Oregon. I dread these events. Not only because of the inherent horrific nature of them, but also because friends and foes alike get all sanctimonious about guns, gun violence, gun control, and so on. And it makes me want to unfriend them, or at least get off the Internet for a while (I’ve already unfriended a few and then decided to stop and just stay away from it all).
Let me be clear . . . I am for gun control. I believe owning and, in my case, opting to carry a gun is a serious responsibility and one that should not be lightly undertaken. I also believe it is my right to own a gun. Or many guns. I’ve written enough about it in the past that it doesn’t need repeating here; anyone with even a small amount of interest can find my opinions on the matter (perhaps more, much more, than they want to read).
However, I admit that when I hear certain pontifications on the subject, be it from the President or a less esteemed blowhard on social media, I get annoyed. Annoyed, as I did HERE. I especially get annoyed when someone says we can “stop it.”
We can do what we have done, and make strides on reducing gun fatalities, but we’ll never eliminate them, or stop mass shootings. We live in an age when someone can use a 3D-printer to make themselves a functioning gun. People who speak of gun control as if it will eliminate “these killings” are either incredibly ignorant or have a different agenda in mind (hence why they won’t get anywhere).
Want to know how I know? It’s simple . . . listen to all the grandiose speeches, and nowhere does anyone put forth a proposal to stopping these crimes.
I listen to flawed and sometimes outright false claims, and I get annoyed. Being annoyed is not something I enjoy. Instead, I want to concentrate on the rest of this post and enjoy what I normally do. So, I will shake my head, murmur ‘assholes’ under my breath, and move on.
Them, who be serious about reducing gun violence, should research the matter and learn to at least speak intelligently about it because as long as you repeat the same thing, as long as you hold inflexible views, as long as you simplify complex issues, you are not a noble person aspiring to a better society. You are just another blowhard impeding progress.
Speaking of learning to see things in different ways.
Take this photograph . . .
That is the as-shot RAW photo. It’s not bad, but I can envision it a bit better.
I could stop with that version, but there are literally infinite variations I can apply to the processing. For instance, I could add a texture and tweak a few things to get this:
Now, we could sit here and argue which version is better, but the reality is that all the versions have their own merit and that some version will speak more to one person than another.
Those photos all retain a measure of realism to them. That is, the photo is clearly identifiable as a photo realistically representing the objects contained therein.
But, we don’t have to restrict ourselves to the obvious. We can stretch our vision.
This is the as-shot RAW photo of a heron in the rain.
My normal post-processing gets me here . . .
I can also think outside the norm and use the Topaz Restyle Plugin. When I do, I get this.
We can again argue the merits of each version, but now one of the above departs from photo-realism and drifts into what someone might call art. It is based on reality, and we can admire the abstraction of it, and even enjoy the beautiful colors, but it’s a long way from the original both in tone and mood.
The above was shot at a Savannah Wildlife Preserve . . . as was this interesting tree.
I think this lends itself very well to my usual processing.
But also to more tone and mood manipulations . . .
I can then go toward a ghostly-B&W version . . .
Or, I can take the original post-processed version and restyle it to this:
I can then take the above and the original and blend them to get this:
Finally, I can punch it up a bit and get this:
That’s quite the departure from the original, and not something I planned when I snapped the photo. Just playing around, is all.
What about landscapes? Here is the original shot.
. . . and my post-processed version.
I take the post-processed version and restyle it.
Now, I load both of the versions into Photoshop and blend them to get this:
Almost looks like a painting.
OK, just one more.
That is a fairly bland photo. Let me spruce it up a bit . . .
This is still fairly bland.
But, I can copy the file and generate a B&W version . . .
. . . and then overlay the two files to get this, adding a bit of drama to the sky:
Move a few sliders in Lightroom and I get this:
Finally, I have a number of options for restyling the photo . . . this is one of them:
There was a time when I would look at a photo and only see the photo. I did not see the possibilities of what that photo could be.
Some may still say the photos are crap regardless of how one might dress them up. This post was not for them.
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.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.