Category Archives: Photography

Custer State Park Vol. 2

Today is as good as any to check into the back log and post some more pictures from my trip to Custer State Park with my Mom.

I wouldn’t say that Custer State Park was a disappointment, but it didn’t quite live up to the hype. I do feel however that I had more time to visit Custer State Park, I would be way more impressed with it. I hope I do get to do that again at some point. Maybe do some hiking. Maybe find these buffalo that are allegedly all over the place.

But like I wrote earlier. The lack of buffalo was made up for by the awesome feral donkeys.
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Here are more pictures from Custer State Park:


Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

I felt really bad for the donkey that stood facing the sign. I did talk to him and give him food. He eventually came out and joined the other donkeys.

There are a few more Custer State Park pictures in the hopper.

05-09-08: The Big Jesus Road Trip

The photos from today’s blog come from the folder 05-09-08.

These pictures were taken during what historians have called THE BIG JESUS ROAD TRIP. It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since THE BIG JESUS ROAD TRIP, but they have.

Jesse and I embarked on THE BIG JESUS ROAD TRIP with a destination in mind (Big Jesus) and a few stops in mind to make along the way. We wanted to see the place where “The Music Died”. We wanted to see the World’s Largest Cheeto. We wanted to stop at Bob’s Drive-Inn and try a Bob’s Dog. Anything else we experienced on the trip was gravy. Delicious gravy. The type you put in a gravy pitcher during Thanksgiving.

Mmmmmm…. gravy!


The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The Big Jesus Road Trip

The World’s Largest Cheeto did not disappoint. Neither did Big Jesus or the Bob’s Dog. The Pocahontas statue… yeah. That is one ugly statue.

Sometime this year I hope to make a trip to see the world’s largest popcorn ball. Who is game?

By adding THE BIG JESUS ROAD TRIP photos to the Photography 139 Photo Gallery, I was able to restore the following historical “An Artist’s Notebook” post to its original glory:

THE BIG JESUS

There are more pictures from THE BIG JESUS ROAD TRIP that I didn’t share in this blog post. If you want to take a gander at those, click on the link below:

THE BIG JESUS ROAD TRIP PHOTO GALLERY

Next Saturday’s trip down memory lane will involve a trip to visit the Cardiff Giant and his giant phallus. Jason Baier will be joining us!

Custer State Park Vol. 1

Custer State Park was one of the most hyped up Black Hills location that my Mom and I were told to visit.

Some people even indicated that it might be the best part of the trip. The reason:

Buffalo!

Repeatedly, I was told that when we went to Custer State Park, we would see more buffalo than we could imagine. Throw a rock, we would hit 3 buffalo. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting 4 buffalo.*

Custer State Park was indeed awesome, but it had nothing to do with buffaloes. It was all about the feral donkeys!!

Here are a few photos from our trip through Custer State Park:


Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

Custer State Park

I have more pictures from Custer State Park coming in the near future!

*This is not an endorsement of swinging dead cats.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE REMINDER – STORE

BONUS REMINDER: Monday is Memorial Day. While the bank, schools, and the government take the day off, Photography 130 doesn’t. You might be spending Monday on a boat or at a barbecue or at a lake or watching a Rambo movie marathon and are too busy to send in your submission. If that is the case, plan to send your submission in early.

This is your reminder that the theme for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is STORE.


WEEK 141 - STORE
STORE!

Remember that a STORE photo is a photo that involves a place of commerce. Where things are sold and where they are purchased. The picture can be taken inside a store or outside a store. The word STORE also has multiple meanings.

Happy photo harvesting!

USA Not NRA

Here is another collection of images from that snowy day around the Iowa Capitol during the March for Our Lives Rally. I thought I would share the words from a pamphlet that a guy was handing out:

“The Second Amendment

A Sacred Covenant of Ethnic Cleansing and Slavery Between the Nation State and Settler Militias

There is a myth that has infiltrated the core of the American imagination. It is the belief that the Second Amendment is a result of the Revolutionary War, thus, a right to self-defense and to protect the country from any enemies that rise. It is also believed that if the government fails to protect its citizens, the citizens have the right to revolt. However, the historical context that led to the creation of the Second Amendment is actually based on the process of land annexation and the mitigation of local populations through assimilation, genocide or slavery–much of which took place at the point of a gun. The colonists that built this country ousted the British for many reasons, but fundamentally, ‘what colonists considered oppressive was any restriction that British authorities put on them in regard to obtaining land.’

The Second Amendment is actually a sacred religiopolitical covenant between the Nation State and the settlers of this continent that recognizes the fundamental ideology of land expansion through ethnic cleansing and slavery. It is nothing more than recognition that this cleansing and slavery. It is nothing more than recognition that this country was founded on the actions of generations of Europeans with a maniacal lust for Indian killing and the control of Black people. Men were expected to bear arms (at one point it was the law) in order to protect themselves, their families, the State and process of westward expansion. In essence, extreme violence was a god given right and an obligation of the average “citizen” that took on the singular role of a vigilante and that formed into small groups that cleared the way for the rise of the American government. The average citizen was a raider, a ranger, a frontiersmen, a marauder, a pirate and the average colony was a settler militia, an armed household, and a slave patrol.

