Thursday, April 25, 2013


Here we go, another week, with not much of activity, but at least I'm trying to grease the engine slowly. In the meantime, I do have something for mathematics and geometry still going on in my mind so far since the time when Mom was in the hospital, and that made me think of some weird stuff - simple, but weird I'd say. I'll come to that later on. Also, the group sent me (or maybe I should say put me in front of the cannon) for an interview on TV regarding aluminum prints. Ironically, I have nothing to do with this, except that I was "supervising" the printing process for the expo back in March. It went well (and short) but I have problem getting and viewing the video from the TV channel's youtube channel, mainly because they used a copyrighted topics and issues in their show which made the episode unwatchable in Kuwait! Thank you guys!

As for Mom, her health is progressing, specially that she started to head to the kitchen often and THAT is a very good sign in general, yet, personally and for my own state of mind, I won't feel comfortable until the number of dialysis processes that should be done per week is reduced. At the current time, we have to pick her to the dialysis center (luckily near my working place) 3 times a week, and each session takes around 4 hours. As far as I know (and some by logic), doing dialysis on the long run can cause more hibernating to the kidneys (because dialysis is doing what the kidneys should do) and that would weaken the body even more, beside weakening the immune system naturally. Two things that I don't wish Mom to be acquainted with.


Source: B&H
It's been a month or a bit more since I've got the Ubertronix Strike Finder Elite for triggering the camera (or flash as it seems), but unfortunately I'm still unable to work out any ideas to work with it. Sure, water drops and splashes seem to be an obvious target but they are cliches by now. I was trying to find something new or some creative venture within these two topics (water drops and splashes). Since I couldn't think of any, I've tried at least to do some testing for the device.
The Ubertronix seem to work fine except for few awkward delicacies!
  • The wires of the sensors (for sound and motion) are short, but probably can be lengthened by some means.
  • The device contains no controls for the sensitivity of detection (specially when it comes to sound detection).
  • The port used for connection to the camera also bears "Flash" on it, but in the instructions manual there is no explanations involving triggering flashes instead of cameras. Could that be with the help of the PC port in the flash itself?
  • Motion and Laser detection seem a bit unpredictable. 
  • The sensors for sound and motion with their short cord are also hard to be placed. Probably duct tape is due in some situations. They are in a bulky rectangular box shape and because of the sturdy cord it can be hard to make them stay flat on a table for example or make them still on their sides.
These might be some awkward points, otherwise, the device works in a wonderful way. I think even the Laser detector can be used as a motion detector but I'm not sure of that yet and I need to do more experimentation.

Rising Eye
Canon EF 50mm + 12mm & 35mm tubes, f/11, 400-1sec, ISO100.

On the other hand, I was trying to catch some eyes with the help of extension tubes but my trials with other people were in vain, so I've tried to do it on my own eye. Of course it is not like a piece of art (specially with all these reflections of flashes on the iris). I've been fascinated with the lines formed on the iris and I thought maybe the best way to do this is to use extension tubes. Using speedlites, on the other hand, was problematic but it was a must; otherwise no light is available in such narrow corner! Doing the whole thing on my own eye is a really hard task, specially with using an external portable monitor to judge the focus and the composition. After many shots, I've decided to pick Rising Eye to work on its RAW and filter it a bit more. I like this version mainly because the iris is situated in the corner (and I cropped a little from the top right corner to emphasize this fact) and it breaks the monotonous look of the iris being in the middle of the frame (and I did take shots that way as well). I've never imagined myself going so deep with the macro field, but it might be time to plan for some rails for fine adjustments?


With my sudden amusement with geometry and mathematics (not something new in fact), I've been playing around with circles and rectangles, along with squares of course. Needless to say I had some crush on Schläfli and his symbols.
From that perspective, I've been thinking of ways to organize my composition or the way I see things in my pictures. I'm quite a believer in what Bruce Barnbaum mentioned in his book The Art of Photography about the myth of the law of thirds; something that I would beheaded for if I talk about in here inside the photographic community in Kuwait! Bruce, however, had his own points and logic indeed. Anyway, for me, I do tend to think of the law of thirds and the golden spiral as means to merely organize the objects in the scene but not a critical tool to get the attention of the viewer. I'm aided with this point by the common belief among photographers that Rules are made to be broken in general!
Stemming from this point of view, I've been working around to base some order based on geometrical means rather than visual means opposed to the theory of the thirds and the spirals.

Red: Golden Spiral.
Blue: Law of Thirds
Green: Diagonal-Circles

My first trial was to draw quarter circles from the corners of a 3:2 rectangle; with 3:2 being the usual ratio for imaging sensors (at least for the APS-C cropped sensors?), and the radius of these circles is half the length of the diagonal. Thus, the quarter circles would meet at the center point of the rectangle, and by drawing the diagonals of the rectangle we can specify the points of intersection between these circles and the diagonals (green on the image above). Now, would these points make an interesting composition? This, I wouldn't know without trials. However, I do imagine it is a good starting point for circular (specially overlapping circles; e.g. in a rose) subjects. But the intersection points seem a bit far away from the center which makes me skeptic about its use in general, but again nothing can be talked of without trials.

Red: Golden Spiral.
Blue: Law of Thirds.
Green: Diagonal-Circles.
Yellow: Central Circle.

