Category Archives: Elainie

Mom Video Pictures

When we met with the funeral home to plan my Mom’s funeral, they told us to bring them some pictures so that they could put together a video to play in 3 places during her visitation. I asked how many pictures and they said around 35. I asked what if we could do more than that. They said the max was 50. They didn’t want the video to go too long as they wanted people to keep moving as much as they would. Plus most families don’t even have that many pictures.

I did a cursory look around and without digging too deep my initial collection of pictures was around 140. I went through them with Alexis and Elainie and we were able to trim it down to about 51. Here is a collection of the images from Mom’s Visitation Video and an explanation of why it made the video.


Visitation Video
Mom with Great Granddaughter Anela

Visitation Video
Mom with Great Granddaughter Dahlia

Visitation Video
Mom with Great Granddaughter Anela

Visitation Video
Mom at the Stensland Family Photoshoot in 2020

Visitation Video
Mom picking up Dahlia

Visitation Video
Mom’s Baby Picture

Visitation Video
Mom, Logan, and I after making grape jelly last September.

Visitation Video
Last Family Portrait from 2017.

Visitation Video
Picture I took of Mom while Testing Lights

Visitation Video
Mom with Teresa, Carla, and I at her Retirement Party

Visitation Video
Mom with Teresa and I at a Cyclone Women’s Basketball Game

Visitation Video
Logan taking a Picture of Mom with one of Dad’s Lenses

Visitation Video
Mom and I at the Badlands

Visitation Video
Mom Feeding the Feral Donkeys at Custer State Park

Visitation Video
Mom being Honored as a Cancer Survivor before an Iowa State’s Women’s Basketball Game

Visitation Video
Mom with Logan after his Graduation from Iowa State

Visitation Video
Mom with Carla and I at the Indianola Balloon Festival

Visitation Video
Mom with Johnathan and I at an Iowa State Women’s Basketball Game

Visitation Video
Mom Modeling a Shirt Teresa Made her at an Iowa State Women’s Basketball Game

Visitation Video
Mom with Alexis, Carla, and Anela

Visitation Video
Mom at an Iowa State Women’s Basketball Game with Elainie and Sabas

Visitation Video
Mom with Alexis, Carla, Elainie, Grandma, and Kanoa

Visitation Video
Mom with Dahlia

Visitation Video
Mom with Alexis and Kupono at an Iowa State Women’s Basketball Game

Visitation Video
Mom with Kanoa

Visitation Video
Mom with Dad, Carla, and Teresa at Christmas 1971

Visitation Video
Mom Graduation Picture

Visitation Video
Mom Celebrating a Cyclone 3!

Visitation Video
Mom Taking a Picture of one of my Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Entries

Visitation Video
Mom Planting Flowers at My House

Visitation Video
Mom with Me, Teresa, and Carla down by the Des Moines River

Visitation Video
Mom with Teresa at the 415 Greene House

Visitation Video
Mom in the Rocky Mountains

Visitation Video
Mom with Me in the Rocky Mountains

Visitation Video
Mom School Picture

Visitation Video
Mom with Dad – their Wedding Picture

Visitation Video
Mom with her Grandkids – Johnathan, Alexis, Logan, Elainie, and Brandon

Visitation Video
Mom at the Oklahoma City Memorial – Alexis and Elainie really wanted this picture in because they have so many memories of Mom taking pictures with that little silver camera that I gave her.

Visitation Video
Mom with her Grandsons – They wanted this picture in because while they were supposed to be out their helping her, she was the one doing the work.

Visitation Video
Mom at Grandma’s 90th Birthday Party

Visitation Video
This was one of the Last Pictures I took of Grandma and Mom

Visitation Video
Mom with her Siblings at Grandma’s 90th Birthday Party

Visitation Video
Mom in her Living Room with her Family – Thanksgiving 2015

Visitation Video
Mom and I at Mount Rushmore

Visitation Video
Mom with her Friends at Church

Mom's Phone
Mom with her Siblings and their Spouses and Grandma

Mom's Phone
Mom with Elainie and Carla at the Lincoln Memorial

Mom's Phone
Mom with Carla at the Atlantic Ocean

Mom's Phone
Mom with Carla on the Beach in Virginia

Visitation Video
They Concluded the Video with this Picture of Mom Serving Communion

Visitation Video
This is the Last Picture I ever took of Mom – We were at the John Wayne Museum – She loved John Wayne Westerns, but not his war movies. What you can’t tell from the picture is that she is wearing a shirt with the names of her 4 Great Grandchildren on it. It had become one of her favorite shirts and she seemed to wear it on all of our most recent road trips.

