Stereographic Planetoids...

quick manipulation project!

if you google for tutorials on "stereographic", "planetoids", or "mini-planets" you will come across to a lot of entries, this one from pjotojojo is pretty clear and to the point

I quickly went through my library and selected few panoramas that would fit the project.

Here are the results:
let's start with Bangkok at night with a red/pink twist

Moving onto Bangkok at night with a purple/blue twist


and then Bangkok at sunset with all the orange and shades...


a different subject, one of my selected entries from "water droplets" Droplets blog entry especially adapted for this "planetoids" experiment:


more experimentations with 2010 Phuket Fun Fly event... humans fly by a "bug-like-planet"...


This next landscape was already "planetized" 2 years back when visited Hong Kong


This landscape near HK airport is instead a brand new piece


My home city Napoli couldn't NOT be here...


Khao Sok national park with its limestone cliffs and its manmade lake was a beautiful inspiration!


great sunsets by the sea make AMAZING plantes, don't you agree???


Similan island 8 at sunrise with all its shades of blue and red...

From my recent mini project "ball of light"  Ball of light blog entry   one of the temple shots was revisited...


One of my favorites this time: a remaining wall of what once was a house with gate and garden has the look of a mother ship from another planet now!


last but not least, an unfinished dock in Koh Yao Yai with some local fishermen...


I hope you enjoyed this entry as much as I did creating it. See you next time for another project!
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Ball of light REVISITED!

you might recall my entry from last week "ball of light"

click here to read

well, given that the weather wasn't cooperating (as after few attempts it started raining), I decided to organize another session...

as I was (as usual) researching on the web, I came across with a similar technique "the dome of light"... still related to painting with light YET, instead of swinging around the cable, you need to secure it to a stick/pole and you can use it to pivot it from a fixed point (which will be the "core" of the dome.

what do you know? I accidentally picked a very peculiar date and time: Full Moon for May, 2011: May 17, 11:09...

location this time was a Buddhist temple nearby Nang Thong beach (coming back to the crime scene!)
anyway, easier to show than to describe it... here's the result of my first attempt

shutter speed at 87" f stop at 9 - (time: 11:02pm)

Surely you can notice (as I did right away) that despite having a well defined dome edge, some meridians are quite wiggly... so I decided to use this kind of imperfection with a "smokey/swirly" filling effect:

shutter at 84" f stop at 9 - (time: 11:09pm, blue filter added in post editing), cool but a bit messy dome...

as I've said, weather was slightly better but the mosquitos were hungry! Staying still trying to draw the dome was a challenge with those buggers swarming around me...
change of strategy: back to the ball of light which will keep me moving, swinging the light will prevent mosquito to get closer and I might get neater light shapes.

shutter speed at 71" f stop at 7.1 (taken at 11:26pm) - pretty cool uh? full moon with the cloudy hazy sky gave the huge flare effect

the ball of light is (personally) much more rewarding! change of composition, change location of the ball and this is what I came up with:

shutter speed at 84" f stop at 7.1 - full moon super flare!

last change of composition: ball of light by the shrine opposite the temple:

shutter speed at 66" f stop at 6.3 - time 11:37pm...

my "light tool" started failing for the excessive spinning and the light was coming on and off at each swing... that was the signal that for that night I was done!

I will improve and modify my tool for future "painting with light" projects, for SURE!!!

Until then... take care and keep exploring the endless possibility of photography!
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Ball of light!

few weeks ago, as I was browsing the web for inspiration, I came across a specific project related to "light painting" or "painting with light": the BALL of LIGHT!

Painting with light is a technique in photography that I've already explored briefly last year but I wasn't able to find the right "thing" to do...

the Ball of Light is a fairly simple idea that gives great results so I decided to give it a try...

the tool needed is a commonly found in Europe/USA battery-operated christmas-light string of led-bulbs.

Unfortunately in Thailand all x-mas lights come with a wire and a plug and cannot be converted as they require different voltage...

after searching everywhere in Khao Lak and Phuket, I've finally found a VALID alternative: color led to "pimp your car"!!! They even come in a clear plastic box with a button and batteries (TRY ME! written all over the package)... I thought I was in heaven! a dozen in a clear plastic tube, 9 on a small squared circuit board, on a circle for the head lamps, white, blue... I just needed to grab 2 squared ones and go home to McGuiver-ize them!

Snip-Snip, cut the cable from the button, switch it with an on/off switch, extended the cable from the switch to the circuit board and there you go! 24 blue led (12 each side) with nearly 2m of cable, now I can swing the light!

