Category Archives: Animals

WPC – WEEK 91 – RURAL

It turns out that RURAL is a startlingly unpopular theme. Sad, since I can think of at least 5 people off-hand that regularly contribute that live RURAL. Even more if you consider that Iowa is almost completely RURAL.

The streak of double digit submissions sadly has come to an end. Hopefully a new streak starts up next week.

That being said, this week the Photography 139 Empire extended as far east as Italy and as far west as west of Boone. I’m guessing on the west part here.

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


WEEK 192 - RURAL - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 192 - RURAL - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 192 - RURAL - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 192 - RURAL - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 192 - RURAL - CHRISTOPHER BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 192 - RURAL - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 192 - RURAL - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 192 - RURAL - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 192 - RURAL - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

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 192 - BLUE
BLUE

BLUE! What a great theme! But what is a BLUE image? A BLUE image is any picture that involves the color BLUE. However, don’t forget that the term BLUE has multiple definitions.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

Don’t forget that next Monday is Memorial Day. While the government might take a holiday and your bank probably takes a holiday, Photography 139 doesn’t take holidays. The struggle is real! If you are going to be busy memorializing or barbecuing or taking your yacht to the lake, plan on getting your submission in early.

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HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

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.

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.

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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 blue Monday.

The New New

I have recently had a battle in my head and in my wallet. I knew I wanted to purchase a new camera that was something like an action cam, only so much more. It has the qualities of say a GoPro, but the image quality is vastly superior. The amount of control you have with the camera is like night and day.

The camera I’m talking about is the Sony RX0. I had it in my sights for several months. Then Sony went and released the Sony RX0 II. This put in something of a quandary. Three months ago, there was nothing wrong with the Sony RX0, but now there was a Sony RX0 II that was superior.

I had to make a decision. By the old and save a few bucks or pull the trigger on the new and lighten the wallet a bit.

Lucky for me, while I was wrestling with the decision, a bit of an unforeseen windfall landed in my lap and I decided to pull the trigger on the Sony RX0 II.

I’ve only had it since Tuesday, but I already love the little guy:


Sony RX0 II

Happy birthday to me!

Here are a few of the first pictures I’ve taken with the RX0 II:


First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

Here are some of the specifications of the camera:

Number of Pixels (Effective)Approx. 15.3 Megapixels
Lens Type ZEISS Tessar T Lens, 6 elements in 6 groups (6 aspheric elements)
F-Number (Maximum Aperture) F4.0
Focal Length 7.9mm
Focus Range (From the Front of the Lens)Approx. 0.66′ (20cm) to Infinity
Focus Area Wide (25 points [contrast-detection AF]), Center, Flexible Spot (S/M/L)Expanded Flexible Spot
ISO Sensitivity Auto (ISO125-12800, selectable with upper/lower limit)
125/160/200/250/320/400/500/640/800/1000/1250/1600/2000/2500/3200/4000/5000/6400/8000/10000/12800 (Extendable to ISO80/100)
White Balance Modes Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent
Fluor.: Warm White, Fluor.: Cool White, Fluor.: Day White, Fluor.: Daylight, Underwater Auto, C. Temp./Filter, Custom
Electronics Shutter 1/4″ – 1/32000
Continuous Shooting Speed Speed Priority Continuous Shooting: approx. 16fps, Continuous Shooting: approx. 3.5fps (Maximum) (With Max. Recording Pixels)
Waterproof Yes (IPX8 equivalent)
Dustproof Yes (IP6X equivalent)
Shockproo fYes (6.5′ (2.0m) (MIL-STD810G C1 Method516.7-Shock)
Crushproof Yes(200kgf/2000N/440lbf)

I made an unboxing video of it the RXO II for the YouTube Channel. It isn’t necessarily something I would recommend watching, unless you really like unboxing videos. It is in black & white, because I lazily didn’t check my camera settings before I started recording:



It isn’t the most watchable video in the world, but it allows me to practice my minimal video editing skills.

I’m going on a Birthday Road Trip on the morrow. I plan on using the RX0 II to do a vlog of the trip. I’m definitely not going to get in the habit of vlogging, but I wanted to test the RX0 II as a vlogging camera because some people say it is the greatest vlogging camera ever and some say it isn’t good for it at all.

