Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mercator II…

Well, here we are with another week. Another "idle" week if I can call it so. Many of the plans that I've stepped up didn't progress as... well, as planned! It's a continuous trend since last week (hence no post for last week) and when I tried to break the humdrum of this routine I was simply knocked back to block one. Two main projects here failed to take progress: the long exposure portraiture and one night-time panorama. But I have to say I had my trials at least which didn't work out, and specifically for that night-time panorama, during which the lights were turned off as I was working! Talk about being pissed off about your luck, as ever.

The Waterfront panorama print taken with my brother's iPhone.

On the other hand, I've at least accomplished something, with the printing and varnishing, and then sending off my gift to the owners of the Waterfront (B&B). I'm just hoping the address is correct since it was hard to get a concrete address for the place; It was mostly instructional text for the directions to reach the place (from Galway city or some other places). With this, I'm sort of still trying to find and explore the "world" of varnishes here (as we lack proper inkjet varnishes).


Since the majority of projects with the camera are put to an end for the past 2 weeks, I've spent the time available for me with my arsenal of photos and panoramas from my last visit to Ireland, trying to extract as much as possible and specifically doing more projections of panoramas that were done and stitched already. At this point, saving the project file (which usually I didn't care of much) proved to be a superb advancement; as it serves as a quick starting point for other projections, and later saving the project anew can be helpful for future work when needed. Projection files in PTGui don't take much space (few KBs only); they consist mainly of general data strings about the panorama and its elements.

Go dTí an Caisleán (to the castle)
EF-S18-55mm @30mm, f/8, 200-1sec, ISO200.

An Fhianaise (The Witness)
Sigma 70-300mm @300mm,
f/8, 30-1sec, ISO200.
Another reason for working up more with these photos (panoramas and regulars) is the fact that I'm working on my Arabic blog to describe my travels in Ireland this year, for which I do require some photos of the places; both artistic (as in An Fhianaise) and documentary (as in Go dTí an Caisleán). This pushed me further to spend more time with digging the folders and not think much about the artistic values of the photos (for the time being), but merely use them in descriptive terms. However, I'm trying to do my best with those images even if they are just for documentation purposes (e.g. Go dTí an Caisleán been through a series of edits to enhance the clouds and the grass, and make it sharp).
On the other hand, there is also the on-going work with panoramas, as I'm trying to prepare my arsenal of those for the coming event of an expo with the group (in which I was enrolled alone in 2012 and with the group in 2013). Meanwhile, I'm increasing my experiments with Mercator projection for vertical panoramas, for all the flexibilities it gives! Despite some commentary on some aspect of such approach by some observers but I'm somewhat giving a deaf ear to that...

Déthaobh (double surface)
I think I've posted Déthaobh in my previous post under a different name; anyway, I'm trying to enhance my knowledge with Irish here. However, someone commented on this as follows:
  • This is an edit. The image shouldn't (supposedly) be touched.
  • The "road" in the middle is taking the bulk of the image.

Well, I'm not going to explain the first point. I think it is related to the old debate of how much a photographer is supposed to use Photoshop in his work, beside the fact that this image is not a work of Photoshop, but it was used merely to enhance it and not to make it. Let's move to the second point here: the road (or asphalt) is taking the bulk from the image.
At some point, even though the one who announced such comments is unaware of the processes behind the make of such panoramas, yet such comment did bring my attention to a significant point: Location type plays a significant role. Here, probably, I didn't have much say in the formation of this panorama in this way, as the asphalt is already there, and I was not planning to let the house appear in the middle and split the asphalt into two halves; because this was not the main idea I was working after. However, it is a point worthy of some consideration when it comes to the nature of the place to be placed under such projection.

An Gotach Sníomhach
(the spinning Gothic)
Céimseata Meánaoiseach
(medieval geometry)
On the other hand, I personally do see the benefits of a vertical Mercator projection in other panoramas, like An Gotach Sníomhach for example. Here, we see the line of trees curving smoothly along the sides and not so stretched. I did not even think of cropping from the sides (only from the top and bottom after skewing the image to level the church). Probably, at this point, I would have faced the same situation as in Déthaobh with the asphalt that leads to the the church itself. The same goes with Céimseata Meánaoiseach, but in this case I've cropped the ground completely, making the panorama ground-less almost. I have to re-check some of these panoramas again and again to see what possibilities do the ground (or nadir) point provide of details before doing such projection. If things would end up like Déthaobh, then it would probably be better to simply do a normal spherical vertical panorama! That would let things be slender and thin with stretched sides that would need a crop mostly. This is not only for the current set of panoramas from Ireland; but I'm trying the trend for some other older panoramas as well.

Marijuana Galore!

What I really like about this projection is, not only it gives a new meaning to a vertical panorama, but it also tends to (almost) fit the panorama into the usual square dimension usually seen in planet and some other polar-type panoramas.


An Teach ag Deatach
(the smoking house)
Well, this is it for now, but I'm going to pray to finish what I'm planning for in this weekend! I won't rant about work just now since I'm getting sicker of it and it is a known fact by now I believe - but I'm seriously thinking of leaving it at some point and try to do something else. In the meantime I'm trying to roll back to poetry as I feel something is missing out in my life; like I do some way to drain what's inside. Needless to say, getting back to my other projects that were put on hold for a long time even before I get into the vacation mood.
Say, how was that feeling again, when someone is supposedly passionate?...

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