Next step was to find an appropriate dark location and the beach in Nang Thong is near, dark and has a lighthouse few meters off the beach (nice!)

Tripod? check!
Camera? check!
Wide angle lens? check!
Remote control for long exposure? check!
Swinging light? check!
Sexy assistant? check!

Let's go!

The night was fine, slightly breezy, luckily without rain... YET!
Equipment set, swinger (me) ready, assistant operating remote shutter ready...

this is the first result:

ball of light - painting with light photography 01

not bad as first attempt! wisely enough I remembered to mark a cross on the sand where the light would have had to swing... with a shutter of 65" and aperture  f6.3 you can still see my silhouette inside the right side of the ball...

second picture:

ball of light - painting with light photography 02
much better! I like the light in the background, longer exposure (135" or 2 minutes 15 sec) same f stop (6.3)

Here comes another one:

ball of light - painting with light photography 03
in this one I choose to swing the light a bit further away from the camera and much closer to shore...
shutter at 140" or 2'20" and f8

Last chance I had at it before the storm was a much closer to the camera shot:

ball of light - painting with light photography 04
mmmmm... not the best composition... I had to improvise in pitch black light.... 62" f8

Anyway, overall I'm pleased with this mini improvised project! however, given the rain, I couldn't mess around with all my ideas; accordingly, I played with them in photoshop...

Can't wait to find another location for more balls of light!!!
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MUCK in Khao Lak

the title of this blog entry speaks for itself! Despite being one of the major hub for divers heading to the Similan National Park, Khao Lak is not promoted (as it should!!!) as a "local" destination for avid MACRO underwater photographers.

17 or 22 (it'll be clear later on) different nudis, 10 or 12 different species in 2 or 3 dives over 1 or 2 days (clear now?)

Less than a year ago never would I have guessed that moving to Khao Lak (closer to Similan) would have charmed me away from the crystal clear waters of the park to the often murky waters along its coast...

The only dive site that I knew of and I've been to was the Boonsung wreck (for which I'm still lacking a proper entry in this blog) and I've always been rewarded with cool and unusual findings (compared to Similan or Phuket) such as honeycomb moray eels, various nudibranchs, many lion and scorpion fish, shrimps and crabs and outstanding schools of trevalley and yellowtail snapper.

Let's get to the "dirty business": on the Premchai wreck

Click here for my blog entry

I've generally always see adult specimen like this couple of glossodoris atromarginata

another favorite of mine is this adult of "cincta" with its colors and the blue edge...

not to mention the "common" risbecia pulchella popping out anywhere on the wreck!

not to mention the 2 porcelain anemone crabs on a knob edge anemone at 20m depth and so much more stuff (read my blog entry!!!)   click here ;-)

YET today I'm going to focus on sea slugs...

On the way back from the wreck we decided to do an exploratory dive near the coast...

visibility was bad (between 1 and 3 meters), everything green-ish, sand, few rocks, some garbage...

and then... they all started lining up before our amazed eyes!!!

Hypselodoris Bollandi

Hypselodoris Kanga

Chromodoris Preciosa


Chromodoris Daphne


Another Hypselodoris Kanga!


Red version: Hypselodoris Zebrina!!!


STILL another Kanga!

Cardinella Ornatissima anyone? very very very very tiny subject, I had to use all the magnification power of my wet MACRO lens to get the details.




What? Another Zebrina? Oh yes!


Last but not least, a 7cm long Ceratosoma Trilobatum for good measure and to end the dive in glory...

See what I mean by MUCK in Khao Lak?

I was so delighted with this unexpected success that I decided to go there again the following week.
Visibility was even worst this time: 15-70cm!!! we really struggled to separate the milky murky water from the sand, sometimes even bumping our nose into the sandy bottom...

the dive was still worth it during those moments of less particles, which allowed us to spot our sea slugs finding of the day:

Starting with a Chromodoris Fidelis. This one was tiny and moving fast!! a real challenge for my MACRO wet lens in such poor visibility...


I knew I was back in the same spot as I started spotting the Kangas!!! here's the first of the dive


and here's another one


a new entry: Chromodoris Decora!!! NICE ;-)


one of my new top 5 favorite nudis: the Chromodoris Daphne - here moving across a leaf

It was SCREAMING for several shots, this is it from another angle

and last but not least for this last dive of the season 2010-2011 in Khao Lak... one more Chromodoris Preciosa!

that's it for this season of "MUCK in Khao Lak", can't wait for the next season to come!
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