Sunday, 11 January 2009

Not so hugin-happy after all

I'm a little too busy to do much more than post a couple of snapshots from the summit and get really frustrated about Hugin. All I can say is that it's definitely cold up here and there's been a lot of snow and more tourists and sightseers than you can shake a stick at. In the meantime, here's Subaru at sunset through a bit of the 4-foot wall of ice on the summit ridge:

The next picture is Hualalai popping up through the cloud and a lot of ice that I guess people have been warned about. I don't like the idea of stepping any further forward - that's a slippery slope if ever I've seen one.

The image right at the top was taken in peace and quiet, it's the shadow of Mauna Kea at sunset, but while I was thinking about the next picture, I suddenly felt very threatened. Out of nowhere the tourists started to approach. Maybe Gemini is spawning them, I don't know, and I wouldn't put it past them. One minute I was on my own, the next minute these guys were clearly after me.

Now don't get me wrong, I think it's great the mountain attracts tourists, but it was quiet one moment and then a whole herd of tourists were heading my way, and none of them could speak English. It was just like those old zombie movies. It was time to run away.

Thankfully, I managed to dodge them without having to find a shotgun, and took a photo of the group they were on their way to meet - it seems I was safe after all, they just wanted to join their friends and watch the sunset.

Feeling relieved, I went back to work. We did worry about zombies knocking at the door for a little while, but we have a cunning way out of the observatory if that ever happens...


Somehow, I've managed to take several hundred pictures in the last three days and yet Hugin has failed each time with the selective sample I've given it. Obviously it isn't my fault (ahem), I have a wonderful panorama of the true summit and a snow-capped Mauna Loa and each time I run hugin it either gives me a disk-busting 400 Mb image which I can't open or a ludicrous picture that only my cats would find acceptable.

There's still a lot for me to learn although on my next summit visit I'll take pictures from east-to-west. That way when I've finished with the bracketing stuff I've become a little obsessed with, the western sky might actually be as dark as the east.

I can't help thinking back to those days when I'd load up with a couple of cartridges of film and think I was lucky to have 72 pictures to take while abroad. I think I took ten times that much in the last three days, but now I have to figure out which ones are actually worth keeping. Swings and roundabouts...


Zuzana said...

I have never heard of Hugin.;)
I also took about 300 pictures of a sunset right after Christmas. When going through them I immediately thought about the fact that previously I would have only taken one roll of film:;)

Tom said...

Protege - Hugin is fun and free but there's a fairly steep learning curve! I've had the software now for a couple of months and still haven't got the hang of it. If you have the patience it's worth learning.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,

When are you due back down? I'd be interested to see where hugin is failing. It is hit and miss (but mostly hits I thought) and I do have a few panoramas which I cannot understand why hugin cannot deal with.

Tom said...

I'm taking Monday off and should be in the office Tues/Weds, but I'm ridiculously busy for the rest of the month...

Hugin has confused me during the last week or so. I get the feeling it can't handle the sky very well, but I also don't have a computer with enough memory for it to work well or to allow me to do tests.

I would love to have a beer or two with you while figuring out the software - might not be 'til March though!

Keera Ann Fox said...

I love the sci-fi feel of these pictures get with the clouded landscape, snow and metal building.