Thursday, March 8, 2012

Racing Time...

Wow! What a busy week. I'm so exhausted that I don't even know how I'm typing these words. I've been going out daily (out of work that is) to do some chores, and all of that is done with all the traffic jams. Also, I go out in the afternoons amid the same jams just to complete the tasks! I've been busy with my "business" if I should say. Catalogs, prints and soon, the expo will be coming on the 22nd. Now, I've been sleeping so early (9 or 10 p.m.) which is something rarely done, but it is good so far, but the not so-good part is not being able to wake up easily, even though I've been sleeping early like that. I'm sleeping for 7 hours now instead of 5, but it's hard to wake up in the morning. I indulge in daydreaming the most at morning times, which makes it harder even to raise my head up above the pillow.

I. Media Race:
I've finally finished my catalog and printed out. Only 20 copies so far, and they cost a fortune. I've been spreading the catalogs around and some people did already talk about "ordering" some. Hope this will lead to more money on the way. I've spent more than 200 K.D. (~ US$720) in two months just to initiate the project.

The Catalog.
Didn't have much care for taking this photo in fact!

I've been asked already to make some prints by a "customer" but till this moment no "real" sale yet. I'm optimistic though, and I know a business in these times is not an easy thing to achieve. One step at a time.

Photo for the first print around the size of A2.

The second print I've made on A1 size (and waiting for framing).

II. Dark Aspect:
I've mentioned before in previous blog posts that I was thinking in two types of panoramas, but I didn't say what are they I suppose, since I don't like to spill my ideas out. However, one of these ideas was achieved (partially). The panorama was done using the flash unit attached to the camera in the process.

Dunkeltraum (Dark Dream)

I've said "partially" earlier because, simply, this is not the place I was hoping for. The panorama was done on the roof of the house and it is a simple horizontal panorama. I was aiming for a place that would be more clogged with objects and showing signs of destruction of violence, and needless to say, I hate to work on the roof, specially with a flash firing. It happened though as I expected and there was someone watching me as I heard some windows or doors sliding, but I didn't react. If I did look around trying to find the source of these sounds in this pitch dark environment, most probably I would be like a guilty person in their eyes. Whoever was there, it surely give me some nuisance that I don't need, and I had to pace up my work speed.

However, the image above was not to my liking in general, because as I said the place is not well-chosen as I wished, but after all I got some of the lessons and remarks that I've made for myself concerning flash photography combined with panoramic photography. I was trying in the beginning (before this trial) to fix the bracket I've purchased a while ago to carry the flash well above the camera, but it didn't work out well and I couldn't attach it to the whole configuration.
Maybe, just maybe, as it is a thought for now, maybe it is possible to mimic the effect of the flash making spot lights on the scene by using the capabilities of the HDR for lowering and raising the exposure value for certain areas, but I'm not sure this will be perfect for resembling the flash strokes.
Also, there is the fact that I might need to change the power of the flash frequently while working in a dark environment to resemble the spot-light effect. This is just to avoid making everything so dark, and the power should be concentrated on the important features of the place. Such stuff are hard to do (but can be done) with HDR slides.
I need another round with "flash panorama" (I coined it here) but I need the proper atmosphere and space to do so.

III. Windy Encounter:
Last Saturday, and just for the sake of keeping my hand warm with the camera, I've decided to go to the beach, anywhere on the beach, just to snap some images. I was lucky somehow with some images, but the wind there almost knocked me off! It was a tough wind, and with me wearing a jacket and trying to stand in a place and snap and image raising my hands up, that made me like a sail and the wind kept pushing me back hard. However, I think I achieved some stability there!

Graceful City
Canon 18-55mm @42mm

The first catch was the image above; Graceful City. What captured my eyes is the sun rays blowing from behind the clouds. Of course, in my mind I was estimating what kind of workflow to emphasize this feature and to emphasize these lines, and the answer was simply, HDR. There is really no time for metering and working peacefully, and the wind wouldn't give a chance. However, even though I took a bracketed image (3 shots of 3 different exposures) I tried in the beginning to work solely on a single shot and tried hard to fix it and emphasize the rays coming out of the clouds, yet, unfortunately, this didn't work quite well. Now with HDR, I thought of completely changing the mood of the image. One thing is annoying me though, and that is the white spots caused by the high lighting coming from the sun.

The second catch was the gazebo that I've snapped from afar before. Combined with the clouds in the sky and the horizon, I thought I would get out of it with some scene. I've changed my lens at this point to Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens.



Heavy work was waiting for me with DxO Optics. I could have left the images untouched with their fisheye distortion, but I thought it would be nice when the sky and the edges appear stretched a bit, giving some depth to the images. The hard time was in fixing the horizon mainly, and by implying some highlight and shadow enhancement to show more details. These two images were made out from single RAWs, but with DxO, there is a possibility to turn it out with some HDR feel to it. These two, might be a target for enlisting into my printable collection...
At the end, and under the gazebo, I had a shot for that fancy roof (with the same lens). It was hard to balance myself over the benches and I almost flipped backward!

Wooden Web

This shot, too, was done with a single RAW and not HDR bracketing. Of course there is some cropping after adjusting the rotation of the image. It was hard to balance with that wind.

I'm missing my doodling with Geltani and Ayvarith for sure, but in such times there are measures I can't stop. I just hope I'll be back to all soon, beside being in the business... I need to finish with this expo as soon as possible, if only time can run as we wish...

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