Category Archives: Naima

The Driving Force

I feel it has been too long since I have had a post devoted to Naima. This is an error that I will correct today.

These pictures come from an October trip to Dickcissel Park.

Naima does enjoy getting in the water at Dickcissel, but she will only go as deep as her paws touch the ground.

Enjoy these pictures of Naima:


Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

I’ll try not to go so long without a day of Naima pictures in the future!

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Just a reminder that the theme for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is FORMAL PORTRAIT:


WEEK 183 - FORMAL PORTRAIT
FORMAL PORTRAIT

A FORMAL PORTRAIT doesn’t have to be in a studio with a bunch of fancy lights. For our purposes, a FORMAL PORTRAIT is a portrait of somebody when they know they you are taking their picture and they are posing for the picture.

Happy photo harvesting!

Selfie Project – February

Seems like a good time to check in with the progress on THE SELFIE PROJECT.

I don’t think that February was my best work. Apparently I need to get out more and see more people because it seems like I didn’t leave my house much in February from these pictures.

But looks can be deceiving. Nothing deceiving about that bear though.


February 1, 2019
February 1

February 3, 2019
February 3

February 5, 2019
February 5

February 6, 2019
February 6

February 7, 2019
February 7

February 8, 2019
February 8

February 10, 2019
February 10

February 13, 2019
February 13

February 15, 2019
February 15

February 18, 2019
February 18

February 20, 2019
February 20

February 21, 2019
February 21

February 24, 2019
February 24

February 25, 2019
February 25

February 26, 2019
February 26

February 27, 2019
February 27

February 28, 2019
February 28

I’ll try to be more interesting in March.

I Know What I Did Last Mother’s Day…

Reminder that tomorrow night the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group will be holding a fundraiser for their mission trip to Rapid City, South Dakota in June:


Ash Wednesday Spaghetti Supper

Cost is a free will donation. Come eat some delicious spaghetti. Throw a few ducats into the till. Heck, even stick around and enjoy a wonderful worship service. Support a good cause and borderline great kids!

Hope to see many of you there!
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While I work on the 2018 backlog, the most recent folder I cleared out was from pictures I took on Mother’s Day.

They range from pictures of my nephews grilling to pictures of me working on a self-portrait project (that heavily involves updating classic Photography 139 image “Blue Steel”) and pictures of Naima.

Enjoy:


Mother's Day - 2018

Mother's Day - 2018

Mother's Day - 2018

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTRAIT

The original “Blue Steel” was considered too sexy to hang on the wall of Salon 908. I’m not going to bother trying to get Blue Steel Redux on any public walls. However, one of them could be part of the Canvas Wall Project.

The “Great Blizzard” of 2019

Here in the greater metropolitan area of Boone, Iowa we got somewhat of a blizzard starting last Saturday night and going into Sunday. While in Boone we didn’t get a ton of snow, we did get a ton of wind.

On Saturday afternoon I went to watch the Iowa State women’s basketball team play the #1 Baylor Bears with my Mom. While the Cyclones gave it a valiant effort, they fell short. There is a reason why Baylor is the #1 team in the country… that reason is size. You can’t coach size and it is really hard to defend. But Iowa State gave it a great try and heading into their Tuesday evening game with the Texas Longhorns, they are currently tied for 2nd… with Texas. If they win that game, they have a really good shot to finish 2nd in the Big 12 by their lonesome. They will have only 1 game remaining. A home tilt with the lowly Kansas Jayhawks.

We went back to Boone immediately following the game and dined at The Colorado Grill. By the time we left The Colorado Grill it was snowing heavily. I spent the rest of Saturday night at home watching college basketball and working on my current organizational products.

When I awoke to take on the world Sunday morning, church had been cancelled. While there wasn’t much new snow, the wind had drifted it across my driveway in at least 2 foot drifts.

There is a company that comes to plow out my driveway, so I hung in my house, made some Jack’s pizza, watched a ton of Netflix, and waited to be plowed out.

