The better hummingbird

The main reason for yesterday’s post was to showcase the processing of a hummingbird using Topaz’s Impression and Glow Plugins. Sure, I added words in there. That’s because my readers are split into two camps. Some just come for the words and some just come for the photos. I think there are three who come for both, and one of the three might be me. 

Unfortunately, I picked a mediocre photo to play with. This time, I picked a better photo . . . 

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I also took better care in processing it, actually playing with the settings by throwing switches hither and fro and pushing sliders left and right.  

Now, I need to also up my game with the words I write. Not that I would know how to up my writing game. An amateur wordsmith, I be, and not even native born.

The first processing I did is a painting . . . 

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It don’t look bad, but it lacks the quality of “punch.”

Pondering No.1:
I’m 63 . . . when do old people start having that “old people” smell? I mean, do I have it already? If not, will I know when I get it? Since I don’t have grandkids, does it even matter?

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This one is really nice. The colors jump out and the lines flow gracefully. Unlike with the prior post, I masked out part of the eye (that means I left it unmodified). I think it complements the effect; the eyes are the most important feature and messing with them makes the photo not seem “real” (see prior post).

Pondering No. 2:
So, how do I know whether I’m an elderly gentleman whose life experiences have imbued him with wisdom and grace, OR, I’m a babbling old fool who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is best avoided. Is there a test I can take?

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I tried playing with some edge colors and some ‘electrification’ to see what it would do. It’s not bad, but I like the flowing lines a bit better. 

Pondering No.3:
If you were born with an iPhone in your hand, it’s not just that your perspective on life is quite different from mine. It’s also that you are not qualified to judge whether you live in “a better world” than it used to be. You may like this world better because you can’t imagine a different world, but know you are likely judging it solely based on things exterior to yourself (toys, to put it simply). Yes, in terms of toys, this is a much better place. Not just toys, either. One can point to many things that are better than they were. For other things, not so much. What saddens me beyond almost anything else is that we, as a society, are more divided and less tolerant than we used to be, better educated and yet more ignorant than we used to be, more entitled and yet more fearful than we used to be. We have more information at our fingertip than at any point in history, and yet we are less self-reliant than ever. I’ve heard it described as we, as a society, have lost our “grit.” We’ve lost the fortitude to overcome obstacles, to adapt to changes, to take a punch and keep going (figuratively speaking), to accept a certain amount of adversity is part of life; adversity that must be faced together and not blamed on others.  There are good things too, but what we lost comes with a big cost and I hope I’m not around when the bill comes due. 

This next one had me scale back the effects a bit. I like how the lines follow the original texture a bit better. Click on it to see a larger view where one can better see the subtle flow of the strokes. 

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At this point, I combined a few of the above versions to get this “wilder” version. 

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Pondering No. 4:
At one point in my life, I thought the world was headed for a better place. Less hate, less racism, more acceptance of the “other”, optimism, and a general can-do attitude. That was a false positive born out of a period of prosperity. By prosperity, I mean that the average person had a shot at making a good living, building their savings, and looking forward to retirement. I did not count on corporations and politicians leveraging their power so they could feed their greed for money and power. They did so by taking advantage of a trusting — and sometimes unknowingly complicit — population, and for that, we, the population at large, deserve some of the blame for how we got to where we are today.

. . . we deserve all of the blame for keeping us here.

After the last iteration, I decided to push the Glow plugin and combine it with some of the previous versions. What I like about this next shot are the long bright lines. 

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I went back to the original and incorporated the effect that produced those long lines and came up with this.

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It’s difficult for me to pick a “best one”, but the third, fifth, and eight photos are my favorites. 

I’ve added these to the previous Gallery (HERE).

Will you look at that! I went the whole post without pontificating about this or that. Depressing, isn’t it? Wait . . . no, summabirch, I didn’t!

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

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

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, encouragement, or advice to better my life, know my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor is blowing right by you.