Movies Review – Rogue One

I haven’t done movie reviews in a while. Wanna know why? It’s the same ole story. Most new movies are vapid efforts concentrating more on CGI than characters, on action more than plot. 

I don’t know if it’s my advancing age or the fact that I claimed the mantle of “writer,” but one or both come with undesirable side-effects; no matter what I watch, I’m attuned to “things that ain’t quite right.” It kind of sucks to be me sometimes. 

In the next few posts, I’ll review three movies we’ve recently watched; one that we saw at the theater and two released last year that we finally watched on Netflix and Amazon. The first review is of Rogue One.

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Posted in Entertainment Stuff, Movie Reviews, Photo-effects, Photography | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

More Reflection on Reflection

Fully in my procrastination mode, I looked for other ways to create water reflections in photos. I watched a few instruction videos and THIS is the video that I found fairly straightforward and easy to follow. Meaning, it has no 3D layers, no rendering, and at least I understood the how and why of the steps involved.  

So, I went and got me another photo . . . 

That’s a shot of one of the model planes at the U.S. Air Force Academy

I’ve done a number of posts about the academy and played with the same models. 

Air Force Academy - Flying Fortress model, photographed laying down on the ground. Digitally removed supporting post.

I probably should have used that photo since it has clouds that make it more interesting. Oh, well; maybe next time.

General post about the Academy HERE. Same photos but in B&W HERE

You will notice something about the photos . . . them propellers ain’t spinning. Now, there are many photos of planes flying and the propellers frozen in time, but they always look better if the props are shown spinning. I tried adding spin to the propellers (HERE) of other model planes, but I’ve yet to find anything that looks realistic. 

By the way, all this talk of model planes had me fondly remember THIS post. It’s a fun and quick read; give it a go.

I have, however, done did other things with those model planes (HERE). There are more in the post, but here are a few examples (before and after):

At the time, those modifications took my mind off the problems with my leg following the Massive Leg Cramp Event of 2014.

Anyway, I didn’t want to mess with trying to spin the propellers. My plan is to eventually photograph an actual propeller and then work out my own way to duplicate the look. 

Back to the reflection . . . here’s what I came up with.

I should have planned to incorporate another photo showing some sort of landmass on the horizon, but since I’m just screwing around, this was good enough. I thought the reflection needed to be further back but then I thought the shallow angle would have it been closer, so that’s what I did.

Well, I couldn’t very well leave that as is, now could I?

Those are all generated using the Topaz Texture module. I tried different looks I thought appropriate for the photo.

Rather than add them all in the post, here’s the gallery:

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.

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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.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Reflection on Reflection

Another quick post . . . what is this world coming to? 

Anyway, an article in the latest Photoshop User Magazine caught my attention. I’ve seen various instructions on creating realistic water reflections, but this one looked to be a good one. Heck, it was in 3D, so you know it has to be good. 

Here’s the first original I played with . . . 

. . . and here’s my first attempt . . . 

Not bad, but I had to tweak the finished product because when I rendered the image the result was a dark and overly-saturated version of what I started with. 

For instance, starting with this shot . . . 

. . . I end up with this shot . . . 

It’s like some blend parameter is set to Overlay or Multiply. I can play around with it a bit and get something passable . . . 

. . . but the colors are way off from the original.

I mean, the process produces pretty good results with what I think are outstanding effects for the water. Heck, I can even add text . . . 

. . . but the color of the end product looks nothing like the color in the original photo. 

One of the advantages of the method described is that it forms a template of sorts. You can easily swap out the underlying photo for another. But, look what happened when I take this original . . . 

. . . and drop it in there.

I would say that the colors are a bit messed up. Now, I can play with saturation, luminosity, hues, brightness, etc. and get something that some might find passable . . . 

. . . but at this point, the photo is greatly diminished and I can’t quite match the original because there’s just too much red in the photo.

I suspect this has to do with the color space. Somewhere, either in the rendering process or one of the other functions, there’s a conflict with the photo’s original color space. You see this a lot when a printer driver conflicts with printer settings; the colors get all messed up. 

I’ll figure it out, eventually, but meanwhile, I’m fairly pleased to have found a way to add reflections in photos that might benefit from them. 

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.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Photo-effects, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Mantis Moth

Just a quick post . . . yesterday evening as I returned from fulfilling the traditional male role of “taking out the garbage” I noticed something on the wall. 

This Praying Mantis looks to be a juvenile. That’s confirmed by the stupid grin it’s sporting. 

By the way, I had to be out in the sun to capture these photos and returned to the condo completely drenched in sweat. You are welcome. 

This next photo is probably the best one of the bunch in terms of sharpness but I’ll have more photos in the gallery at the end. As usual, please click on the photos if you’d like a larger version or go to THIS SmugMug Gallery to see the full-size versions. 

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Posted in Black & White, Moths, Photography, Photography Stuff, Spiders and Insects | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

More Deep Dream Generator

A while ago, I did a post about Deep Dream Generator and erroneously identified it as associated with Google. I realized my mistake by asking the following questions (through their contact info):

1) Your “About” mentions contacting you to “know more” . . . what more is there to know?

2) What is the AI interaction with the images? Is the AI learning? Meaning, is the process to generate the images ever-changing based on responses to the images?

3) I read the rights but it’s unclear to me if the content generated is sold by you or an entity you contract with (as opposed to being used in connection with advertising). 

4) What is the extent of my rights to the generated images? For instance — not that I plan to — but can users sell the resulting images? 

4b) I’ve posted some of the images on my blog and it occurs to me that I’m not clear about how I may use the images (https://dispersertracks.com/2017/06/07/google-deep-dream-generator)

5) I listed the site as associated with Google but now I wonder if I (deep) dreamt it since I don’t see Google mentioned anywhere.

6) I notice some images on Instagram . . . are those images from members of from people running the site?

Here’s the weird thing . . . they answered. I know it seems like a natural thing, but you’d be surprised how rare it is to get answers.

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Posted in Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

The Spinner Files

A blog I follow (OneOwner) had a photo of a spinner that looked neat (click on the link to see it). Well, of, course, I had to get one . . . or more. 

Warning: this post will be boring for some — if not all — readers.

One of my two spinners — the colorful one

“What are spinners?” you ask. 

Good question, Bob. The name says it all; they spin. 

“No, I don’t mean what they do; what are they?”

Well, Bob, what they do and what they are are one and the same. I bought me a couple of cheap ones, but you can buy these for some unfsmly amounts of money and all they do is spin. The spin very effortlessly. The above spinner will — with a moderately decent shove — spin for a timed 4 min 28 sec. They have low friction bearings at the center and a weighted periphery of various shapes and colors. Basically, something for the person who likes to fidget . . . or likes to SPIN things. 

Here’s what it looks like spinning . . . 

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Posted in My YouTube, Other Stuff, Photography, Photography Stuff, Stuff, Video | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

A Burst of Macros

So, a few days ago I had an urge to macro. 

Obviously, not a macro shot. I took this photo on the way to snapping a bunch of macro shots.

FYI, as usual, click on any photo for a larger version. There’s a gallery at the end of the post, and there’s a SmugMug Gallery HERE.

Anyway, other than a few flowers shots, the other photos are of various leaves found on plants growing on the grounds of the complex where we currently live.  Continue reading

Posted in Macro Photography, Photography, Photography Stuff, Stuff | Tagged , , | 11 Comments