Since I was stuck at home, I did go out to the back yard to photograph some of the results of the snowstorm:


2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

2019 Blizzard

The plow guy didn’t show up until after 8 AM on Monday morning. I was 2 hours late for work. US30 was a sheet of ice. I’m really starting to miss warm weather. I’m the type of person that normally doesn’t care… but this winter has been a bit much.

That Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t There

I decided recently to buy a set of neutral density filters. I considered spending a good chunk of coin on some really nice filters, but while I was poking around looking for a set to buy I came across a set of 40 filters for cheap.

Now I’m not a fool. I know the 40 set of filters isn’t super high quality. They aren’t even made out of glass. However, that doesn’t mean that can’t get the job done.

I haven’t cracked out the neutral density filters, but I did take the red filter for a little trip around the backyard with everybody’s favorite model Naima.

At first look, you might be confused as to why the pictures of Naima below are black and white. You need to understand that colored filters are usually used with black and white photography.

What does a red filter do:

Red filters are a favorite among landscape photographers and are often used to add drama. In nature photography, a red filter will increase the contrast between red flowers and green foliage. A red filter will deepen a blue sky and make white clouds pop out. It can also decrease the effects of haze and fog. In some cases, depending on its strength, a red filter could even turn the sky black.*

Normally I would encourage people to always shoot in color (when shooting digital) and shoot in RAW. You can change color pictures to black & white in post production, but you can’t add color (yes, but you know what I mean) to a black and white picture in post.

However, these pictures are taken in the high contrast monochrome setting on my camera. Therefore it was taken in .jpg.

If you are using color filters in black & white photography I would not urge you to shoot the pictures in color, since you are going for an in camera special effect right out of the shoot.

These pictures were not edited in any way. These are straight out of the camera:


Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

Naima - Red Filter Test

39 more filters to test. Or so.

*From exposureguide.com

Remember Tonight…

I thought I would take a Friday off from regaling you with events from the Alamo Bowl Road Trip because, I do now own the drone that I have been planning to own for several months now.

While admittedly, I only reached 9 of my 10 goals, nobody has seemed to displeased with the fact that I’ve switch the filling of my change jar to when I pulled the trigger on the Sony RX0.

I received the DJI Mavic 2 Pro on Wednesday. I was able to put it together and charge the batteries and read parts of the manual. Because I wanted to at least see it in the air, I flew it about a foot off my dining room table and took a picture.

When I got home from work on Thursday there was a brief respite in the harsh weather conditions and I was able to fly it around my backyard for a bit and snap a few more pictures.

Therefore I present the first pictures taken with Photography 139 One (name unofficial and probably will change by the end of this blog):


Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

This is the tip of the iceberg. There will be plenty more drone blogs in the future. A full review and tons of video. Tons of video!

I can report that Naima is not a big fan of Rodan 139 (see, I told you the name would change), but I feel in time she will grow to love it. Like how she loves being carried to the basement to watch Iowa State basketball games or two watch the feature movie on Movie Night or how she loves inflatable things or how she loves her dog food bag.

Speaking of Movie Night, Movie Night in February will be ON February 17. Projector rolls at 6 PM. The feature will be FORTY GUNS. It will be the first (but certainly not the last) Samuel Fuller movie shown during Movie Night. The B Movie is still to be determined. Snack currently to be determined, but popcorn will definitely be on the menu.

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is EYE:


WEEK 178 - EYE
EYE

An EYE photo is simple enough. It is a picture of an EYE or anything EYE related.

Happy photo harvesting!

Selfie Project – January

Loyal leaders may recall that I started up the Selfie Project again in 2019. At the end of every month I will check-in with it to share some of my favorites from the month.

If you don’t want to wait until the end of the month, you can follow me on the Instagram to see what I have done and where I have been.

To follow me on the Instagram, scan my Nametag below:


Instagram Nametag

Spoiler: For January I’m not sure I did anything all that exciting. Although I did leave Iowa once to visit the Miller Triplets in Kansas.

