Thursday, May 15, 2014


This week started with a big slap with me falling sick for 3 days. The only good point here is, I've been off from work for 2 days. I'm not sure what happened, but it seems to be some intestines problem and it is relieving itself slowly right now (but the pain comes and goes suddenly). I had some minor plans to do long exposures still at night, but I failed.
In the meantime, I think I have to stop doing work outside as the temperatures are rising significantly now. I have to think more about indoor projects - and what else do I have except of macros! But let's see one last trial...

Secret Spot II

This was my last trial for a long exposure and for some reason I don't remember (!) I didn't post it in last week's post. Despite the many trials that night in that place, only this one was somehow successful probably because of the inclusion of city lights.

3:00 A.M.
Canon EF 15mm fisheye, f/10,
HDR, ISO100.
The WB here was set to Fluorescent (and adjusted a bit later). Despite having blue in my mind, but the general look became pink/violet, and I don't mind it either actually. Here, I've used the 15mm fisheye lens rather than (the typical) Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens to limit my vision and not to include much from the sides. The first target in fact was not to this angle of view, but rather 90 degrees to the left of this view. My main aim was to record some faint star trails but seems that the sky didn't help there. Also, I was planning to go down the rocky cliff like I did some weeks ago, but it was high tide time (and I thought the water level won't be that high!) - thus, I had to abandon all these ideas and work from the top on several angles.
The exposure took several turns for HDR, starting from 7 minutes and ending with 30 seconds. Usually I would work with f/8 in such circumstances; this is because the scale on the lens allows me to use the hyperfocus principle with relative ease at f/8 and f/16. However, after fitting the scale, I thought it is a good idea to make sure that things are indeed in focus (because the focusing ring might move a bit) and thus increased f/8 to f/10 (even smaller aperture). This is significant in that the exposure time which was supposed to be around 4 minutes, is now raised to 7 minutes (two thirds a stop between f/8 and f/10).
Processing the final image (after tone-mapping the HDR slide) was not an easy task as well, as there were some oversaturation cases and I had to use many layer masks to adjust some spots specifically. I'm still in doubt about the proposed guideline formed by the rocky cliff from the foreground to the horizon, as the image still do look tilted, with a cut in the elbow of the curve. Does it seem romantic though just because it is generally pink? Maybe!


Yes. This is the Greek letter sigma. Also, it is the name of my not-so-new lens, Sigma 70-300mm, which only few days back I had the chance to use it significantly (for artistic purposes). I have to say, I do indeed like the lens so far. What I really need to do right now is to test it with some action shots, like I did long time ago with my Tamron 70-300mm. I'm not sure about the speed of the focusing in this lens.
It's weird though that I can't find the lens now on B&H website (because I got it from them in the first place) but this image you see on the right is from Opteka website (not sure where this store is located though!). I was reluctant to bring my camera to work that day but then I decided to do so in order to take some shots (with my tablet) for some menus for my Arabic blog. That day, I decided to try and shoot something around my place. But first, something happened as I was cleaning my camera.

Zwei Gesichter
Canon EF 50mm, f/11,
0.6s, ISO100.
I believe this is one of these contemplative moments that everyone was talking about in books, when I suddenly lost my attention from the task at hand and kept on staring on my 7D's LiveView screen which displayed a view for the chair on the other side of the table and the reflection of some portion of it on the table. A pure abstract shot, and I love abstracts! When editing the RAW file, I've changed the orientation to portrait as the main reflection line and the empty space that was on the right wouldn't make the shot balanced (to my eyes at least), and then some crop was due to make it concise and "sharp" so to say. As I've mentioned, the shot was completely abstract and out of blue, and I like it for this reason alone.

Kalbın Renksiz Renki
Sigma 70-300mm @300mm,
f/5.6, 250-1, ISO200.
After that I went on to try out my sigma lens outside in the nearby garden with pale flowers. I didn't have the chance to test the focusing in details but I think I do like the quality of the images so far. Strangely though, the images had an ovesaturation in the Reds and Magenta tones. Well, it might be the WB that needed a fix? Maybe, but I didn't try to do so. Instead, I tried the splash color technique (or selective coloring) as can be seen in Kalbın Renksiz Renki (Heart's Colorless Color). The proportions of course are not the typical 3:2, as the crop was intended to remove unwanted parts rather than concentrating the view or adjusting the law of thirds in general. Of course, the black and white does not fit the greens and yellows exactly here so I added a pale touch of purple - it's like giving birth to the flower again under another color, while it was originally pink or magenta in color.
Here, I also made a rotation, as it looked more natural and more harmonic to have the lines on the petals to flow downward rather than from side to side (human nature and perspective?). I tried later to get closer (with the help of 12mm extension tube) but the images turned not so well, and I didn't want to lose more time on this experiment as I have more things to do (with sickness). Anyway, this image was good enough too to spark some imagination inside this skull.


Source: Amazon
My progress with reading is going pretty slow. My time is occupied with many stuff in the current time (including writing two blogs). This makes me think seriously of changing the rhythm of my posts two once every two weeks instead of once a week. But who knows, it might be just me for the time being with my fasting period prior to Ramadhan, which leaves me lacking power after all. My plans to manage my time are in chaos in the meantime.
I had the chance to do little try-outs to understand how we say some sounds in Arabic in order to enhance the IPA perception but I'm still not sure how to describe the movement of the tongue; I'll leave that for later. There are things to be done about Geltani as I didn't have the chance to record anything lately because of the sickness and my timetable. Lot of things to do and not enough time as it seems, but this is the only way to give my life some meaning after losing great interest in my workplace; it's a place to go to every morning like a school by now. After being part of the latest win in Austria's international photography contest with the group, I do see some future out of the box. On the other hand, there had been an announcement about a reward sponsored by His Excellency Mohammed bin Rashid, regarding achievements in the field of the Arabic language into many fields of arts and technology, which makes me think seriously of pushing my Arabic blog further. I've sent an email to those in charge (via the website) already asking for some consultation, but so far, no reply. But to all, at some point deep within my heart, it does feel like fooling myself in a trial to hide my own feelings from the world...

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