Bare Bones Selfie

I’ve been busy, so this is just a quick post about . . . 

“Busy with what?”

. . . what the?! . . . let me finish, will ya?

As I was saying, I’ve been busy. One of the things I was busy with was getting a handle on my office clutter. Here’s my redone office . . . I’ll try to keep it this clean every day.

Ready for listing

Now, the color is a bit on the warm side because I had lights on and the blinds closed. Had I not done did that the daylight done would wash everything out, which it also done did if I tried to color-correct. 

I suppose I could have brought out my flash, shot  a number of bracketed exposures, and then blended them into an HDR blah, blah, blah. 

Nope, this is what you get, and yes, there is someone at the computer.

Ready for listing

I had mentioned I was working out and eating less . . . I got myself really lean.

OK, OK . . . that’s Bones; Bob Bones. He usually sits in the chair in the corner (visible in the first photo), but having been watching me for a while, he wanted to give photo editing a try.

Ready for listing

He’s not bad, but of course he picked an easy photo; you can hardly screw up a Barbados photo. 

Hey . . . I wonder how Bob would look in B&W?

Ready for listing

No bones about it; definitely a better look for Bob.

BTW, can you spot the mouse? Not the computer mouse; the actual (fake) mouse. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Black & White, Photography, Photography Stuff, Stuff | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Thrift Stores

We regularly visit thrift stores. Perhaps the best known is Goodwill. Melisa looks for fabric and I look for books that might interest me and I take photos of stuff that I might use in a post.

We donate to charities, but not to Goodwill. Read THIS article to get an idea why not. It amazes me that people still donate a lot of stuff to the company.

“Why go there, then?”

I suppose we should boycott them, but if we did that to all the companies run by avarous and unprincipled people, we would not shop anywhere, ever.

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That’s an interesting horse as it looks capable of supporting a child.

This horse is also large enough for a kid to have as a playmate.

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This particular Goodwill store recently opened in Monument, and because it’s in a somewhat affluent area, the stuff they receive as donations, and what they put out, is a step or two above what one would typically find.

There are dolls . . .

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. . . frogs . . .

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. . . pigs (really; it has a weird coloring and it makes it difficult to recognize, but it’s a pig) . . .

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They also try to display it a bit better; the stuff is not all jammed in there like most of the other stores we occasionally visit.

These lumache, for instance.

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Although, this was also there.

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This sewing machine looked in great shape.

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The other two thrift stores we visit (and donate to) are very different from each other.

Hangers is also in Monument, and I consider it a higher quality store with most things on the pricier end of thrift stores.

Of course, there are clowns . . .

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. . . and poultry chefs (cooks) . . .

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Fancy wall clock . . .

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. . . and they have a miniature replica of a full-size chair we used to have . . . I don’t remember what we did with it; probably sold it at a garage sale.

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I snapped these photos during our last visit and was somewhat intrigued by their collection of miniature shoes.

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I suppose they can be incorporated into a room’s decor. If they are meant as replicas of actual shoes, them shoes must be very uncomfortable.

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By far, the thrift shop I enjoy most is ARC Thrift Store. It’s also one of the stores we donate stuff to (good quality stuff).

The reason I like them is that they have four long aisles with five-high open shelves, and they are packed with all sorts of knick-knacks. While Melisa shops for fabric or other stuff for decorating, I arrange the items that catch my eye and snap photos.

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Sometimes it’s single items that pose for me.

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But arranging is where the fun is. For instance, these two were on the same shelf . . . no imagination, I tell you. I arranged them for this shot:

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Sometimes I can arrange strange things . . .

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. . . and sometimes it’s things that are somewhat related:

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By the way . . . what I’m eating as I write this post:

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It’s a Costco poundcake muffin sliced to form a bed for the sliced Costco strawberries and sugar (also from Costco), and topped with Costco whipped cream.

Anyway, back to the knick-knacks . . . I’m forever surprised at three things:

One, that many of these things got made. Two, that someone bought them. Three, that someone will buy them again.

Sometimes, I arrange stuff that is of immediate use:

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Last month, I sent that out to my family. While they were in separate shelves, I think these were originally conceived as a pair.

I did find a representation of the Middle Class.

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The clown suit threw me for a moment . . . I thought it was a politician. But it can’t be; their pockets are always full.

Here’s the other clown that goes with this one.

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Definitely a politician.

Speaking of stuff that makes me wonder where it came from . . .

