Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mí Lúnasa…

August is in, and the heat is in surplus combined with humidity. Well, the good part is, my birthday is coming and I'm planning ahead for this day to... sleep some more. If I'm lucky enough I might as well get the chance to have free lunch with friends! Let's pray…
I've been busy the past few weeks doing many things (and skipping many things), but mainly finished a whole post/article for my Arabic blog explaining how I shoot through my old microscope, in hope someone out there find it beneficial anyway. I was also busy working on July's project: motion and splashes. But since I've done splashes before (and they require a messy set-up) I've decided to confine myself to do motion images as much as possible. I think I've posted some trials in the previous post, and some of them were a great fail.


As I've mentioned before that the lines from songs of Sabah Fakhri [صباح فخري] are still inspiring me for these shots. My first trials with stroboscopic function didn't go well majorly because of the nature of the clocks or watches I've been using as it seems, so it was inevitable to do some Photoshop work out of the context of photography a bit as in Waiting. However, because of the depth of field, which was not shallow enough, and the irregular gaps between the ghosts of the minutes hands, all that made me think of re-doing the shot again with some fixes.

Waiting II

As shown here in Waiting II, I've pulled the rose closer to the table edge toward the camera to increase the distance and hence enhance the look of the shallow depth of field. However, it seems that I've done it with a bit of extra spices since I doubt that movement of the clock's hands are obvious at this level, but I'll leave that to the viewers. This is not the end of the story as I will be back to this project in a bit.
In my trials to depict motion I arrived at an idea which I've encountered some time ago in fact. A method of merging various channels of various similar-looking images (mainly those containing a sort of motion in them). The method was described by Yuga Kurita, a Japanese photographer. Though his method is a bit different but the final result is essentially the same almost. It's about merging one channel from each shot, in a series. I was set to go and try this new method with some spin-tops!

Voigtländer 20mm, f/11, 1s, ISO100

Unfortunately, I didn't take a shot for the set, but it was a simple set with camera dangling vertically over the set with a lateral arm. I used my Voigtländer 20mm lens here for its sharpness and quality, and to have more freedom in the field of view as I was planning to crop later on. I've set my Speedlite (580EX II) on second-sync on the camera and directed it to a white cardboard on the side of the set. With some angle it was possible to make elongated shadows for the spinners. All these measures later on, however, proved to be kind of useless! Anyway, the main task was to have a proper image for the motion and that was kind of possible at 1 second exposure. After spinning and shooting several shots, it was time to combine some of them. In Chromamotion, three images were merged by channels. Later on, I've decided to merge all of the shots in sets of threes (made about 6 groups).

The sprinkling colors across the white space here reminded me of the quarks so I named it after them. However, despite the colorful look, the motion blur in the original shots is not quite obvious here so I was doubting about the ability of such work to deliver the idea of motion to the viewer; any viewer. Things, however, got into perspective with my next move when I thought about the first shots I've made for Waiting above. Why didn't I think of that before? I can merge those in the same way instead of stacking them together in a regular manner!

Waiting III

I think in Waiting III, the allusion of motion is better and more obvious than Waiting I and Waiting II because of the colors on an almost-black-and-white image in general. This beings me to a conclusion as to why Waiting III is depicting motion better than Quarks or Chromamotion, and I think this is mainly because the image itself has mixed elements of stable objects and those in motion, and in fact those stable objects are, somehow, more general than those in motion. In Waiting III, also, we have a center (the clock's center), something which the motion is going about or around - since it's hard to depict the motion blur in this method it would be better to have the moving object in some periodic motion (visually at least) or attached to a static object (e.g. waves and beach, or moving branches in the wind). This is just my observation for now, and we'll see what to do about it later!


Well, there had been so much on my table lately, whether it's photography-related or domestic. I've been learning new stuff about Anaglyph making and 3D illusions, specifically for videos. I've posted a video last time which was not very concrete in terms of its 3D effect, but it was a trial and now after learning new things, I might try to record a new video; However, it does require some work on prepping my gear first just a bit.

Source: Amazon
I've stopped my ongoing reading list to read and finish my 2 new books from Amazon, and I've already finished one by Syl Arena (which I've read books of his before) This book is quite easy to digest and the beginning bulk of this book is for beginners, but nevertheless what comes then is quite useful, specially when it comes to discussions about his projects and situations. He describes exactly the mental process as needed to follow on with creating the needed light (even though some professionals might disagree with his methods).

Source: Amazon
Now I've started reading the second book, Schaum's Outlines: Optics, which is supposedly and introductory to the world of optics. However, the book kind of looking weird, because I feel as if it is in fact an answering-model for another major book (or let's say a solution manual). Nevertheless, it gives good information still with some good explanations in paragraphs before giving questions and their solutions. It is in fact a good refresher for me so far because what I've been reading so far is what I've studied long ago in my physics classes and completely forgot about right now!

There are other stuff I need to test and examine too, but waiting for the right time as I'm pressed (and can barely type this blog even!). I have the focusing pyramid (to calibrate the focusing system for lenses) as well as the H-alpha Night Sky filter which I didn't examine properly for the night sky yet, except lately for shooting the lunar eclipse (image at the end of the post). It is a regular job (and imaging) with such a filter and when I ordered it, I was really aiming at using it to shoot at the sun, but seems I have to wait till summer is over or I will simply be a fried egg! As for now, I need to get myself involved in August project with the group, which is about "Books." So far, I have no idea what I'm supposed to do, but only glimpses and visions in my head waiting to get out to reality.
When it comes to travel, it seems that I have to delay my plans a bit further and probably skip this year as well. I guess things are going crazy in this world, too much that a travel itself is a stress that needs a stress-relief. Needless to say, I don't quite have any idea as where I should be going. Sometimes though I wish if I can meet some of those amazing people I knew online… Well, till that time comes, I better get back to my Irish lessons and learning, and maybe add another language to the list.

Lunar Chain

Stock photography by Taher AlShemaly at Alamy

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