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.

20120628_1_DSC5569-Processed_DIGI 10SEP2011_1__DSC5652-Processed_DIGI 20120722_1_DSC6617-Processed_DIGI

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.



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.



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.


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?




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.




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.



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.




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?”





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 . . .



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.



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.





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.



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.



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.

17JUL2011_1__DSC4029-Processed_DIGI 18MAY2012_1__DSC1726-Processed_DIGI 28MAY2012_2__DSC2273-Processed_DIGI

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.




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.












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: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.


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.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Birds, Flowers, Musings Stuff, Opinion, Personal, Photography, Photography Stuff, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Old, indistinguishable from new

  1. Lol and a very entertaining post Emilio. I enjoy looking through your photos too and don’t tire of flowers and birds (and the occasional bug) and I agree that you’re a pretty good writer. I must admit that I ask myself the same question from time to time, why am I doing this, does anyone really care? I’m still trying to work it out ;)


    • disperser says:

      Well, obviously, you need to quit what you are doing and concentrate on what I do.

      Yes, I kid (mostly).

      Seriously, I still claim the benefit is to ourselves and in our sense of accomplishment when something works. Also, what we learn when something does not work. And, yes, for the occasional person who has something we do resonate with them and perhaps, even if imperceptibly, positively impact their life.

      Does anyone care? Probably not to the level we do. Certainly no one cares about what I do to the same level that I do. But, isn’t that the case with everything and everyone?

      I mean, I like kids, but I can tell you that I could care less how this or that kid is just the most fantastic kid in the history of the human race . . . but the parents do. Same with dog owners; theirs are the smartest, cutest, and most precious of dogs with amazing personalities. I just see hair, teeth, and a propensity to bark at anything and everything.

      And don’t even get me started on cat owners.

      The bottom line is we do this for ourselves, our mental health, to add to the tapestry of meaning to our existence. I take as much pride in and derive as much enjoyment from the words I put down on (virtual) paper as I do from a breakfast I make up on the spot, or a chore I am doing.

      Well, will you look at me philosophizin’ and stuff!

      . . . I am really going to enjoy reading that back a year or two from now . . . if I’m still alive.

      For that’s the other thing, isn’t it? We really don’t have much time, so we might as well do stuff we enjoy. Perhaps some of what we do will even outlive us for a few years.

      Too deep, right? I knew it! . . . I should keep it light and airy.

      How about this: we do what we do because we don’t know no better.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Haha never too deep Emilio. I might copy and keep this to remind myself why I do the stuff I do and will look back at it from time to time. You are not only talented Emilio but you are a very wise man too. I’d love to sit and have a chat with you one day :)
        Anyway I think we are all souls screaming out to be free to create in a world full of demands and this is one of those outlets. Ha there you go, that just came to me! :)


      • disperser says:

        Thank you, although in reference to me the word “wise” is usually followed by “ass”.

        And yes, true what you say . . . except, you know, the soul part. Being soulless, I had to put a bobblehead doll in place of an actual soul. The advantage is it always agrees with me.

        As for chatting, I’ll tell you what I tell everyone . . . I’m OK in small and controlled doses. A full portion makes most people sick.


  2. sandra getgood says:

    I never get tired of your photographs, especially those of wildlife…it is lovely to see the tree swallows back . And your intimate views of bees. And the bright and beautiful flowers are such a good way of starting the day… our daffodils have come and gone, and violets are blooming everywhere….but so far everything else is still in bud, so seeing your gardens is like a cheerful preview of coming attractions. And I’m one of those who enjoy your writing, whether it is fiction or travelogue..

    Post what makes you happy…. once in a while you lose me in the technical discussions, but your enthusiasm always draws me back.


    • disperser says:

      Technical discussion? I don’t know nothing about no technical discussion! (slap)

      Thanks, Sandy. I do appreciate your continued patronage and appreciation for most of what I offer up (technical discussions aside).


  3. seekraz says:

    Beautiful work, Emilio….ALL of it. :)


  4. Eddy Winko says:

    I like to skip through the photos, but only rarely think to myself that’s really good, no offence but you are one on so many who present pictures on the web it’s hard to find something ‘special’ despite having technical excellence (Bees and birds fantastic, flowers like an acid trip). I like to read your commentary, but skip your fiction, with the exception of the stuff I can read over a cup of tea. At the end of the day I’m glad you post because you do it for the right reasons. And now I have run out of time as a child needs a bath before a late bedtime :)


    • disperser says:

      Finally! Someone who agrees with me.

      Yes, tons and tons of photos on the Internet and unless one is a dedicated photographer, they amount to little more than snapshots of everyday life. They may be “good” but not “amazing”, and in part it’s because expectations are so much higher now then even ten years ago.

      I mentioned the grandfather effect before, and that explains why I like my photos even though I know that a quick Google search will find literally thousands of similar shots.

