Thursday, January 19, 2017

Scrambled Eggs…

Been some hectic weeks, and somehow the process is still going on. Anyway, it seems I have some problems in focusing in general, as I cannot stand doing a single job without being distracted or, simply, drained. This will be a quick stroll about the latest stuff I've been working on, or will be.


Of course, first, there is my interest in tessellations, which I've stopped running after for a while to do some other chores and projects. In my hunt for new "composites" for creating a tessellating panorama, I've returned back to block #1 as I was working with TessellaQaddis, and this time, it is probably not even quite flowing smoothly at some edges. However, I've made some thoughts and still flipping ideas in my mind to see if I can get back at it later.
One of the projects that were in my mind for a long time was a peeling effect for a human subject (no worries; no blood or violence involved!). I've finally got the chance to work with my brother about this idea, though it might be just a first trial and we might do it again later, but not sure about this possibility.

Peeling Bro

A great deal of cloning was involved here; I guess caused by the vertical movement of his body as he rotated. The rotation was clumsy if I can call it so, since no concrete method for measuring angles were used except the convention of using the big toe as a scale: two steps of a toe at a time is somewhat visually equals to about 30° or so. The hair was a big problem too; his was so rigid and random! I've done a mistake here to forget about the top shot (for the top of the head) and the chin shot (from below that is) which could be done easily by reclining the head back and forth, but I've forgot about that completely (since I'm more used to do simple horizontal rotations). Thinking about it now, I wonder how would I be able to fit these two shots into the composition. There might not be a big deal for the top of the head somehow, but as for the chin shot from below, that would definitely be a hard task. I'll leave it at that and see if I can get the chance to do this experiment again... with a better hair!
Another project which I was so proud to do was colorizing an old photo. I've seen lot of B&W images online which have been colorized, and mostly WWI and WWII images. After asking around, it seemed that colorizing was indeed a manual task most of the time! There might be some hidden technique out there using the original B&W slides to produce colored images but I'm not sure of such possibilities. Anyway, I set out to do my own project in this, using an old photo for Dad…

Left: Original, Right: Colored Version.

I think Dad had this shot done in his 30s and probably out of Kuwait, judging from the suit. Everything here is hypothetical, i.e. I made up the colors, except for the skin tone which I've tried to mimic to the best of my memory about Dad. There were some tiny "glitches" in some areas but probably not so obvious for the first glance until one would go on a thorough inspection, with the original size. These glitches are mainly caused by the fact that I was using Gaussian Blur over Layer Masks to smooth out the edges; otherwise, the image would look rigid and not natural with hard edges between areas of different colors. Here, I had to paint the white shirt even despite being white already, but my white was a bit gray-ish as I thought it is more realistic in looks. Same thing was done to the hair in black, but a "lighter" black instead of completely pure black. After adding a color to a specific area, it must be blended with the original photo. I didn't quite make a specific formula for blending and I've actually used many blends, from overlay to soft light and even multiply and hard light at times. It all depends on the final look to be achieved. For this reason, I had to make sure to convert the scanned image to a pure B&W, otherwise there would be problems in blending colors when there is a tint overall the image. This image was yellowish a bit (but far from being in sepia). Now, this is something I would love to do for some of the major pictures I have scanned from the family collection. But this work needs patience and also information about some details. I'll look after that later on.

On the other hand, there were some urgent matters that I had to stop everything and try to get along with, like the Italian Style contest which came contemporary to the Italian Week here in Kuwait. Our group is taking this seriously and a conference was held with the Italian ambassador, HE Giuseppe Scognamiglio, to explain related issues with this contest. The good thing here is, no models or human figures are allowed into the picture. A relief!

HE Giuseppe Scognamiglio and Mr Bahaadeen Al-Qazwini, leader and founder of BPF Group, during the Italian Style contest conference.

The leader of the group held two workshops to assist the participants if they like to. Personally, I attended only the first workshop which was held in The Scandinavian House, a furniture store belonging to Al-Khonaini Group (Instagram: @domus_scandinavia). The place has two exhibitions: one for office furniture mainly, and the other one for regular house furniture. As the office furniture section was all Italian, unlike the other, I hooked myself with this section alone. My main aim was a panorama in fact but since I'm advised not to post my participation image in the contest until the contest is over (February 27th), thus I won't be posting this now. Instead, I had some trials after doing the panorama there.

3D Urn

One of the ideas that occurred to me is this urn or big glass (whatever they call it) you see above. However, after insepcting closely, I realized that my idea is not clear; the contest required a merge of Italian goods, with Kuwaiti sense. My idea was kind of far from that concept. Thus, I decided to have fun on my own terms. I shot plain shots for this urn then found myself doing a 3D procedure on shooting and the result is seen above. In fact, I had to work it all together using HDR technique, but seems there are good slides with strong highlights that I might work on later as single images. All in all, the colors in the image are too distracting as it seems (and as I tested it with friends in the group) and the 3D effect does not show clearly. Thus, I had to make a B&W version of the image (going through the process again), and then it became a bit better when observed using the typical Red-Cyan Anaglyph (3D) glasses.

3D Urn B&W

There had been other shots for other sets but probably this (beside the panorama I've done and not shown here) are the best so far. I'm still inspecting though.
Now, even though there is a plenty of time to the end of this contest, I have to say I'm done with it and I've uploaded my participation (sent by email that is) already. I have so much burden of projects on my shoulders which need to be attended and no more time to waste!


Things are piling up and I'm feeling drained here. Is it my sleeping pattern? I don't know, though I don't think this is the reason. Something is making me lose my appetite to hold the camera and work.
I have to finish some projects urgently before the end of the month. I'm trying to be optimistic here and say that I will be posting some of my results by next week, but I think it's early to say that with my mood swings. I hate when this happens, specially in times like these when I'm overwhelmed with projects. I even forgot totally about my older passion: conlangs.
The need for a vacation is really, really, giving me more stress when it crosses my mind. I can't stop thinking about it but it is a need rather than a luxury. The noise and the troubles and problems in this house are just too much to my already-defused mind. But where to? Is it affordable? All of this and other matters are simply behind a curtain for the time being, and I hate to look behind it…

Stock photography by Taher AlShemaly at Alamy

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