Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

Starting up a website. www.megapixeltravel.com, with my son, Graeme, was one of the major milestones for the year. Graeme had been prodding me to think about a blog format for my photo postings for quite some time so this was the year that it happened. I like to add text to the photos that I post. Although that works fine on Flickr for single photos, a blog format provides me with a better sense of continuity of thought and sequence of events when uploading a series of photos. In 2011, I intend to continue uploading to Flickr but will likely leave the story-telling here with my blog uploads.

Boxing Day 2010 has arrived with sunny skies and -10C temperatures a far different situation than Boxing Day 2009. Icicles on the Thule.

Rather than seeking out one “best” photos, here are some of the highlights of my year and some of the memories that keep me attached to my camera. Clicking on the thumbnail images in this annual review will take you to a larger version on my Flickr photostream or to the specific blog entry associated with that photo.

New Year's Eve Fireworks - Mont Tremblant, Quebec Photographing fireworks on the ski slopes of Mt. Tremblant in Quebec to end the old year (2009) and start the new year (2010).

With hands out they waited Kanata Badminton Club meeting on Jack Pine Trail Flickr Wakefield outing - March 16, 2010 - Unabridged Yup! Definitely tastes like Introducing complete strangers to the enjoyment of feeding the Chickadees or meeting friends out on Ottawa’s Greenbelt trails and enjoying the company of like-minded souls on outings with Ottawa’s Flickr groups

The creation of a masterpiece - Winterlude ice sculptures - Feb 2010 Crocuses in shock! +27C/81F today! Where there are dreams there is hope. Watching artists at work carving large blocks of ice into masterpieces at Ottawa’s Winterlude and then seeing another Spring arrive and being able to use my camera to help out in a small way at the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans.

A project of Mairin Peck in Oregon Stonehaven Drive Fire - Kanata, Ontario Helping students achieve their goals and being glad that not all fires take lives.

Last campground site - Obatanga Provincial Park -  Breeding Bird Survey Road to Dubreuilville, Ontario 5AM Awaking many, many mornings at 4:30AM to conduct Breeding Bird Surveys for Environment Canada.

Full Moon - VMC 50th - Vincent Massey Collegiate, Winnipeg (Fort Garry), Manitoba Participating in some of the craziness of my school’s 50th anniversary reunion under the watchful eye of a full moon.

 The group The hosts of the show - Jennifer Podemski and Don Kelly - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! 2010 - Ottawa, Ontario Kinnie Starr - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! - Ottawa, Ontario Inez - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! Grandfather William Commanda, Algonquin Elder, Keeper of the Sacred Wampum Belts readies for greetings and opening ceremonies - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! - Ottawa, Ontario David Usher - Canada Day 2010 - Kanata, Ontario Photographing local events and concerts. I don’t normally take photos of people, so this was a new challenge for me. “Sloan” and “Monkey Junk” at Ottawa’s Westfest; “The Initial Reaction” and “Insensitivity Training” and “The Duck Wife” at Ottawa’s Fringe Festival; “Jennifer Podemski”, “Don Kelly”, “Kinnie Starr”, “Inez”, “Lucie Idlout”, “Digging Roots” and Algonquin elder, Grandfather William Commanda, at the APTN (Aboriginal People’s Television Network) broadcast; “David Usher” and “Elliot Brood” on Canada Day: and “Blue Rodeo” later in the year.

Grand Hall - Museum of Civilization Finally taking my camera to the Museum of Civilization, a much overdue totem pole experience.

Osgoode Medieval Festival 2010 -  Am I missing something?   :-) Taking Aim - Battle of the Thousand Islands 250th Anniversary Commemoration - Fort de la Presentation - Ogdensburg, NY Land Battle  - Battle of the Thousand Islands 250th Anniversary Commemoration - Fort de la Presentation - Ogdensburg, NY From the staircase - Boldt Castle, Heart Island, NY Pump House - Boldt Castle, Heart Island, NY Taking a step back in time at medieval festivals and re-enactments and restored “castles”.

Black and Yellow Argiope Spider Christina and the butterflies Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks Running out of light! Experiencing the excitement of finding a bug, flower, bird or animal that I haven’t seen or photographed before or successfully testing my recuperated Achilles with a nice mountain climb with my wife, or just enjoying the thrill of another beautiful sunset.

Lion cub out for a morning stroll - Serengeti, Tanzania Lion in the Serengeti Lilac-breasted Roller Licking the lips. Mmm. Good. Of course, spending two weeks in Africa looking at lions, elephants, giraffes and exotic birds with Graeme does have its benefits and plenty of high points.

Photographing lights at night is always a favourite pastime especially when winter approaches and I don’t have to stay up all night to do it!

Shades of Nudity - Sculpture Garden - City Park, New Orleans Alien Communication Device - Canada Day 2010 , Kanata, Ontario And, finally, to finish off this rather long post, there is the enjoyment that I get when wondering what people think when they search on words like “nude men” or “alien communication devices ” and arrive at my on-line offerings :-).

