Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stately state house

I was out shooting some houses along St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans today and this one caught my eye. The Aldrich Genella House is on the National Register of Historic Places. I pasted the monument plate in the right bottom so you could see the designation. You may have to click on the image to enlarge it to read the monument.

Driving down St. Charles Avenue and gawking at all the old mansion is a favorite pastime of mine. Many of those mansion make this one look petite.

--steve buser

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Colorful turn

There are those waymarks that you pick up on to tell directions --"Turn left at the water tower" etc.

Some are normal. Some jump out at you and have a communal life to them -- everybody uses them because they are just so obvious. This has to be one of the latter -- the house is so bright and with out of the ordinary colors it begs to be mentioned in giving directions as in "once you get on Elysian Fields Avenue, go four blocks pass the bright house and turn left."

Of course, the person you are giving directions to will say "What bright house?" To which you will reply "you'll know what I mean when you see it."

Then you will tilt you eyes up a little and to the left and say under your breath "Only in New Orleans..... ONLY in New Orleans.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Do you Voodoo?

It's hard to distinguish fact from fiction about Voodoo in New Orleans. This shop in the French Quarter is one of several in the city. Many claim a large number of residents of the city practice the voodoo arts, brought to the area in the 1700's from Africa via Santo Domingo (Haiti) or other Carribean stop overs. Santo Domingo was said to be the birth place of the the famous Voodoo queen, Marie Laveau, of who tales and legends abound.

There is no doubt that a marketing industry has built up around the superstitions, healing charms and spells of the religion -- such as this site.

If your curious, I might suggest this article from Wikipedia -- which is usually a pretty reliable source since it is peer reviewed.

--steve buser

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Topsy curvy

We're babysitting this weekend -- visiting my daughter and her family. I'll be back to normal posting tomorrow -- if I survive this task. The picture above is our grandson, Sullivan, doing his imitation of chaos.

--steve buser

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cheerful mourning

We're away for the weekend visiting the grandkids. But before we left, I snapped this shot of our new neighbor still brooding outside out window. I haven't seen the male bird come by, but have noticed a bunch of mourning doves in the area. This you lady seems to keep quiet and pretty much to herself. It is a pretty secluded spot, and I only noticed her by accident when I was taking a picture a week ago of the tree bark and the way it flakes off.

We can't wait to hear chirping sounds -- it may be soon.

-- steve buser

Friday, February 22, 2008

Terrestrial treasure

I am an inveterate photographer of sunsets -- always looking up on the ride home from work. Looking for the perfect fiery sundown. I have hundreds of shots -- heck, I have shot a 100 shots of just one sunset, hoping to capture the perfect play of light.

Then one day recently, I was looking down as I walked along with my camera and realized, I had never shot a ..... how do you say this ... earthy shot. The interesting pattern on this grate serving as a tree planter just jumped out at me.

So if you see me walking down the street nodding up and down, I am nod agreeing with anything -- just trying to balance a new found passion with an old one.

--steve buser

Audience participation

Another peek back at the Mandeville Dog Parade held recently. Just wanted to show that this was a crowd participation event. Who could resist petting a pretty pouch passing by.

--steve buser

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Life's reflection

This is a art work along the riverfront in Woldenburg Park down by the French Quarter of New Orleans. I black and whited (don't tell my English teacher I turned that into a verb) the river in the background because it was too busy to make out the reflecting panels. But if you look straight through the middle you see a ship passing by in the background. From this angle it reflects the trees and grass behind me while the Mississippi River lies straight ahead.

--steve buser

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fire and ice

Just two blocks from home, the sky burst into a sunset of contrasts. I can never tire of sunsets. This shot is in Harahan (a suburb of New Orleans) by the Jefferson Parish office buildings.

--steve buser

Monday, February 18, 2008

New neighbor and NODailyPhoto is 300!

My newest neighbor. This young soon to be mother moved in just outside of our window. She did a pretty good job of piecing together a nest in a spot where several branches trunk off. She's a little weary about me looking in on here. but I'm about 10 to 12 feet away -- so far she' s just keeping and eye on me.

I guess we'll have a bunch of little ones chirping not to far off.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot. is 300 today -- this is the 300th post. Seems amazing to me that I could find that many photos in just 300 days. Thanks to all for your kind comments and support.

--steve buser

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The art of shopping

A favorite pastime of tourists and locals alike is browsing and shopping at the artists' booth lined around Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Just for argument's sake, the picture below is the same but run through FX-Foundry's Pastel Sketch filter. Which do you like better? ( you have to click on each and look at them full size to get the full flavor.)

--steve buser

Friday, February 15, 2008

Solar gliding

Another look at the birds out on the New Orleans lakefront swirling in the sunset. Two young ladies sitting on the breakwall are enjoying the sight.