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Sometimes, a visit to this place saves me a lot of money and traveling . . .

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Well, I can take that off my bucket list.

Some things go back a few years . . .

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It might not look it, but those are cologne bottles. They looked neat, but we are trying to pare down, not add to our stash.

For some reason, I liked this pig.

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. . . and this mouse . . . 

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. . . and this frog . . . 

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. . . and this horse . . . 

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But my three favorite things were:

 

The Murderous Clown

The Murderous Clown

The actress from the original CSI

The actress from the original CSI

The Cobbler

The Cobbler

The Cobbler

The Cobbler

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cosmic Congruence

Cosmic Congruence

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Photography blogs

Jeremy’s blog, Perception, is one of the 99 photography blogs WordPress recommends.

For them who are not sure who he is, he is the same Jeremy from my previous post.

I had a look-see at the rest of the list, and I’m currently following six of the ninety-nine.

Here, let me include a picture so that them who use the reader might actually stop and read this.

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That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Insert Doodle

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Stuff | Tagged | 7 Comments

We have a responsibility to comment

I’m on the third day of writing and the fourth incarnation of this post. The first few versions were full of venomous words and sentences borne out of a deep anger.

I normally would have hit “publish” as soon as those  were written, but as satisfying as they were to write, they served no purpose other than for me to vent. The third incarnation of this post saw me do something I have never done before: I sent a copy to people I consider friends even though I’ve never met them in person. The feedback I received was as impressive as I knew it would be.

It made me realize this is the post I needed to write. It fulfills my duty to speak up and it might serve some purpose if even one asshole (oops! I let that one slip) reconsiders their opinion and actions.

Let me tell you about a man named Jeremy, his wife Maizy and their five-year-old daughter Penny. A few years ago they made a decision. Not an easy decision to make, and not one made on a whim.

They sold their custom home, their SUV, moved into a small apartment, lived frugally to build their savings, and began planning for an extended trip to visit all 50 states and explore each state’s historical and natural landmarks.

Maizy is an accountant; she planned the budgets, the itinerary, curriculums for Penny, and for every detail they could think of. That’s the mechanics of it, but the plan was for a learning experience for both parents and daughter. Penny would be home-schooled (with an approved curriculum) and her schooling augmented by the visits to historic landmarks and locations and learning about the states they traveled through. Early this Spring, they vacated their apartment and packed their pared down belongings into a van. They had to stay in the Denver area for a month so that Maizy could finish projects for her job.

Just a few weeks ago, they left the area and headed out on their adventure.

They are not the first family to “leave the rat race”. Google “family leaves rat race” or something similar, and you find lots of examples of families doing the same thing. HERE is one example. HERE is a video of a family going on a 7-year sailing trip around the world.

Like many people, Jeremy keeps a blog. He is a very upfront and honest guy, writing about his hopes, his fears, and all the events in his life. I chanced on the blog through his street photography. Jeremy’s plan was to share their adventures, what they learn, and his photography through the blog.

I admit I was skeptical. However, after going back through his posts and reading about their planning, preparations, exploration of the logistics, and after asking a few questions I was not only glad of their decision (an odd thing that, as it has no impact on me), but looking forward to vicariously follow along in their journey.

Not just from me, but from his numerous followers there were comments of admiration, encouragement, and support.  Readers who are parents, grandparents, or planning future kids all thought it was a once-in-a-life experience of incalculable value. 

. . . encouragement and well wishes from all with the exception of one person.

HERE is one of Clarissa’s succinct and dismissive post. The comments following the post, Clarissa’s and those of her minions, are telling. Don’t click on the link unless you want to damage your calm. She accuses Jeremy and Maizy of being unfit parents, maintains their actions are a form of child abuse, and that Penny should be taken away from them.

Now, Clarissa is an inconsequential woman with an inconsequential blog; had it been me in Jeremy’s position I would have ignored her and moved on with my life. Then again, I have a built-in defense in the form of self-confidence and immunity to those I consider poor examples of humanity.

Jeremy should have ignored her, but he did not. His attempts to explain his situation were met with THIS post. Note Clarissa’s use of the term “freak”. It is common for bullies to dehumanize their targets. Again, reading the comments is telling on many levels.

I don’t begrudge people, or even Clarissa, forming opinions, but I do begrudge them not informing themselves.

Had they taken the time to inform themselves, I could then perhaps respect the concern they express as representing their honest opinions. I could, were it not for one small detail. They did not have to be mean-spirited, insulting, and denigrating in expressing it.