Fireworks - Canada Day 2010 in Kanata Not sure where I will be on New Year’s Eve but, hopefully, I will find more fireworks to photograph where ever I end up being.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

New Orleans, City Park, Botanical Gardens

Better Swamps and Garden Club - New Orleans

New Orleans, City Park, Botanical Gardens

The first weekend that I was in New Orleans (April 10-11, 2010), the botanical garden area of City Park was hosting the Annual Spring Garden show showcasing the various garden clubs and local vendors of all sorts of garden related plants and ornaments. I decided that April 11th, I would go to the show. An eclectic mix for certain.
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Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, Louisiana

Where there are dreams there is hope.


Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, Louisiana

During this visit to New Orleans, I spent an afternoon in the lower ninth ward photographing the general area and gathering specific photos for a volunteer organization working to raise funds and rebuild the community. (location) Hard to imagine what the community was like before Hurricane Katrina and still hard to imagine what the rebuilt community will look like when all of the current projects reach fruition.

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St. Patrick’s Day Parade – New Orleans 2009

We were in New Orleans and looking for a parade.  We had missed the main St. Patrick’s parade but were told not to worry because, in New Orleans, there is always a parade somewhere! So with that in mind, and a bit more questioning, we arrived at the Marigny Brasserie at the corner of Royal and Frenchmen.

Now came the next big question, to eat or wait.

No one seemed to have an exact time for when the local parade might start. They all agreed that we were in the ideal spot. They all agreed that the parade participants would come down Royal and turn at Frenchmen, but no one seemed to know exactly when!

Eventually some activity, some noise and the parade began with a cavalcade of dune buggies leading the way.

** see more dune buggies at the end of this post if you are interested in seeing the many varieties, etc. ***

The Farhad Grotto Klowns Funster bus marked the end of the buggies and the start of the banners, marchers and musicians. A lot of P&S cameras flashing away and then there was me and this fellow right out there in the middle of the road :-).

The predominant color was, of course, GREEN.

New Orleans, Louisiana – A French Quarter Walkabout

Having already spent some time in Jackson Square, we continued on with looking at the various streets, buildings and sights in the French Quarter.

This post is generally a photographic look at the architecture that one might see when strolling down the streets of the French Quarter or riding along in one of the carriages that ply the streets replete with tourists.

Some of the establishments, such as Checkpoint Charlies, have played a pivotal role in the music and laundromat business for a long time, while others such as Stanley’s are relative newcomers. Still others house upscale restaurants while others haven’t changed at all over the years and still provide apartments to the local residents.

It was St. Patrick’s day so street performers and many of those walking the streets were decked out in many shades of green.

Some of the buildings were more colourfully painted than others :-).

While others barely get thorough Mardi Gras before starting to get ready for the St. Patrick’s Day parades.

We also wanted to watch the local St. Patrick’s Day parade so slowly made our way over to the area of Royal and Frenchmen where primarily locals had begun to assemble on street corners with their families to meet with their neighbors and friends and wait patiently for the commencement of the parade.

Photos of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade are in a separate blog entry.

 

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New Orleans, Louisiana – Jackson Square on Decatur Street

Having landed in New Orleans, wandered the streets a bit at night and then greeted the sunrise, acting like a tourist and going from statue to statue was a necessary step in getting acquainted with the history of New Orleans and the French Quarter. At the first statue, I learned that the official founder of New Orleans (founded in 1717) was one Jean Baptiste de Bienville who was born in Montreal in 1680 and died in Paris in 1767. After learnign that information it was off along Decatur Street to Jackson Square, a beautiful park with the sun shining and flowers blooming.

Major General Andrew Jackson – Commander of the American Forces in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. This battle is considered to have been the last major battle of the War of 1812. Jackson went on to become 7th President of the United States.

Saint Louis Cathedral

 

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Time to Wake up! New Orleans, Louisiana

French Quarter sunrise (the moon is just as confused as I am) - New Orleans

Time to Wake up! New Orleans, Louisiana

Operating on only a few hours sleep, I knew that I would need my tripod more than ever this morning if I was going to get any early morning shooting done. For a bit of variety in accommodation, I had booked us into the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter for the first nights and the French Quarter ‘W” Hotel for a couple of nights. Both excellent but completely different. The Omni had a roof top pool, terrace and observation area, so it was my first priority to force my eyelids apart on our first morning there to get up on the roof for some shots at sunrise. I’m happy that I did. It was partially overcast and a bit foggy, so there was no drastic change from dark to light but rather a slow colouration crept into the cloud cover as the morning progressed.

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New Orleans, Louisiana

Some restaurants have more character than others - French Quarter - New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

The first thing to do was find out where there was a good place to eat.  So we asked, “Where is the French Quarter is a good place to eat?”  And they answered, “Man, where you from? Don’t you know?  Everywhere in the French Quarter is a good place to eat!”

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