Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Rant…

This is a quick wrap as I'm having a break from working on a new set of panoramas, in what is supposed to be my first commissioned work!
I got the job via a friend, but I will tell more after the whole thing has worked out. It is an interesting place and I'm already having the typical technical problems which accompany panorama-making usually. The work is needed by next Sunday, thus I'm trying to invest every second of my time, and every available space in the memory of my PC! As I'm writing these words the job is not over yet (that is the photo shoot) and probably more to come.

Architectural Anatomy
Meanwhile, I've been trying to dig more into previous panoramas, specifically those from Oman and Malta.One of the interesting projections I've "discovered" so far can be seen in Architectural Anatomy. A friend wondered why I didn't put the huge circle (originally an arc) down; the reason behind this is, when I formed this projection (planet projection), the view seemed to be like a head (and some did indeed comment that it looks like ET!), and hence the name. To imply this vision, I had to keep it that way as can be seen here.
Also, there are the panoramas taken from Sultan Qabus Grand Mosque still awaiting for their turn of projections (even though I did extract most of these). One style that was favored by a number of people was Backbone, which for me does somewhat give a sense of Gothic architecture (despite the purely Islamic nature of the architecture in normal format). I guess maybe that's why it was liked by many westerns? Who knows! It was done in 3D as well (and it was liked mostly in 3D anaglyph format). In this specific vertical panorama, I've decided to go with the typical spherical projection instead of the Mercator which I've been using lately for vertical panoramas specifically. For some reason not so clear yet for me, it seemed that having an elongated vertical panorama with this one adds more strength (and probably this is what increased the Gothic effect).


My timing is a mess lately because of many preparations with the group (and I really hate it when this happens) - always jobs done to the last minute. Surprisingly, some of my accepted panoramas (in sorting) for some contests, was later discarded (but I'm uploading it anyway), namely L-Orizzont and some others. My experience tells me that some judges are way too much of a burden for no right reason. Same judges did already exclude some of my most renowned panoramas, like Easnacha, which is not displayed in Trierenberg's Luxurious Coffee Table Book Edition (which is printed in a limited number of 500 worldwide). For this reason, I'm giving a deaf ear to these comments and judging, and to some limit, I'm uploading what I see appropriate.


This coincides with my e-mail to Bruce Barnbaum, an author or 2 great books about the art of photography (and currently in the process of reading the second). It was great to have him reply to my e-mail. I asked him about his ideas about Panoramas, and Photography contests. Somewhat, it didn't differ much from my view (excluding the panorama part). Here's his reply directly from my email:


I agree with you about panoramas: it seems that most people are doing them today simply because the CAN do them. I've seen virtually none that excite me.

Photography contests are utterly useless: It's much like asking, "Who is better, Rembrandt or van Gogh." The question, itself, is stupid.

Thank you for your nice comments about my book!

Bruce Barnbaum
I tried to let him judge some of my work with panoramas despite his disinterest in them, but he apologized about it for his busy schedule. No wonder. I do consider this man one of the cores of arts! Not only at the point of contests do I agree with him, but also in other stuff mentioned in his books (like he does not do much portraits and does prefer abstracts and landscapes). I'm greatly happy that he did answer my e-mail, and also having something in common with him somehow. Ironically, after sending this e-mail, I continued reading his book and I did read exactly what he expressed in his e-mail about photography contests.
I'm emphasizing this point because I do feel like I'm doing a job for others with one exception: it's not commissioned, but quite the opposite. I'm paying for these contests. Why? I know it's all about the reputation in the field and that makes a way for other relationships and revenues, but looking at the limit of the stress and the efforts done to get a single acceptable image (by the members of the group or myself), makes me feel that it is just unworthy and far from "art." We are, literally, spending hundreds of dinars every year just for such contests. Things are worse my way, since not much of them does understand or have some support to the art of panorama. They say you should do (or photograph) what you like most because it makes you indulge easily and get creative - and this is what I'm trying to do with my panoramas; yet, those who are supposedly to be the art-patrons, do not understand or simply neglect this art. That's it... ranting over.

Triq tas-Sema (road of heaven)
طريق السماء

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