Thursday, May 29, 2014


Writing this post at the last moment before posting. Well, that's natural. My week wasn't productive much, feeling deteriorated because of summer. I've been trying though to do something in macro level and I did come up with something but it wasn't much to consider. I'm not sure I will be doing much the next week either, except of writing articles for my other blog.
On the other hand, my gift of prints to some friends in the US finally arrived and were received. I'm so happy that the prints were even above their expectations. Instead of framing and hanging them in the office as they said they were planning, they decided it is too good to have it in the office, and instead they will hang it at home! Big smile on this face; such a feeling needed in a long time! In the meantime, I'm not sure what to exactly do with my black and white prints of the same images. I might try to offer them for sale on Instagram - though I'm sure no interest would be yielded.

The Prints (Colored Version)


As I've stated above, the activity is dormant this week, and I'm not expecting any raise in the level of work with my camera in the coming few days. However, just out of curiosity I've brought my camera with me to work one day, and in fact I was planning to shoot the garbage which our admins pay for respecting us in front of my workplace. Anyway, I got better idea than wasting my battery on work issues.

Time Mechanics
Canon EF 50mm + 68mm ET,
f/22, 1h5m, ISO100.
Thus, just having some spark in my mind for some activity I decided to do a long exposure for another clock (which I did many times before) - this time however, for my watch; and that means a macro setting.
I figured a tripod won't be much useful as I'm intending to work on the meeting table in my workplace, thus, I used a stack of files and for the stability of the watch, I've placed it around the edge of a coffee mug! Too bad I didn't think of taking a shot for the setting back then. Anyway, as the main subject is the second dial (or hand), a small exposure for one minute or even 40 seconds would be just fine to show the movement of the dial - but something was not going OK here.
Because of the light coming from the windows in the office (and the room's lights), there was some apparent flare in the results and the watch facade was washed out of details. It's not like having an over exposure, but it is simply light pollution into the system. Tried to turn off the lights (and the windows cannot be blocked unfortunately), and tried to block the small distance between the lens system and the watch in some way by placing dark objects, and I even tried placing the polarizer on the lens, but all of that that didn't work well. Anyway, decided now it is time to get a black cloth which is something I was planning to do for long time - you will know why below.The place for clothes is near my workplace and just takes 5 minutes driving from my work place (1 minute in traffic-free road!).
With the black cloth, I was able (according to my measurements) to extend the exposure time up to 4 hours! But with my limited time in the office, I had to adjust the black cloth covering in such a way to allow some light to get slightly and thus the exposure time, after some trials, was set to one hour and 4 minutes (added one minute just to be on the safe side).

I wasn't disappointed here. The white tip of the seconds hand worked well with the slight light coming into the set, and because of its (relatively) rapid movement, the movement is recorded clearly on the sensor because the hand goes on all around the hour. The details on the black surface of the watch showed significantly nice (needed to reduce the brightness later and add contrast). The hard work though was with cleaning the noise and the other artifacts. For the first time ever, I try the Dust and Scratches command in Photoshop, and proved quite useful for some type of noise that neither NIK nor NoiseNinja was able to remove.
I think I made a mistake here for trying to smooth out the images before doing the adjustments needed for the colors of the image. The chromatic noise specifically was also persistent and I had to do "cleaning" before and after the processing. I've uploaded this image to some stock sites, and I'm not sure it will get accepted for the "cranky" quality when viewed at 100% zoom. I might as well use it elsewhere anyway.


I've mentioned above that it was about time to get a black cloth. This black cloth (preferably velvet but didn't find one) is essential in the art of Scanography; an art of doing images by flatbed scanners. A black cloth is not always the choice, it can be a white cloth, but I think with bright or reflective objects it is preferred to use black cloth instead.
This is my first time to try this kind of art, and there is so much to learn ahead. However, from what I get, it seems that old fashioned flatbed scanners are better equipped for this task, more than my (relatively) new type scanners; this is because the depth of field of older scanners is relatively higher (still shallow) than modern ones - something related to the use of prisms in older scanners and fluorescent light to light up objects. In modern scanners, like mine (HP 3-in-1 type), it seems that LEDs are used and the use of prisms is not involved here as it seems, making the depth of field so shallow that 1mm high from the glass board (the bed of the scanner) will render the object blurred.

My Life Is A Scopa
I tried varied objects (a ring, a watch) initially, but since the depth is not what I expected, I headed to try thinner objects that can somehow stick to the bed of the scanner; and couldn't find any better than my scopa deck of cards. The scanner, after spreading the cards, was covered with the black cloth to block the light as much as possible; the cover can't be closed here because the cards are forming a thick substance after all.
The scanning process was done at 1200dpi, and according to what I understand so far, the resolution has more to do to the magnification factor and not the printing size of the final image. Anyway, to fill the image of the cards, I've made two scans here, each with a different distribution of the cards, as random as possible. These two images later were duplicated and mixed up and blended to form My Life Is A Scopa. As you might see from the image, a slight shift in the height of some cards would render the image blurred and out of focus. I have to say I'm somehow disappointed but nevertheless, I'm willing to try more of this technique, providing that I get the appropriate substances.
In working out with this image, I had to crop some portions of the edges and recompose the framing (after duplicating and blending the two images), as well as remove some black areas in the middle by copying some parts into these places. I wonder now if there is some way to increase the depth manually by placing some subject over the flatbed? Just a thought...