I have more tributes to my Mom to share. But the remaining ones will be more words than pictures.

Thank you again for all the thoughts, prayers, support, and everything else that you guys have given my family during these times.

WPC – WEEK 289 – LOVE

For those of you that haven’t heard, my Mom passed away about 10 days ago. Because of that, I have not been in a state to reveal the submissions for LOVE on time or reveal the new theme for last week. Because of that, I don’t know how steady my posts are going to be in the next few weeks, but this site might just turn into a fan page for my Mom for a little while. However, I will do my best to get back on track with THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Because of that, there will be two themes for this week to get back on track with the Photography 139 Calendar.

Sara’s submission was not exactly an intended submission, but its message was a perfect encapsulation of what I needed to see when it came through. Thank you Sara!

Here are the submissions for LOVE:


WEEK 289 - LOVE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 289 - LOVE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 289 - LOVE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 289 - LOVE - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 289 - LOVE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 289 - LOVE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 289 - LOVE - STEVE WHITE
Steve White

WEEK 289 - LOVE - STEVE WHITE
Steve White

WEEK 289 - LOVE - STEVE WHITE
Steve White

WEEK 289 - LOVE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 289 - LOVE - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 289 - LOVE - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth

WEEK 289 - LOVE - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 289 - LOVE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 289 - LOVE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 289 - LOVE - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner

WEEK 289 - LOVE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

Here is the first of two themes to work on this week:


WEEK 290 - SLICE OF LIFE
SLICE OF LIFE

It was apropos that the theme was LOVE the week that we had to say goodbye to Mom. I don’t know anybody that embodied the various definitions of LOVE than my Mom. It is strange that the very next theme is SLICE OF LIFE. SLICE OF LIFE is a theme that was designed to honor my Dad. For those of you that don’t know, my Dad passed away when I was 9 years old. His legacy is a large part of the reason as to why I got into photography. He had started a postcard company called Slice of Life.

Therefore, a SLICE OF LIFE image is an image that looks at your local town and capture an image that could be used as a postcard. His postcards were black and white, if you want to go the extra mile.

The second theme to work on this week:


WEEK 291 - DRINKS
DRINKS

This theme isn’t very complicated. It is merely a picture of a DRINK or DRINK(S).

THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE RULES:

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.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

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.

Good luck!

Jasper County Auxiliary Images

This is a reminder that at this point you have 1 hour to get your picks in for my NCAA Tournament Pool. Click on the link below to get started:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

Good luck!

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I need to wish my Aunt Linda a happy birthday today. Happy birthday Aunt Linda!


Bennett Family Reunion

Slice of Life Volume 5

August 29, 2017

Slice of Life Volume 4

Bennett Family Reunion

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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A couple months back I traveled the roads of Jasper County to harvest their town signs. Here is a collection of the non-town sign pictures I took on that trip:


Jasper County
Newton, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Kellogg, Iowa

Jasper County
Oakland Acres, Iowa – A town that shoves it in the face of towns that don’t “heart” their children.

Jasper County

Jasper County
Lynnville, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Sully, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County

Jasper County
Monroe, Iowa

Jasper County

Jasper County
I absolutely love this church motto.

Jasper County

Jasper County

I want to visit Jasper County again this year and go to their drive-in movie theater. One of only like 3 left in the state.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY:


WEEK 288 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

It is here. Judgement Day. The last theme that didn’t get double digit submissions. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. 76 weeks ago. September 23, 2019.

There were only 7 submissions from 7 people:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe
+ Andy Sharp
+ Kim Barker
+ Humble Narrator
+ Stephanie Kim
+ Tamara Peterson
+ Jesse Howard

But what is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY? Why is it so scary and intimidating?

Sorry, Chris from 5 seconds ago. I reject your premise. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY isn’t scary or intimidating. It is awesome!

Some of the best and most famous photographers in history were STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers.

