2017 Disperser Retrospective – Photography

Like with most of my activities, heading into 2017, I had no particular goal for my photography hobby. I can’t be bothered to go back and check, but since few readers also won’t bother, just take my word for it. Anyway, I can thus lay claim I’ve met all of my 2017 photography goals.

But, what did actually happen with my photography in 2017? Well, the big event was me buying the Nikon P900. 

The above is the very first P900 photo that I kept (#4). You can imagine how bad the first three were. The above is at full zoom (83x) and was taken prior to me reading anything or even looking at the manual.

Well, color me unimpressed. I had bought the P900 with the specific intent of utilizing the amazing zoom, but if that was representative of the output, I was ready to return it.

This, despite the fact that I could take these uncropped photos — the 11th, 12th, and 13th — of a ship that was four miles away as the crow flies.

OK, I was beginning to warm up to the camera following these next examples, roughly one hundred photos later.

By the way, these are all presented with minimal processing and close to what I got out of the camera. 

The first few months, readers of the blog got treated to continuous updates about the camera (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE to mention a few). In less than a month, I cycled close to 1,500 photos through the camera on my way to deciding to keep it. Even with all the updates, readers missed out on many photos.

Of course, I didn’t forsake my D7000 and expensive lenses. Although, here too there are many photo D7000 shoots I’ve yet to share. 

As I mentioned in the Christmas post, if I add the phone photos to the p900 and D7000 photos, I come up with 16,000 photographs for the year. That’s a lot of photos to take, especially when one has no specific purpose in mind. 

Now, there are some readers who feel they have seen all 16,000 photos. They wish! I have a lot of stuff that I’ve yet to share, especially since throughout the year I included a number of posts covering photos from the pre-2010 years (prior to me having a blog).  For instance, HERE and HERE, but there were more.

By June, readers would have been hard-pressed to distinguish between my P900 from my D7000 shots were it not for me identifying them. Also by June, I’d cycled over 3,000 photos through the P900. 

What follows, is the advice I give to people whenever they say something like “I wish I could take photos like those!” — presuming, of course, that they like my photos.

Here’s the advice: Shoot. A. Lot. Of. Photos.

Now, I say that, but there’s a little bit more to it and I have a number of posts where I give away my secrets, but since they are secrets, I won’t link them here . . . because the secret boils down to Shoot. A. Lot. Of. Photos.

OK, OK . . . one also has to want to improve and to accept that nothing worth doing comes easy and that — along with shooting a lot of photos — one needs to learn the ins and outs of their cameras (less so than in previous eras of photography), needs the willingness to experiment, needs the fortitude and desire to learn . . . and to never stop learning. 

To that end, even if you are only using a phone camera, do these things:

  • learn the rule of thirds. Your camera likely has guide lines to help with that (literally: guide lines) and you can also read about it HERE, HERE, and hundreds of other photography websites.
  • take photos with a purpose. Meaning before you snap a photo, have a plan as to why; is it a snapshot? Are you going to e-mail it? Print it? What do you want it to say? Note: I said above I took photos without a goal. I meant “specific goal”; I’m always planning on sharing stuff I shoot.
  • get in the habit of processing your photo using something like Snapseed (phone camera) or Lightroom (PC) or whatever is available for the platform you’re using. Always present photos the best you can.
  • plan on the occasional use of Pixlr or something equivalent to “jazz up” the photo.

You can certainly take snapshots for a quick “Hey! Look at me! I need attention!” or “Hey! Look at this: it’s what crap looks like before I eat it and passes through my digestive system!” but if you want to take photos that you can be proud of, that requires more just snapping away. By the way, you can still clamor for attention and photograph your food, but take some pride in what you share.

By the way, that comment about Pixlr, this is what I mean:

My food:

My food on Pixlr:

Now, that doesn’t mean that people necessarily want to see this but what they can’t do is say it’s not in focus, it’s not creative, it’s not a visual assault on the senses. They can say it sucks, but that won’t change the fact that I took some care in producing it and that’s I’m proud to have it out there regardless of the reception. 

One thing that should be obvious from this post is that I have photos I aim to eventually share . . . and here’s a little secret: some date back to 2016. Shhh! . . . don’t tell nobody. 

But the ones from 2017 include things like a trip to South Point on a day when some guys were jumping off the cliff . . . 

. . . and — of course — a big chunk of photos from the Alaska cruise in September . . . 

And, not just from the two cameras I had with me, but also from my now dead Samsung Note II (may it rest in digital piece) . . . 

. . . there are not enough hours in a retirement day, I tell you. 

The mention of the Samsung Note II brings up the question of the Samsung Note 8 which replaced it. I suppose I could link to THIS or THIS or THIS post, but that would leave out a lot of photos I took with the phone since those posts. 

I tell you what, plan on soon seeing a post dedicated to the Note 8. 

Meanwhile, here are two photos of the moon I took last year (three days ago) . . . 

. . . this one was taken in daylight — meaning when the sun was still up — from the Costco parking lot as some dude was probably swearing at me because he wanted my parking place. I nonchalantly shot the moon. 

Handheld and in not the best of conditions . . . I am pretty happy with that shot. 

Later, another hand-held shot, this time at night, but still in full sunlight. Or, nearly full. 

I don’t know if I like the above better or the one below.

They are pretty close, I think, and both had me notice something . . . 

. . . look just above the nose of the “man on the Moon” . . . does that look like writing? I mean, it almost looks like someone is writing a message on the surface. It could be a stranded alien asking for help . . . if “help” in their language was written as “F1PY”.

