Category Archives: Jesse

Valley Lodge is Closed

Since a few people have been asking, I am making a formal announcement.



THERE IS NO CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA AKA BENNETT-FEST THIS YEAR!


The reasons are multiple and complicated, but it is probably your fault. If you search your heart, you know it to be true.

So there will be NO:

– Baby Got Rack Award Winning Barbecue
– Hardcore Firetub Action
– Bubbles
– Sidewalk Chalk
– Golden Retriever
– Master’s Playlist
– Cornhole
– Tent
– Stimulating Conversation
– Catching up with old friends
– No photos like the ones below







2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

2016 Birthday Party Photo Booth

Better luck in 2018. I have the idea for that year’s invite. I just need to find some volunteers and some costumes.

March

Now would be a good time to check in on the Selfie Project. I’ve attempted and failed at this project 3 times now. The farthest I’ve ever made it is 116 days. I feel like this just might be the year.

Here are some of my favorites from March:


Selfie Project - March 1
March 1

Selfie Project - March 4
March 4

Selfie Project - March 5
March 5

Selfie Project - March 7
March 7

Selfie Project - March 8
March 8

Selfie Project - March 9
March 9

Selfie Project - March 11
March 11

Selfie Project - March 12
March 12

Selfie Project - March 13
March 13

Selfie Project - March 15
March 15

Selfie Project - March 21
March 21

Selfie Project - March 22
March 22

Selfie Project - March 24
March 24

Selfie Project - March 27
March 27

Selfie Project - March 28
March 28

I do post these daily on Instagram. You can follow me here: @christopherdbennett

3 for 4

Jesse and I went down to Kansas City last Saturday to watch Iowa State play West Virginia in the Big 12 Championship Game. Here are a few cruddy cell phone pictures from the day:


2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship

It was a great day spent in Hilton South with 18,000 of my closest friends!

Iowa State held off a gritty West Virginia team to claim the championship, behind the play of the the best point guard in the country Monte Morris and Deonte Burton’s thunderous dunk and Matty T’s shooting and Naz’s grit and determination and Solo’s defense and Bowie’s onions and DJ’s heart and Little Babb’s spark.

Here’s hoping for a long run in the NCAA Tournament!

Selfie Project – February

This is a good time to check back in with the SELFIE PROJECT. These are some of my favorite images from February:


Selfie Project - February 2
February 2

Selfie Project - February 5
February 5

Selfie Project - February 6
February 6

Selfie Project - February 7
February 7
Selfie Project - February 11
February 11

Selfie Project - February 13
February 13

Selfie Project - February 17
February 17

Selfie Project - February 18
February 18

Selfie Project - February 19
February 19

Selfie Project - February 21
February 21

Selfie Project - February 24
February 24

Selfie Project - February 25
February 25

Selfie Project - February 26
February 26

Selfie Project - February 27
February 27

Selfie Project - February 28
February 28

So far I’m 74 days in and this beard is looking good!

Don’t forget that you can follow the daily SELFIE PROJECT postings by following me on Instagram. @christopherdbennett

Post No. 2500

This blog has hit a milestone. This is the 2500th post since I started “An Artist’s Notebook” on August 9, 2006. A lot of different things have went through these pages over the last 10+ years, but I hope I’ve stayed true to the original vision I laid down in that very first post:

So here is the first journal entry. I felt like having as pretentious sounding name as possible for my journal. I have a few goals about this journal. My main goal is just to actually write in it. My second goal is to be as truthful as possible towards my true thoughts and feelings. I have another journal on another website, but it is really just a collection of sarcastic statements and cheap jabs at open faced sandwiches. This journal is meant to be about what my achievements and failures are in the world of art. What projects I am working on and what I have accomplished and what I have failed to accomplish. What I am photographing and what I am thinking about entering in photo contests. What I am thinking about. It might not always make sense. It might just be things I need to write down because they strike me as poignant or inspirational. This is in a small way an online “idea box”.

I do also have a goal of producing something that makes me worthy of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook”.

It is strange to think that one of the things that I was originally committed to was the TRUTH. For many years the “motto” of this blog was “Art is a lie that reveals the truth.” Now we live in a post-truth society. Truth has had a hard time. If Justin Timberlake can bring sexy back. I can bring truth back.

I hope in these last 10+ years I’ve stayed pretentious enough for the title “An Artist’s Notebook”. I’m sure some of you will argue that I have. Those of you that like to push the “elitist” lie.

The first JOURNAL ENTRY would go on to tell a story about Photo Contests:

So last night, I attended the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Reception with Sara. I figured that the two pictures that I had accepted for display would be a picture of Jay entitled “Portrait of a Self Portrait” and a picture of a bullfrog entitled “Kentucky Appetizer”. I didn’t have any real strong images to enter into the contest this year, but I felt that I had some that were good enough to display, but probably not good enough for ribbons. I was correct. Those were the two pictures selected for display. They did not receive ribbons.

