging to HDR and before tone-mapping, I had to get to cloning out some portions to remove tiny parts of the tripod's legs showing in the shot. It is always better to clone in HDR before tone-mapping. Also, there were some cropping to remove part of the building on the left and also to pull back the tire into the lower right corner and make it closer to the sides.
The weather was nice (to me) but the problem with such weather is the hardships with the WB and how to satisfy a specific mood. things were hard with other shots around the place and in fact, after close inspection when I got back home, the images hardly impressed me. Maybe HDR tone-mapping is not always a good idea in such situation and maybe I should inspect the images in single RAWs. 

Liquor Lucis

Anyway, this tiny session around my work place was not the big bang of the week. The greater event started the day after I posted my last post in this blog; last weekend, and to be specific on the early hours of Friday and before the sun started to rise above the horizon.
Everything started right after doing a check on the tidal level when I packed my stuff (and wore enough clothes) and headed out. Actually, the tide level was not what I really wanted but it allowed me to go a bit deeper on the beach (more precisely, the beach shelf, or the hard ground under water at high tide time). The tide was minimum at around 3 a.m., but I went out around 5 a.m.. For this reason, the water level was rising slowly as I was working on my panorama.
The thing that I was really afraid of is some fellows to block my way or annoy me (you know whom I'm talking about, right?) but gracefully, everything went smooth, somehow. I soaked myself a bit but that was OK. I think the whole thing paid of (despite the annoying fact that for long exposures and for high ISO levels, there were some annoyances). However, the first result out of the whole thing was a flat spherical panorama.

Nox Salmiyah

Now, despite the bluish shades and hues in this image, the original WB during the whole process was set to Daylight (i.e. a yellowish shade). Adjustments were made later when tone-mapping and also in Photoshop in the final steps. Anyway, further trials with other WB when merging into HDR are possible ventures to tickle this panorama.
Stitching, naturally, had some problems because of the big portions from the sky (night sky, no clouds visible), but there were some nice stars visible in the long exposure slides but wouldn't be visible to the naked eyes. I've set ISO to 800, which is high, but it was necessary to ensure that the exposure at +2EV won't exceed 30 seconds long. Cleaning the noise anyway took several steps and in the original file, it might not be as perfect as I wish. There was cleaning with NeatImage and Noise Ninja and then smoothing out some areas with Median trick.
Another trial, however, with this panorama and this time without changing much of the WB which was yellowish or golden in shades, but this time the simple work of enhancing the image, turned to be a graphical design of its own.

Planeta Ignis

The glowing luminance around the little planet of Salmiyah here inspired me to work on such a design and mimic a burning comet or planet. The awkward moment here is that most of these effects had to be done in 8-bit format, since they are not available in 16-bit format in Photoshop, and this might caused, at some point, some banding. around the planet. Maybe of the hardest things to fix in both images is the weird color spots (hot pixels) which is not something new to me by now.
After this little adventure on the beach in the pitch dark dawn time, this location in fact was not a prime target for me. My real target is on the other side to the left of this location (facing the sea). That location specifically has nice rocks lying on the bed at the time of a low tide, but this place better be targeted at low tide rather than a time when the water level is coming up, like I did in this trial. This said, I have to watch out now for my chances in the coming weekend, as well as checking for other potential locations along the sea shore line (and surely be careful of cops and security people).

Well, I hope to drop this now, and get back to my Geltani project. Just thinking about the future time pressure because of these many projects makes me nervous!

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