Category Archives: Alexis

Journal Entry #4,250

Can you believe that this is the 4,250th post in this crazy little thing called “An Artist’s Notebook’. 4,250 posts! It has been 5,549 days since I took keyboard in hand on August 9, 2006 and typed these words:

So here is the first journal entry.

The name of that first journal entry was “First Journal Entry”. I really started out with a bang!

What was that first journal entry?

A set of goals:

+ To write in this journal. Mission accomplished.
+ To be truthful. I’m sure there are some that would disagree, but I’m calling that mission accomplished.
+ To record my achievements and failures in the world of art. Mission accomplished.
+ To produce something that makes me “worthy” of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook. Jury might still be out on that one.

In that first entry I also wrote about attending the Photography Salon Reception with Sara. I go on to complain about the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest and tell a tale about how Jay convinced me to enter the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest that year.

That was it. A simple beginning for a simple man. 5,549 days ago.

When I hit these milestones, I like to check in on a few statistics, to see how things are trending. I like statistics cause they seem to bring order to chaos. It is like the saying goes: “There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.”

Here are some damn lying statistics.

I use “Categories” to help organize this blog. There are 194 of them and the 100 most used Categories can be found on the sidebar of every page on this website. The 100th most used Category is a 3 way tie amongst “Jaycees”, “Vacation”, and “DaeHee”. I’ve use those 3 Categories 65 times each. The 2 Categories that have the greatest shot at breaking into the Top 100 are “Kelly” at 61 current uses and “Town Sign Project” at 59 current uses.

These are the 10 Most Used Categories (Post 4000 Rank and entries):

10. Art – 408 (NR)
9. WPC – Submissions – 417 (8 – 381)
8. Mom – 422 (10 – 363)
7. Carla – 435 (7 – 391)
6. Portrait – 450 (5 -472)
5. Shannon – 458 (6 – 421)
4. Jesse – 529 (4 – 495)
3. Animals – 665 (3 – 620)
2. Flowers – 754 (2 – 693)
1. Black and White – 819 (1 – 698)

These are the 10 Most Used Not a Person Categories:

10. Photoshop – 368 (8 – 327)
9. Nature – 379 (6 – 349)
8. Macro – 390 (7 – 332)
7. Road Trip – 394 (9 – 326)
6. Art – 408 (10 – 314)
5. WPC – Submissions – 417 (5 – 381)
4. Portrait – 450 – (4 – 472)
3. Animals – 665 – (3 – 620_
2. Flowers – 754 – (2 – 693)
1. Black and White – 819 (1 – 698)

There are the 10 Most Used Person Categories (Post 4000 Rank and entries):

10. Vest – 274 (9 – 258)
9. Jen – 277 (10 – 254)
8. Willy – 278 (8 – 268)
7. Derrick – 311 (7 – 295)
6. Jay – 329 (6 – 320)
5. Teresa – 405 (4 – 364)
4. Mom – 422 (5 – 363)
3. Carla – 435 (3 – 391)
2. Shannon – 458 (2 – 421)
1. Jesse – 529 (1 – 495)

The Non Person Categories most likely to break into the Top Ten are “Naima” at 323, “Formal Portrait” at 320, and “Candid Portrait” at 303.

The Person Categories that are most likely to break into the Top Ten are “Kim” at 263, “Logan” at 248, “Sara” and “Micky” both at 239.

After 750 posts, “Photography”, “Friends”, and “Life” were my three most used Categories. I’ve since tried to de-centralize those Categories and they have fallen. I’m trying to do the same with “Portrait”, so It should eventually fall out of the Top Ten as well.

After 1,000 posts, “Jay”, Jesse”, and “Shannon” were the most used Person Categories.

After 1,500 posts, “Jesse”, “Jay”, and “Shannon” were the most used Person Categories”.

After 2,500 posts, “Jesse, “Teresa”, and “Shannon” were the most used Person Categories. It was the same after 3000 posts.

After 4,000 posts, Top 3 had changed to “Jesse”, “Shannon”, and “Carla”. I’ll be curious to see where these number are in another 250 posts.

