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A Frog, Food, and Cajun Culture: A Trip to Louisiana

Originally posted on my Contingency Writer’s Blog

I arrived home at about midnight this morning after a 10-day trip in Louisiana. The primary reasons for my visit were to see family, and to work on a romance novel and the third Detective Games entry; although it became a great deal more.

Instead of a linear progression for this blog post, I’d like to try out bullet points!

  • I tried my hand… er, legs, at Irish dancing. My cousins had been Irish dancing for years, and I had come along to support them. Their instructor welcomed me to join in as well. My fencing instructor had always said I should go dancing, and about a year apart from his remarks, I was clumsily thumping across a multipurpose ballet studio.
  • Trekking through Jean Lafitte National Park, I wished I had first put on some bug spray, with the presence of a multitude of mosquitos. But the beauty of the marsh and swamplands were incredible, and afforded the opportunity for many pictures.
A tiny tree frog

A tiny tree frog

A young alligator surfaces near a walkway

A young alligator surfaces near a walkway

  • We visited Destrehan Plantation and took a tour of the grounds, with its grand trees covered in Spanish moss, and learnt of the vast history, including the day to day lives of the household owners and the enslaved, as well as the construction process and architectural functions. At the end, a blacksmith with a heavy cajun accent, demonstrated the use of his forge.
  • The food. Oh boy, the food. The delicious simplicity of red beans and rice, messy po’ boys, savory gumbo and jambalaya, fun flavors with stuffed snowballs, and the mandatory beignets (from Café du Monde) I had to have on a daily basis.
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Beignets and powdered sugar! Yum!

Savory gumbo!

Savory gumbo!

  • The French Quarter was a fun experience, with sights to see, a banana smoothie in hand, and trinkets to be had in the market.
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The Jackson equestrian statue

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Cheval Ailé et Tour Eiffel: France Photography

Paris Portait (PNG Image)

Ahhh, beautiful Paris! This wonderful sunset scene was captured a few paces away from “Le Coucher du Lion.” Also in the vicinity of the popular Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel.

As the others, this photograph was taken using the Kodak Easyshare M341, with a focal length of 6mm, and settings at 1/400s, f/3.1, ISO 80. Thank-you WordPress.

 

 

 

Point de la Mort: Nouveau – WWII Render

Derived from the post “Point de la Mort: World War II,” I developed artistically rendered this photograph to alter its tone and pave the way for a future use, perhaps as a book or short story cover (War at Our Doorstep, for example). The iMac’s Preview application has been invaluable for such tweaking.

Normandy Cannon (PNG Image)

“During World War 2, these cannons were more than menacing. Having significant range to fire upon the beaches a substantial few miles away, the man operating this machine of death could be almost completely disconnected from the battle at hand.” This render was cropped and meddled with until it had the color and tone I had been hoping to establish.

The Horse and Rider

Horse and Rider (PNG Image)

A rendered shadow of a horse and its rider. Albeit it could use a touch-up here and there.

I was searching through my photography and video collections, in hopes of finding something worth posting (and catching up with what posts I’ve missed in the postaday2012 challenge), when I had the idea of capturing a frame in one video, upon seeing the shadow of a horse and I. With GIMP, I added some extra effects to bring the graphic “to life,” although not without the consistent combo of CTRL | CMD + Z (undo). The scattered bits of pixel are due to a mishap with the “magic wand.”

A Parisian Medley: Photographie

Rouen-Giverny (PNG Image)

A photographic medley of France. I incorporated flowers from Monet’s Garden in Giverny and the memorial cross of Joan of Arc in Rouen. ©2012 Zechariah Barrett – All Rights Reserved.

Up the Mangled Tree: Leaning on Firm Ground (II)

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“We found this tree while searching the mountainside for our kayaking destination. I struck me as peculiar and I decided to snap a pic while stumbling over the steep, rock-strewn slope.” And boy was it steep at times, or perhaps it only seemed so, since I was attempting to take decent compositions along the way while keeping up with our party. Note the blur in the upper-left hand corner, tis’ evidence of my… “gracefulness.”

The Crashing Waves

The first imagery presented in my novel is that of crashing waves (and a rude awakening to boot). Within the prologue, it sets a mysterious tone for the novel, albeit does not come to fruition until the seventh chapter. It was also the first passage I turned to when I began systematically revising my novel for stylistic disruptions.

Below are photographs I’ve taken on my travels, any guess as to where? Or what [type of] body of water? The answer may seem surprising.

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A beautiful portrait of the interweaving hues of blue, lapping against the shore with great tranquility.

Crashing Waves-AW (JPEG Image)

This crop is my favorite of the two, albeit not the one used for my “working cover,” due to size restrictions. The scope of the waves, and the flow of the water is much more comprehensive.

 

The location was by far not the most striking, as Oregon, Ireland, or France. Although I attained some nice compositions, with some slight altering to return them to their intended beauty.

 

 

Lackluster & Brilliancy: Contrast in Photography

Often times, when a photographic gem presents itself, it must be captured in the spur-of-the-moment, during which the adjustment of the lens, exposure, and whatnot will result in the loss of a moving subject. A few days ago I provided a glimpse at what little steps I take to restore compositions to their intended beauty.

Below is the original (albeit cropped and resized for space preservation and artistic purposes) version of the Courageous Takeoff, as well as the modified version which was included in the Goose~ology post.

"Unaltered" PNG Image

Unaltered with exception to cropping, resizing, and reformatting (JPEG – PNG). No touch-ups.

Altered PNG Image

What follows “The Triumphant Charge?” The Courageous Takeoff.

The difference is staggering, is it not?

 

 

 

 

Duck~ology: Neighbors Set Apart

The duck population and the goose population, while inhabiting the same territory, keep their distance. While the “doose hybrid” is excluded from both parties.

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The evening light dances upon the waters as a duck awaits its companions.

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A mallard surveys the tranquil waters.

The celebration tonight was a tremendous success and I had just enough time to go canoeing with a friend and engage in some photography. The lake where these ducks live is, unfortunately, filled with pollution from the city streets. Garbage and toxic chemicals make the place rather unhandsome for fishing, and an odious habitation for the wildwife.

 

Leaning on Firm Ground: Nature Photography

Tonight I’m working on a slideshow consisting of pictures from my childhood, for a special occasion tomorrow. And now, without further ado, the “warped tree!”

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We found this tree while searching the mountainside for our kayaking destination. I struck me as peculiar and I decided to snap a pic while stumbling over the steep, rock-strewn slope.