+ Dorothea Lange
+ Helen Levitt
+ Diane Arbus
+ Robert Frank
+ Fan Ho
+ Vivian Maier
+ Robert Doisneau
+ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Okay, great, you are thinking, but you still haven’t defined STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. Is it pictures of a street? No, but it is photography that often takes place on the streets.

Here is the best definition: “conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places.”

The 2 most important things. RANDOM and PUBLIC. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is often mistaken for CANDID PORTRAITS. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY has to be done in a public place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a portrait. It can be a piece of art. It can be a building. It can be a sign. It doesn’t have to be on a street. It can be at a sporting event. It can be at an art festival. A farmer’s market. The most common place would be a business district. It only has to meet those 2 criteria: public and random.

What is public? I mean that is pretty obvious. It can’t be in your house or in your friend’s house. It has to be somewhere in the public. Where other people can be.

What is random? That simply means that you didn’t go to wherever you went with the intent of taking that picture. Something about the place you went to compelled you to take that picture. You may have went there to take a picture, but not a pre-planned picture.

Some people think of STREET PHOTOGRAPHY as candid portraits. It isn’t, but it certainly can be. However, the picture can be of street art like the example. Egene Atget, was the first STREET PHOTOGRAPHYer. He took pictures of buildings.

I’ll make one last comparison. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is to photography what jazz is to music. It is all about improvisation. This is perhaps why I love it so much.

Okay, one last thing. Most of the great STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers worked in black & white. I’m not saying your submission should be in black & white, but it is something to think about.

Also, think about this quote before thinking about your STREET PHOTOGRAPHY creation:

“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected you find in the street.”
-Robert Doisneau

Happy photo harvesting!

WPC – WEEK 287 – PICTURE IN PICTURE

I need to start today by wishing my sister Carla a happy birthday. Happy birthday Carla!


05-12-08

Slice of Life Volume 1

Stensland Family Photo Shoot - 2016

Stenslands- 2020

Canvas No. 10

I hope your birthday is as wonderful as you want it to be!

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I also need to wish Monica a happy birthday. Happy birthday Monica!


Monica

04-10-08

Roland VFW Fundraiser

Cheaper than Therapy

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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We did it! 76 straight weeks of double digit submissions! I was worried about PICTURE IN PICTURE for a bit, but we came through!

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


WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - AARON BARNETT
Aaron Barnett

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 287 - PICTURE IN PICTURE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

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 288 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

It is here. Judgement Day. The last theme that didn’t get double digit submissions. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. 76 weeks ago. September 23, 2019.

There were only 7 submissions from 7 people:

+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe
+ Andy Sharp
+ Kim Barker
+ Humble Narrator
+ Stephanie Kim
+ Tamara Peterson
+ Jesse Howard

But what is STREET PHOTOGRAPHY? Why is it so scary and intimidating?

Sorry, Chris from 5 seconds ago. I reject your premise. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY isn’t scary or intimidating. It is awesome!

Some of the best and most famous photographers in history were STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers.

+ Dorothea Lange
+ Helen Levitt
+ Diane Arbus
+ Robert Frank
+ Fan Ho
+ Vivian Maier
+ Robert Doisneau
+ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Okay, great, you are thinking, but you still haven’t defined STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. Is it pictures of a street? No, but it is photography that often takes place on the streets.

Here is the best definition: “conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places.”

The 2 most important things. RANDOM and PUBLIC. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is often mistaken for CANDID PORTRAITS. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY has to be done in a public place. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a portrait. It can be a piece of art. It can be a building. It can be a sign. It doesn’t have to be on a street. It can be at a sporting event. It can be at an art festival. A farmer’s market. The most common place would be a business district. It only has to meet those 2 criteria: public and random.

What is public? I mean that is pretty obvious. It can’t be in your house or in your friend’s house. It has to be somewhere in the public. Where other people can be.

What is random? That simply means that you didn’t go to wherever you went with the intent of taking that picture. Something about the place you went to compelled you to take that picture. You may have went there to take a picture, but not a pre-planned picture.

Some people think of STREET PHOTOGRAPHY as candid portraits. It isn’t, but it certainly can be. However, the picture can be of street art like the example. Egene Atget, was the first STREET PHOTOGRAPHYer. He took pictures of buildings.