Here are my favorites:


December 31, 2018
December 31, 2018

January 4, 2019
January 4

January 8, 2019
January 8

January 10, 2019
January 10

January 12, 2019
January 12

January 14, 2019
January 14

January 16, 2019
January 16

January 17, 2019
January 17

January 18, 2019
January 18

January 20, 2019
January 20

January 21, 2019
January 21

January 22, 2019
January 22

January 23, 2019
January 23

January 25, 2019
January 25

January 26, 2019
January 26

January 27, 2019
January 27

January 29, 2019
January 29

January 30, 2019
January 30

January 31, 2019
January 31

Hopefully I will be interesting in February. There is a baby I need to visit up in Minnesota. A baby I need to visit down in Des Moines. If the weather gets nicer, I could spend some time pursuing THE TOWN SIGNS PROJECT or I could spend the entire month hanging around the house with Naima.

The struggle is real!

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Here is a big update on my pursuit of a drone:

  1. Car paid off. – I got the pink slip daddy!
  2. Training Budget Reimbursement – Bought about 10 books and signed up for an online portrait photography class that I will discuss someday.
  3. Purchase Popcorn Maker – The Union Street theater has procured its very own popcorn maker from Flat Earth Joe. The one that was borrowed from Andy’s friend of a friend has been returned.
  4. Computer Upgrade – I have completed upgrades on my home computer. I’ve put in a solid state drive to run the OS and the applications, I upped the RAM to 16 GB and I replaced the video card with a video card with twice the ram and that is capable of running 3 monitors.
  5. Figure out the effect of the Iowa GOP Tax Scam – The Iowa GOP Tax Scam will indeed result in me paying more taxes. There is about a $7 effect on my paycheck, meaning I am getting a tax cut of roughly $200. (Assuming the withholding from my paycheck is being done right.) However, since the Iowa GOP Tax Scam made it so a 6% sales tax is levied on all online purchases, I will be taxed well more than the $200 benefit. For example, I’ll pay over $100 in taxes on purchasing the drone that I wouldn’t have had to pay before the Iowa GOP Tax Scam became law. 
  6. Rear Brakes – I had the rear brakes replaced on my car last night. It costs me about 40% of what I was expecting Win!
  7. Computer Mine Bonus – I did indeed get a Computer Mine Bonus. I can’t complain about it one bit. 
  8. Bank Fraud Resolution – I am going to consider the bank fraud situation resolved. I haven’t received a letter saying that it is a done deal, but the bank did place the $350 that I requested in my bank account as a provisional credit. The investigation is still to be closed by January 31. I have a naive faith that the investigation will end in my favor. Otherwise, Credit Union Time?
  9. Federal GOP Tax Scam – The Tax Scam didn’t effect my tax refund at all. It was almost like it wasn’t meant to be a tax cut for lower class and middle class people. It is almost like it was a cash grab for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations under the ludicrous precept that some of the benefits would trickle down to us poor folks. I can say this with 100% certainty. I respect a person that believes the earth is flat way more than I respect somebody that believes in the Laffer Curve. 
  10. Change Jar -I have added some change to the change jar, including the change I won in a football pool at the Computer Mine. However, I am still probably 2 inches short of being almost full. I should effort to go through the cushions of my couches. If I can get within one inch, of the top of the jar, I will call this quest complete and proceed to order my drone.

That looks identical to last week’s drone update. This is because it is identical to last week’s drone update.

Here is what is different. I’ve decided not to wait until the coin jar is full to pull the trigger on the drone. I pulled the trigger last Friday and it should arrive to be safely caressed in my arms tomorrow.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to actually use it due to the weather, but I will monitor the weather closely. It is possible that the first day of decent weather I’ll take off of work and go play in the skies above us. No higher than 400 feet and not within 5 miles of an airport.

I know what you’re thinking, you snagged your reward before achieving your goals. That shows a lack of discipline. This is very disheartening, considering you have been yammering on and on to anybody that would listen that you are going to be more financially responsible this year.

This is true. My main goal of 2019 is to be lest wasteful with money in certain ways. However, the benefit of that is that I get to be more wasteful in other veins.

My way of being more financially responsible is to have set some goals.

Goal #1: Decrease my actual debt load my a certain amount of money. I’m not heavily in debt. I have a house payment and some credit card debt. However, while I don’t have a car payment, I want to hammer on my debt and get it below #X by the end of the year. I’ll report on my progress here, because congratulations, you just became my accountability buddies.