If you are wondering how to increase your Category usage, it is simple. Submit to THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Be a photo assistant. Show up in THE SELFIE PROJECT. Go on road trips with me. It doesn’t hurt to be related to me either.

But this is a photography online journal, so let’s look at what are the most popular images and galleries on my website?

Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries of the last 365 days:


#10 Weekly Photo Challenge – HOF – 25,192 Views

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2013
#9 Daisies 26,286 Views

Punch Myself in the Face
#8 Christopher D. Bennett 31,665 Views

9 Emotions - Bill
#7 9 Emotions Project 49,215 Views


#6 Iowa 59,724 Views

Soccer with Evie and Layla
#5 Gorshe Family 60,179 Views

Xenia, Iowa
#4 Town Sign Project 72,850 Views

WEEK 293 - HANDS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#3 Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 8 82,681 Views

Day 162 - June 11, 2021
#2 Selfie Project – 2021 128,029 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1 Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020 236,976 Views

At post 4,000 The most popular album was “WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 7”. #2. Was “Christopher D. Bennett”. #3. was “9 Emotions Project”. I’m impressed with the sustained popularity of THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT. I haven’t taken a new picture for it in years. Although I do want to fire it up again.

Most Popular Photography 139 Images of the last 365 days:

Maven's 2021 Birthday Party
#10. Maven’s Gift Table – 2,013 Views

Moingona, Iowa
#9. Moingona Town Sign – 2,029 Views

Iowa State Fair - 2010
#8. Alexis Cheering at the 2010 Iowa State Fair – 2,177 Views

Mom's Retirement Party
#7. Mom’s Retirement Party – 2,669 Views

Day 73 - March 13, 2021
#6. Mom and I at John Wayne Birthplace Museum – 3,716 Views

Youth Group Family Portrait Fundraiser - 2010
#5. Andrea, Josh, and Kids at Youth Group Fundraiser – 2010 – 4,221 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#4. Alexis Pregnant with Anela – 5,485 Views

Day 51 - February 20, 2021
#3. Selfie in Ackley – 6,369 Views

Day 0 - December 31, 2020
#2. Selfie in Front Yard – 6,587 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1. Alexis Pregnant with Anela – 10.355 Views

That picture of Alexis was also #1 at the 4,000 Post Mark, but the other 9 Pictures are completely different. Last time #2 was a picture of Taylan and #3 was a picture of me and Scottie D. at the Pufferbilly Days Parade.

That leads us to my most popular individual posts.

Most Popular An Artist’s Notebook Entries (by Comments)

#10. TOWN SIGN PROJECT: HAMILTON COUNTY – 21 Comments

#10. POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT – MAMIE DOUD EISENHOWER BIRTHPLACE – 21 Comments

#10. TOWN SIGN PROJECT: DALLAS COUNTY – 21 Comments

#7. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 43 – SUNRISE/SUNSET 22 Comments

#7. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 9 – FOOD – 22 Comments

#7. POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT – SOME CHURCHES – 22 Comments

#3. THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE – ROUND TWO – 24 Comments

#3. TENDERLOIN APPRECIATION SOCIETY – WORKING AT HOME – 24 Comments

#3. CARROLL COUNTY AND CRAWFORD COUNTY AUXILIARY IMAGES – 24 Comments

#3.WPC – WEEK 283 – WIND – 24 Comments

#2. LIPTON CUP OF ZINNIA – 32 Comments

#1. TOWN SIGN PROJECT: JASPER COUNTY – 37 Comments

I have to confess that I haven’t been very good about responding to comments left on my blog lately. I swear that I will get better at this again.

The final statistic I want to share are who my most loyal email subscribers. Loyalty isn’t probably the most accurate term, but it is all I have.

Top Five Most Loyal Photography 139 Subscribers

5. Jeanette Duff – 96.4%
4. Angie DeWaard – 98.5%
2. Michelle Haupt – 99.7%
2. Joe Duff – 99.7%
1. Kio Dettman – 100%

Jeanette, Angie, and Kio are new to the Top 5. They replaced Corey, Sara, and Shannon.

