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Mobile Mardi Gras

Mobile, Alabama is home to (arguably) the country's first Mardi Gras.  They have been parading and celebrating for over 150 years.  Think of the Mobile's Mardi Gras as a more "family friendly" version of New Orlean's notorious party - the kind your mother will enjoy, too.  The last two years I've visited Mobile with my Mom and attended some of the Mardi Gras parades.  I've loved the spirit of fun ... everyone is smiling and playing.  Great music.  Fying Moonpies.  Tons of throws.  Festive hats.  All walks of Mobile Society are out and about together. This celebration of culture and traditions is special. I'm sharing some photos from attending two parades this year on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday and LundiGras in February 2016.   More photos from 2015 Mardi Gras are in the photo galleries link.  If you want to learn more about Mobile's fabulous celebration, check out the Mobile Mask.

What Makes an Image Memorable?

A friend recently sent me a Washington Post Article about a study out where scientists test images for Memorability. Take a look at these four photographs I took in Africa last spring and rank them according to which photo you believe is most "Memorable".  As in, "The viewer likely to remember the image 100 seconds after they first saw the image.           Ready for the Results?  I was surprised ...   I love all of these photos.  But my favorite image of the entire travels to Africa - the Girl in Pink - ranked the lowest on memorability.  A mere 46.5% of you, the the viewers, will remember this photo for more than 100 seconds. The most memorable photo of this group is the Flamingo ... ranked high as very memorable with 81% memorability beyond 100 seconds.  BeeEater follows with 75% and Dunes of Namibia with 66%, a mediocre medium. Much of the basis of this study boils down to what graphic designers and professional photographers already know about photo composition and color of an image.  They earn their living choosing the images and designing the graphics that please the eye and successfully sell their wares ... they want you to remember their image from the advertisement you saw when you are out shopping for your next pair of shoes. Where the study falls short, though, is in measuring the intangible.  To me, a memorable image awakens emotions.  Or shows an unrecognized truth.  Or prompts re-living a memory.  Or peaks curiosity and a desire to learn more about a person or a place. To me, the little girl in her white dress and bright pink coat slowly sauntering barefoot along the boardwalk - lost in her own world and thoughts and framed by the mountains of South Africa's Southern Cape - evokes my curiosity and stirs my imagination more than a picture-perfect image of a beautifully posed and

Some Photos I like from Rome

These women were part of a procession for Good Friday.  Twelve straining men carried an image of the Virgin, while eight more carried a prone wooden Jesus.  The women walked backwards facing the virgin singing.  The priests led hymns and call and response prayer.  Good Friday Procession  Pasqua is everywhere in Rome, and the city is packed with pilgrims who have come to celebrate Easter and the new Pope.Pasqua Street Performances have been my favorite part of the last few days of roaming the city.  I've seen magic, classical musicians, grey headed garage rockers covering Pink Floyd, illusionists and clever performance art meant to inspire the imagination.  This performer is taking a break - possibly pushed out of a lucrative area where thousands of visitors are crossing the bridge to the Vatican.Street performer on a breakThe fun goes on, regardless of the somber Good Friday procession that just passed.  A street performer plays and entertains.Too Much fun in the Piazza in Testeverde Narrow streets, bright colored buildings and the ever-present motorbikes mark urban living in Rome.Street View in TesteverdeAn Angel guards the bridge to the Vatican.  There is art at every turn, and the fun of roaming the city is coming across surprises.