Goal #2: Figure out why my website is costing me so much more money than I ever intended. I have partially concluded this goal. I actually (I know people should do these things) sat down and reviewed what my webhost was charging me. I discovered that I was paying $10 a month for something called Website Builder, that I don’t use. I built my website with my own two hands and Vest’s two hands and WordPress. They are also charging me like 8 bucks a month for PHP 5.2+. I’m still trying to figure out whether or not I need that, but at the very least, I’m saving $120 bucks a year on this website.

Goal #3: To stop wasting so much money going out to lunch at work. It is not an exaggeration to say that in 2018 and the years before I went out to lunch, on average 4.5 out of 5 work days a week. If I conservatively estimate the average lunch to be $10, I probably spent $200 a month on lunch. That is $2400 a year. My goal is to only eat out for lunch 20% of the year. I estimate that just by bringing lunch from home, I can save $1800 a year. The good news is that I’m on track this year. In January there were 22 work days. I went out to lunch one time. I’m currently at a 4.5% eating out for lunch percentage. My worry is that I will get burned out on eating in. So I’m going to try to mix it up as much as possible. If you have any cheap, healthy lunches that are easy to prepare either at work or on the Sunday before the work week starts, throw them my way. This week I’m eating overnight oats. This space is a place where I might also share some of the recipes I come across. I have to thank American Ninja Steve for introducing me to overnight oats. I’m not making his recipe yet because it involves lots of exotic ingredients I need to be able to track down like flax milk and hemp heads. But when I make that for a week, I’ll share that recipe here.

Goal #4: Save money by buying used lenses. I’m still torn on whether or not I’m going to buy a new camera this year. It has been almost 3 years since I bought a new camera and I’m getting the itch. However, I am vexed on what camera to buy. I’ve thought about crossing over into the Sony mirrorless realm, but that means a whole new camera mount. The other option is to buy the camera that is above my camera in my current platform. That camera sells for about $3200. That price tag is going to take me a lot of meals of overnight oats to justify in my head. Especially with my debt lowering goals. While I don’t know about buying a new camera, I have compiled a list of lenses I want to buy this year. I’ve decided to hit the used lens market this year as I can save sometimes as much as 30% by going used. Some of the lens I want are pretty cheap, but some are not. The exciting news for you is that every time I get some used glass, you’ll get to read an exciting equipment review! Yay you!

Goal #5: Up % of the paycheck that goes into savings and 401K.

But none of this explains why I felt it was okay to pull the trigger on the drone with the change jar still 2 inches from the top.

There are two reasons for that:

#1. Through my works and luck at the computer mine, I had $325 in Amazon gift cards burning a hole in my virtual wallet. In my wildest dream, there isn’t $325 in the coin jar.

#2. I recently ordered a new photo toy called arsenal for $185. It is a camera attachment that allows you to control your camera with your smartphone. Now I can already control my camera with a smartphone, but there is limited control. It basically throws the camera into automatic and you get what you get. Arsenal allows you to control pretty much all the main settings on the camera. Plus it is supposed to do its own focus stacking and HDR. Plus it has some pretty sweet time-lapse settings. However, I got an email that they can’t make it Arsenal work with my camera and don’t think they ever will be able to. They refunded me that money. Although to be honest, that $185 isn’t going toward the drone. When the refund hits my account it is going towards some glass. Not sure which one I’ll pull the trigger on first. But don’t worry I’ll let you know.

So where is that change jar money going to go. Well, one camera purchase I am dedicated to this year is the Sony RX0. Therefore, when the change jar is full I will take it to the bank and then order up the Sony RX0.

This concludes your Tuesday camera equipment purchase updates.

Dickcissel Park & Naima

This collection of pictures come from a trip I had to Dickcissel Park with Naima back in late may. This must have been right before she started her allergy medication because as you will see, one of her eyes is looking pretty rough.

Her allergy medicine isn’t cheap, but it is definitely worth it!


Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Don’t worry, there are plenty of other pictures of Naima at Dickcissel Park yet to be published!!