Thursday, April 9, 2015

And The Game Continuous…

Again, this should be a quick wrap about the last week, and in fact some of the stuff done before the expo. There had been some work with older panoramas in order to achieve new perspective and projection styles with these old stuff, and some of them apparently paid of somehow! But first, let's see how the game began and going on with the panoramas taken from our booth in the latest expo.

Center View

Left Wing

Right Wing

Probably you have seen these three in case you checked the slideshow in the previous post. Anyway, those were "regular" flat spherical panoramas (with exception to the left wing which is in Mercator format). The right wing specifically was taken at a higher level (almost eye level) in a trial to eliminate the flare reflected on the prints. It did work well I presume, but the situation is not as lucky as this on the other areas like the center and the left wing. This is why I shot these two on low level specifically. I did learn my lesson here though: a low level panorama will compress the upper part severely. As we say here, "every slap comes with a lesson." In order to fix things just a little bit, I made the left wing panorama in Mercator format just because this projection stretches the height, and compresses the width. It did stretch the height of the prints in the upper row just a bit. However, it didn't fix it all. A lesson learned.

Twisted Booth

Then the game begins. Even though there is technically no roof for the booth, but yet it has a slender opening which does act somehow like a roof (let's call it: negative roof!). The perfect environment for a twist! I didn't try this approach with the left and right wings yet, as I believe this projection must be applied in a point that is supposed to be a "centroid" for the place under inspection. Thus, it was applied only to the first panorama taken at the center of the booth. Another twist to the story with a Wide View panorama (or so I do call it)…

Willkommen auf BPF!

Probably the chair at the bottom is a troublesome feature, but at least I tried to keep it symmetric as much as possible as cropping and/or cloning it out is next to impossible! However, as it can be seen from all these panoramas, the first three were actually, in essence, documenting panoramas. Only the last two were "artistic" panoramas, where the appearance of the prints is not a priority - but architecture is.  Despite the simplistic design, the abundance of lines, specifically straight lines, was a general factor to build up a complexity in looks. Seems quite philosophical to me: complexity, grows off multiples of simplicity.

Before the expo (and after it) there had been lot of work as well with older panoramas in a trial to squeeze out more looks and ventures. Even those panoramas with apparent stitching errors, like Durch which was taken from a pedestrian bridge, was target. Probably the stitching errors are forgiven here a bit? In fact, this bridge panorama was one of the first panoramas to try out "twisting" with by a mistake (as I was changing the coordinates of the projection). However, I still had to try something with Mercator format (Mercator had been my favorite for a twisting effect right now). The result can be seen in Durch. In the beginning it was almost symmetric (along a vertical axis) but still the look was a bit "less dynamic"; it was good, but less dynamic. For this, I moved the central point a bit and made it look like a slider or a swift moving object from top to bottom. Adding to that, the colors had to be changed to give out a dramatic look and impact. Gothic look? Maybe. With some arabesque design that would be such a weird combination I presume!


I even rolled back to some older panoramas from my visit to Ireland, Co. Tipperary in 2010. Specifically, one of these panoramas was of interest for me: The yard of Thronbrook House, in Cashel. This is where I stayed back in 2010. It can be categorized as a regular landscape panorama with the addition of the house. I did many projections before (planet, wide view, you name it) for this one. However, because of the open space, I doubted this would be good in a twisted Mercator panorama (like our group's booth above); you'd need a straight features and not an open space for this type of projections. Anyway, the idea was totally different here, but done before. The hemisphere style, or the elevated surface style. In fact, this style stems out from the planet projection with a little change in the "pitch" value (pitch: the vertical angle at which the camera is pointed, as if you nudge your head for "yes"!). The interesting point comes then after with the edit I've done to this panorama specifically…

Leathchruinne (B&W)

I've asked if the B&W version or the colored version is nicer, and I got a response from an Irish (more than one actually) and said they prefer the colored one, because the B&W version is "terrifying"! Somehow, I can say I did succeed! Here, of course, it is a B&W version but with tone split between orange and blue.
However, I do find the combination of orange and blue is quite plausible in such situations with "dynamism" when tone splitting is done (both compliment each other on the color wheel). In the other hand, there must be an element that added to the emotions, other than the colors alone. In any photo, we generally face two main aspects: colors, and composition. For this reason there is a common saying that goes like: B&W photos neglect color and make the viewer concentrate on the composition. Probably I can say that the position of the clouds and the curve of the horizon added much to the dynamic appearance of this shot, and with the removal of colors and adapting only a duotone, it had some direct impact on emotions. I think if I want to put things in some formula that would be: clouds + curve = dynamism + emotions. Yeah, sorry. I like to put math in everything I see wherever I go.

And away from Ireland, and back to Failaka, which I should plan some trip to there in the near future, I hope. Along with the trend to make out something new from something old, I've re-visited a really old panorama: the Ghost Bank.

The Ghost Bank

I believe I've extracted enough already from this panorama. The destruction makes it a vivid target! Anyway, it is the time to do a vertical Mercator for this one, but yet I don't feel quite satisfied yet and I do feel there is more to be done with this panorama. If I remember correctly, there was no Wide View panorama for this one. We'll see about that…

Dunkel unter dem Licht
(Dark under the light)

Again, even with Dunkel unter dem Licht I did have a problem with centralizing the roof. It seems that this would be my eternal problem! Anyway, the patterns of columns and windows in this shape aren't quite "interesting" but yet some people liked it anyway. The blue hue and shades in some areas are caused by originally taking the shots with Fluorescent WB if I remember correctly. I had to put the saturation for the blues down a bit though, for it was like a color splash rather than a lighting effect.
There are other panoramas that I'm experimenting with right now but I might keep it all for the next post.


During the past expo, a weird conversation occurred with one participant. I remember this conversation particularly because of a "paradox" or so it seemed to me. I was explaining how some photographers' brains used to work and I went like:
Some photographers got an eye for details wherever they go because this is how their minds work or programmed, while some others, as of me, like to see the general shape or picture, and for this reason I adore panoramas.
The paradox here lies in some idea that I had plans to achieve and do (though never fulfilled so far), which was about implementing the idea of Retinitis Pigmentosa (which I suffer from) into my photography. If I think about it, I do usually see the usual work here is to be done in macro level where details are abundant in a small area relatively. However, I did state already that I do like the general view and I'm fond of panoramas because of that. This passion about panoramas, seems to be a reflection from my disease; in other words, I do like to do panoramas because my eyes are limited in vision.
The difference between the two ideas here is, the former is a result of conscious thinking about implementing the idea of RP. The latter is a natural given (or so it sounds with me). Which way to go? Well, for sure I'm not giving up my passion for panoramas. Yet, I do indeed have some passion for the macro world but to extreme levels, and it was just an experimental phase. In between the two, probably I should find a balance.

In the meantime, away from this "psychological" venture, I'm planning to get a bit of an "exercise" with some activities with the group in various activities not related to panorama making. The first target would be a "monodrama" event. Supposedly the target is not complex since it is a single performer acting on the stage. Yet, I do not have much faith in my Sigma lens, but we'll see. I'm not sure what's the lighting conditions will be there. I'm not sure though if I can completely do the whole course of events but I shall try. I need to break the routine, and the tiresome body…

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