Of course, it could also be a rude message equivalent to telling us to accomplish an impossible — and very acrobatic — biological act. 

. . . it’s probably just my imagination running away with me . . .  

Anyway, that is my brief and very incomplete update on my 2017 photography year. Now excuse me while I go and update the copyright message in the two cameras, set up my D7000_2018, P900_2018, and Note8_2018 folders as well as new Lightroom catalogs for each camera for the coming year. 

While I’m at it, I’ll do my backups and do a bit of cleanup of my working directory as I prepare the transition from 2017 to 2018.

Wishing you all the best for this New Year, and happy shooting.

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.

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.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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12 Responses to 2017 Disperser Retrospective – Photography

  1. sandra getgood says:

    Some of the pictures you take are really amazing. It’s always fun to take a look at what you are up to with your camera…..my favorites tend to be the remarkable photographs you take of wildlife, and the surf around the island. But what you share with us is always fascinating.


    • disperser says:

      Thank you, Sandra. I do have a lot of surf photos but I’m often reluctant to flood the place with them.

      Sadly, not had much luck with wildlife and birds here (other than the same birds) despite the supposed abundance of different birds. I’ve yet to capture a wild boar (pigs, as the natives call them) although I did spot one in late 2016 while I was out driving. Unfortunately, it ran for cover before I could bring the camera online.

      One of the things we’ll try and do more often is specific drives for certain photo opportunities. We’ll see how it works out. Happy New Year to you and yours.


  2. oneowner says:

    Shooting the moon in a Costco parking lot is illegal here in New York. I’d refrain from that in the future because I can’t afford to bail myself out much less anyone else if you were caught by the Deep State authorities. I hear Trump is going to crack down on “moon shooters” this year now that he has solved the crime, immigration and taxes problems.
    My own purchase of the Oly last year contributed to most of the photos I shot in the second half. I’ve enjoyed shooting with it and it did give me more incentive to get out and shoot. Maybe I should buy a new camera every year! Hmmmmm….


    • disperser says:

      I forget the magazine I was reading, but it showed some interesting medium-format cameras . . . for a mere $45K. Actually, there was a bargain for a digital back (no camera) that was only $25K. If you’re looking for new cameras, you might give a glance that way.

      Boy, I can just imagine the photos I could take with those babies. Why, every one of my photos would be $45K photos! Let’s see . . . $45K x 16K = carry the 3 . . . $720M!

      . . . but I rather spend the money on malasadas and Spam. Probably why I’ll never make the big bucks or make a name for myself.

      . . . wait, I already made a name for myself. Well, I came up with a name for my blog; almost the same thing.


  3. Great retrospect Emilio, and interesting to read as always. Your camera is certainly doing better moon-pictures than my mobile. Happy new year!


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, bente. I imagine mobile phones will eventually catch up.

      To be fair, that’s my P900, a camera with a monster zoom but not necessarily the capabilities of DSLRs. Still, overall, I’m pleased with the camera and it’s a lot easier to lug around than the 15+ lb I used to carry wherever I went.

      Happy New Year to you as well.


  4. ‘Twas a good year in your 2017 photo taking and photo sharing!

    Oh! Thanks for the great tips on using a phone camera. I need to take more photos on my phone in 2018.

    Cool moon photos! I DO see stuff in your moon photos! Like letter, numbers. Ha on what you said the moon might be telling us! (shocked face!)

    Ooh! The past few nights here the moon has been gorgeous!

    Mums the word! Sh! Your secret is safe with me!

    Thank you for sharing these photos today, Emilio! It is a cold day and so many of these exude warmth in their beauty!

    I always like how you jazz up your food photos! Your food is more fun than the average food.

    HUGS!!! :-)
    PS… See! My comments are getting shorter this year! HA!


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, diem3.

      Some old codgers from down under might not agree, but I’ve actually shared fewer photographs this year than in years past (fewer posts = fewer photos). There are quite a number of photos I still plan on sharing (plan is what we do instead of actually doing the thing) but we’ll see how things shake out.

      I’ve never before noticed what to me look like what must be huge letters on the surface of the moon. I plan to go back and look at older photos. If it’s something new, perhaps I’ll get my name on the funny papers.

      And yes, I noticed your newly-acquired brevity. It sort-of looks like your old brevity, but what do I know? Well, nearly everything — what with being an engineer and all — but I don’t know that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How you be?! Hope you and Melisa have a great weekend! ‘Tis cold most of the places I know about. Enjoy some sun for the rest of us! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. AnnMarie says:

    All the comments that I was planning on as I journeyed across this post went right out of my mind when I saw F1PY clearly written on the moon! And you say YOU DIDN’T do that?


    • AnnMarie says:

      Actually, it’s more like F9PY!!!


    • disperser says:

      I went back and looked at my previous moon photos and it’s there as well. However, it’s probably just a case of pareidolia. Our brains are wired to see patterns and also to “see them better” once primed.

      Meaning, one I mention that those look like letters and numbers, you are more apt to see them as letters and numbers.

      If I would have said Japanese or Chinese characters or Inspector Jacques Clouseau, that’s probably what you might be primed to see instead of letters or numbers.

      I also did a search of moon images on the Web, and now that I’ve “noticed” it, it jumps out at me in every photo. But, I’ve been looking at photos of the moon for a long while and never noticed them before.

      You can go to Google Eart and choose the Moon and you can see them better as well as get the names of the features. In higher resolution images, they look more like numbers and there are more numbers. That said, again, we’re just predisposed to look for patterns.

      For instance, you can easily see the face of a dog in this photo . . .

      but it’s obviously a coyote.


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