Linda and Tamara are the two most likely to break into the Top 5 in the next 250 posts.

We’ll have to check in on these statistics again in another 250 posts!

The Stenslands 2020 Gamma

Here is the final collection of pictures from the Stenslands 2020 family photo shoot:


Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

These were the last pictures from 2020 that I had yet to share. I might start taking Sundays back off from “An Artist’s Notebook”, but I will need to take a look at where I stand with the backlog before making any kind of rash decisions.

2010-09-06

There is a wide collection of images in the folder 2010-09-06. Some are of Jen and Derrick when she was pregnant with Evie. The others are from a Labor Day cookout I hosted at my house for the family. Also, some pictures of a toad I found in my backyard.


Labor Day Toad

Labor Day Toad

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

Labor Day - 2010

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

5 of 6 Alternate

Test Run

Test Run

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

Clu’s Holiday

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK #36

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a turtle.

My (Sad) Photo Contest History – 1

Recently I’ve been working on an organizational project as I prepare to get rid of a bunch of things in Boone’s annual Citywide Cleanup in a couple of weeks. Part of this has been organizing every (almost) picture that I have entered in a photo contest, both physically in a trunk and digitally in my website photo gallery.


Photo Contest Entries
150 or so Photo Entries

Almost every photo I’ve ever entered in in that trunk. Except for a few that I gave away. I thought I would share some of the highs and lows of my photo contest career. To start with, I have only entered 4 photo contests ever:

+ Iowa State Fair Photography Salon
+ Boone County Fair
+ Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest
+ Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest (this contest only existed one year – 2005)

I’ve entered 153 pictures in these 4 photo contests.

I’ve entered pictures of the following people in these photo contests:

+ Olivia
+ Jay
+ Willy
+ Humble Narrator
+ Derrick
+ Rebecca
+ Shannon
+ Alexis
+ Wedding Couple I don’t remember
+ Jill
+ Saydie
+ Kayelee
+ Jesse
+ Shorty
+ Mike Toot
+ Freedom Flight Participants

Plus I have entered pictures of both Karma and Naima.

My very first photo contest was the 2002 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was before they had standardized that pictures had to be matted on 11×14 foamboard. It was long enough ago that one of the pictures I entered was printed from a slide. I entered it because it was somewhat of a legacy contest. My Dad won a category in 1984.

At the time I didn’t realize what a tough contest it was and how hard it was to get even a single picture in. It was dumb luck (which in many ways all photo contests are luck because who knows what the judge likes) that I got one picture accepted for exhibition:


2002 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Odanata the Snake Doctor
Odanata the Snake Doctor

In some ways, this is maybe the most important photo contest entry I ever made. It is possible that 2002 me would have been so distraught that I might not have even entered another photo contest, ever.

This is the picture I entered that was printed from a slide:


2002 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Quietus
Quietus

I still kinda dig this picture. My other 2 entries weren’t even really in focus.

Then I didn’t enter another contest until the 2004 Boone County Fair, where this picture of Karma got a blue ribbon:


2004 Boone County Fair - Karma
Happy Karma

I did enter the Iowa State Fair, but didn’t get any pictures exhibited. But in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, I got two Honorable Mentions in the Black and White Division:


2004 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Light Train by J.C. Janson
Light Train by J.C. Janson

2004 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Shapes
Shapes

Then 2005 came and I “cleaned up” at the Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest:


2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Earth's Laughter
Honorable Mention Color (This picture is now the favicon for this website)

2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Giotto's Bull
3rd Place Black and White

2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Chestnut Street
2nd Place Color

2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Happy Karma
Best in Show and 1st Place Black and White

But my triumph was very short lived. Immediately afterwards, I had my biggest failures ever. I entered two pictures in the Boone County Fair Photography Contest and got no ribbons. This is hard to do. EVERYTHING at the Boone County Fair gets a ribbon. Well everything except me and a jar of moldy jam. My photography was the culinary equivalent of moldy jam.