One last thing, if you are a GAME OF THRONES fan, we will be watching the series finale at The Union Street Theater on Sunday night. You are invited! Jay might even be making cake. He also has a 20 year old surprise.

2009-02-18 – Arizona Day 2

There are several folders inside the folder called 2009-02-18, so rather than having one of those fifty photo journal entries, I’ve decided to break them down by the subfolder. This subfolder is called ARIZONA_DAY_2.

The pictures in this folder are from when I went to Arizona with Jesse on a trip that was 50% work related and 50% for fun.

Day 2 of the Arizona trip involved checking out the Chicago Cubs Spring Training facility and then hanging out on this weird rock-hill-miniature mountain type thing:


Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

Arizona Day 2

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entry to its original glory:

Arizona Day 2

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve even more of the trip to Arizona.

Naima Takes Dickcissel

Dipping into the backlog again. This post finishes off all of the backlog from May of 2018! WooHoo!

It once again draws on a consistent theme. Me taking pictures of Naima at Dickcissel Park.

You might be wondering why I took so many of these pictures last year. The reason is because I spent a considerable part of 2018 trying to get the perfect picture of Naima running at the camera. Ears in the air. Tongue sticking out of her mouth. Silly dog smile on her mug.

I also had an obsession with getting a picture of her in the water. From underwater. But that is a project that will continue into 2019, I do believe.

Here are some more Naima pictures:


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

Gotta keep hammering away at that backlog!

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Also, since the purchase of the drone, I’ve decided to start actually adding some content to my YouTube channel. In the past, the YouTube channel has only really existed so I could like other YouTube videos. Over it’s 10+ year existence, I’ve only uploaded like 30 videos.

That will hopefully change in the coming months. ‘

I recently put up my first “test” video. It was mostly a test of if I could figure out how to do it. I’m not particularly good at video editing and it shows in this video. What also shows is how terrible I am at sound recording.

I hope my video editing skills improve. We’ll see about the sound recording skills. Actually I have no choice but to improve on sound recording. You’ll see when you watch the video.

So below, checkout this YouTube video I made on DJI Mavic 2 Pro Quickshots with Bethany as the guinea pig:



If you don’t subscribe to my YouTube channel, please do because when I hit 100 subscribers, I can customize my channel’s URL. In the future, there will be more drone videos and I have plans for more videos revolving around the birthday present I’m giving to myself.

Also, a big shoutout to Joe who is helping me with video editing. The video is edited with an open source video editing program called OpenShot.

Happy International Workers’ Day

Happy International Workers’ Day! Also, sometimes known as May Day and one of the few holidays I haven’t heard some humbug grouse about how it is a fabricated holiday forced upon us by the greeting card cartels.

On this International Workers’ Day, remember the old parable about how the world works:

A billionaire, a worker and an immigrant are sitting at a table with 1000 cookies. The billionaire takes 999 cookies and says to the worker, “watch out, that immigrant is going to take your cookie.”

On this day, I wish to share a few pictures from the 2018 backlog that I took when I was experimenting with focus stacking. Here are a few leftover images that weren’t involved in focus stacking:


Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks

Lily

Spoiled Naima
Look at that face!

Don’t think I don’t know that Naima is spoiled. But the record will show that I am by far, not the only person to spoil her.

I also realize that Naima poses better for pictures with other people that she does with me. I might start an Instagram account for Naima where she is getting pictures taken with people other than me.

An idea that was recently born when she posed perfectly for a selfie with Brandon’s lady friend KJ. Something she will next to never do with me.

Selfie Project – March

It has been awhile since we checked in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. I figured today was as good of a day as any to check out March before April is over.

I’m not sure I did more interesting things in March than I did in February or January where it felt like I never left the house. I think I’ve continued that in April. I actually even left the state in April!

Here are my favorites from March:


March 1, 2019
March 1

March 2, 2019
March 2

March 3, 2019
March 3

March 4, 2019
March 4

March 6, 2019
March 6

March 7, 2019
March 7

March 8, 2019
March 8

March 9, 2019
March 9

March 10, 2019
March 10

March 12, 2019
March 12

March 14, 2019
March 14

March 16, 2019
March 16

March 17, 2019
March 17

March 19, 2019
March 19

March 21, 2019
March 21

March 22, 2019
March 22

March 23, 2019
March 23

March 24, 2019
March 24

March 26, 2019
March 26

March 28, 2019
March 28

March 29, 2019
March 29

March 31, 2019
March 31

No doubt you already excited to see my April “adventures”.