So now I turn my attention to the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. I wasn’t going to enter this contest because I have been frustrated in the past by the way it is ran. The pictures are never displayed on the day that they are supposed to be displayed. Instead, they might be displayed as late as 48 hours. The second thing about this contest that sticks in my craw is that they don’t put the names of the photographers or of the image up anywhere. Basically, there are a bunch of pictures up and who knows who took them.

I don’t complain because I seek the fame and fortune that comes with having your picture displayed at the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. I complain because I would like to know who took some of the other pictures. Sadly, 1 town west the now defunct Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest was ran a million times better.

Jay talked me into entering this year’s contest. I told him that I didn’t like having to put any emotional investment into this contest, when it was so poorly ran.

He said it wouldn’t require any emotional investment. I could just put the pictures I made for the Ogden Fun Days Contest into the Pufferbilly Contest and whatever happens happened.

For better or worse, I’m just not wired in such a manner. There are very few things in my life I can just say “what happens, happens.” Photography certainly isn’t one of them.

He did convince me it was a waste not to enter one of the few contests around here just because it was so poorly ran. So, I am entering. I need to come up with 6 entries by August 31. That is the limit and I do not want to do anything less than the limit. I don’t want to mail it in.

So I started a sentence with the word “so”. How very lazy of me. Hopefully I’ve improved in that vein over the years.

It is interesting that I’ve now semi-retired from Photo Contests. I haven’t entered the Pufferbilly Days Contest in years because it is so terribly, dreadfully run. Last year I didn’t enter the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon for the first time in probably 15 years. I just didn’t have the fire in my belly for it. The Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest folded after 1 year.

I may come out of retirement this year. Even though the Pufferbilly Days Contest, is so terribly, dreadfully, awfully run.

Maybe you are wondering what KENTUCKY APPETIZER looked like. Something like this:



Kentucky Appetizer

That picture of Jay? Use your imagination.

In 2500 posts, this blog has went through 3 different platforms. There have been 2,166 comments left. That makes me kind of sad. But I’m sure I’ve received some feedback via email. I’m hoping.

The most popular post category is:

Flowers – 362 Posts

The people to be referenced in posts the most often:

1. Jesse – 283 Posts
2. Teresa – 244 Posts
3. Shannon – 231 Posts
3. Jay – 231 Posts
5. Derrick – 220 Posts

Thanks to everybody that has given this blog a modicum of success through 2500 posts. Here is to the next 2500!

The Failed Selfie Project of 2016

Back at the beginning of 2016, I had this dream of taking a selfie every day to document that growth of one awesome beard. Well. I made it a few days into April.

As I’m going to rekindle this project for 2017, thought I’d look back at my favorite photos from that failed project.


December 31, 2015

January 1, 2016

January 2, 2016

January 6, 2016

January 9, 2016

January 10, 2016

January 12, 2016

January 16, 2016

January 17, 2016

January 21, 2016

January 24, 2016

January 29, 2016

January 30, 2016

February 1, 2016

February 3, 2016

February 8, 2016

February 9, 2010

February 10, 2016









































Hopefully I can make it later than April in 2017 before I shave the beard. But I am at the mercy of whether or not I have a birthday party in 2017 and what I do for the invitation. I guess it is a waiting game.

To a Great 2017!

Pretend like I published this on January 1, just like I meant to do.

It is that day at Photography 139 Headquarters where we take down our old Photography 139 Calendar and put it in the trunk with many of the other remnants of our past.




We like to think that 2016 was a successful year for Photography 139 and I’d like to thank everybody that was responsible for making it appear so.

So to my list of email blog subscribers…

Jay Janson
Jason Baier
Shannon Bardole
Scott Degeneffe
Corey Faust
Susanna Funk
Jill Gorshe
Jesse Howard
Sara Lockner
Teresa Kahler
Nader Parsaei
Becky Perkovich
Bernice Verhoorn
Suzie Brannen
Eric Hiatt
Kim Barker
Cousin Amy
Russell Kennerly
Tim Tuck
Tim Tucker’s Lady Friend
Michelle Haupt
Geri Derner
Micky Augustin
Angie DeWaard
Mike Vest
DaeHee Yoon
Monica Henning
Sarah Karber
Carla Stensland
Laura Miller
Joseph Lynch
Jorge Rios
Anders Runestad
Laura Miller
Michael Houlihan
Dawn Krause
Joe Duff
Derrick Gorshe
Dustin Jackson
Bethany Miller
Logan Kahler
Elizabeth Nordeen
Nicole Nickens
Corinna
Jeff Daniel
Stephanie Kim
Bob Person
Melissa Degeneffe
Willy MacAlpine
Janice Peterson
Jessica Potts
Steve Junck
Shawn Lockner
Brooke Milligan
Cathie Raley
Paul Golden
Linda Toot
Jodie Bennett
Dan Pottratz
Alisa Baker
Cassandra Chadwick

Thanks for a great 2016! Of course, I’ll try to do better in 2017. Hopefully our little family will continue to grow in the new year!

06-19-07

The folder called 06-19-07 includes folders of killdeer that I photographed with Steph and Yin and that time Jesse and I met the man that will probably be recorded by history as the best president of my lifetime.
































































































I’m not sure where next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will go. Next week’s folder has lots of subfolders, so there is no telling where we’ll go.