I’ll make one last comparison. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY is to photography what jazz is to music. It is all about improvisation. This is perhaps why I love it so much.

Okay, one last thing. Most of the great STREET PHOTOGRAPHYers worked in black & white. I’m not saying your submission should be in black & white, but it is something to think about.

Also, think about this quote before thinking about your STREET PHOTOGRAPHY creation:

“The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected you find in the street.”
-Robert Doisneau

Meditate on this before you go out looking for some STREET PHOTOGRAPHY images.

Then send me your submission(s) by 11 AM CST next Monday. The picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.

You can send your images to either bennett@photography139.com OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of PICTURE IN PICTURE in this place that was born on the streets next Monday.

The Stenslands 2020- Alpha

Today is the second Sunday of Lent. I’m going to share a devotional by Reverend Ron Carlson:

Giving up and letting go

Rev. Ron Carlson
John 2:13-22

It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple those who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves, as well as those involved in exchanging currency sitting there. He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep. He scattered the coins and overturned the tables of those who exchanged currency. He said to the dove sellers, “Get these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a place of business.” His disciples remembered that it is written, Passion for your house consumes me.
Then the Jewish leaders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? What miraculous sign will you show us?”

Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days I’ll raise it up.”

The Jewish leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?” But the temple Jesus was talking about was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered what he had said, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

It is ironic that the communications folks asked me to develop a devotion based on this passage, known by many as Jesus cleansing the Temple. It is ironic because I can have a bit of a temper and have at times in my life gotten pretty upset. Many times, in an effort to calm me, my wife has reminded me that Jesus did not operate out of anger, but love. I believe that every time she has tried to hold me accountable in this way, I have brought up this story. While many of us have used this story to justify a moment of anger, I don’t necessarily believe Jesus was angry.

Our passage takes place in the temple, as the time of Passover is approaching. When I look at the picture the writer of the Gospel is laying out for us, I imagine more of an open-air market than a sacred space. I picture crowds of people, fast talking vendors, loud noises and enough cattle to keep some of my rural neighbors very busy. It is no wonder that we find it easy to think Jesus was upset when he experienced this in his Father’s house.

We need to remember that Passover was a feast where many traveled to the temple from great distances. We also need to recall that cattle, sheep, and doves were required for burnt offerings, and that the required offerings needed to be perfect. It would not have been possible for travelers to have brought with them the proper offerings. Also, the Roman and Greek coins the pilgrims would have brought along would not have sufficed for their temple tax. Due to the human images on their coins, they needed to be exchanged for Tyrian currency in Jerusalem. While the atmosphere might seem awkward to us, it was needed for worship to occur.

There are some scholars who see Jesus’ actions as an attack on those who are taking advantage of the worshipers. I think we see something broader in scope, In my opinion he was confronting the systems of worship, not the abuse of those systems. Jesus complains that his father’s house has become a place of business. Since this business was necessary to maintain the system of sacrifice and tithes, I see this as Jesus issuing a powerful challenge to the authority of the temple and its worship.

In doing this, Jesus echoes the great tradition of Old Testament prophets who cried out about sacrilegious activities in the temple, against corrupting the worship of God, and substituting ritual for devotion. Prophets who usually began their addresses with “This is the word of God…” Their messages were filled with God’s judgment and grace, they often pointed out where God’s people had strayed from God’s way. Like many prophets before, Jesus’ message is not understood initially, we see that it is only understood through the lens of his death and resurrection.

In the words of Gail R. O’Day, “Jesus challenges a religious system so embedded in its own rules and practices that it is no longer open to a fresh revelation from God, a temptation that exists for contemporary Christianity as well as for the Judaism of Jesus’ day.” What does this challenge mean to you and me? Where are we closed to the idea of something different and what are we holding onto so tightly that we will not be open to the idea of reformation, change or renewal?

Lent is a perfect time for us to reflect on these questions and others like them. Others in this space have noted that Lent is traditionally a season of giving up. Giving up and letting go is an important individual spiritual discipline in this season, because it allows us to draw closer to God. What do we need to give up and let go so that we may draw closer to God? What idols are we clutching so tightly that we are losing feeling in our hands? Would Jesus take the whip and chase these things from the temple?