--steve buser

Bring your "A" game

The NBA Allstars are bringing their game .... to New Orleans that is. It's a weekend full of activities and hype. Billboards like this have sprung up all over the CBD (Central Business District) and there are lot of the building-wrapping graphics -- as much as 20 stories tall -- making it hard not to be aware of the big event. My favorite part of the weekend is the Slam Dunk contest -- I have been practicing up my dunks in case on the stars twists his ankle and they need a substitute.

If you can make the weekend here, check out all the activites at the web site

--steve buser

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sundown Sailing

This photo is more surreal than real. I thought the photo needed just a little touching up and then a little more and a little more.... until it because this.

If you interested in what I did: The photo was a broad daylight shot, or at least late afternoon. The reflection on the water darkened the sail on the sailboat so I pulled it up in Gimp and used the scissor to select just the sail -- I like that tool because of it automatic form fitting alogrithm means I have to click on fewer points.

Next I used the "Color| Curves" tool to lighten up the sail. Next I used the "Select | Invert" tool so that now I had all but the sail selected. I used the "Color| Desaturate" to take the color out of the the rest of the picture.

Then I selected the sky using the "Scissor" and then used "Filter| Render| Clouds| Plasma" to put a brightly colored sky in the scene. Then I used "Color|Desaturate" to take out all that color but leave the cloud-like effect.

Next came the "Color| Colorize" tool to change the sky to a blue hue and darken it down. It looked great now, but the reflection on the water looked out of place with out a moon. So I used the Airbrush tool with a fuzzy circle brush and a low opacity setting ( so I could make several passes and paint the moon in). I also changed the setting of the brush from "normal" to "overlay"

I went to town painting the moon using several different sizes of the brush first a large bright area, then a real bright center. Then using a very large brush I took quick passes around the moon to better blend it in. When I had what I wanted the moon still did not seem to blend it to well -- too much of a contrast difference. So I got a royal-bluish color on my brush and made a few passes -- I liked that so much I made some random passes around the sky with it --it added a better texture to the clouds.

While I had the brush like that I made a few passes over the water to add some blue.

Voila -- sundown sailing

--steve buser

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tails worth pinching

What could be a better sight than a table loaded with boiled crawfish and all the trimmings.This Cajun treat was from my sister's house in New Orleans over Mardi Gras -- pour the batch out on the table and everybody gather around.

Be sure to catch all the extras in there. On the left is boiled potatoes -- great just like that, or save them for the next day for hash browns or potato salad. On the right, you see the little piece of white -- that's an onion, grab it fast.

The green on the right and other places is celery --oh, like you have never tasted celery before. There are pieces of garlic and lemon in there but you can't make them out.

Okay, now that you have read all that, things have cooled down just a bit, everybody gather, round and dig in... that is, start pinching tails.

--steve buser

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Twin pup ups

Another shot from the Mandeville Dog Parade out on the lakefront this past weekend. The question I have is, "are these guys having fun? Or, are they just putting up with this? -- 'oh, no, not another parade with costumes.' " The weather was surprisingly warm with temperatures in the high 70's. That made for a great day for parading your favorite favorite Fido through the crowd.

--steve buser

Monday, February 11, 2008

Krewe of canines

We were at the Mandeville Dog Parade on the lakefront yesterday. Not your typical parade. First off, the parade route was only a few feet wide -- with all the kids squeezing in to pet each dog as it went by, it was more of a snaky route than a straight one.

Second, there were more creative costumes than in any of the human marching parades. But clearly, costumed or not, the dogs were the main feature. They came in all sizes and shapes --Greyhounds to Pekinese and everything in between. The parade drew more than a couple thousand spectators -- much larger than I would have thought. We had to park and walk several blocks to get to the event.

This guy in the picture was my favorite -- he just look so happy to have his 2,000 closest friends around.

--steve buser

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunset swirling

Out at the lakefront of New Orleans last night this flock of seagulls were swirling in the sunset. The effect was pure eye-candy.

--steve buser

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Passing excitement

This is the essence of the Mardi Gras mystique. The excitement that passes from the float rider to the parade fan through a pair of beads, a plush toy, a doubloon, what have you.

This is from the Toth parade this past Mardi Gras. By the way, notice the rose in the pocket of the young lady. You have to toggle down a couple post to get the story on that.

--steve buser

Feathery February festival

You're up to one last look at Mardi Gras in New Orleans before we move on to other topics aren't you? This rider was having a good time at the Toth parade showing off his Mardi Gras Indian style regalia. The bright feathers stood out from the crowd and brought a lot of encouraging shots from the parade goers.

--steve buser

Friday, February 8, 2008

It;s a really big throw!

