Thursday, May 18, 2017


Well, I'm struggling here to keep my mood swings off the ground a bit till the time for my vacation arrives. I'm trying to squeeze my mind to extract some more ideas for the project of the month of May which is about colors. Yet, however, when I tried to do something, I've gone out with a completely different experience and experiment. The bad thing about it is that I had to work with high ISO here since I didn't want to use speedlites. Explanation for not using them will come shortly.


I won't go over my original idea which was about colored sticks and a glass of water, but I'm going to move right away into the application of the second idea which came to live, even though it did not involve colors as I hoped so.

Vivid Dream I
Canon EF 100mm Macro, f/2.8, 400-1s, ISO3200.

The idea was simply to display an eye image (ahem, my eye) on my tablet and cover the tablet with a lasagna glassware, then filling the glassware with water. The goal was to achieve some kind of movement, distraction, or any kind of action that could possible mimic the sense of a vivid dream with a fuzzy looking eye. However, to aid me with this, I had to add corn syrup (didn't have glycerine) to the water and use a milk frother to disturb the water and produce some action and bubbles. Any liquid works here I guess but I think anything else would add color and maybe unwanted level of foam (like soap for example); Thus, corn syrup was just about enough for me here.
In the beginning I did indeed use ND filter to lengthen the exposure time considerably, but that length in fact hid all the action; I guess I didn't learn my lesson from hunting clouds with long exposures yet! Thus, I've removed the ND and decided to shoot normally. The blur produced by the moving water did, in general, look like a motion blur of some unstable hand, which is not something I was aiming for. Meanwhile, I noticed how the bubbles were interesting enough to make some kind of vivacity in the scene. Capturing them needed some shutter speed (i.e. short timing). Not wanting to use Speedlites here because they might make the situation worse with refraction and highlight spots, I've decided to work with Tv mode, and set the ISO to Auto. A Kamikaze plan, I know. My little cropped Canon EOS 7D surely does not do well with high ISO and heat. However, so let it be.
I've shot most shots at 400-1s shutter speed, but seems even that was somewhat slow and I needed something faster at some point (but didn't discover that until the examination of these images closely). The ISO here ranged from 2000 to 4000. A Catastrophe.

Turbulent Dream
Canon EF 100mm Macro, f/4, 30-1s, ISO400.

By the end of this experiment, I was back again to try and shoot something with motion blur which I did, and produced something surreal of some sort after winding the ISO back to 400 (still high to my measures) as seen in Turbulent Dream. Not sure why I stopped at ISO400 and not ISO100, but probably it would make the exposure so long that all turbulence would simply disappear. In total, there were 8 shots, so here are the other 6:

Vivid Dream II

Vivid Dream III

Vivid Dream IV

Vivid Dream V

Vivid Dream VI

Vivid Dream VII

Of all in this series, only Vivid Dream VII undergone a special treatment somewhat as I applied Pinch filter to make the bubbles' circles seemingly more directed to the center of the image around the iris. The effect was slightly applied and not in extreme way, otherwise it would be more like a graphic surreal design instead of a surreal photo!
Now, the critique about these images was fine but with one problem here: the noise. For this reason I might need to do the experiment again, and this time I have to go with another risk: using speedlites. However, I'll try to make speedlites as diffused as possible, despite the fact that I'll be using HSS mode which will reduce the power of the single flash lighting significantly. Anyway, all that is on hold for now, since I have to get busy (really busy) with my colors project for the month of May, as the month is getting closer to its end and I didn't achieve a single proper photo yet!


Well, this was a short trip into what I've been doing lately. Too bad I didn't capture any further images with the colors project yet, otherwise I would have posted them here. Meanwhile, I'm looking for a good topic to write about in my other Arabic blog as I didn't post any articles in some time now. I'm thinking about talking about High Pass Sharpening method. Anyhow, I should start ASAP to be over with it by next Thursday. That means, also, I won't be posting in this blog next week.
Good news here: I have to get ready to start my own vacation during Ramadhan, as I've signed for one. Remembering the hell I used to go through last summer with traffic jams at work itself, all that, makes me freak out thinking how things would be this Ramadhan in this summer. They say this would be the last Ramadhan to arrive at summer and will not fall during summer again till after 26 years from now! Something to joy about I guess? The question is though, would I be able to use that time to work more with my camera, as well as some of the postponed projects? Till then…

Stock photography by Taher AlShemaly at Alamy

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