Almost a year ago we were just beginning to truly understand the pandemic that was upon us as people of this world. Since that time, there have been many things that have changed about Sunday morning. In this time, we have learned to let go of some things that we would not have ever dreamed letting go. Things like responsive readings, singing with gusto and even fellowship time. At some point we will pick some of those things back up because we can, and they are important to us. Are they important to God? I am quite sure there will be other things we will look back on and wonder why we thought they were so important. The important thing is that we have still been able to worship God.

There are many things that we do in our lives because that is just the way we do them. These things may not be important to the desired end result, but they are important because they feel comfortable. I am pretty sure the vendors and coin changers in the Temple were comfortable. They were making a good living, and it looked like nothing would get in the way. They were doing God’s work, helping others to worship God. Then Jesus pointed out where change was needed.
What is Jesus pointing to today in your life? We need to be open to change. To be open to change we need to let go of our idols. What better time than Lent to begin that process. Through Christ and by Christ we can go where we need to be, closer to him.

As we go our separate ways receive this blessing – may “The Lord bless you and protect you. The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.” Amen.

Next Sunday I will share a devotional from Rev. Dr. Heecheo Jeon.

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A few months back when Sabas and Ealinie were back from California for Christmas, I met the Stenslands up at Amanda’s office to do a quick family portrait photo shoot. I only got to see Elainie and Sabas twice while they were back because of the incredibly mismanaged pandemic, just another reason I can’t wait for this to be over. Or at least until I can get vaccinated.

Any ways, here is my first collection of favorites from the 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

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

Stenslands- 2020

If you want to see more pictures from this photo shoot, click on the link below:

Stenslands – 2020

Also, if you have any kind of real estate needs in Boone or anywhere near Boone, you should 100% hit up Amanda and iHome Realty!

Post #4,000

August 9, 2006. That was the date where I first took keyboard in hand and began typing out the blog that I entitled “An Artist’s Notebook”. I entitled that first post “First Journal Entry”. The categories for that first post were “Blogging”, “Contests”, “Jay”, and “Sara”.

This is the first paragraph I posted:

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

Then it goes on to talk about how I attended the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Reception with Sara to see what two pictures had been accepted for display that year. Then I would go on to talk about how Jay had talked me into entering the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

The last line of the entry was simply:

I don’t want to mail it in.

While I was actually referencing the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, it is my hope that I also didn’t choose to “mail it in” as it pertains to “An Artist’s Notebook”.

It has been 5,276 days since that first post. 5,276 days to reach this day and the 4,000th post in this blog, or “online journal” like I sometimes call it when I don’t like calling it a blog. It is hard to believe I have made it this far, for this long.

It hasn’t been necessarily smooth sailing the whole time. My website has been through a couple different servers. I have been through a couple different hosts for the blog part of the website. I have been through 4 (I think) different image hosting options in those 5,275 days. That jumping around for image hosting solutions did cause the problem that images from my posts from the first few years of this website’s existence have had to be “restored” slowly over time. So far I have semi-successfully restored all the entries though June of 2010. Which means, I still have a full year’s worth of entries left to restore. Somewhere in 2011, was when I fully made the move to my current SmugMug image hosting solution. I have unfortunately lost a few images, probably forever, mostly old phone pictures, but those old posts are as complete as they will ever be.

When I hit these milestones, I like to publish a lot of fairly meaningless stats. This one will be no different. So, here are the “An Artist’s Notebook” categories that I have used the most often:

Top 10 An Artist’s Notebook Categories

#1. Black & White – 698 Entries

#2. Flowers – 693 Entries

#3. Animals – 620 Entries

#4. Jesse – 495 Entries

#5. Portrait – 472 Entries

#6. Shannon – 421 Entries

#7. Carla – 391 Entries

#8. WPC – Submissions – 381 Entries

#9. Teresa – 364 Entries

#10. Mom – 363 Entries

Top Ten An Artist’s Notebook People Categories

#1. Jesse – 495 Entries

#2. Shannon – 421 Entries

#3. Carla – 391 Entries

#4. Teresa – 364 Entries

#5. Mom – 363 Entries

#6. Jay – 320 Entries

#7. Derrick – 295 Entries

#8. Willy – 268 Entries

#9. Vest – 258 Entries

#10. Jen – 254 Entries

Top Ten Non-People An Artist’s Notebook Categories

#1. Black & White – 698 Entries

#2. Flowers – 693 Entries

#3. Animals – 620 Entries

#4. Portrait – 472 Entries

#5. WPC – Submissions – 381 Entries

#6. Nature – 349 Entries

#7. Macro – 332 Entries

#8. Photoshop – 327 Entries

#9. Road Trip – 326 Entries

#10. Art – 314 Entries

People often ask what is the best way to improve their Photography 139 Category Score. The easiest way is to submit pictures to THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. But posing for and assisting me with photo project or photo adventures is also a very good way.