It’s also telling her minimalistic posts have the equivalent amount of effort of picking one’s nose. Genuine concern would have Clarissa gently approach the situation, learn more about it, get a sense of the parents, what they were trying to, and gain an understanding of the details; ask questions, even.

No; she was only concerned with the appearance of being a caring person.

My brief exposure to Clarissa hints at an explanation of why she doubled down on her original assessment, adding the dehumanizing touch of calling Jeremy a “freak”.

I don’t believe Clarissa can even consider being wrong about anything. Neither she or her readers can entertain the idea that they might be mistaken, guilty of group-think, and insensitive to the struggles and suffering of others. The mere suggestion of it brought nothing but snarky comments.

I don’t know Clarissa beyond a few exchanges (I visited her blog trying to get a sense of her) and it could be she is genuinely concerned. I don’t believe it because sincerity requires a measure of humanity and empathy I don’t see in her.

Things quieted down for a bit, and last week the family spent time with Penny’s grandparents. An unfortunate tractor accident occurred, and Penny got hurt. I won’t go into the details, but it was an accident and not a minor one. She lost one of her pinkies, but she is in good spirits, doing well, and under good care.

At this point, Jeremy’s blog was still public, and he wrote about the accident and aftermath.

I said I did not know this Clarissa person, but I recognize a ghoul when I see one. THIS was Clarissa’s post on the accident. Especially, read some of the comments from her supportive ghoul friends.

One interesting side note: one of her ghoulish readers asked me if my defending “this family” was because I was related or was a friend of theirs. No; I tend to speak up against all loathsome behavior.

Note that Clarissa’s links back to Jeremy’s blog won’t work unless you’re registered and approved to read Jeremy’s blog. Following her unfounded, myopic, and mean-spirited accusations of child abuse, Jeremy took his blog private.

I’m done with Clarissa and her blog, of course. Like everything else I do, I wanted to see for myself what type of person she was. Not a nice one, after all, and further exposure to her blog is a serious detriment to my quality of life.

Clarissa is a through-and-through bully, enjoying the suffering and misery of others while all the while holding herself up as a champion of sorts. A champion for what, I don’t know, but she does talk about the daughter’s education, about sanitary conditions, about depriving the daughter of a “normal” life.

Clarissa being an “academic” (I emphasize the word because she seems so fond of it), I can almost understand her belief that valuable and worthwhile education only comes within the four walls of traditional schooling. Mind you, I’m not knocking formal education. But neither am I naive enough to believe it’s the be-all-to-end-all. I know home-schooled individuals who now excel at university and are well-adjusted, outgoing, and confident individuals. I also know kids who attended traditional schooling and are not well-rounded nor well-adjusted. And then there are a whole spectrum of kids between the two extremes. 

The point is that Clarissa has no basis for her “fear” that Penny is being denied an education. And, we’re talking about Kindergarten. I’m pretty confident even I, a person who chose to not procreate, could teach a child as much and more than they would learn in Kindergarten. 

It’s something outside Clarissa’s comfort zone, and hence per her limited viewpoint, wrong. Or, in her words, freakish. 

The mention of the sanitary condition was a strange one. I can only assume Clarissa will next rail on people who take their kids on months-long camping trips. Why, imagine the unsanitary conditions of living out in the wilderness. The horror!

The “normal” life comment was strangest of all. I would have liked for her to define “normal”. I’ve yet to see humans agree on what is normal, but it’s comforting (maybe) knowing Clarissa has a good handle on it.

What I know is that humans struggle between the opposite draws of prestige and freedom.

I borrowed that idea from HERE; it’s peripherally germane to this topic and well worth a listen. THIS episode is also worth a listen and it’s also somewhat related.

Those who chose prestige cannot understand the choice of freedom, and, therefore, find it suspect. 

Clarissa most egregious comment was this one: “the parents are consuming the poor child piece by piece”. That is such a profoundly insensitive and callous statement that I won’t dignify it with a comment; it stands on its own as a chilling measure of the person.

Along with many others, I am confident Jeremy and his wife are caring and responsible parents, and my views of this affair are shaped by that confidence. They voluntarily checked with Family Services, and Family Services did what they always do when confronted with the rarity of good parenting; they gave them their blessing to their plans. I’m sure Carissa will hold Family Services in equal contempt, her knowing better, and all.

