Thursday, June 2, 2016


After stopping for a week because of lack of time and the tiresome body, here I am again trying to put up with the latest. I'm lagging behind with some ideas and experiments I should have been working with lately, and my time management, to say the best, sucks. Yet, not sure if this is my problem or it's just my destiny to be so.
In the meantime, I think it is time to put some of my work done in 360 mall here in Kuwait, after the end of the contest specified for that mall. Of course, none of my work did win (3 photos maximum for every contestant). However, I did get an email about one of my images being shortlisted (i.e. qualified at some point). Not sure though which image is it!


The location itself was, despite its visual beauty, hard to find a good perspective in it. The third place in the contest was awarded to a friend in the group and I'm not sure at what location exactly was it taken. My three contributions were actually made of the same panorama in different projections. It was hard for me to find some interesting points or some harmony, and to add to my hardships, my light meter was out of power and I had to depend solely on the camera's light meter; which meant I must work in Av mode instead of the Manual mode. That contributed a lot to discrepancies in exposures. Not to mention the final weird color spots which I usually encounter from time to time in my HDR panoramas. However, it seems that I was either in the wrong section for the contest or, maybe just didn't find hidden corners like the others did.

After doing the panorama, I did indeed take single shots, but then reading the conditions thoroughly I've found that shots should be more into those Vertical Gardens. The single shots I've made were, unfortunately, not into these gardens and more into the architecture of the place. Also, they were taken with my converted camera and using an infrared gel filter at the back of Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens. Thus, I've found myself just changing the projection for this single panorama and submitting the images to fill in the 3 slots available. Of course, it is not necessary to fill in these 3 slots but I felt bad of uploading just one, the regular flat one (I). The vertical one (II)seems to be the messiest of all with many color splashes and a lost focus on the gardens themselves, even though I tried to make somewhat a swift movement for the gardens and the decor. Still, the element of harmony is lacking drastically in this one.


The planet projection of the same panorama had the same defects almost; lack of harmony, though maybe to a lesser degree than the vertical projection. In the planet projection, specifically, I tried to increase the cyan tones a bit to counteract the excessive red to magenta tones. Doing the panorama beside that long pillar was absolutely a wrong idea. But with such a place that lacks a specific center of mass (i.e. a center architectural focus to wrap the panorama around it), I had no choice there. Doing the panorama in the middle of the sets of tables of the cafés in that area wouldn't be any better too.


As I've mentioned before, after doing the panorama, I tried to take single shots. These singles shots were done with my converted EOS 7D, and tried taking shots with and without the infrared filter. The difference here is that, the converted camera would record all spectrum from infrared to ultraviolet, as well as the visible spectrum in between. But using a filter on the lens, would filter the visible spectrum and other ranges to allow a specific band to pass. All single shots were taken with Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens, and some were in landscape while most were in portrait orientation. Shots like Upperways include the widest spectrum, and after a bit of twitching to the white balance value, some strange mix of colors is produced far from reality. Nice effect. In Upperways, I used DxO software to correct the fisheye distortion, and that resulted in cropping a large area of the image. One question occurred to me at that time which I'm still not able to answer: How to do the metering for infrared shots?

Usually, when shooting infrared shots with a regular camera, I would in fact take several shots using high ISO value and checking the histogram. When the histogram is alright, I just roll back to the lowest ISO and do a long exposure. Things are a bit different when using a converted camera because (without a filter) metering is done for a whole spectrum (adding the focusing problems). With some filter on the lens, probably the method of trial and error can still be done though it would be lengthy somewhat; yet the concept of having a converted camera is to be able to work with such filters (UV or IR) with ease as if working around with a regular camera. Working in LiveView is a must in these cases, whether the camera is converted or not, and specially when the lens has no IR marker (and I've never seen a UV marker before at all!). While doing more shots like Infra360, I've discovered later that some shots were adjacent somewhat to each other with little perspective difference, which might be proper for making a 3D anaglyph later on. I wouldn't know exactly until I try though.


I'm trying slowly now to work on some of my projects; specifically the 4D experiments. I'm trying to formulate some ideas about it though. Meanwhile, I'm observing the arrival of Ramadhan by next week, and I'm not sure if I will be keeping up with this blog or not. However, one thing is for sure: I'm going to have sleeping problems the whole month. My activity, as well, will be down low because of this. I miss traveling, but looking at my budget at the current time, seems this year is not going to be mine. Ironically, it is the year of the Monkey in the Chinese Calendar, which is my Chinese sign as well… The Monkey.

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