The nation state did not create the Second Amendment to protect its citizens from invasion but to allow its citizens to invade. It is written permission to continue on with the doctrine of discovery, manifest destiny, westward expansion, i.e., the work of the white supremacist. As Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes, ‘The astronomical number of firearms owned by US civilians, with the Second Amendment considered a sacred mandate, is also intricately related to militaristic culture and white nationalism. The militias referred to in the second amendment were intended as a means for white people to eliminated Indigenous communities in order to take their land, and for slave patrols to control black people.’

The violent approach to Indigenous and Black populations is still practiced in current day American society. For instance, Native Americans have the highest police murder rate per ethnic group in the county and vast majority of these deaths are through the use of a firearm. According to the Center for Disease Control, ‘for every 1 million Native Americans, an average of 2.9 of them died annually from 1999 to 2015 as a result of legal intervention’. For the Black population the number is 2.6, for the Latinx it is 1.7, for Whites it is .9 and for Asians it is .6. This is a startling statistic because Native Americans only make up .9% of the population. However, these deaths are probably under reported just like the other epidemics that Native Americans face, such as missing and murdered women, abuse, rape, stalking, runaway children and violence committed by non-tribal members. According to Matthew Fletcher, director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center, ‘The data available likely does not capture all Native American deaths in police encounters due to people of mixed race and relatively large homeless population that is not on the grid.’

The notion that there is a rise in gun violence in this country is actually a misunderstanding of history. There was just a period of time in the late 19th and early 20th century where guns were not essential for the coercive control of brown people as the government had created reservation internment camps and implemented Jim Crow laws to segregate ‘problem populations’. However, the rise of the NRA, gun lobbying and the mass production of automatic weapons tied to a long held gun fetish in the American imagination has given white supremacists updated permission to dust off their ancestors weapon of choice and reenact the violence that this country was founded upon. America is a young country and lacks a distinct culture of its own, but one thing is certain–Americans covet their sacred right to free real estate, cheap labor and the gun, thus, the Second Amendment is but permission to steal, kill and dominate in order to fulfill this expectation.”

If nothing else, it is an interesting piece of reading and you can think it over while you are looking at this collection of pictures from the March for Our Lives rally:


March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018
This guy spoke about losing his son to gun violence and the miracle of forgiving the person that killed his son.

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018
Remember these activists.

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018

March for Our Lives - 2018
Late birthday present ideas for me: A resist fist

March for Our Lives - 2018

The gentleman that spoke about losing his son to gun violence had an incredible story. I wish I would’ve caught his name. He spoke about forgiving and then helping raise the kid that killed his son. He concluded his speech about how his son’s murderer (who was also his son’s friend) recently had a son of his own. That baby has a birthmark in the shape, size, and on the same part as his murdered son.

“Don’t let anybody ever tell you that miracles don’t exist.”

He concluded his speech.

The two high school girls I told you to remember, they gave the last speech before the marching started. Their speech was also very impressive. They talked about the fear and horror they felt when their school was thought to have an active shooter on campus. While it ended up being a false alarm, something clicked in them on that day and they decided to be more active in the political process.

They arranged a meeting and spoke with their U.S. Representative David Young.

Representative Young in a condescending tone, explained to them that while gun ownership was a right (a horrible misunderstanding of what is a “right”) and that voting was a privilege. Dismissing them because they were not old enough to vote.

They concluded with saying:

“Well David Young, we will be able to vote in November and it will be our PRIVILEGE to vote against you.”

Then they lead the marching.

Don’t worry, there are still plenty more March for Our Lives Rally photos in the hopper. Get pumped, or remain pumped.

Congratulations Saydie – Alpha

I’d just like to wish a full and hearty congratulations to all the Class of 2018 on their recent accomplishment of graduating from high school.

I obviously don’t have any wise words about their future, but I can Google and find somebody that something wise once with the best of them!

“But my dear graduates, let me be frank, the best years are very much ahead of you. And they can be whatever you want them to be… As much as you’ve changed during your time here, more change is coming. You’re going to continue to evolve in unforeseen ways. You are full of complexities and wonders that haven’t even begun to surface. Life’s unpredictability will draw these out and what defines you now will be mere shades and hues of a more vibrant you over the next five, 10, 50 years. Honestly, I can’t think of anything more liberating than that, knowing that life will look differently than you think it will.”
– Octavia Spencer

But if there is one person whose accomplishments I most want to lift up and whose future adventures I’m most interested in now that her high school career as come to an end, it is my niece Saydie.

I celebrate Saydie’s accomlishments and look to her future by sharing some (a ton) of pictures from her Senior Picture Photo Shoot from last summer:


Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

Saydie Howard

You may recall my fondness for pictures that aren’t posed. Yes, those are my favorites in this collection and every collection.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of other Saydie pictures coming in the coming weeks. We aren’t even warmed up. We are warming up to get warmed up!

You Know I’ll Leave ‘Em Changing; ‘Cause You Know I’m Real with It; Don’t Care if You Feeling It!

