May 24, 2007

Manipulating Potraits

I wanted to touchup some potraits that I had taken - removes the pores, wrinkes and cleanup the skin. Was searching for some plugins for GIMP 2.0 and stumbled on this software. This costs arn 50+ USDs but i guess its worth it for people who are not comfortable with Photoshop/PSP or GIMP. It has a very simple and easy to understand user interface. I was impressed with the results.

Lookout for the face reshaping feature in this tool - quite controversial but an amazing one to remove double chins, blunt noses and other 'unwanted' facial features .
[reminds me of my graduate year thesis on Face Recognition ;) ]

Rammstein all the way

Its been almost 12 hours of music... pure Rammstein... heavy death metal rather... started at around 11am in the morning and it still continues .... Absolut Nirvana!

May 23, 2007

Camera Shake

Sometimes a few incidents in your life prompts you to something dramatic. One such recent incident has again prompted me to do something that has been lying dormant for the past 3 years.

I clicked this photo during the Bangalore Midnight Marathon. The photo is that of a greepeace activist wearing the facade of a penguin. This photo is really intersting; i had to take out my camera in a jiffy and click it. Later when i was going through my contact sheet, i realized that it has been badly shaken. Googling for "camera shake" was not of much use, as there are not many softwares that help in this regard. This paper by Rob Fergus on removing camera blur using blind image convolution is interesting, but has been patented.

Now what!!!

Well, when there are no resources, then its time for resources to be created.

Its been 3 years since my last published paper. The last one was “Significance of Steganography in Data Security” , IEEE International Conference on Information Technology :Coding & Computing, Las Vegas, April 2004. I target 1 year to work on my algorithm for removing camera shakes in images. I hope i will not digress into some other area of interest in the meantime.

If any of you is interested, then kindly let me know - we can try. [Prerequisites - Knowledge of Image processing, Signal Processing and the ability to withstand me :) ]

May 21, 2007

Bangalore Midnight Marathon ' 07

I was told that Bangalore is in the process of creating a history by hosting the first ever midnight marathon. To me, it sounded rather mundane; for the fact that i have never attended or participated in a marathon. I was under the impression that athletes do run in the stadium and running on roads is just another ball game, and that too in the night is all the more easier, as its cooler and one may avoid the sun.

Myself & Mahesh had decided to capture the event - from a "different perspective".I had searched Google for numerous marathon images to get an idea about the entire event and how its (coventionally) framed.I had no idea of what was supposed to happen and what i am going to do. Clicking in the night was supposed to be challenging, especially under low light conditions.

We reached the venue at around 6pm , parked the bike, got the media pass and quickly went to the ground wherein the crowd had assembled. Lots of people there, with difference t-shirts , multi-colored, multi-ethnic, 'multi-enthusiastic'...multi...multi...and yea - the 'universal and eternal' greenpeace activists and their penguins :) [ am sure they are gonna turn up for my marriage too and preach on bulbs and the associated environmental impacts] ... phew!

Then there was the IT run, the Full marathon and the half marathon. Things started at around 6:15pm and came to an end around 4am the next morning. It was great to lots of people turning up for the event and the energy seemed to permeate through the ether; smiling faces, tired faces, exhausted bodies, drenched shirts, but the spirit of participating and running was there everywhere.

Loved the evening, cherished the night and will not forget the morning :)

May 18, 2007

Style and uniqueness

Its amazing to see how the human mind frames the same subject differently and how it also gets interpreted subsequently.I had been on shoot last weekend with one of my mentors and a great pal - Mahesh Shantaram.Mahesh is a full time documentary photographer and his captures have always inspired me. His photos are not like the mundane lanscapes, the Great Indian Sadhu, the butterfly on a flower or the usual guy with rustic looks; they have a story in itself and can be interepreted in various ways.It was a pleasure shooting with Mahesh.

After the shoot when i was analyzing the captures made by him and by me , i was fascinated to see the following result :

(A) is by me and (B) is by Mahesh. Ths subject here is a simple door. I wanted to capture the window, the door lying down and also the lift door; i do no want to explain on what i intended to convey by that shot, but i was little happy on how it turned out to be (except for the fact that the composition needs to be worked on). Mahesh's capture of the same subject is even more powerful - though IMO it conveys a different aspect of the same frame, but the composition simply rocks, his style is different.

