Thursday, September 15, 2016


The Eid came and passed already, with typical wishes to see the holiday go longer already! Meanwhile, I enrolled in a 3-day workshop with some members of the group in portraiture & fantasy.
I've stated through this blog all the way that I'm not a portraiture person and not into this kind of art (mainly because it needs a good contact with people or models to achieve a good expressive portrait shot). Anyway, I've found it somewhat obligatory to get along with such workshop with the founder of our group, Mr Bahaadeen Al-Qazwini, to move my imagination a bit and break the dullness and idleness regarding the work with my camera. I didn't touch it for a real project since my work with solar shots for more than a month.

Short coverage from the last day of workshop

Probably the most fascinating thing about these workshops is the team work involved and exchange of ideas, specially when the number of participants is small. I took the chance opportunity here to try out some real infrared and UV photography on human subjects. As can be seen in the coverage above, we contacted a model for a number of hours in the last day of the workshop, but prior to that we did some "training" shooting on a friend and a fellow member in the group.

Anger Halfie
Click to enlarge
Training with a friend did ignite some ideas about poses and facial expressions but yet it was hard to think of something. Many did argue that shots like Anger Halfie are not really "fantasy" but it is mainly a regular shot helped out by the fact of using a filter on lens (UV-pass leaking IR) to make the image look different. Anyway, since I'm not into portraits, I did really like this shot, and the colors produced here are simply made by fixing the white balance in RAW file.

However, I tried my best to get out of the ordinary even though the shots were taken with my converted camera and some kind of filter. In Skullptonite, I've imagined a jaw bone and a row of teeth, and thus I've rotated the image. I have to say that the pose itself did force me to think in that way already because the facial expression was not appealing to me and I cropped a lot already. I loved the tones in Skullptonite, so it was hard for me to even think of disposing it. Both shots, Anger Halfie and Skullptonite, were taken with UV-pass filter fitted on Voigtländer 20mm lens. 
I wasn't using a tripod in this training, and Voigtländer 20mm lens is manual (except for the controls for the aperture), hence just imagine the hard time I had focusing in a close-up using an opaque filter like B+W 403! Luckily for me, the studio strobes were strong enough to light the subject while using this filter with high f-number. Without such a high f-number, I doubt the subject would have been in focus like that without seeing anything in the LCD of the camera.


When it was the last day, it was the day of the "real" work with a "real" model. Frankly, I didn't even think of anything specific prior to that day, but everything happened at the spur of the moment. I had some x-ray slides in my car for my chest so I decided to use that, and then I thought of some dice to do a Hi-Speed shot using Profoto studio strobes. 
Each participant had 30 minutes to apply his or her vision and ideas and I was last (mainly because I had to use Profoto's instead of Bowen's like the others). Initially, my shot and idea with the X-ray slide failed dramatically; using infrared here was a grave mistake! Generally speaking, The idea was to fit the X-ray slide into the black t-shirt of the model standing against a black background, and I thought that the infrared technique and filter would actually create a good contrast for a black and white shot at the end; but all my calculations proved wrong, when the black t-shirt turned white! After that I started working with the dice as it can be seen in Player

Player II

Initially, my idea was to blow the dice from below, but the founder found it much easier to drop the dice from the top. The founder and I had the same idea for a concept in mind and he pretty much liked it; it's about someone playing with others like puppets. The culprit behind the scenes. 
Many shots were taken and it was hard to rhyme. In Player, one flash didn't go off and that caused a dramatic low-key effect. I didn't count for this in mind but this is one of the "happy" malfunctioning stories! While processing, I was fluctuating between colored and B&W versions, but seems I like the two above in that manner. I made even a "soft" version, but probably Player wouldn't benefit much of that, since the sharp look required harsh skin somewhat as well (softening too much might turn a male subject into something girlish).
After many, many trials for trying to catch the dice in front of the model's face, I passed my 30 minutes limit already, and thus had to stop. Probably, however, that we might be doing this again after a while.


This has been my life for the past 2 weeks almost, and now waiting for the news come about the participation of my group in an event abroad. Meanwhile, my health is getting low back again with unstoppable cough, and seems I have to check it out with the doctors again. 
As I'm canceling my plans for any vacation this year, and with the bad economy and corrupt in this place, I'm trying hard to enjoy myself in this short holiday of 9 days; a holiday spent at a home like mine is not really considered anything but a torture, but to a lesser degree. At least I had the chance to sleep as much as I like in some days, beside not going to work to check-in for attendance.
I'm working currently, as I'm typing this, on some vectors (or something like it in fact) by doing art by hand and scanning. It will be taking me a while to complete the task. Probably one thing I'm regretting in this holiday is my inability to dedicate some of my time to work with Geltani (and other conlangs I've set some plans to before). But as the degree of boredom and mentally-low status increase, I find myself eager more to play games non-stop, and I'm hoping that working with some art projects like the one I'm doing right now would take my mind off of some of my troubles…

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