Mar 082009

What did I say? Color again! Well, both images of today are from the archives. It was a decently nice day today, but I have not been out photographing. Hmm … that somehow gets routine on Sundays 🙂

The first image is from Friday morning and nothing special, just one of my umbrella images, because it rained like mad. I had composed with the handle of the umbrella going straight through the middle, because straight lines going through the center of a fisheye image stay straight. This is one of a series of five or six images that I made there, waiting for a satisfying constellation of people and/or trains and cars.

The B&W conversion is a mix of “High Contrast Red Filter” and “Maximum Black”, along with the familiar gradient and some dodging and burning. Again I have treated this image with Fisheye-Hemiâ„¢, and again the result is extremely satisfying.

In fact, that’s what I did most of the day: trying this new plugin on old fisheye images.

That’s really important. When you use such a beast, you have to get a feeling for what it does to your compositions, after all, you can’t see it through the viewfinder. Thus, to increase my hit rate, I have to get familiar with the mapping, have to acquire the ability to predict the final outcome.

Well, so far there is room for improvement. I can say though, that the mapping seems to be mostly just what I wish for. Kinda magic 🙂 In any case I’ll go on like that for a few days, at least until I get the new Nikon 35/1.8.

Apropos get: when I was at the local electronics and media store yesterday, I saw a long-expected box tagged “LG Flatron W2452-TX”. This 24″ monitor is the new incarnation of the successful 2452-T, only this one is a wide-gamut monitor.

So far I have only “calibrated” it visually, using the supplied software and a couple of monitor test photos, but I am certainly impressed. Tomorrow or the day after, I’ll try to get the same monitor for Vienna. It has the ability to throw out almost obscene colors, it is evenly lit, has great contrast, and the stability against varying the viewing angle is much better than with the cheap Samsungs. For a price of €260 it is a steal.

Oh, in all that chatter I completely forgot about the Image of the Day! This is an image of yesterday. I stood in the middle of a bridge and tried to capture as much of the sky as possible. Pretty nice clouds, huh?

If you have ever tried to take such an image with a fisheye, you know that the horizon at the lower end is invariably curled. In this case I have composited two versions of the same image, one with Fisheye-Hemi for the land and the clouds immediately above the mountains, one with the original fish for the clouds, because I really liked the curl at the top. I think that’s pretty neat. Best of both worlds. Of course you can’t do that all of the time. Normally you won’t find a smooth transition, but here there was just enough blank blue sky to make it work.

The Song of the Day is “In The Sky” from Mark Knopfler’s 2007 album “Kill to Get Crimson”. Nice song, nice album. Here’s a video.

  2 Responses to “877 – In The Sky”

  1. yep – that works. Wonderful dynamics, obviously ‘taming the fisheye’ is a rewarding thing to do. I never gave in to my lust for such a lens as I thought that the effect just gets boring after a while. But the combination with cool software (and skilled hands) obviously makes a difference 😉

  2. Actually, I don’t use it that often. Most of all, composing with the fisheye is tedious because it’s so hard to keep even your own body out of the image. For some things like Thursday’s stairs in “874 – Something New“, it is perfect, or just take “602 – The Day That Jackie Jumped The Jail“. That’s one image that I’m proud of.

    Let’s just say that the fish does not fit too well into my usual routine of keeping lenses for weeks. I hope that changes now.

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