2005 Boone County Fair Photography Contest - Black, White, and Marigold
The equivalent of moldy jam.

2005 Boone County Fair Photography Contest - Eye of the Beast
The equivalent of moldy jam.

I did rebound to get one picture in at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon and that picture did get an Honorable Mention:


2005 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Colgate Smile
Honorable Mention

But that was bittersweet. It was my first ribbon at the Iowa State Fair, but it was a picture that I had already won a photo contest with, so that was the seeds of my rule of never entering a picture in more than one photo contest.

Also, this picture is still one of my all-time favorites and it has never gotten any love from a photo contest:


2005 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - My Giverny
My Giverny

I get why, but I don’t like it.

Then in 2006, I tried my luck at the Boone County Fair and this time, I got 2 Blue Ribbons, take that moldy jam!


2006 Boone County Fair - Internal Struggle
Blue Ribbon

2006 Boone County Fair - Scene from a Ditch
Blue Ribbon

I would also get 2 pictures exhibited at the Iowa State Fair:


2006 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Kentucky Appetizer
Kentucky Appetizer

2006 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Portrait of Self Portrait
Portrait of Self-Portrait

I would also have a good run at Pufferbilly Days:


2006 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Building 429
3rd Place Black and White

2006 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Grizzly McAlpine
1st Place Black and White

2006 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Outburst of the Soul
Honorable Mention Color

2007 wasn’t a great year for me and Photo Contests. I got shutout at the Iowa State Fair. I didn’t enter the Boone County Fair. I did enter Pufferbilly Days and believe a picture of a train wheel got a ribbon, but I’m struggling to find the documentation for that


2007 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Wheel

2008 also wasn’t a great year. I did get a couple blue ribbons at the Boone County Fair:


2008 Boone County Fair Photo Contest

2008 Boone County Fair Photo Contest

But once again I got shut out at the Iowa State Fair. But I did rebound to get a ribbon at Pufferbilly Days:


2008 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - The Last Refuge
3rd Place Black and White

2009 was also not a stellar year. I did get 2 ribbons at the Boone County Fair:


2009 Boone County Fair Photo Contest
Blue Ribbon

2009 Boone County Fair Photo Contest
Purple Ribbon

But got no other love at any other photo contest.

2010, I once again got two Blue Ribbons at the Boone County Fair:


2010 Boone County Fair -The Best Place to Seek God
Blue Ribbon

2010 Boone County Fair - The Girl in the Blue Skirt Alternate
Blue Ribbon

But once again, I was shut out at the Iowa State Fair. If you are counting, that is four straight years. The Iowa State Fair really hated me.

However, Pufferbilly Days started to show some love:


2010 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Open Mic Night
3rd Place Color

2010 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Black and White
1st Place Black and White

Then 2011 happened. But we’ll get into that story in the conclusion of My (Sad) Photo Contest History.

2010-08-23

The folder 2010-08-23 is absolutely stuffed to the gills. There are so many images in there I almost considered breaking it up into a couple posts, but decided against it. There are pictures in there from a trip to the Iowa State Fair and pictures of Jen and Derrick when Jen was preggers with Evie. Alexis competed in a cheerleading/tumbling competition this year.


Personal Photo Project #43 Alternate

Personal Photo Project #43 Alternate

Personal Photo Project #43 Alternate

Personal Photo Project #43 Alternate

Personal Photo Project #43 Alternate

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

Iowa State Fair - 2010

4 of 6 Alternate

4 of 6 Alternate

4 of 6 Alternate

4 of 6 Alternate

4 of 6 Alternate

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

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK #32

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK #43

STATE FAIR TRIP 2 – COLLECTION 1

STATE FAIR TRIP 2 – COLLECTION 2

RWPE #33 – SILENCE

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a full moon and possibly a baby shower.

The Stenslands 2020 – Beta

It has been over 2 months since I got back to this photo shoot with the Stenslands at the end of 2020. It was a real blessing to have gotten so many of these pictures taken with Mom. She originally was just tagging along and then she went home and changed clothes to be in some of the pictures.


Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

There is still a lot more pictures from this photo session to sahre.