Naima vs. Mother Goose

I need to start by saying Happy Maundy Thursday. It is the day we celebrate Jesus giving us a new commandment:

33 “Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the Jews, I’m telling you: ‘Where I go, you are not able to come.’

34-35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
-John 13:33-35 (The Message)

Celebrate accordingly.
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I know a lot of people that hate geese. It is understandable. Geese are, at the aggregate level, jerks. For some reason, that is why I like them. You get near a goose and it spreads its wings at you, starts honking, and under the right circumstances might even bite you.

If you have ever been bitten by a goose, you know that it is much to do about nothing. Perhaps that is why I like geese. Their honk is considerably worse than their bite. They are nature’s jerks, but they are ultimately harmless.

That being said, on a recent trip out to Dickcissel Park, Naima was a jerk back to nature’s jerk. Not on purpose mind you. We all know that Naima doesn’t have a jerk bone in her body. She is whiny. She is pushy. She gets jealous easy. But she isn’t a jerk. Not on purpose.

She once found baby rabbits and carried them around the yard. But when she put them down, they weren’t physically damaged. Although I’m sure their therapist bills were quite extensive when they reached adulthood.

In what may have been the greatest moment of her life, she jumped up and snatched a bird flying through the backyard. After she landed, she spit it out onto the ground. Neither her nor the bird seemed to know what had just happened.

She bowed to the bird, as a symbol she was ready to play. After a few moments the bird managed to get its bearings and flew off. Naima seemed hurt that the bird didn’t stick around to play.

On Saturday we made a trip out to Dickcissel so that we both could get some exercise and a touch of nature. On that day the pond was lousy with waterfowl. The biggest and loudest by far were Canadian Geese. If you don’t know what a Canadian Goose is, it is like a goose from the United States, only 62.1% of their bankruptcies don’t come due to medical expenses.

Naima and I usually do a counterclockwise loop around the pond. We start north, then head west, then south, then east, and then back north to the Sir Pixalotmobile. Almost as soon as we started heading west the geese on the lake began following us. They posted up about 30 feet from shore and honked at us relentlessly.

Naima usually ignores them, but this time she at least looked at them a few times. Naima will get in the water, but she will only go as far in as she can touch the bottom. She is not her breed’s Michael Phelps.

We let them honk and honk and honk. Then about halfway down the west side of the pond they stopped following us. I thought that was kind of weird, but I figured we must have left their territory. We kept walking and I began more concentrating on the flocks of birds in the trees as we hit the swampy area on the southwest corner.

Even though I was wearing my hiking boots, I was trying to stay out of the swampy water as it is still ice cold and provides a healthy shock to the system when it manages to work its way into the boot and strikes a poor, unsuspecting foot.

While I was I was navigating strips of dry land, I heard a goose make a dreadful angry wail and then I heard something of decent size hit the water. I made my way over to Naima, who was standing in the water looking at a goose that she had found. She had given it the scare of its life. It was then that Naima noticed why that goose was hanging out all by its lonesome. It had built a nest on top of an old muskrat hut. Naima was leaning against the hut and smelling the nest.

Mother goose was honking like crazy. The rest of the goose armada had caught up to us and were also verbalizing extreme displeasure. I called for Naima to come and leave the nest alone. She isn’t a jerk, but she will eat just about anything besides certain vegetables. I didn’t want her making a snack out of a collection of goose eggs.

She left the eggs alone, but now she was definitely interested in the geese. She went as far into the water as she could. Before giving up and coming back on land.

Here are a few pictures of Naima and some geese:


Naima vs. Mother Goose

Naima vs. Mother Goose

Naima vs. Mother Goose

Naima vs. Mother Goose

Naima vs. Mother Goose

Naima vs. Mother Goose

It is strange that I like geese because they are jerks, but hate grackles because they are jerks. I guess if geese were scaring pretty birds away from my bird feeder, I would hate them too.