The world wasn’t ready for these alternate TOY images on Monday. Most of these pictures are taken in the Photography 139 Backyard Studio where photography was often disturbed by 2 raucous dogs that had a whole yard to play in, but seemed to want to only play right on top of my rubber dinosaurs.

The flower image is from one of my Mom’s flower pots. It was taken with the TOY special effects setting on the trusty old Alpha 77ii.

However, the images that really might make you stand up and go “Huh?” are of the ginorumous smoker.

The smoker is the new smoker for Baby Got Rack. It was purchased in Louisville from another award winning barbecue man and shipped all the way up to Iowa. Many people have asked when will be their next opportunity to try some award winning Baby Got Rack barbecue.

You could try crashing a Catholic anniversary party in a few weeks.

Otherwise, the only competition that Baby Got Rack is currently eyeing is the Farm Bureau contest at the Boone County Fair.

Other than that, you’ll have to wait for my birthday extravaganza in 2019. I’m guaranteeing that it will happen again in 2019. I just have to settle on a theme. I’m thinking the theme might be “Jorts & Cargo Shorts”. That way the invitations will be easy to make.

Next year my birthday is on a Saturday, so I can actually hold the shindig on my birthday. It would be perfect timing. You can go to your favorite graduate’s open house and then come sit around to the fire tub and listen to KNMA Radio – The Power Retriever.

We’ll see.

Okay, I can’t hold the TOY alternates back any longer:


Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

Toy - Alternate

You’re welcome world!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 140 – TOY

Several people decided to play around with the TOY theme for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

However, you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came here to see the submissions:


WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY -  TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE - TOY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 141 - STORE
STORE


STORE! What a great theme! But what is a STORE photograph. It can be anything related to a place where you buy things. Wal-Mart is a STORE. Red Wal-Mart is a STORE. The Farmer’s Market is a STORE. A garage sale is a STORE.

Of course, the word STORE has more than one meaning.

As always, I look forward to your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

1. The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

2. Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 WEBMASTER

2 out of the last 3 days and 3 times in the last 30, the publishing of the blog has caused the website to crash. I’m currently working on the matter. Hopefully this post didn’t crash the website. This will possibly lead to a new page being added to the website. We will see.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very stored Monday!

Badlands Vol. 5

The final set of pictures from my brief sojourn through the Badlands with my Mom:


The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

The Badlands

That is it. That is the last of the Badlands pictures. Still have plenty of pictures from my trip to South Dakota to publish though. I’ll get through them all, some day.

+++++++++++++++

Actually that isn’t it. I’d like to thank everybody that wished me a happy birthday on Friday.

I believe this to be the entire list:

-Mom
-Jesse
-Michelle
-Teresa
-Dawn
-Nate
-Bethany
-Logan
-Shannon
-Becca
-Sara Lockner
-Stephanie
-Sarah Karber
-Colleen
-Micky
-Laura
-Aunt Linda
-Jay
-Faust
-Monica
-Andree
-Becky

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. It was a perfectly adequate birthday. I didn’t go to work. I got to do some tenderloining. I took some pictures. I hung out with my favorite dog in the world and one of my other favorite dogs in the world. I also watched ROAD HOUSE.

The movie that perfected throat ripping and had so many great lines like:

You know, I heard you had balls big enough to come in a dump truck, but you don’t look like much to me.

You’re too stupid to have a good time.

Take the biggest guy in the world, shatter his knee and he’ll drop like a stone.

I got married to an ugly woman. Don’t ever do that. It just takes the energy right out of you. She left me, though. Found somebody even uglier than she was. That’s life. Who can explain it?

Calling me sir is like putting an elevator in an outhouse. It don’t belong.

That gal’s got entirely too many brains to have an ass like that.

This place has a sign hangin’ over the urinal that says, “Don’t eat the big white mint”.

And of course

Pain don’t hurt.

If you missed your chance to celebrate my birth, you have one more chance. Next Sunday night is the Union Street Theater’s monthly movie night. Here are the movies for the double feature:


Movie Night

I chose the movies this month (instead of the usual committee that picks the movies) since it is my birth month. If you are wondering why I picked KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, then do you really know me at all.

I picked REAR WINDOW because I love that movie, it is directed by Hitchcock, it is about a photographer, the photographer is dating Grace Kelly, and it is is the best movie ever made about a photographer.

A close second is BLOW-UP. Right Jay and Jesse?

Projector rolls at 6 PM. I’m not sure if there will be any special treats for that night. We’ll see.

05-07-08

The images below come from the folder 05-07-08. The images range from a post supper photo shoot with an Ungs to pictures of painting Monica’s one-time Roland home to me showing off a fat stack of cash to some flowers from my Mom’s flowerbeds to one of the most fascinating creatures on the planet.


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05-07-08

By adding these images to the Photography 139 Photo Gallery I was able to restore these historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:

TELL MY FRIEND WILLIE BROWN


SOME STORM


SUPPER WITH THE UNGS


FALSE SNAKE HYPE


That sick wad of cash that I was flashing in the Fazoli’s parking lot was my winnings from my bowling league. Helping Monica paint the Roland house was Suzie and Cassie.

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will be all about the Big Jesus Road Trip.