Thursday, November 22, 2012

Synchronizing Engine...

Well, my first week being back to work and a really one hell of a week: stress, mood swings, road rage; you name it. In the same time I'm back to my readings and to photo processing, specially those from the US, while trying to regulate my time as much as possible and to be more involved with the group's activities. I've discovered lately that some people do take me an example as it seems in some way - either in photography or something else, but I have to say this feeling is frightening as much as it is pleasing. I've received some questions lately from members of the group about how I do what I do and how I choose my angles, or how do I envision the shoot. Some questions like those need a philosophical answer and long conversation.
This all comes in a time where I'm under pressure somehow to having one of those new smart phones (mine is HTC running on WindowsMobile v6.0) just to keep in touch with the rest of the group via some Apps. The matter is still ongoing in my mind to consider having one of those - yet, I'm not so convinced about it and I do think it is a waste of money, because I would be using it only for the group, supposedly. Also, I've been submitting suggestions to the group as well, concerning new ideas for workshops and establishing a system for borrowing books about photography between the members - and waiting for any further advance in these fields so far.

Now back home, I've somehow started a rhyme for my work pace but I don't think I will stay on this theme for long. I usually stitch a panorama overnight or start the stitching in the morning before I leave to work, then come back from work and start working on it, and then after posting it I would turn to a regular photo and try to process one or two if I can. The end result is 2 to 3 images a day. I've already even filled the 2nd album with 20 images and feels like it was yesterday when I've just finished the 1st! However, I won't send the album in mass email yet as I've just also sent 103 images from the Constitution Day festival by email to lot of friends (same images in the slideshow in my previous post). 

In between working out the images from the US, I took another peek at some of the images taken from Sharg mall, and specially the panorama which was done inside in the main hall of the mall.
I've done only a flat version of this panorama and a QTVR, but now I've discovered how amazing this place can be under planet projection.

Planeta Aurea Orientis
(Eastern Golden Planet)

Here, in this panorama specifically there are several points and work that have been done and I'd like to note out here:
  • One important elements that works as a guide line for the eyes of the viewer and helps on standing this panorama specifically out, is the fact that the ceiling was made of straight wooden boards. This gives an effect of absorbing the viewer to the center.
  • The usual weird color patches appeared. They were blue, and as a new approach, I've added a Photo Filter layer to the whole image while in HDR mode to counteract the blue color. Naturally, the opposite color to BLUE is YELLOW and hence it added more golden shade to the whole image. However, this approach didn't eliminate the blue patches completely of course but it reduced their intensity in some areas.
  • Any place with pillars, is worth shooting in panoramas and converting into a planet.
  • With added contrast and other adjustment layers I've realized the potential of pulling the viewer further from the outer side to the center inside by darkening the outer edges where the wooden boards are shaped like magnetic field lines. Here, it was a work to be done with the Burn tool.
  • A notice which I cannot completely confirm, but most of these weird blue patches, would appear around areas of stitching errors.

Beside Sharg mall, there was also a shot taken from the roof of the mall itself later that week when I was preparing my camera on the top before the fireworks display for the Constitution Day. In fact, this image was just a test to the see the general framing and the exposure along with the white balance settings.To check for the exposure, I've taken a bracketed shot (with 3 different shutter speeds). However, after all the sorting was done, I re-checked the folder and thought of some of these test images. I wasn't serious about it and didn't think of uploading it to stock sites, but the image gained some likes specially on Flickr.

Civitatem Felix
(Happy City)

Again, some points worth mentioning here, and even though lot of people like it, I have to say, to me it is just an experiment and I don't really consider it a nice one. However, here are some notes about this image:

  • The main factor here after merging HDR and tone-mapping the HDR, is the color space. Assigning and not Converting the color space from Adobe 1998 to ProPhoto. This step alone is responsible for pushing the contrast and the saturation of the colors, specially the blue, to a higher and a vivid limit.
  • Many adjustments for the orientation (as the tripod seemed to be tilted at the time of the shoot originally!) - but here I had depend on my eyes and rotate the image manually instead of relying on the conventional tools in Photoshop for fixing the tilted horizon. For some reason, the fixes done by this tool didn't look right to me eyes.
  • Even though it was f/8, but I didn't expect the sparkle in the light sources to be that strong. I would love to make halos around the light sources now rather than sparkles.
  • Used Faux Dynamic Range method (or the false dynamic range method) to extract some details from some shadows and highlights and increasing the contrast.
  • Finally, since this image is for a small display and not for stock sites upload, I've exaggerated a bit in my use for noise and sharpening plugins (before and after minimizing the image). Seems it created a strong and a pronounced look after all. Of course some details would be lost but in a small size display, that is not important really.
  • Spent some time trying different crops after adjusting the tilt as I was trying to find proper placement for objects along the edges and the corners.
  • The image in general is unplanned and typically a chaos. There is no specific order, no specific trend, just a view for the city. Yet, people like it. Something weird is going on here!
Now, on a different note, I think I have to change my usual printing shop. I'm getting somehow sick of the service they provide - always something broken, no material, and you have to go the main branch which sucks. I would like to go to somewhere else but the other places I know so far are far expensive as far as I know. However, I will check out when the time comes. As for now, there are games on the queue line need to be played and finished with...

(Chinese Planet)


  1. You truly have an eye for photography! I'm glad to see you doing well :)

    1. Thanks :) and nice to see you again :)