Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ebb Me...

This is one week further, one week steps forward, one week rushing through summer with all its momentum and inertia (says the physicist!). The temperatures are going up, up even to 30oC, and it is just the beginning of March. If you ask me, my photographic opportunities are waning. This week was turbulent somehow and I couldn't do much about it, but I did have some encounters that might be interesting.

Grill Me

In this week, I think I can consider myself lucky, and that I've encountered a miracle myself. This is because of a disaster that was avoided with minimum losses after all. Otherwise, my own camera would have been the price! Let's see the image below and then I will tell the story behind it...


Some people do know already what is this, and for those who do not know, I will tell the story in the following lines:

Source: B&H
I've tried, as you might have seen in previous posts, to take a shot of the sun with some gel ND filter. This time though, I was trying to take a shot of the sun with my Rokinon 800mm mirror lens, and two teleconverters, using infrared filter. Hence I don't have a proper infrared gel filter to fit in the front of the lens (for which the diameter is 105mm). For this reason, I've decided to deal with the matter like I've done with Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens (as well as Canon EF 15mm fisheye lens); that is, to fix the filter at the back of the lens. To do this, I've measured the diameter of the rear end (the exposed lens portion only) of the mirror lens and cut out an equivalent square piece of my Kodak's infrared gel filter (which I already have and cut out a small piece of it for my Canon fisheye). Putting the filter there at the rear of the mirror lens, and connecting to the two teleconverters, and mounted on camera and the whole system was mounted on my Manfrotto telephoto lens adapter, and off I went to the roof to capture the sun.
Source: B&H
On the roof, even though sitting on a chair and working with the camera, I did have hard time to focus and at the end, I couldn't focus at all. Once I get a glimpse of the sun disc, sharpening the image by rotating the focusing ring simply turns erratic and everything goes blank. I gave up after many trials and decided to head to my room and see the results on my monitor to better judge what I was doing.
As I stepped into my room, the aroma of some grill filled the air! Following up the smell a bit, I've found out that it is emanating from my camera! Quickly, I've disconnected the lenses, and smelled the camera up close, but the aroma wasn't there almost. To further check it out, I've connected my Canon EF 50mm lens, and did some check up and everything was fine and the camera wasn't damaged. Back to the lenses, I've gone thoroughly with each part of it, until I discovered the image you see above: a grilled IR gel filter!

Gracefully, no serious damage occurred here except of some blackening of the rear element of the mirror lens because of the soot. Some cleaning was enough. On the other hand, losing a piece of an infrared gel filter is somehow a considerable loss because this 3x3 inch gel filter is not cheap after all! I could have used this square gel filter for my Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens in the future! I wonder if it had been better putting some ND in front of the lens like before in a clumsy manner and using the IR filter? For me now, I might never know as I don't want to sacrifice further!

Enlighten Me

With the lack of venting and activities in general from my side (for various reasons), and because of my experience mentioned above with "grilling" the infrared gel filter, I've got a spark of an idea for some experimenting. Macro shot of a light bulb, with infrared filter on. The situation isn't easy because of the heat of course, but the filter in front of the lens generally provided some protection.

Coil Me
Canon EF 50mm + 68mm Extension, f/22, 0.25sec, ISO100.

The experience was merely an abstractive one in general. Probably I can even state that macro shots for non-living objects can be almost categorized into an abstract class - unless, of course, it was for documentation; that would be another story.

Cold Heat
Canon EF 50mm + 68mm Extension, f/22, 0.25sec, ISO100.

Despite trying several angles around the bulb, also changing the length of the tubes, it seems that Coil Me and Cold Heat were the only somewhat attracting shots, in abstractive sense of course. In the beginning, I didn't try any extraordinary processing for the image in Coil Me but changed my mind with the second one, Cold Heat, and decided to do a channel swap.
In my schedule I had a plan for an infrared panorama, which would require lot of time, effort, and sun! However, no chance was delivered to my door steps...


I'm resisting an ebb. An ebb reaching almost everything in my life right now. Many setbacks on the domestic front. I even envision a violence outcome in the near future - probably that would be the only way to show or emphasize some respect to some people.
The question is, if home isn't home, and work doesn't feel like paying respect, where would one go?
I do have the urge to move elsewhere. Far away. Yet, I can't simply forget about the people I care for in here. All I can do is dream of a vacation. Isn't amazing how foreigners can know you (and appreciate you) more than your close circle?

Back to my plans. My mind is sparked for a revival for the idea of a 3D panorama, beside doing a 3D project for my work place (specially after receiving a set of 30 anaglyph glasses red/cyan). The idea I have in my mind for a 3D panorama requires patience and lot of work (in time aspect). Thus, I might try to do a simple 360o panorama instead of a full one.
In the meantime I've been working with the group as well to sort out some images for Austria's international photography contest. As per the leader's opinion, 8 of my images are now on the queue for the final sorting trial next Saturday, March 8th. I leave you now with the sorted images so far...

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