What Clarissa fails to recognize, cannot recognize, is that loving parents are much more important than material wealth and comfort, and certainly more important than the four walls of a Kindergarten class.

I read on her blog that Clarissa is herself in love, and someone is supposedly in love with her. 

I have my doubts.

It’s my personal belief love requires empathy, compassion, consideration for others and respect for other people’s dignity. I’m willing to concede people can operate under different and not necessarily invalid parameters; it could be Clarissa will have a wonderful life with a caring partner despite her, in my opinion, lacking in all those departments. Come to think of it, she said romance, not love.

If the measure of a person is how they treat others, paint me unimpressed.

Clarissa also fails to realize that experiences and a life different from her own do not mean a lesser life or worthless experiences. Certainly, it does not constitute a life of abuse.

I’m not alone in thinking Jeremy’s daughter will have a better education than most kids currently get. As for socializing (Penny is already a very social child), she will have exposure to people with more diverse backgrounds and histories than most can ever hope to have. 

That is not a negative outcome by any standard I can conjure up, and I envy Penny and the trip she is about to take.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Musings Stuff, Personal | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Old, indistinguishable from new

Spring is here and I’ve already started my flowers photography. Yesterday morning I also took my first close-up photos of the Tree Swallows. They appear to be the same pair as last year (last year’s female has a different coloring than previous years).

As I snapped away, I was struck with a strong feeling of déjà vu. And right I should be.

I’ve lived here ten years now, and I’ve had the blog for the last five. During these last five years, I’ve dutifully followed the cycle of the seasons. Colors in the Fall, Snow and Ice in the Winter, and Birds, insect, and flowers in the Spring and Summer.

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Looking back at the Spring and Summer photos from the last five years, I was hard-pressed to tell them apart.

To be sure, the processing varied a bit each year, but the subjects and compositions did not. In fact, they were so similar that I grabbed a number of photos from each year, reprocessed them per my current favorite settings, and I’m posting them here for your pleasure.

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I could have just as easily posted them at the appropriate times in June, July, and August as if I had just taken them. But, in fact, the majority were taken more than three years ago.

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I dare say that except for a few specific photos, even the most dedicated of my readers (there are a few) would be challenged to tell current photos from those of years past.

Of course, one could look at the file names as they incorporate the day the photos were taken. But, just by looking at the photos, it’s near impossible to say in which year they were taken.

Even for me.

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Understand, I am proud of my photos and I still enjoy taking them, but I wonder about every year posting essentially the same offerings.

True, I often play with the processing, pushing it one way or another, adding color, removing color, making them more dramatic, and anything I can think of to keep them fresh.

But, is it really no more than adding a bit of artificial flavor to an otherwise stale soup?

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I enjoy taking the photos, but what is my incentive to showing them around? Why should I post them each year if they are little better than the rehashing of the same stuff, year after year?

Plus, let’s be honest . . . if you are reading this, know that by now the majority of the people have left.

You see, it is a problem that I like my photos. It’s a problem because I tend to go overboard in showing them.

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For instance, take this post.

My plan was to show maybe twenty or thirty photos. But nooo! I have one hundred photos; twenty-five groups of four.

Even the few who make it to the end will be shell-shocked, and this despite the fact these are a selection of decent photos.

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Still here? Good, because I lied about there being one hundred photos. I just said that to get rid of people who are not serious about reading my posts.

In fact, there are only ninety-six photos.

I suppose the good thing is that I only concentrated on flowers and Tree Swallows (with the occasional incidental bug). Had I included other birds and especially hummingbirds, the number of photos would have surely doubled.

By the way, I wanted to present these in a random order (as opposed by year or subject), so I sorted them by file size, from the largest to the smallest. That gave me a decent randomization. Probably not truly random, but close enough.

Anyway, back to my problem.

The question is: should I continue to post what are essentially the same flower photos and Tree Swallows photos? Or should I just keep them to myself?

Yes, that is a direct question for those who are still reading. Please answer in the comments along with a five hundred words essay explaining how you came about your answer.

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Of course, there are new readers to consider.

To them, this is all new. Few new subscribers go back and check out older posts. That would be especially difficult with this blog since I am at 1,290 posts . . . and most of them are NOT one picture without words. OK, my Untitled Series comes close to that, but there are only one hundred or so of those. Most of my posts are not for the faint of heart or short on time or possessing the attention span of a gnat.

So, perhaps, it is a good idea continuing doing what I usually do. Mind you, the regular readers will be all like “Ho-Hum; another fantastic photo of a bird/bug/flower; what else is new?”

