Fun with Polar Coordinates

20 04 2011

As a photographer, Photoshop is an integral part of my workflow. Most of my work on it is very simple.

Curves adjustments, sharpening and some dodging and burning.

Sometimes, it takes a bit more than that and I start using it like a power user. For example, I wanted to try and punch up an portrait I took in Sri Lanka over 4 years ago by emulating the work of Dragan.

Processed before and after

Processed before and after

This took about 10 minutes to get the right result I wanted and I am very impressed with it.

Photoshop has a ton of filters that you can use to create that certain look. Since it is also for designers, there are a bunch of filters that I just don’t use as a photographer. One of those is Polar Coordinates. What it does is alter the coordinates of the image from rectangular to polar. You can read the full description here. Here’s what the filter does to this photo:

On a gokart

On a gokart

This one has the filter set to Rectangular to Polar. Notice how it wraps the photo around a central point. More on that later.

Rectangular to Polar

Rectangular to Polar

The last example is set to Polar to Rectangular.

Polar to Rectangular

Polar to Rectangular

The second altered photo is completely unusable but the first, if the right side connected to the left side, it would make for a pretty funky looking photo. Then I got to thinking about panoramic photography.
So I tried it out and this is what I got after about 10 minutes of fiddling.

Panorama of Plaza Vieja in Havana using Polar Coordinates

Panorama of Plaza Vieja in Havana using Polar Coordinates

Looks pretty cool but it’s a bit uneven for me so I went and looked around for a more uniform panorama and found one from a recent trip to Phu Quoc, Vietnam.

Desert beach in Phu Quoc orb using Polar Coordinates

Desert beach in Phu Quoc orb using Polar Coordinates

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

A few tips if you want to try this. The image size has to be square. It will look wierd when you constrain the image but it will turn out in the end as the image will be restretched when the filter is applied. Also, make sure you flip the image vertically or what you get will be an image that turns in instead of out. Which is another photo in itself.

Hope you enjoyed reading this!

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Dey Krahom 2 years on

11 03 2011

I had a chance to shoot this stitched image a couple days ago whilst shooting some office shots in the Phnom Penh Center. Inbetween portraits of some office staff, I had a chance to look outside and noticed a pristine football pitch where shacks stood before.

The office staff informed me that the 7NG football team practices there.

Stitched panorama from the Phnom Penh Center

Stitched panorama from the Phnom Penh Center





MacGyver eat your heart out!

12 02 2011

I have always loved the television show MacGyver. It always amazes me how he solves problems. Usually involving a trusty role of duct tape and everyday materials. I still believe that you can plug a leak in a nuclear reactor using a Hershey bar.
I think its that show that gives me a DIY attitude when it comes to my work. I have blogged before about my hacked tilt shift lens and how I managed to get apps on my Blackberry and now have another DIY lens project to share.
I bought a Telesar 135 f/2.8 Nikon mount lens in Brighton last year for 15 pounds and haven’t had time to mount it. By mounting it on an old lens cap cover, I managed to place it onto Canon 5D. Judging by the initial image samples, I am completely impressed with the image quality that the lens displays.
Samples at:

f/2.8

135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test samples

135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test samples


f/4
135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test sample

135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test sample


f/5.6
135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test samples

135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test samples


f/8
135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test sample

135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test sample


f/11
135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test sample

135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test sample


f/16
135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test sample

135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test sample


f/22
135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test sample

135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test sample

I have cropped a 100% sample at f/2.8 to illustrate how sharp it is.

135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test crop sample

135mm f/2.8 Telesar lens test crop sample

That is without any initial sharpening so you can see how tack sharp it is.

As for the lens, there isn’t much information online regarding it. The only reference information I could find is on cameralensdatabase.





Foos and Foot Ball

25 01 2011

Beer Leo distributor party

Beer Leo distributor party


I had the pleasure of taking photos at a party for distributors thrown by the Thai based Singha company for their Leo brand. You might have seen some press about their 2010 calendar where the models posed nude with only some body paint to “cover” their bodies.

There were no models covered in body paint but there were some pretty fun games that the guests were able to play. So below are some shots from the event.





In memoriam of the original Gonzo

20 01 2011

Today is the 6th anniversary of Hunter S Thompson’s death. So I have uploaded some Gonzo inspired images taken from a 7 Days fashion shoot.





1.1.11

5 01 2011
Lilly shows off her new shirt

Lilly shows off her new shirt

The new year came in with a bang for me as I had the great honor of taking photos of a friends wedding at the beautiful Nataya Resort.

Nestled in a bay 15km’s west of Kampot, I couldn’t think of a better place to have a wedding. Another plus was I also got to work with Charles who I have mentioned in earlier blog entries. The boy has got some mad lighting skills which helped tremendously when it came to getting some dirty setups in fading light.
The first photo I have up is a pretty simple lighting setup. Charles bounced a 580EX onto a gold reflector to get that great warm tone on the newlyweds. I also placed a Viv 283 about 10 feet to the right of the groom to get the nice rim light to give a nice depth to the portrait.

Ash and Barb on the jetty at Nataya

Ash and Barb on the jetty at Nataya


I used a combination of actions I downloaded from this site to get that nice soft light look below.
Ash and Barb on the jetty

Ash and Barb on the jetty

The second photo is completely lotech. I placed a specially made filter on my lens to create the great heart shaped bokeh (out of focus elements). Best thing about it was that I paid under 10 cents for the whole thing!

Some great bokeh

Some great bokeh

The last two photos highlight Chook, their dog. If you know Ash and Barb, then you will know Chook.

Barb and Chook

Barb and Chook

Chook getting her attention

Chook getting her attention





Why I love AutoPano Pro

24 12 2010
Panoramic view of Hun Sen park

Panoramic view of Hun Sen park

Taken on a 5 minute break from a shoot a week ago.

Handheld.

AutoPano Pro