Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hektisch II…

I'll try to wrap this quick. Well, happy new year first, and wish you all who read this (ONLY THOSE READING THIS!), ahem, a creative new year. A year that washes whatever pains that were there in 2014.
Currently, I've been celebrating my own triumph against one of the hardest panoramas that ruined my appetite for panoramas for some time, but now the appetite is all back of course! However, there remains the part where I MUST do the fixes for these newly generated panoramas, including the HDR tone-mapping which proved to be tricky - and we end the show with noise cleaning which proved to be an arduous task.

Casadh an tSúgáin
(twisting of the rope)

In fact, Casadh an tSúgáin is an Irish song title which I was listening to as I was doing the processing for this image, and seems it fits exactly the image's geometry! When I explored the variety of projections I've totally forgot about the usual flat panorama as it looked very regular and mundane. Hence, I've continued to explore the other styles. However, in Casadh an tSúgáin tone-mapping was troublesome and consequently it made for a hard time with the noise cleaning later. The leader of the photography group liked the small version of this panorama, and asked me to include it in the next set of images to be sorted out for future uses by the group (a usual procedure); however, I'm not sure how would the large version sustain the critique with such noise and spots that would need another round of cleaning. In this projection, I've noticed how the close pillars (to my left and right on location) could have formed a straight line. Originally this panorama was 90o counterclockwise but I decided to put it as seen above making the symmetry line horizontal and adjacent to the major pillars - while keeping the corridor up and down to form some sense of ground at least, specially with some of the buildings.

Herculis Cuniculum
(tunnel of Hercules)

Next on the list was the tunnel projection, Herculis Cuniculum. This one had even harder work done to it and yet it is suffering still, in the original large version at least. The main problem here was to cropping and distort to ensure some degree of symmetry. Anyway, it seems I did achieve some degree of symmetry along the central vertical axis but not the horizontal one unfortunately; and this is what you get when you screw things up on location with symmetry and centralizing the tripod in the middle of location! The noise level here was significant but not troublesome as much as it was in the previous projection with Casadh an tSúgáin, which is something I don't understand so far, but probably it is related to the degree of distortion that each projection bears. The main nuisance in this panorama specifically comes from the night sky and the buildings of the city; those are the main sources for the high noise level.

Planeta Laternis
(planet of lanterns)

At the end we have the typical planet projection, Planeta Laternis. Originally, this panorama was 90o clockwise. However, it did seem to be more balanced with keeping the buildings of the city up, while the corridor would spread left and right. Anyway, the rotation process was done later, after all the fixes and the trials to "gain the symmetry" back with a lot of distorting processes. Since I didn't shoot the nadir, I had to fill the space of that block with a solid color and seems it fits perfectly (after adjusting the hue and saturation to match its surrounding tiles). All of these adjustments of course were in HDR mode and before tone-mapping, but the hardest part was to distort such a large file in HDR mode and make it fit specific proportions and perfectly centered. For this reason I mostly do large stitches because I know I will crop them a lot later on, and the good thing about Planeta Laternis is that the edges (where the roof of the corridor itself lies in this projection) contains not many interesting details beside some stitching errors; Thus, cropping this area out was a big relief and a solution which shortened the processing time significantly.

How my Photoshop looks when working with these panoramas.
Notice the guidelines all over the place to ensure a symmetrical distortion and cropping.
click to enlarge


One year is over now and a new one coming even though I don't care much about it. After all, generally speaking, I'm not supposed to celebrate it! However, I do wish all readers a happy new year with all the best wishes to be fulfilled within.
My plans for now is to use the winter to my advantage as much as possible and go out at night often. I know when summer comes, it's all but a dead season. I just hope my body would cope a bit further with this, specially with the hectic life style and responsibilities thrown on my way.
As for my plans for the new coming year, all what I want for the time being is, to be more careless actually, and have further fun. Lot of fun…

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