Mahesh shared a story when we were walking along MG Road, and this inspired me a lot :
Jack was really good at photography, his photographs were like Henry Cartier Bresson, and at certain occasions in fact bettered him.Jack's style and skills were exactly like Mr.Bresson, but he was finding it really difficult to get into the mainstream photography. He shared his grief with a good pal of his - Georgui Pinkhassov.Georgui told him that Jack was indeed good and there were no qualms about his techniques or skills, but since he style was like Mr.Bresson, people would rather prefer the latter than the former.If Jack had to succeed, then he had to mark his own distinctive style. (Mahesh points me to this smacker Georugui quote : "Cartier-Bresson resembles no one, but you resemble him!")

This story is very true in today's photography arena. I Flickr 1hour daily and find that 98% of the photos are alike in terms of its subject and its style. To be a successful photographer its very much required that a person carves his own niche initially, and then works on it to mark his own style and then the style becomes synonymous with his name.

May 16, 2007

M$ and Spirituality

M$ has been ridiculed and teased at almost all instants of time since its inception.Hardly people know that it is one of the most religious organizations on Earth.They are in fact both spiritual and religious :) I would like to substantiate it with an example.

People have questioned(read 'ridiculed') on M$'s philosophy or intent on having the shut-down button in the Start Menu. Well perfectly valid Q - why would anyone want to shut down by clicking on the start button.David Pogue also mentioned this in his TED Talk... but there is nothing to laugh out here.

According to Hinduism, the AATMAN(self) belongs to THEE(ascends from HIM) and after death agains joins the THEE.So the both the start and the end is associated with the THEE. Its very much normal then that the system START and the END should again be associated with START :)

May 13, 2007

The Best Talk

Steve jobs was the best orator i had ever heard , and then i stumbled on James Nachtwey's talk in TED.

I have been following James's work for quite sometime now , and have always been an admirer of his captures.

May 11, 2007

Hang overs?

I woke up to see myself sleeping again,
I could see the moon - vanishing in the brightness,
Tranquility of the morning sun,
Lackadaisical as I was,
but something was troubling me,
I could feel the uneasiness in the air .. .. ..

May 07, 2007

A Mirage?

And there she was .. right in front of me - the most beautiiful woman i had ever seen in my life.A pink shirt and neat blue denim with a chinese haircut and a beautiful smile on her face ..
configuration information had been registered..
trace path calculated ..

i could see her.. admire her.. was it she or was it something in my brain? hallucinations of the subordinate tissues? a prototype?

A 3D model of a recycled-redesigned-reconstructed XX Chromosome?


I took my mexican burger with the spicy sauce and sipped in some Mango shake ..

May 06, 2007

Revolution or Evolution?

What we need is not another Milk or Green revolution; what we need is a complete social reorganization, an intellectual revolution, an idealogical revolution - a mutation or a metamorphosis?

A metamorphosis?? a long and tedious process by which your own surival is under threat by some extraneous factors? or your transformation is guided by environmental factors more than what you exactly want?

A mutation?? where a sudden cataclysimic event triggers a total restructuring of your degin patterns and causes you to either vanquish or change in some abnormal way??

It has to be a total elimination of the current thought processes and a completely new genomic structure in its place - a transcendental equation involving only 2 variables - first, being the humans and second, being the intellectual quotient.

May 04, 2007

Experiment with Gaussian Blur Overlays

it was quick - i liked the science behind it - i started loving GIMP more :)

Original Picture

After the overlay and the blend

This can be enhanced more - i was a bit quick on the mask and hence did not concentrate much on the edges, but this can be rectified and the quality can be improved.

Its raining movies

Guess the Bangalore summer has taken its toll and these days i mostly spend either sitting in my cubicle (with nice a/c) and surf the net or keep watching movies in my condo :)

Seen in the last 3-4 days:
Amelie (French)
Lolla Renntt (German)
Bachelor Party
The Fight Club
Good, Bad , Ugly
Big trouble
Office Space

In the Hangar (to see over this weekend):
7 Samurai (half seen)
Full Metal Jacket
All quite on the Western Front
Bourne Identity
Bourne Supremacy
...and lotsa more

May 01, 2007

a shot through the head

there he was.... right in front of me..
i knew this day would come...
i wasnt ready but.... i knew i can do it..
will I sacrifice myself to the altar ..

i cannot wait..
he needs to be eliminated..
vanquished .. trounced .. exterminated ..

i did it... i did it...
like a shot through the head.

i could hear the distant sirens...
the trumpets .. the drums.. the silence ...

Bangalore City Market