By wingpig

I come in peace

One of the trickiest decisions on a weekend morning is choosing left or right out of the door, across the road or through the alley, up or round an hill (then which one?) or through some streets (but in which bit of town?) and so on. The weather might affect it a bit; whilst a walk over the hill in wind and rain is fine in principle it wouldn't be very photographically productive due to both rain-damage risk and wind-shake in low light. The exact time I leave will affect where the sun and good light might be - should I head that way too look at things illuminated by the first direct beams of the rising sun or the other way to see the sun itself and the nice things it does to the sky?

It gets easier in the summer as unless I try really really hard the sun is pretty definitively up by the time I go out.

It stayed nice and gloomish until well into the 08:00s this morning. Decided to go for streets rather than off-road just because it's they're nice and quiet at the weekend when they're all nice and quiet compared to the choking horror of the nasty and loud weekday morning. What little traffic there was consisted mostly of taxis which can be picturesque when you're not on a bicycle and they're not attempting to kill you all the time. Trundled down Holyrood Road and noticed an open gate on the car park beneath Dynamic Earth. The gate had been clearly open and not slathered with "keep out" signage and I was well away from the few cars parked in one corner but a wee security guard still felt the need to scamper over with the usual jobsworthy "can I help you there, sir?" when it's pretty damn obvious what I was doing (although the lying on the floor to see through the mini-tripod-level viewfinder might have looked a bit weird on the camera monitor). Although it gets my back up when officials start being officious it's probably best to be nice to them so that there isn't any backlash against present and future photographers. I explained that the lighting was really interesting and that I was taking pictures of it. Despite demonstrating and showing him the picture he just said "the lighting?". "Should I not be here?" equalled "not taking photies, no" so I left and headed round to the front of the parliament via a coffee-selling place.

Trying a planet-effect thing is one of those effect-things I've been thinking about trying to effect for a while; the recent fake-miniatures have inspired me to give it a go. I've remembered to try a couple of panoramas recently but haven't been anywhere with a flat-yet-something-to-look-at-on-it horizon suitable for planetting. I hadn't been to check on Gerald for a while and thought that Calton Hill might be suitable so duly headed over.
Gerald provided a suitably level base for the panorama basis-shots which it was but the work of a few tens of minutes when back home to attempt to get Autostitch to join up the sixteen 10MP pictures and then a much shorter time to get it to work with reduced-size files. The rest is reasonably simple... the left and right ends of a 360-degree pano will already match so just crop off the top and bottom, rotate 180 degrees, stretch the height to equal the width then convert from rectangular to polar co-ordinates. Once you've done that you can then repeat after fiddling about with different crops and any foreground replacement which might be required to prevent large brown muddy spots appearing just south of the equator. It's also best to do any level-boosting and so on before you've expanded the image to about 60MP. Much quicker ;)

Stuck around a bit to get some pictures of the rapidly-appearing tourists and things before heading down, round, along, back a bit, along there, up, round, through then home.

Going to an alleged cocktail party tonight. I have to find somewhere selling sweet Vermouth. And wear a suit. Bah.

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