Gahreesen, and bad processing.

Man, I’m not having ANY luck!

This collection of b&w shots from Gahreesen suffers from the same under-exposure as the ones from Kadish. I just couldn’t get the timer set right. I guess I’m a bit too impatient?

Not much, but it’ll do. I haven’t had much time to get down into the cavern lately, I’ve been working on a promising personal project… It’s looking pretty good!

Published in: on April 30, 2007 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Main Eders, Stupid Roof, and Better Video.

Well, it was only partly the ISO that was messing up my photographs. It looks like there was a small hole in the roof of my relto hut that I hadn’t covered up when I developed my prints. I covered it properly on this roll, and everything looked much better.

Also, I’ve uploaded a much better quality version of my Cleft video, in Qucktime H.264 format. I strongly reccommend that you check it out! CLICK HERE NOW! It’s 43mb, which is quite a nice size for a three minute video at 720×400. Any more compression, and you wouldn’t be able to see the rain. And that would render the video an elephant. And we don’t want that now.

I made myself a fancy little watermark to stick in the corners. Just in case someone tries to… I have no idea. I just felt like it.

Enjoy the photos, watch the video, and patch up your roof!

Published in: on April 22, 2007 at 1:29 am  Comments (2)  

Rain in The Cleft

Ok, so that sounds a bit naughty. Trust me, it isn’t.
I finally finished importing all of my cleft footage (about half an hour of it), and I’ve noticed something stupid. I got rain on my lens, and then wiped it off. So the lens was smeared. Not only that, but there was condensation between my wide-angle lens and the base lens. Essentially, it all looks foggy. I’ve done what I can to fix it up a bit, but it’s nothing close to what it should have looked like. Stupid me.
Ah yes, and the blurring around the edges is also from my wide-angle lens. It looks like I was zoomed in a bit, which messes with the edges and streaks them outwards because of the lens refraction. Essentially, it looks like some sort of random flashback.

Enough of me complaining, enjoy the video! And go see it for yourself!

You might not be able to see the rain properly in the youtube video, because of the compression. I’ll upload a higher resolution video later 🙂

Photos of the two main Eders to come in the next few days, and I’ve got my rolls of the smaller Eders processing right now, so they’ll most likely be next.

That new pod could make an excellent darkroom if it wasn’t so darned wet. I linked in, looked around for a few minutes, and linked out again. I’m not a fan of things that are completely underwater. Especially when they seem like they’re about to collapse under pressure. However, the DRC have approved it, so it should be alright. I’ll have to go back to get the portal, but I’ll keep my Relto open to the right page and hover my hand over it gunslinger style. I’m paranoid like that.

Published in: on April 20, 2007 at 8:52 am  Comments (1)  

Have You Ever Seen The Rain

I just linked back up to The Cleft for the first time in a while, and I was greeted by the most beautiful and amazing thing. Rain. In the desert. Little flowers were poking up from the ground, the dirt was a much richer hue than before. I had my little mini-dv camera with me, so I shot some video, I’ll put that up after I edit it a little bit. A nice ‘Raining at the Cleft’ montage!

I should camp out up there for a night with my camera, see if I can get some shots. I’d need a tripod though, it’s awful dark. And with all that lightning I’d need to do long exposures if I wanted to get some. Did I mention there was lightning? THERE WAS LIGHTNING!

No sign of Zandi though… I hope he has somewhere to go when it rains, he’s usually sitting out in the sun whenever I go up.

UPDATE: Oh man… Today it rained in my Relto! There was a page I missed in the cleft, and when I went I stuck it in the book it was raining like CRAZY when I got back. I still had my video camera in my satchel, so I grabbed a video of it. Sort of the same position I was in to get that awesome ‘sunset’* photo, except it’s bloody raining like mad. I nearly fell on the ground in awe when I saw it! I’ll stick the video on the end of my Cleft video, it’s still processing. I should get a better computer.