What people have a shot at cracking the Top Ten by the time we hit Post #5,000? Kim, Sara, Logan, and Micky all have a shot. But 1,000 posts is a long ways away. So anybody has a shot!

But what are the Ten Most Popular Photo Galleries in Photography 139 history? Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question. I can only process stats up to 365 days ago. However, I can tell you the Ten Most Popular Photo Galleries of the last 365 Days are.

Click on the image to peruse that gallery.

Top Ten Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries (by view) of the Last 365 Days


WEEK 209 - ARCHITECTURE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#1. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 7 – 57697 Views

Be True
#2. Christopher D. Bennett – 41080 Views

9 Emotions Project - Johnathan
#3. 9 Emotions Project – 36972 Views

Taylan Howard
#4. Taylan Howard – 2020 – 34075 Views

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2016
#5. Daisies – 26800 Views

Morning in America
#6. Drone – 24659 Views

WEEK 274 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#7. Weekly Photo Challenge – HOF – 24603 Views

Be Aggressive!
#8. Family Happenings – 18,231 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#9. Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020 – 17057 Views

Black Lives Matter - Boone
#10. Black Lives Matter – Boone – 2020 – 16160 Views

The Ten Most Popular Photography 139 Images of the Last 365 Days (by Views)


Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1. 7254 Views

Taylan Howard
#2. 3153 Views

2020 Birthday Party Invites
#3. 2460 Views (Photo by Logan Kahler)

Cousin Amy and Sam - 2009
#4. 2228 Views

Garrett Larson
#5. 2127 Views

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2009
#6. 2111 Views

Camping World Bowl Road Trip - Day 3
#7. 1971 Views

2019  Computer Mine Holiday Card
#8. 1916 Views

The Most Tolerable Third Party
#9. 1891 Views

The Hero of Africa
#10. 1830 Views

Now the secret to the popularity of some of these images is that they are cover photos for albums, but shhhh… don’t tell anybody!

Another category of meaningless statistics, I’d like to share is what have been the most popular posts since the inception of “An Artist’s Notebook”. Although it might not be the most accurate way to judge such things, the only statistic I can use to judge this is “Comments” left on each post. That doesn’t mean emails or text messages or comments I received in person. These are comments that were left in the Comments section of each post.

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

#1. The People’s Choice Round Two – 24 Comments

#2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 9 – Food – 22 Comments

#2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 43 – Sunrise/Sunset – 22 Comments

#4. Town Sign Project: Hamilton County – 21 Comments

#4. Town Sign Project: Dallas County – 21 Comments

#6. Postcard Recreation Project: Some Churches – 20 Comments

#6. Rodan139: Swede Valley Lutheran Church – 20 Comments

#8. Will History Blame Me… – 19 Comments

#9. Yo, Ya Just Get in that, You Get in that Head Space, Ya Know – 15 Comments

#9. You Can Call it a Comeback – 15 Comments

#9. Wild Goose Chase – 15 Comments

#9. Sorry Not Sorry – 15 Comments

One thing to note is that each “An Artist’s Notebook” entry has its Comments section close 30 days after being posted. Some of those still have a chance to grow, but most have been locked into place forever.

The last statistic I want to share before closing out Post #4,000 is kind of a loyalty score. To even be considered for this list, you first have to have a Photography 139 Email Subscription. The following is a statistic based on “loyalty” for lack of a better term to that service.

Top Five Most Loyal Photography 139 Subscribers

1. Michelle Haupt – 99%
2. Joe Duff – 97%
3. Shannon Bardole-Foley – 94%
4. Sara Lockner – 90%
5. Corey Faust – 89%

Thanks to everybody that has supported this adventure for 14 years, 5 months, and now 10 days!

