Category Archives: Portrait

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.

President Quest 2020 – Beto O’Rourke

Last Tuesday I took a little bit of time off from the Computer Mine to make progress in my personal quest to meet, photograph, or at least see in person the person that will take office as the next President of the United States in 2021.

Beto O’Rourke was in Boone at McHose Park to host a town hall. It was pretty well attended considering that it was at 11 AM on a Tuesday.

Here is a little information on Beto from the wiki:

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (/ˈbɛ.toʊ oʊ.rɔːrk/; born September 26, 1972) is an American businessman, musician, and politician who represented Texas’ 16th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019. O’Rourke is seeking the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2020.

O’Rourke was born into a local political family in El Paso, Texas and is a graduate of Woodberry Forrest School and Columbia University.[1] While studying at Columbia, O’Rourke began a brief music career as bass guitarist in the post-hardcore band Foss. After his college graduation, he returned to El Paso and began a business career. In 2005, he was elected to the El Paso City Council; he served on the Council until 2011. O’Rourke was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 after defeating eight-term incumbent Silvestre Reyes in the Democratic primary.

After being re-elected to the House in 2014 and 2016, O’Rourke declined to seek re-election in 2018. Instead, he ran for United States Senate against incumbent Republican Ted Cruz, running a competitive campaign that drew national attention. O’Rourke was defeated 50.9% to 48.3%.

There is what is called a “Vision” on Beto’s website, but not what I would call lots of concrete policy ideas. Here is an example:

On Healthcare

So if we believe in universal, guaranteed, high quality healthcare – because we see the consequences to our fellow Americans who go without – then let us come together around a policy that prioritizes affordability of prescription drugs, lowers the costs of premiums and ensures that in a country where one of the largest providers of mental health care services is our county jail system, a country where we have a maternal mortality crisis that is 3x as deadly for women of color — that universal healthcare means everyone gets primary healthcare, mental healthcare — and universal also means every woman makes her own decisions about her own body.

We can give every American and every business the choice to enroll in Medicare without eliminating plans that many Americans like for their families because they work for their families. This means every one of us is able to afford our prescriptions, see a doctor, take our children to a therapist. No one priced out. No one denied care. No one left behind. The goal of universal, guaranteed high-quality health care must be achieved as quickly and as surely as possible.

Here are some pictures from the event:


Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

I currently don’t have plans to see another candidate. The ones that are in Iowa this weekend don’t seem to be around here. We will have to wait and see.

You are About to Witness…

…the strength of street knowledge.

I don’t usually take a bunch of extra pictures for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE any longer, but with a theme like STREET PHOTOGRAPHY, it really screamed to take a ton of images. So that is what I did.

On Saturday morning I went down to the Des Moines Farmer’s Market with my Mom. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is supposed to be kind of activity where you just take pictures quickly. I set my camera on High Contrast Monochrome and just snapped when I saw something I liked. Kind of a second homage to “The Americans”, like the one I did for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT.

Here are some of my favorites from Saturday:


Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

Street Photography Alternates

I do love STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. It is one of my favorite themes every year.

WPC – WEEK 191 – STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

We hit double digits for, we’ll call it, the 5th week in a row. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY was a surprisingly popular theme even though it is a type of photography that can often put people outside of their comfort zone.
This week, the Photography 139 Weekly Photo Challenge Empire extended as far east as New York City and as far west as Los Angeles. A good great deal farther than Cersei Lannister’s current empire.

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


WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett

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:



RURAL

RURAL! What a great theme! But what is a RURAL photograph? A RURAL image would be an image that “relates to the countryside, rather than the town”. As always, 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

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.

+++++++

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 rural Monday.

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.

Like Fireworks, Only More Boring

For the first time, in something like 15-20 years I went to the Boone County Fair Parade. The original idea was that these pictures would be for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. They were going to be for the page that was something-like “Take a picture that is outside of your comfort zone.”

I decided, at the time, that while I find parades extremely boring, they aren’t exactly outside of my comfort zone. There are few things where enjoyment varies more from engaging and activity to watching an activity. Fireworks is one. Baseball is another example. But parades might be the most extreme example. Being in a parade is a blast. Watching a parade is aigo;nngb[uion jk kakb aejkn…

Sorry, even typing the words caused me to nod off and faceplant into my keyboard.

Here are some pictures from the parade:


Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

Boone County Fair Parade - 2018

The picture that ultimately was taken for that page was a picture at a wrestling tournament. While I might find parades boring, I’m completely out of my element at a wrestling meet. I’m still not sure what happened there.

President Quest 2020 – Bernie Sanders

It has been over a month since I made any progress in my personal quest to meet, photograph, or at least see in person the person that will take office as the next President of the United State in 2021.

I finally scratched a third person off the list when I went to see Bernie Sanders at Iowa State University on Saturday. Bernie Sanders is the best known of the candidates that I have seen and I didn’t get a chance to actually meet him or get my picture taken with him. After his speech was over, he made a quick circle around the barrier that separated him from the crowd and then he was gone.

Of every political event I have ever been to, (except when I saw Obama when he was President) this was the most security. It was the first time they had a list of items prohibited. The list prohibited me from bringing in my camera bag, so I had to choose one lens and go with it. I also had to empty my pockets and have a magnetic wand passed over my body. As I indicated earlier, there was also a barrier that separated the crowd from the speakers.

Perhaps this is because Bernie already has a large national profile or perhaps it is just an Iowa State thing. I saw Obama speak at Iowa State a couple times. Once was his first speech after he announced he was running. That speech was in Hilton. The next time I saw him speak at Iowa State, he spoke in front of Curtiss Hall. There wasn’t much in terms of security at any of those events.