Pufferbilly Days Dog Show

I thought I had published every picture I have taken for the Boone Area Humane Society, but while checking out the backlog I realized that was in error.

I never published pictures from the Pufferbilly Days Pet Show. Now the subject of this post called in the Pufferbilly Days Dog Show, but it was actually a pet show, where wisely, nobody entered a cat.

I would guess that these would be the final pictures I will ever publish that I took for the Boone Area Humane Society, but Kio tells me that I might not be retired yet. As far as the Humane Society goes, I do whatever Kio wants.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day:


Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

Pufferbilly Days Pet Show

My Mom was a judge for the pet show.

If you are wondering why I’ve never entered Naima into a pet show, well the pet show world isn’t ready for what she brings to the table.

Having New Eyes

I’ve been ignoring the 2018 backlog quite a bit lately, so I thought I better get back at it.

This collection of images comes from the Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair. I visited the Iowa State Fair twice in 2018. The first time was to compete in the barbecue contest. It was this day where I took this collection of images after the contest had ended.


Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

Iowa State Fair Discovery Garden - 2019

I actually probably have a tremendous lot of pictures from last year’s Iowa State Fair that I need to get to editing. I also need to figure out what pictures I’m going to enter in this year’s Iowa State Fair. A project I need to start on in the next few weeks.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 187 – FAVORITE COLOR

The weather last week was all over the place in Central Iowa. Beautiful one day. Windy enough to blow down one side of the Burger King garbage corral the next. Then beautiful again. Then a few snow flurries the next. Then beautiful again. While the weather was all over the place, it didn’t dampen participation rates for FAVORITE COLOR at all.

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


WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 187 - FAVORITE COLOR - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

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 188 - RELIGION
RELIGION

RELIGION! What a great theme! I can feel what you’re thinking. I can feel it from here. I see through you. All the way to your back button. You are thinking that it sure is super convenient that RELIGION is the theme the same week as Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter and Passover for that matter.

You’re thinking that I rigged it so that RELIGION would be the theme the same week that all the chreasters will be going to church.

There are two things you need to know:

#1. I don’t use the term chreaster. I don’t look down on chreasters. They obviously feel there is at least some need in their life for church, otherwise they wouldn’t show up twice a year. If they are only coming twice a year, the church needs to do a better job of making them want to come the other 52 weeks of the year.

There is a story for why they only show up twice. It could be that they tried to get active in the church and had a bad experience with an overbearing volunteer supervisor. It might be that they sat in somebody else’s pew and were told to move. It can be that they were made to feel unwelcome because of the way they dressed, wore their hair, their personal hygiene, or whatever. Maybe the time they came, the reverend’s sermon made them feel like they weren’t rich enough to belong because he mocked people that buy suits from JC Penney.

Time would be better spent figuring out why some people only show up twice a year rather than pointing out that they don’t reach your gold standard for church attendance

I don’t know their story. I don’t judge their story. Everybody is walking their faith journey and I won’t judge people for where they are on it. I hope people won’t judge me for where I am on mine.

#2. Themes are assigned randomly. I have no control over it.

But, what is a RELIGION photo? A RELIGION photo is any photo that deals with RELIGION. It doesn’t have to be Christianity. It could be Islam. It could be Judaism. There are 12 major religions. Christianity is the largest with 2.04 billion followers. The smallest is Judaism which as 14.5 million followers. Which is a startling number when you recall that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

That is the 12 major religions. Overall there are over 4,300 religions practiced worldwide. That is a tremendous amount of RELIGION photo opportunities.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

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.

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

Jen Ensley-Gorshe is the latest person to show taste, class, and sophistication by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. Jen, in fact was the first person to sign up using the tools on the website to sign herself up. You may not have heard that this was a possibility because I haven’t actually made them public knowledge yet, so I was super impressed with her diligence. Jen is married to longtime subscriber Derrick Gorshe. They have 4 amazing kids and recently moved to a new house. I have known Jen since we were wage slaves to the Evil Clown Empire. Both of us are now fabulously wealthy and only show up for work because we want to.

If you see Jen out and about, feel free to give her a knowing glance and teach her the super-secret Photography 139 handshake.

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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 religious Monday.