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Of course, my regular readers are here for my writing; both opinion and fiction are what they live for. They could care less about the repetitiveness of the flower photo.

Had you going there, didn’t I? The sad truth is that no one comes to this blog for the fiction.

No, if it weren’t for the photos, there would be figurative tumbleweeds rolling across my home page, the sound of distant web traffic a bitter reminder I chose to settle well clear of the beaten path. Perhaps if I served up cute cat pictures or the occasional porn piece . . .

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By the way, for the one person who will ask, there is no corresponding SmugMug gallery for these photos. You can click on them to have them open in another window or tab.

They will open with a maximum size of 1280pixels. After it opens in a new tab or window, if your cursor shows a (+) sign, it means the photo has been fitted to your screen (you need a bigger screen). Clicking the photo will enlarge it to a 1:1 ratio, but parts of it will be off-screen.

Really, by now you should be used to how the site works.

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But, back to my conundrum  . . . Again, I only kid when I say I could post photos for new subscribers; I’m at seven-hundred-ninety-seven subscribers, but almost all the new subscribers are people (or sites) that have something to sell, be it a service or actual product.

Were I to hold my breath until they interacted or actually read a blog post of mine, why I would reach a nice shade of blue just before I passed out.

So, we’ve established few people read my fiction, few people care to look at all the photos I post, and even loyal readers have difficulties allocating the kind of time one would need to give my posts a proper read.

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So, who is all this for?

Why, me, of course!

I am my biggest fan. I read everything I post and even enjoy going back one or two years and checking out what I was up to back then.

Plus, I think I am one heck of a clever writer. I mean, I won’t, and don’t, brag about it, but give me the choice of reading something I wrote and something anyone else wrote, and it’s no contest: I will choose my stuff every time.

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And, I really like my photos. I enjoy looking at them, remembering when I snapped them, and reliving moments of my life through my own digital record.

Despite having literally tens of thousands of photo, I’m pretty good at remembering what was happening around the time I snapped the photos in question.

Perhaps not what I had for breakfast (oatmeal), and not what the weather was like (sunny), but I do remember the moments when the finger applied pressure and the shutter cycled.

I remember them in general terms, but also with regards to setting up to take the shot.

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So, yes . . . ultimately, I make the effort with this blog so that I can be entertained at some later time.

Mind you, if the occasional person finds refuge from the harsh and cruel world in my figurative pages, the better for it. There are worse things they could take comfort in.

Hmm . . . I’m running out of things to say and I have lots of photos left.

Let me put a few more photos up.

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In case anyone is wondering, these photos have each appeared in previous posts. They likely had slightly different (and occasionally, drastically different) post-processing, but these photos graced these pages before.

For the sake of continuity, all of these are processed with nearly identical settings. Some have specific tweaks to the exposure or to the sharpening, but those were driven by the quality of the photos (and, of course, the lighting).

All of these have been processed (prepped) in Lightroom before taking a round trip to the onOne Perfect Effects module.

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Well, once again it’s late and I am sleepy. 

I think the best course of action is to dump the rest of the photos here and let them sink or swim on their own merit.

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That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Have we met?

Have we met?

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: http://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><><><o><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Birds, Flowers, Musings Stuff, Opinion, Personal, Photography, Photography Stuff, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , | 33 Comments

Two Five of Hana, Hawaii

OK, I tried. One Four is interesting, but I find it limiting. 

. . . perhaps I’m not doing it right, so amo gonna try Two Five Not a Challenge. For this exercise, I will use a photo of Hana, Hawaii.

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First up, playing strictly with color adjustments . . . 

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Hmm . . . not bad; let me trying bringing out the vegetation:

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And now, let me throw the kitchen sink at it . . . 

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OK, maybe a bit much . . . Here’s my last color effort.

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Frankly, I could take each of those variants and be happy with them.

But, I’m on the hunt for the elusive B&W conversion.

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This is a fairly straight B&W conversion. This next one has a bit of a kick.

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Still, you won’t see much of a difference beyond a bit of sharpening and some tonal adjustments. Oh, and a hint of a palladium treatment.

Let me head toward bold . . . 

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More details, lightening up some of the deep shadows and letting the frame bring out the impact of the piece. Also a bit of a warm tone hinting at processing of old.

This next one makes use of a subtle vignette to bring the eyes back to center focus. 

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The sky gets that magical “Hydrogen bomb exploding just beyond the horizon” look.

