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 . . . 


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 . . . 


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?


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?


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. 


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


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. 


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


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.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, 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.

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.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Effects and Filters, Feathers, Opinions and Stuff, Photography Stuff, Writing Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to The better hummingbird

  1. sandra getgood says:

    I’m pondering. It’s giving me a headache, though.


  2. I like them better when you haven’t stuffed them around :(


  3. AnnMarie says:

    Oh, wow, you got me oohing and aahing with these colorful variations on the hummingbird theme! The original is great, but 5, 6 and 8 are impressive in their colors and textures.


  4. Love all the hummingbirds, but especially the velvet painting one (#3) and the neon lights one (#7)! :-)
    I like looking at your photos AND reading your words!
    Pondering #1: One of my great-nieces (when she was 4 years old) told me I smelled like Play-doh. I took that as a compliment. I don’t think the old-people-smell kicks in until at least 90! ;-) :-D
    Pondering #2: I know of no such test. Oh…maybe hang with people in your age group…as they will see you as wise and grace-filled. But, then hanging with young adults is SUPER fun…even if they don’t want our advice or to listen to our hard-earned wisdom! :-)
    Pondering #3 and Pondering #4: Now, there you go! This proves you are wise! Such wise words!
    I find those things you mentioned so true…and often so sad. I wonder if when each generation reaches well-seaoned-ness (I don’t say “old”), they see these things and feel this way. ???
    When I was a little girl, a friend’s grandma said, “I don’t know why people want to bring kids into this world. The world has changed so much in my lifetime and not for the better.”
    Now, as a grandma, I am beginning to feel that way….I worry about the world my grandkids will have to live in.


    • disperser says:

      Thank you, it was fun working on these.

      The whole thing on the shape of the world is somewhat a matter of perspective and what one wants to look at. We can bemoan the simplicity of life in the 50s, but if we look at discrimination, the state of medicine, amenities, choices for entertainment, perhaps then we might not be in such a hurry to claim those were the good ole days.

      I think a big part of people getting discouraged with the direction of the world is that people get comfortable with what they like and any change is stressful. That said, there are some measurable negatives that affect the quality of life. One can argue that cheaper food, better health care, more amenities are all positives and make our lives better.

      The problem is that I’m not sure those directly translate into a better quality of life. And yes, that is often nothing more than a state of mind, but it still matters. Some is due to overcrowding, some is due to greater disparity between the have and have not. It was going good for a while, but the trend is reversing and it feels like we are going back to feudal times – figuratively speaking – with the “ruling class” and everyone else struggling to get by. It’s not a matter of race or religion, although those do get dragged in there . . . simply put, it’s money and power. The masses, as we are referred to, have less power and say-so into their own well-being. That is never good, and all of history’s lessons in that regard are pretty harsh. Not that anyone ever learns them. Certainly not the politicians and the current crop of ultra-rich.

      Then again, I could be wrong, and we are about to embark on an unsurpassed period of peace, harmony, and prosperity.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I got to the end, and did more than look at the pictures. That’s as erudite as I can get today.


  6. Lisa says:

    I agree with your ponderings. It is comforting to find something from a shared perspective on the internet. Your well written thoughts are appreciated. I’d ‘like’ them but I avoid social media.


  7. PiedType says:

    Why do hummingbirds always look angry? Are they trying to intimidate possible predators?


    • disperser says:

      They are angry. They have to beat their wings at 50-60 beats a second, and we just like casually step hither and fro with seemingly little effort.

      It must be a bit like watching politicians and CEOs get rich while working two jobs and barely making ends meet.


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