It's the really big throw that everyone lives for at Mardi Gras in New Orleans -- the plush toy, the wad of beads, the beads made of huge balls, the Indian spear. Here a bundle of beads goes sailing in one of the parades this past weekend as Mardi Gras came to a climax. It's the interaction between the crowd and float throwers that is fun to watch.

--steve buser

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Among the gods

On the top of the float, towering over the screaming crowds. Looking down to find the chosen ones to receive your treasures, I am sure one could get the feeling of being among the gods for this Mardi Gras celebration. This float was in the Endymion parade in Mid City of New Orleans on the the weekend before Mardi Gras.

--steve buser

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

M'lady, for thee a rose

What would Mardi Gras be without the rose. The marching clubs may exact a kiss from a fair damsel in exchange for a rose, but a float rider cannot come that near. His rose is passed from above to the selected lady. It just part of the New Orleans Mardi Gras ambiance. The scene is from the Toth parade this past weekend on Magazine street.

--steve buser

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Raucus Bacchus

Bacchus goers yell and scream for beads and throws as the float pass by. The Sunday night parade (shown here on Napoleon Ave. in New Olreans) lights up the town as it rolls the Super Parade route -- Napoleon to St. Charles down to Canal Street.

Napoleon is a great spot to catch a parade because of the wide lanes and the extra wide neutral ground (median).

-- steve buser

Monday, February 4, 2008

Scary Movie, the sequel?

Isn't this the part in the movie where you start screaming at the screen "Turn around!"?

Actually, the camera is playing with the scale here. The girl is sitting on someone's shoulders and the parade float is approaching from a good ways away. But the juxtaposition and compressed depth of field make you feel like you're in a "B" scary movie.

The scene is from Endymion parade on North Carrollton Ave. this past Saturday in New Orleans, on the lead up to the big Mardi Gras Day tomorrow.

"Look out. Turn around."

--steve buser

Bird men

Enjoying the fun of the costume regalia, while trying to ride a unicycle (right) and bicycle (left), this group of would-be bird men give the crowd a real laugh before the Toth parade on Magazine Street at the New Orleans Mardi Gras yesterday.

--steve buser

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Parade madness

Every month on the first of the month, a couple hundred City Daily Photo bloggers take part in Theme Day. The theme this month is "What is your city known for?" Unfortunately, the first of the month snug up on me too fast and I missed it.

Better late than never -- New Orleans, jazz, exciting food, art, festivals.... but probably more than anything New Orleas is known for the Mardi Gras. This from the Krewe of Endymion last night at they toss throws throughout Mid City. It was a show to remember. We were near Carrollton and Bienville streets.

-- steve buser

Here's the other's who participated in Theme day -- when you click on their pages, you'll have to page down a little to see their theme day photo and see what their city is known for.

Portland (OR), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Memphis (Tennessee), USA - Manila, Philippines - San Diego (CA), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - New York City (NY), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - San Francisco (CA), USA - Mumbai (Maharashtra), India - Mainz, Germany - Weston (FL), USA - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Turin, Italy - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Bicheno, Australia - Durban, South Africa - Joplin (MO), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Brussels, Belgium - Chicago (IL), USA - Montpellier, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mazatlan, Mexico - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Sesimbra, Portugal - Toulouse, France - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Susanville (CA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Helsinki, Finland - Pilisvörösvár, Hungary - Lisbon, Portugal - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Trujillo, Peru - Dunedin (FL), USA - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - London, UK - Baziège, France - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Mumbai, India - Naples (FL), USA - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Setúbal, Portugal - Stayton (OR), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Sofia, Bulgaria - Arradon, France - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Athens, Greece - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Jackson (MS), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Budapest, Hungary - Rotterdam, Netherlands - St Malo, France - Chandler (AZ), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Cleveland (OH), USA - Nottingham, UK - Kansas City (MO), USA - The Hague, Netherlands - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Wroc?aw, Poland - Chateaubriant, France - Cheltenham, UK - Moscow, Russia - Monrovia (CA), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - Torun’, Poland - Grenoble, France - Lisbon, Portugal - New Orleans (LA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Boston (MA), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Wichita (KS), USA - Radonvilliers, France - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Christchurch, New Zealand - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Wailea (HI), USA - Aliso Viejo (CA), USA - St Francis, South Africa - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - Seattle (WA), USA - Pasadena (CA), USA - Vienna, Austria - Orlando (FL), USA - Torun, Poland - Delta (CO), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA

Friday, February 1, 2008

Kite runner

The kite. Our thoughts and dreams soar with it. And when it won't soar it seems like our life is in the doldrums. I caught this family trying to get this kite flying in a light wind out on the lake front. Eventually they had to use leg power to keep it in flight -- running around creating their own wind.

--steve buser