Loess Hills

Back during the week of Labor Day, I took a week of vacation. I believe it was the only full week of vacation I took in 2020. One of the things I did while on vacation was take a road trip out to the Loess Hills. My ultimate destination was Preparation Canyon State Park. I think I may have entered from the wrong side, because I didn’t really find all that much there, but a few miles from the State Park, I found a beautiful Loess Hills observation deck. Here are some pictures:


Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

Loess Hills

If you don’t know about the Loess Hills, here is some information from the Wikipedia:

The dominant features of this landscape are “peak and saddle” topography, “razor ridges” (narrow ridges, often less than 10 feet (3 m) wide, which fall off at near ninety-degree angles on either side for 60 feet (18 m) or more), and “cat-step” terraces (caused by the constant slumping and vertical shearing of the loess soil). The soil has a characteristic yellow hue and is generally broken down into several units based on the period of deposition (Loveland, Pisgah, Peoria). Loess is known locally as “sugar clay” because it can be extremely hard when dry, but when wet, loses all cohesion. The Loess Hills of Iowa are remarkable for the depth of the drift layer, often more than 90 feet (27 m) deep. The only comparable deposits of loess to such an extent are located in Shaanxi, China.

It is a uniquely beautiful part of Iowa.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is FAMILY:


WEEK 278 - FAMILY
FAMILY

FAMILY! The first theme of the 8th (full) year of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

What defines a FAMILY photo? First, you need to define what makes a FAMILY? Is it a group of people that share the same Deoxyribonucleic Acid? Or does the definition stretch a little bit farther than what can be placed in a test tube? Is a FAMILY a group of people that have a common set of beliefs? A common set of values? A common set of goals? A common set of experiences? Or perhaps the one thing that binds a group and makes them a FAMILY is LOVE? I’m sure there are more than a few that have come from a dysfunctional FAMILY would argue that love does not define a FAMILY. And others that would argue that just because you share that double helix with somebody, doesn’t make them FAMILY at all.

Personally, I like to think that FAMILY is more than what is in the blood in your body, but is more defined by the people (sentient beings) that you would spill blood for. Yours or others.

There is a scene in one of my favorite movies (Top 100 for sure) GARDEN STATE where the main character (Andrew Largeman) is discussing the idea of home with his romantic interest (Sam). They have the following interaction:

Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.

Sam: I still feel at home in my house.

Andrew Largeman: You’ll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.

Happy photo harvesting!

WPC – WEEK 277 – TRANSPORTATION

This is the final week of the Hall of Fame THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE themes. TRANSPORTATION is a good way to end it, I suppose. 66! That is the number of weeks in a row we have hit double digit submissions! WooHoo!

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


WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEJ 277 - TRANSPORTATION - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEJ 277 - TRANSPORTATION - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEJ 277 - TRANSPORTATION - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 277 -  TRANSPORTATION - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 277 - TRANSPORTATION - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

If you want to take a look back at all the images submitted for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – HALL OF FAME, click on the link below:

Weekly Photo Challenge – HOF

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 278 - FAMILY
FAMILY

FAMILY! The first theme of the 8th (full) year of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

What defines a FAMILY photo? First, you need to define what makes a FAMILY? Is it a group of people that share the same Deoxyribonucleic Acid? Or does the definition stretch a little bit farther than what can be placed in a test tube? Is a FAMILY a group of people that have a common set of beliefs? A common set of values? A common set of goals? A common set of experiences? Or perhaps the one thing that binds a group and makes them a FAMILY is LOVE? I’m sure there are more than a few that have come from a dysfunctional FAMILY would argue that love does not define a FAMILY. And others that would argue that just because you share that double helix with somebody, doesn’t make them FAMILY at all.

Personally, I like to think that FAMILY is more than what is in the blood in your body, but is more defined by the people (sentient beings) that you would spill blood for. Yours or others.

There is a scene in one of my favorite movies (Top 100 for sure) GARDEN STATE where the main character (Andrew Largeman) is discussing the idea of home with his romantic interest (Sam). They have the following interaction:

Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn’t really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.

Sam: I still feel at home in my house.

Andrew Largeman: You’ll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it’s gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.

