Thursday, August 22, 2013

Approaching Approaches...

Well, I'm not so sure how to describe this week. One thing for sure though: it is exhaustive. What a way to start the 33rd year of my life. Sometimes I do wish if my birthday was not in summer. However, I've managed to do one experiment at least but it took me around one full week to work with the results, as I was trying to do the peeling effect again for the good ol' censer which I've used to photograph smoke before. I like this one censer specifically; lot of details, great color and design. This time, the effect is done solely by hand, or should I say, the blending of the different layers was all done manually, with no help from PTGui.

The shoot for this censer was done with the help of a speedlite (580EXII) which was fixed with a diffuser to the top of the censer. It was controlled in wireless since I was really, really, not in the mood for cables and wires hanging around. I didn't even use a literal arm to dangle the speedlite on top, but simply raised it up high on a regular tripod and put it extremely close to the tripod carrying the rotating plate.
As I've mentioned above, the process to blend the layers was done manually and took me the whole week but I have to say, I'm still not satisfied, and the whole matter is just as if it ia study for the technique itself.
After the shoot was over, the images were processed in DxO to correct for tilts and distortions (even though the 50mm shows minimum distortion, if any). Yet, it seemed that the tilt was there after all even after correction!

Approach Eins!

First Trial
In the first approach, I've tried to stitch only 180o using shots at 45o distances. The total was 5 images only to blend together. Easy, but not so accurate as the base was not coherent at all and showed the usual fan shape. I've tried to straighten the image by PTGui, but to no avail. Anyway, after seeing this, I've decided to work again, and this time using around 36 layers, composing a full range of 180o.

Approach Zwei!

Second Trial

In the second approach, I've tried to blend layer by layer manually, starting from the far left portion of the censer. However, after working for some time, I've realized that the center of the censer is not exactly centered in that way, and it is more like if it is looking to the right, and I've figured that if I continue in that manner I might have just one large censer with a handle on the left. Not bad though, but I was planning on having double handles on both sides instead of one. After realizing this, I had to stop in the middle of the process and start all over again!

Approach Drei!

Third Approach

In the final approach, the look was relatively better but still it had lot of blending errors (or I would call them stitching errors as well). At this point, I've started with the middle portion of the sequence, which shows the frontal face of the censer, then worked my way with blending to the left all the way to the handle, and then the same thing was done to the right. I would say this is the best that could be done if only I could handle the blending more delicately. The base suffered some problems as well and I'm not sure if this because of the tilt or simply a bad blend. Lot of things to be learned still at this point, but I have to say that the 45o approach (first one) sounds promising if it wasn't for the fan shape! Without perfecting this technique, I wouldn't be able to upload those into the stock sites.

Approach Geltani
The work with Geltani is slow, as usual. I've started now to assign phonetic values to the leading part of the alphabet and try to test it with some words. Reading into Turkish language and grammar made me formulate a lot of ideas and recall some things that I've forgot before. The Geltani phonetic system is going to be rich I suppose, which might be a bit frustrating. It would be a weird combination between Asian-typical sounds, and Indo-European sounds, with a bit of Semitics.
One of the critical things now is to add more to the vowel system and in fact, I've been assigning some consonants a vowel-value when it falls as a leading part. So far, the "D" would sound as "ü" (as in German or Turkish) if it is in the leading part of the syllable. I can't of course work all consonants in the same manner but it is just a beginning and more thoughts about this to come. The letter "C" was also done but it is so vivid in its phonetic values given in the leading part of the syllable, and at this point I've added Semitic sounds like Ayin [ع] and Chet [ح] (notice I'm using the Hebrew name but the equivalent Arabic letter for such sounds), and some few others were added as well.
Finishing the phonetic system is important at this point because without it, it's not possible to send a brief case about the conlang of Geltani to Omniglot for publishing. Later, we would have to talk a bit about the hard time doing a specific HTML for this conlang!

Approach Finale
Source: Amazon
Now, with the lack of new books, I've been going through some old books from here and there (including some old language books like the Turkish language book). I've been going through the Portrait photography book as well, since I didn't comprehend much of the info inside it back then because, unfortunately, most of the explanations lack visual aids. This is one the negative things about this book, and probably the new editions of it are better, I'm not sure. I'm still not into this field, but I thought having more stable feet when it comes to the formation of light, metering, poses and studio equipment would as well be useful for other fields of photography, as well as being prepared just in case I need to do this kind of photography for any occasion.
For the time being, I'm just dying while waiting for summer to be over. I don't care what people usually say about it - most of them here like it because it is the only time when they can travel (and in fact they do a good job in making my life calmer in summer). Yet, I'm so sick of the heat, and I do feel as if it is killing my brain slowly. Lately, I've been thinking of going back to poetry since I didn't write anything for such a long time but, as usual, there are some words but I can't find the proper stitching form between them. I do pass occasionally on some of my old writings and just wonder how did I write those?
My 33rd year starts off with some hope inside me... but I'm cautious as well for the slaps of life...

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