On the lingua side (i.e. language side) I've found (or more like deducted) some time for working out with tiny research about the IPA representation of the standard Arabic sounds. I stumbled on a specific article in Wikipedia dedicated to the phonology of the Arabic language. The page has some notes about the essential phonemes I want to research; namely [ط], [ظ], [ض], in addition to some notes about [ع] and [أ]. For the former three, the IPA mentioned on Omniglot, and the one mentioned in this page - these sounds are supposedly pharyngealized (issued from the pharynx) and it also mentions that sometimes they are "velarized"; meaning to be issued from the velum point. The points are mixed up in fact and mostly put (as it seems from the resources at the bottom of the page) originally by non-Arabic speakers.
According to this chart and these notes, we should have, for example, two variations of [ط]: velar, and pharyngeal. I'm trying to figure out the real variation here. Probably, just probably, some people in the Levine circle do have a deeper sound of it which might sound like it is produced from the pharynx. Yet, this is not exactly the standard Arabic we are talking about. Anyway, this variation is simply not thought over when I listen to other Arab speakers. It is not like shifting the sound of "j" (/d͡ʒ/) to "g" (/g/) when an Egyptian person speaks. We do see that "j" and "g," as sounds, are different, but I do not think that we think over the sounds of velarized and pharyngealized /t/ [ط].
Now looking deeper and trying to understand the "standard" version of Arabic starting with a sound as (: Voiceless/Stop/Alveolar/Pharyngealized). Technically, after spending some time saying it to myself and trying to check the movement of the tongue inside my mouth, I realized, first of all, the sound is not "voiceless" but quite the opposite; voiced. This is apparent from the fact that the pressure of air in the mouth to say this sound is harder than simple /t/, or it can be considered something in between /t/ and /d/ in pressure; but I do not think it is completely voiceless like it is in the chart. The Arabic Wikipedia's article about this sound is, it seems, a mere translation for the English one (in short) but it does give a description for the movement of the tongue after the plosive movement of the tongue against the upper ridge; specifically, the back of the tongue. It does sound from this description that they classify it as velarized, rather than pharyngealized - and without the movement of the vocal cords. This would make the proper symbol /t̪ˠ/, and the "t" is shown here because it is the most approximate version for this sound, despite the fact /t/ is voiceless and here I'm inclined to state that this sound is voiced instead.
The case is even more complicated (for me) with the sound of [ض], which goes under the same criterion as the sound before, but it is more complicated here because of the amount of the air pressed against the ridge and the plosive movement. The Arabic Wikipedia didn't help much here to decide, but this one too doesn't sound pharyngealized as in Omniglot version, and more into velarized region; yet I need to work more on my sounds to decide!
One of the surprises that I've encountered in Wikipedia's article about Arabic Phonology, is that some linguists consider the sound of [ع] as a voiced fricative! As far as I know, fricative sounds like /s/ and /z/ do produce a continuous (or a person is able to produce a continuous) vibration of air when said; the sound of [ع] is clearly not so! It is apparently a plosive sound.There are extra notes about this notes in Wikipedia's article. Needs more to check out, and I need to ask an expert about it.

On the other hand I worked a bit with my UDHR translation into Geltani and I'm not sure I'm satisfied about the final form of the sentences. The grammar, which I try to mimic Turkic languages with, needs more patches and fixes, beside adding idioms or expressions unique for Geltani for some regular phrases (e.g. "each other"). Also, there is some more check ups to follow for the glyphs and the way they are written. The progress is slow but it's going on. Hopefully I will be able to produce a sound recording for the UDHR in Geltani later on.


I've reserved a room in The Waterfront already, the place where I stayed in my first visit to Ireland back in 2009. I had to do it early since there was only one room left! A friend of mine was wishing to come with me to relax (been into his own troubles) but I'm not sure if he is able to.
Now, I have to do the usual errands related to all the work with the visa, taking photos and preparing for the trip, and most importantly, taking care of things for Mom. I'm just hoping my load of "good" photos from there would be more. Frankly, I'm not sure if my budget is ready for this or not but I'm putting a sign on my forehead that says "I don't give a damn!"... I NEED to travel after all this stress and havoc. I need to really know and feel that I'm alive still.
Well, this has been my life for this week. It sounds goal-less somewhat, like I'm living week to week; I guess this is the best I could do. Am I supposed to exhaust myself to the point that I block my mind from thinking about the future, and the emotions and my life in general? Probably the most appropriate answer here is: yes.

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