Another thought then occurred to me is to draw a central circle within the 3:2 rectangle in such a way that the center of this circle is shared with the rectangle, bearing in mind that the radius should not exceed the height of the rectangle (the y-axis length). Then, drawing quarter circles from the corners like before. This one diagram is unusual for me because it shows here more than the usual 4 intersections; in fact we have 8 intersections. However, four of these intersections don't seem to be practical (the two central intersections up and down) because they touch the edge of the frame itself. Probably, after removing the 4 central intersection points, we are left with the other four that are close to the diagonals and work more in harmony with the law of thirds and the golden spirals (yet far away from the diagonals-circles intersections). I guess placing a subject in these points won't make much difference visually since it is close to the other perspectives. However, those points close to the edge of the frame which I've omitted in the beginning might make a difference if they are to be included in the rules of the composition. Notice here that I'm talking about placing a subject in ONE and only ONE of these intersection points, whether it may be law of thirds, golden spirals or any other perspective I've been mentioning so far; but what if some of these perspectives, specially this last one (Central Circle method) would work as a whole, meaning that intersection points are to be used all together to organize subject(s) in the scene and not one subject only? You think this would be visually interesting? Again, only trials would prove if it's appropriate or not.

Red: Golden Spiral.
Blue: Law of Thirds.
Green: Diagonal-Circles.
Yellow: Central Circle.
Grey: Diagonal-Central Circle.

By the end of my thoughts chain I was almost going to forget about the result of intersecting of the diagonals with the central circle. Not strangely, these grey points are in harmony with other perspectives like the thirds and the spirals, as well as the central circle intersecting points. In fact, I think the four perspectives or divisions: thirds, spirals, central circle and diagonal-central-circle do all make clusters for one position at a time around the center of the frame, and if we have one big subject within the frame it would be covering these four points in one corner at one time probably. This leaves two main questions of how affective these perspectives are when it comes to the Diagonal-Circles perspective (Greens) and the central intersections of the Central Circle (those closer to the edge). Well, as for the central circle perspective, we might, as I've mentioned before, work with the 8 points altogether (or 4 of them at a time) to place a certain subject. The greens, however, might have been tried before from my side without noticing like I did with one of the shots for some roses and petals.

Die Sanfte Ringe

Probably Die Sanfte Ringe reflects in a way how the Diagonal-Circles perspective would work - but I have to say here that this shot was taken long time before thinking about these different geometrical plays within the 3:2 frame. Yet, it does coincide somehow as a subconscious drive I presume! Notice that the Rising Eye mentioned before does somehow imply the Diagonal-Circles perspective and again it is as if it is a subconscious drive within my mind to do it that way, specially when it comes to circular subjects or rings and loops. There is a difference though between the Rising Eye and Die Sanfte Ringe in that the former is indeed a 3:2 rectangle, while the latter is a square. Not sure yet how to think about the visual impact in between these two but one step at a time - I think there is a plenty of time to think about these crazy geometrical means. As for now, I need to work a bit more on more serious stuff!


I've exhausted all my arsenal of books by now (and only one or two short stories are left). I've been working on my queue of Arabic books that I've purchased some months ago from the books fair back in November. Back then, I did purchase some stories just to rest my mind little bit from the technical aspects that I usually wander on. Now my eagerness is back to the technical side and I've decided to purchase 3 new books from Amazon. As usual, I've decided to take up 2 books about photography and 1 about science (specifically archaeology).

Source: Amazon
One of the books that I'm eager to read is Lens Design Fundamentals by Rudolf Kingslake. The book is cheap and in fact I was going to order another one which costs around US$150, but judging from the contents, I believe the latter is way too advanced for me for the time being (it appears to be too academic in style). Thus, I changed my mind and picked this one since it's cheaper as well as it is aimed for beginners. I'm not sure where does this lead me but I've always wished to gain more insight about the make of lenses and where the power lies in the design after all.

Source: Amazon
 The second book deals with Tabletop Photography, by Cyrill Harnischmacher with some twist about using speedlites. From what I reckon about its table of contents, it is dedicated for people who don't like to work in studio environment, and eager to use some tricks with their speedlites. Not sure how much I will gain from such a book, but I'm pretty sure that I won't be disappointed as it is the case with most of rockynook publishing.

Source: Amazon
The last book is something attracted me mainly because of some formulae inside! The Handbook For Classical Research, by David H. Schaps, seems to be a general overlook about humanitarian sciences and how mathematics merge into them for purposes of studies. I was looking for a pure archaeological book with pure scientific prospect, but unfortunately most of the books I've found were novel-like and don't deal much with the scientific and mathematical side. This book, however, bears much about studies and how to do them and how to analyze data in such fields like anthropology and archaeology, in different sub-fields. This is, at least, what I've regained from reading the table of contents and some few pages in between the covers. I don't think I would be disappointed here though - anything that has some numbers in its language can be quite interesting in the current time!
The only problem that remains now is how to manage my time between these 3 books. I think I'd read the rockynook issue first, because they can be over with quickly, usually!


In the meantime, I'm not forgetting my beloved conlang(s) in such frustrating times, but actually I'm not putting ideas onto papers or notes - but simply everything is going on in a mental note. I need to enhance my memory about some basics about the Bulughman conlang as well as Betenic.
There had been an idea of a funny or a comic version of English as a conlang. I thought about it long time ago and proposed it to Simon Ager, the author of, but as he said, the priority is for conlang with conscripts (i.e. artificial and new scripts) while my version was simply using modified Latin alphabet. From that point I've been thinking of inventing a new conscript indeed. Priorities for now, however, is for the Geltani project that seems endless. Sometimes, I do think I need a wife not to love or share dreams together, but simply to organize my time. Might be a plausible idea, but I don't think I would call it a marriage, can I?

العين التي رعتني
The Eye That Cared For Me


  1. Interesting post! I really like the b/w eye picture.