*Well, it was sunset for a few minutes, then the sun came right back up again. I’d love to see the relto at night, but apparently it’s not possible. Maybe there’s a page somewhere in one of the ages that could do that…

Published in: on April 18, 2007 at 8:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Relto, Kadish, and the annoyance of ISO.

Well, I’ve finished off this round of processing, but I’ve noticed something really quite irritating. All of the film I took to Kadish was ISO 400, which has left my prints with an annoying amount of grain. I brought down my laptop for exactly this reason, but even after scanning the negatives and running them through photoshop, I’ve been unable to get rid of the damned stuff! I’m going to need to make sure I carry enough varying speeds of film next time I go there, so I can get some clearer shots. Most of them ended up being long-exposure anyway because it’s so dark.

I managed to catch my Relto at its very darkest today, so I’ve uploaded a few of those shots too. Absolutely gorgeous.

As usual, click to view fullsize. These jpeg previews don’t do the photos justice!

I took my friend Kalana along to Kadish, as she was highly interested in watching my shoot. I stuck her in a few pictures to give a better idea of scale. Better than using a quarter, I dare say!

Next roll to be processed is the two main Eder ages. I’m hoping they’re a little less grainy, but I was in Eder Kemo a bit late so I might have the same problem. Eder Gira, however, should be fine. I’m guessing it’s rather close to one of the poles of the age its on, as there’s very rarely any darkness apart from the occasional storm. However, if it is then there will be quite a bit of darkness ahead! Thankfully, the fireflies that live there are quite good at lighting things up, and they’ll be attracted to you if you get close enough. They’ve come in handy on a number of occasions!

edit: As usual, I got the main Eders confused. What can I say, it’s almost as if they’re joined at the hip!

Published in: on April 18, 2007 at 5:00 am  Comments (2)  

The First Week

Man, it’s passed so quickly. I meant to start this journal as soon as I got down here, but there’s been so much to do! So much to see! I’m literally blown away.

The DRC have brought me down here both as a researcher, and as a photographer. So while my entries will be somewhat related to my adventures, I will most likely often only have time to stick in a few photographs that I’ve developed. (I had to set up a tent in my Relto to actually have the space to process anything! It’s not as if I could send them back to a mini-lab on the surface!)

It’s been very strange these past days going through the linking books, and being taken aback by the detail that surrounds me every time I materialise. I mean, these worlds were made in words. And yet I can’t quite find the words to describe them. Maybe I should do some research into the Art of D’ni writing, if only just to be able to fully appreciate what the writers were able to do.

What’s confusing me the most though, is how often I see fellow explorers just run through an age to get where they’re going. And these aren’t ages that require speed. They simply don’t seem to have the time to stop, look around, and take a look at the beauty that has been created around them. In fact, I’m writing this from my favorite little perch in Kadish, overlooking a vista of fog and trees. Thankfully, this is my own version, or there would be an explorer tearing around the corner every minute in a desperate rush to finish a puzzle and move on to the next age. That kind of impatience shouldn’t be tolerated here. We’ve been hired to explore, to take note, to restore. Not to dash around.

Another thing that’s been bugging me, is how many people arrive in the cavern only to ask ‘Where the bloody hell am I?’. They’re being directed to their Relto without the proper initiation! I mean, it’s all well and good to have a lecture in their Bevin a bit later, but they should at least be allowed to talk to Jeff Zandi first. He’s been quite a guiding force over these past few days for me. Inspirational guy. When I arrived I purposely requested a visit to The Cleft before I ever stepped into my Relto. I wanted the full experience.

And so, fresh from my Relto, my first set of prints. Taken in The Cleft and surrounds, including one of Jeff, as he kindly allowed me to take his photograph. I hope these photographs can properly express the wonder and excitement I experienced as I began my exploration of this amazing world that lies beneath the one we all grew up with.

Click to view a larger version

Later this week I should finish my second roll containing my Relto, and my absolute favorite age, Kadish!


Published in: on April 16, 2007 at 7:56 pm  Comments (3)