      That effect works on people one is familiar with . . . I am more likely to look at something or read something from someone I know than a total stranger. By the same token, that’s also why people will like the photos of a person they know over those of someone else; there is a connection there, however tenuous.

      As for the fiction, I understand completely and it’s also why I write the shorter pieces (aside the fact that I enjoy writing them); people are more likely to read them (optimistically, I think no more than five people read my novels).

      Thanks for the comment.


  5. You suckered me in to look at all 96 because they are so good and I love your photographs of your flowers, insects and birds. Amelia


  6. I made it to the end! Woot Woo! ;-) :-P
    And I sighed a contented sigh. Beautiful, Emilio! Your photos remind me of some of THE VERY best about the world…the beauty in nature! :-) I never tire of the birds and bees…and other creatures! :-)
    HUGS!!! :-)
    PS…You made me snort-laugh! :-P
    PPS…I like that you post to entertain yourself now,
    AND later! ;-) I do that, too…when I post funny, fun drivel, it’s to make myself laugh. :-P As I figure I have such a weird sense of humor that no one else is laughing…just me. :-D


  7. Nothing wrong with liking you own photography. Your followers have the privilege to view the flowers and birds or not. I looked at all of them and enjoyed seeing the gorgeous flowers. But my favorites are the Tree Swallows. Those photos are marvelous.


  8. PiedType says:

    “Stale soup”? Beauty like this will never get stale.


  9. Unless one is constantly on the move most of us will inevitably end up posting the same pix over the years. I’m on my eighth year now … so if you think five is bad …
    I come for the fiction :) and some pretty photos. Preferably not a hundred. Partly because the eye starts to glaze over. Well mine does. I liked the dahlia btw. I only noticed one of those.


  10. As I was on my morning walk this morning, I saw the first blooming lupines. My question to myself was photograph or not photograph? I have lupine photos from the last three years of my blog. But of course I’m going to photograph. That’s just who I am. I have to. I love all your photos. The green grasshopper and the tree swallow feeding baby are my favorites. But I love them all.


    • disperser says:


      . . . and I will always photograph, but I might be a bit more discerning about what I post.

      Perhaps I will cut down from 96 photos to only 80.


  11. Emily Scott says:

    As long as the photos make you happy, why worry what anyone else thinks? I think you can never have too many pictures of bright birds, bees and flowers. There was a bird photo towards the end – about 9th from the bottom – which I enjoyed because it looked as if the chick was attempting to swallow its parent.


  12. oneowner says:

    I have the same problem with year after year photos of my flowers, mostly because they are all perennial, so they always have the same background and lighting. I’m looking into some different processing techniques and possibly the use of the soft focus lens when the light is right. Otherwise, I shoot most of my flower shots at the arboretum or conservatory where there is a huge variety and the light is always nice, at least at the conservatory where I can get in with a senior discount with a fake ID.


  13. Carissa says:

    Here’s the thing. It’s YOUR blog. Your rules, your decorations, whatever makes your heart happy.
    That being said, I have to admit that I do start to scroll quickly through your mega-photo posts. After awhile all the images start to look the same to me. I swear you had duplicates in this post. I’d rather see you post that ONE image (or two or three) that absolutely sing to you.

    But again. YOUR blog. what makes YOU happy. And if 100 (or 96) images per post is what does that, do it.


    • disperser says:

      I fully understand the scrolling bit (although the words are different).

      And, as I said above, I will continue with doing things my way.

      The thing about the one or two that sing to me is that I would then have to post roughly 15-20 posts each day since I’m a very musical guy; everything sings to me.

      Plus, the narrative is as much fun to publish as the photos.

      I’m content with how the blog does right now . . . some scrolls, some read, and a few dive in (when they have time).

      Oh, I should also mention (I did once before when it happened) . . . a few years ago I read advice after advice that the way to build a large following was to publish short and focused blog posts.

      It was a bit like waving a rag (red or not) in front of a bull. Before that I would post a few photos and have the rest in SmugMug for them who wanted more. After that, I made the effort to supersize my work.


  14. AnnMarie says:

    I already had my answer ready as I kept looking at each beautiful photo and reading your narrative, but you beat me to it with your reply to oneowner. Yes, get ARTSY!

    You’ve got great programs and a wonderful, creative mind, so . . . create! You’ve done posts where you looked at your subjects from different angles, so . . . how about more of those? There are endless possibilities, you know. And new characters and plots for novels are waiting to be plucked.

    You do this because it gives you joy. I read your posts because it gives ME joy! As you well know, I’m a shadow artist and “do” my art through your photos. So many “artsy” photos are EXACTLY what I wish I’d be painting right now. A serious case of Someday Isle. But enough about me.

    My world would be less colorful and exciting if it were not for your awesome creativity. I NEED YOU TO KEEP DOING WHAT YOU LOVE AND THE WAY YOU LIKE TO DO IT!


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