Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lure of the Azure

The love of the seas is enduring in Kuwait. Pearl diving and sea trade with the ‘dhows’, as the traditional wooden ships are called here, were central to the Kuwaiti way of life. Those were the difficult yet adventurous ways of life here before oil. But the lure of marine life survives in the contemporary ways among the young Kuwaitis though not particularly for any commercial purposes.

Dashing young dudes with the coolest hairstyles and worked out bodies whizzing about in the seas on jet skis or sailing into the horizon on the snazzy modern yachts with all the paraphernalia like GPS navigation systems, entertainment gizmos, angling gear and other cool stuff I may not even have an inkling of!

And contrary to popular beliefs, you can even find girls speeding away on these mean jet skis.

The slightly older generations are ardent fishing aficionados and good at that too. Like, I saw this gentleman on the marina at the Khiran Resort waiting patiently with a bare fishing line (without a rod) and pulling out that wriggling silver prize, and the pride showed!

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Experiments with HDR

My first HDR images for you.

High Dynamic Range (HDR), as it is called, is a new technique in photography which can create outstanding images by merging multiple images of a photograph taken at different exposure settings. The resulting images reproduce a very high range of tonality and detail.
Generally while taking a picture with a very high range of lighting and illumination, it is extremely difficult to capture all the details as the highly illuminated highlights may get burnt out (washed out) due to over-exposure while the darker details of the shadows may remain under-exposed. So to get over this dilemma we can take the photograph with at least three different exposure settings to capture maximum illumination and lighting detail in three different images. These different images can then be merged with HDR software to create a resulting image reproducing maximum tonal range and detail.

The best thing about this technique is that we can create images closest to the resolution of the human eye in terms of response to light and may be even beyond. On the other side, with the liberties of creative expression of the modern day, one can take it to extremes and result in creations of very surreal and ‘ghostly’ images. Some artists also create images that have an interestingly peculiar painting-like effect.