The crowd actually wasn’t as large as I was expecting. Bernie is popular with college students, so I was actually surprised when he was in the Sun Room at the Memorial Union. I thought that Bernie could easily fill the Great Hall, but in fact, he only filled about half the Sun Room. With a small spillover crowd in the other half of the Sun Room.

As I was walking in, a fellow 1993 graduate of dear old Boone High School called me out. I turned around and is was Saul. Turns out Saul is a big Bernie supporter. We had a good long conversation. It was good to see him and catch-up. I don’t know if Saul goes to class reunions, but he is one of the people that I wouldn’t mind seeing if I ever attend a class reunion. (Spoiler: I will never go to a class reunion.)

If you don’t know about Bernie Sanders, here is some information on him from the Wiki:

Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. The longest-serving Independent in congressional history, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990 and caucuses with the Democratic Party, enabling his appointment to congressional committees and at times giving Democrats a majority.

Sanders was born and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, and attended Brooklyn College before graduating from the University of Chicago in 1964. While a student he was an active protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement. After settling in Vermont in 1968, Sanders ran unsuccessful third-party political campaigns in the early to mid-1970s. As an independent, he was elected mayor of Burlington—the state’s most populous city—in 1981, by a margin of ten votes. He was reelected three times. He won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, representing Vermont’s at-large congressional district; he later co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Sanders served as a U.S. Representative for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He has been reelected to the Senate twice: in 2012 and 2018.

Bernie has very extensive policy positions on his website. This is from his page entitled “Fight for Working Families”:

We need leaders who will fight for the interests of workers, not just the 1%.

In the richest country in the world, there is no state in which working 40 hours at the state minimum wage generates enough income to afford a one-bedroom apartment.

It is unacceptable that workers rely on employers for life-saving health care. Working for a living should mean earning a living wage, and health care should be a human right—not a bargaining chip that keeps employees in coercive, exploitative environments. And families should have the security of knowing they can take care of sick loved ones and secure an education for their children. We must:

Raise the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15 an hour.
Enact a universal childcare and pre-kindergarten program.
Make sure women and men are paid the same wage for the same job through the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Guarantee all workers paid family and medical leave, paid sick leave and paid vacation.
Make it easier for workers to join unions through the Workplace Democracy Act.
Make quality education a right.
Implement a green jobs program.

It was yet another political campaign event where the lighting was not great. I was fairly far from Bernie and he is a short man. The pictures are what they are:


Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders
With Ben from Ben & Jerry’s

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

On a not Bernie related note, but political. A friend of mine gave me the great honor of cutting up their NRA membership card yesterday. It felt as great as I imagined.

Maybe someday there will be a gun rights group that actually reflects the opinions of the majority of gun owners. Until that day, I have to take joy in a domestic terrorist organization imploding. They will continue to have a few supporters hanging around. Those that have been radicalized by right wing media. The last rats, clinging to the sinking Russian financed ship.

Yesterday was a great day! Hopefully tomorrow will be a great day as well!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 190 – GREEN

For what I think is the 4th week in a row double digit submissions were received for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE them of GREEN. We are on quite a roll!

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


WEEK 191 - GREEN - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 191 - GREEN - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 190 - ANDY SHARP - GREEN
Andy Sharp

WEEK 190 - ANDY SHARP - GREEN
Andy Sharp

WEEK 190 - GREEN - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 190 - GREEN - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 190 - GREEN - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 190 - GREEN - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 190 - GREEN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 190 - GREEN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 190 - GREEN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 190 - GREEN - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEK 190 - GREEN - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 190 - GREEN - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 190 - GREEN - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

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 191 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY! What a great theme! But what is a STREET PHOTOGRAPHY image? Here is a good definition I lifted from the Wiki:

Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography, is photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents[1] within public places. Although there is a difference between street and candid photography, it is usually subtle with most street photography being candid in nature and some candid photography being classifiable as street photography. Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. Though people usually feature directly, street photography might be absent of people and can be of an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic

As always, 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

I am pleased to announce that Lori Backous is the latest person to show taste, class, and sophistication by securing a Photography 139 email subscription. If you see Lori out and about, feel free to give her a knowing glance and show her the super-secret Photography 139 handshake!

+++++++

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 streetwise Monday.

2009-02-15

The photos in the folder 2009-02-15 are from a trip I took to Arizona with Jesse. 50% of the trip was for pleasure. 50% of the trip was for the Computer Mine.

These pictures are from Day 1 of the trip. Most of that day was spent in the air or in airports. It ended with Jesse and I supping with his brothers at a pizza place that had an organ and dancing puppets. It was one of the most unique places I’ve ever eaten.

Here are some pictures:


Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

Arizona Trip - Day 1

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

Arizona Day 1

Next Saturday’s trip down memory lane will involve a lot more Arizona.

Selfie Project – April

Seems like a good time to share my favorite pictures from THE SELFIE PROJECT from April.

I’ve been trying to be more interesting with the pictures, or at least more interesting with my life, since it felt like in January and February I didn’t do anything.

I don’t know if I’m accomplishing that or not, but at least in the month of
April I did leave the Cyclone State once. So that is something.

Here are my favorites from April:


April 1, 2019
April 1

April 3, 2019
April 3

April 5, 2019
April 5

April 6, 2019
April 6

April 7, 2019
April 7

April 8, 2019
April 8

April 9, 2019
April 9

April 12, 2019
April 12

April 14, 2019
April 14

April 16, 2019
April 16

April 17, 2019
April 17

April 18, 2019
April 18

April 19, 2019
April 19

April 21, 2019
April 21

April 23, 2019
April 23

April 24, 2019
April 24

April 27, 2019
April 27

April 28, 2019
April 28

April 30, 2019
April 30

As of this writing, I haven’t taken my picture for today, but my May 1 picture does involve a giant check, so May is shaping up to be quite the month!