I think I need to get back to the conservative approach to the conversion.

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Not that anyone can tell here, but these are all processed differently. Perhaps someone in the comments will mention it, but if not, don’t be self-conscious about looking at them in a larger format.

You can click them and they will open in a new window or tab sized to 1280pixels in width. Or you can see the full-size photos in the SmugMug Gallery HERE

I’m very tired as I write this, my mind in a bit of a fog, my eyelids heavy with sleep. It’s taking a lot of effort to finish the post and schedule it for publication.

The plan was to write a flash piece, but I’m hitting a wall . . . I wanted to respond to the prompt from Writer’s Unboxed Flash Fiction Contest #5.

Here is the photo prompt:

Photo by Jo Eberhardt

The week got away from me, but I wanted to give it a go for the blog even if I was too late to enter the contest. Here’s what I just wrote, half asleep and all:

Looking up from her chores, she watched the sun rush to meet the horizon. She stopped working and made her way to the archway. Standing a few feet from the ancient stones, she felt the breeze at her back pick up as it did every night at sunset. She watched the rays of the setting sun illuminate the arch. The thermal currents gathered strength,  the breeze turning into a wind pushing as if wanting her to step through the archway. 

The last rays dimming, she whispered her dreams to the outgoing wind. She whispered of hope, of love, of someday finding the courage to step through the archway, overcoming her fear of the unknown. The wind carried her words, turning them into a murmur rushing out through the archway.  

The sun set and the thermal currents subsided to a mere hint of air movement. She turned and walked back to her unfinished chores. 

Her words wafted over the hill and into the valley below, losing their individuality as they merged into a melodious sound rising and falling with each gentle wind gust.

The farmer boy stopped, listened, closing his eyes so as to focus solely on his hearing. He swayed gently as if to match the rise and fall of the melody riding on the wind. He thought it both beautiful and sad.

He opened his eyes and looked up at the hill. Someday he would find the courage to search for the source. He resumed his evening chores. 

~ ~ o o ~ ~

Not sure it meets any of the requirements other than being no more than 250 words.

I’ll probably read it tomorrow and find it severely lacking, and a much better idea will come to me . . . too late, it will be.

For now, to sleep . . . perchance to dream. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Black & White, Flash Fiction, Hawaii, Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff, Travel Stuff, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Twofer One Four Challenge

Once again, I’m cheating a bit by presenting the original photo and not counting it toward the group of four. Here it is . . . Hawaiian surf. 

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That’s the shot from the camera. 

Oh, I should provide some musical entertainment.

Anyway, I took the above shot and gave it my magic treatment. I took a bit more care with this one because I wanted to make a good impression . . . but before I show that version, here’s the B&W version:

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As you can see, I’ve yet to master B&W conversion when dealing with moving water. Well, that’s not strictly true . . . I thought this one was not too bad:

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That was from THIS post about waves.

But, back to the current photo. As I said, I took some care bringing out the colors in this one . . . 

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Hmm . . . WordPress did its reverse magic, making the photo look all dull and stuff. Those interested in a larger version can click on the above, or go to the SmugMug gallery linked below. I say that because I was really proud of this and yet here it looks less-than-stellar. 

I did try a couple of variation. The first is a bit of a “paint” treatment.

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Then I tried a different color treatment . . . 

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Regardless if one clicks on them or not, or goes to Smugmug or not, we can all agree the B&W version is no match for the color shots.

You might think I ain’t no good at decoloring photographs.

Maybe so, but here’s a group of four where the B&W treatments outdo the color version (my opinion, of course).

The original: 

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That is a shot of the Thunderbirds during the 2011 Air Force Academy Graduation Ceremony. The 2016 Graduation Ceremony is in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping the weather cooperates.

Here’s my first B&W conversion.

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I wanted a darker sky, but that also affected the planes. It’s not a bad look, but . . . 

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. . . you can bring out the planes a bit, and I think it helps. 

I even got an interesting result when I pushed a bit . . . 

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I’ll says it again (so that it can be ignored multiple times) . . . the photos look better when viewed in a larger format. You can click on any of the photos to get a 1280pixel version, or go to the gallery listed below and view them at full scale. 

The SmugMug Gallery is HERE. Them interested can go look at the full-sized photos. Some of the photos be definitively worth a look.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Posted in Aeroplanes, Airplanes, Black & White, Hawaii, Jet Planes, Machines, Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff, Travel Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments