Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ag Dul (Going)...

It is a torn out vacation! Many things to do and so much little time, and sleep. I think I do need to organize my daily activity for now, as I have so much leisure stuff I "need" to do. Mom's sudden sickness and asthma got the bulk of my time for now, but I see things are kind of getting better (specially after buying an inhaling device to help her). Beside all of that, I do need to get back to the Arabic blog as well and talk a bit about my trip to Ireland. Where is time when you need it…

Ag Dul

Still working with the load of photos taken from Ireland this year. Well, not a surprise that I'm not able to work with lot of these photos. Not disappointing, for after all I had my vacation! But maybe I will find some ideas for some of these shots later on. Probably the most frustrating incidents are those related to infrared shots (specifically done with 8mm), as some of them are not sharp enough and I'm not sure if it was because of the focusing of the (manual) lens or is it because that infrared slide got scratched. This brings into my mind another topic, of how to fix a gel filter easily at the back of Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens. I can use, of course, a little duct tape. However, this is not practical on location so to say. Still thinking!

Ag Dul (Going)
Rokinon 8mm fisheye,
f/8, 28m, ISO100.
Probably one of the most beloved infrared shots to me is Ag Dul, which was shot on the bank of the lake not far from the Waterfront. I did already a black and white version of this image and sent in a mass email few days ago. However, the new edit was done with the help of the IR profile I've already made for my ACR. This processes usually tends to shift the general tint from Red towards Blue. The only annoying part about it is the slightly out of focus aspect. Not a big deal in a small size but it is so when viewed at 100% (and of course would be so in a large print). As for the grain and the noise, it is a typical story in infrared shots. Unfortunately, stock websites do not comprehend the struggle here! Anyway, such shots, I believe aren't much of use for their line of commerce.
This bluish streak actually makes the infrared gel filter (Kodak's) more desirable than my B+W infrared circular filter (58mm) because of this effect when adjusting colors. Infrared filters have many varieties depending on the threshold value; i.e. the value of the wavelength after which photons may pass (high pass filter of some sort). However, there is so much to learn about them. I wonder now if I can adapt this gel filter even to those lenses which are supposed to be using the circular B+W IR filter.

Áilleacht Dhorcha (Dark Beauty)
Canon EF 50mm + ET,
f/8, 160-1sec, ISO200.
In one of the weird incidents lately, one of the images which was easily discarded in my first group meeting here, was quite popular in other places. The main reason for the discard is the regularity of the shot I believe as it has nothing to add or no new attraction. This shot, Áilleacht Dhorcha, however, did gain some reputation in communities like Flickr, 500px, and Instagram. Áilleacht Dhorcha was mainly processed (and it is the lowest exposure in a bracket) in a way to mimic the effect of a painting. The main tint of colors was simply achieved by changing the white balance (the original color was pinkish). The rest is the usual job of layers in Photoshop. I do like it personally even though it was discarded from the main stream of reviews in the meeting; The shot gained some popularity in 500px too.

Panorama-wise now, I'm still working on flat versions of the panoramas and didn't start yet with QTVRs or any other projections. This is just a step to manage and control the pace of my work as to not scatter my efforts in various directions. I do believe that I made my mind now of the small "gift" that I should print and send to The Waterfront…

The Waterfront

Probably the blues should have been richer? Maybe. Anyway, I'm still working on the rest of the panoramas one by one and might add another target. The work with panoramas wasn't out of (bad) surprises and disappointments, somewhat. One of the panoramas that I was hoping for more vivacity in its appearance turned out to be hard to be managed and had to put (kill) it down. That is the inside of Inchagoill church panorama…

An Eaglais na hInis an Ghiall
Inchagoill's Island

I'm not sure where did things go wrong, and specially with the halo effect around the edges, but I've tried my best to make it better through tone-mapping but to no avail. Probably it would have been better to tone-map such a panorama using Photoshop, but the problem here the seamless edges; if I want to make a QTVR out of this panorama, the left and right edges must be equal in luminance and other aspects so that the QTVR would be seamless and smooth as one unique view (without any cut in the middle when wrapped). This feature is available in Photomatix when tone-mapping, but not in Photoshop CS5 (so far). I might come back to this panorama to make it better somehow, but not for now!


Now that I'm back, I'm trying to regain some foothold on some aspects of my life, specifically those related to "social" activities to some extent. The group I'm a member of is working on preparations for Al-Thani photo contest and the sorting process is still going on. I'm thinking of joining in some workshops within the group as well in fields that are, usually, not in my immediate interests; e.g. sports photography.
Meanwhile, after stopping for several months, I'm back to uploading 500px website. I'm not sure really how special or what is the deal with it, but within the circle of the group they do talk much about it (as if being a circle of professionals). The irony here is that some images that were rejected in the group, do have their own fans on 500px! This said, I got into the trap again of renewing my Flickr account again (to Pro) despite removing my Paypal info long ago from the website. Just discovered that the Paypal info were there (again) somehow. I do realize now that having such Pro accounts in any website of this type isn't a big deal after all. Statistics? Sure, they might be important for some to some extent, yet I do not think it is worth the money. If, however, it is a group of photographers sharing a gallery online, it might be worthy to pay for such services. This is what I think.

I've been also trying to get back to poetry somewhat. I still need something to leak my feelings into. The poetic engine is not as greasy as before when things come easily, but I'm planning to try from time to time, or at least put on a specific time on my schedule to think of some words to pen down. This is not how it used to work though. However, the initial result was The Red Leaf. The biggest problem, in my case at least, is that feelings are there, words aren't.


I'm here now, trying to fill my life with things I'd love to do before I go back to work in mid November. It is not an easy task though, I tell ya.
For starters, Mom got ill out of a sudden; probably allergy-related condition. At least this is what I hope for her, so that by time things get adjusted. I have to do inhaling procedures for her (and she feels better by now at the time of typing this).

Then, there are some of the chores that I have to do, specifically checking out what happened to the parcels sent from Austria, containing the catalogs of the members (of Trierenberg Circuit's contest) and my Luxury Edition 2014 (where one of my images is displayed). I don't know why they still send to my home address even though I've changed my address to my UK inbox; the post services in this country are down the drain. Beside these chores, I do have a plan to go back on educating myself with Gaelic (Irish) a bit. It is a hard language, even harder than German I'd say, but it would be fun to try maybe! This tempts me to talk about all my projects that are on standby! So, I better stop at this for now...

I've said earlier that I'm trying to get a foothold in my life; but until that is done, this heart is going to be swinging in between the matters of life. It does feel like walking a tunnel, with no light burst at the end. Sometimes, it is but a dream, to let someone know how you feel…
Anyway, better start cleaning my camera now.

Uaigneach 's Ag Fanacht
Lonely, and Waiting...

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