Sam: [cuddles up to Andrew] Maybe.

Meditate on what FAMILY means to you and take an image that shows exactly that.

Then send me you submission(s) by 11 AM next Monday. Remember, while I might consider you FAMILY, the picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.

You can send your images to either bennett@photography139.com OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of FAMILY in this not quite imaginary, but not quite real place next Monday.

On the Rocks

I need to start the day by wishing a couple people a happy birthday. I need to start with my nephew Brandon. Happy birthday Brandon!


Jealousy - Brandon Kahler

Brandon Kahler - Senior Night

August 31, 2019

Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

Logan Graduation

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!

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It is also Frank’s birthday. Frank was instrumental in getting this website up and going. Its first home was the webserver living in his basement. He helped get it set up originally and hosted it for free and helped with the domain registration. I don’t think I’ve seen Frank since the pandemic started, and that really sucks. Happy birthday Frank!


Frank

Arizona Vacation

2017 - Monstars

WEEK 181 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

Computer Mine Holiday Card - 2012

I hope your birthday was as amazing as you want it to be!

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I started my freezing flowers in blocks of ice with your standard daisy. But I thought I would try some flowers with more color. So next I tried Brown-eyed Susans and Zinnias.


Radiation of Happiness - 2020

Radiation of Happiness - 2020

Radiation of Happiness - 2020

Radiation of Happiness - 2020

Radiation of Happiness - 2020

Radiation of Happiness - 2020

Unloved Flower - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

I wasn’t done playing with this idea still. So there are more ice block flower pictures yet to be curated.

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This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is FOOD:


WEEK 273 - FOOD
FOOD

A FOOD photo is any image of FOOD or people eating FOOD or ingredients to make FOOD or people preparing FOOD or people cleaning up after eating FOOD.

Happy photo harvesting!

Blessings 2020

Let’s face it. 2020 has been a terrible year. I could spend hours and hours polishing this turd, but a turd is still a turd.

I basically only see 2 other people on a regular basis right now. Willy and I haven’t held a Friday Night Supper Club since March 13. We went to Jimmy’s for their Friday the 13th sale. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve seen any of my nieces and nephews this year. I’ve been able to hold a couple of Union Street Theater Nights in the reconfigured Union Street Theater, but it isn’t really the same. The masks and the sound of the air purifiers makes conversation a little difficult and food is definitely a missing element. Since March, the only stores I have been inside are the Boone Wal-Mart and Boone Hardware. I go to Hy-Vee every other week. I’ve seen Bethany twice. Nate and Laura once. Becca, not at all. I haven’t seen the Lockners at all. I’ve seen the Gorshes thrice. I run into Willy around town now and again. Jay stops by here and there to work on his homework. I see Jesse now and again. I haven’t met Kalista’s baby. Baier, Russell, Andree? Distant memories. Since I left the Computer Mine with the belief that I would be working from home for a few weeks, the only co-workers of note that I’ve seen in person are Vest, Lowell, Kim, and Elizabeth. I haven’t met Jorge’s twins. My church has had maybe a dozen worship services and those are suspended again. The Mission Trip is cancelled. There will be no Mission Trip next year. Youth Group has been put on hold indefinitely. For the first time since September 18, 2004, they played football games at Jack Trice Stadium and I wasn’t in attendance. The Cyclones Women’s Basketball Season just tipped off. I wasn’t there. I will most likely, not be able to attend any Cyclones Men’s games this year.

All of that being said, 2020 has still been an embarrassment of blessings for me. In a time where the pandemic was horribly mismanaged by an inept and corrupt federal government, causing employment rates to go through the roof and food insecurity and evictions to sweep across the country like a second plague, I have not had to worry about my job. As these pandemic pounds can attest, I haven’t once had to worry about my next meal. I was in a solid enough financial position that when the $1200 dollar stimulus check hit my bank account I wasn’t sure what to do with it. We were supposed to put it where it would do the most good, so I donated some of it to Joe Biden’s campaign.

While the only people I see on a regular basis are Mom and Teresa. I am still blessed with a pretty incredible family:


Bennett Family Photo Shoot - 2017

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

While I see them rarely, I still have a pretty incredible set of friends:


March 12, 2019

August 10, 2019

August 13, 2019

LOSER - BLACK & WHITE

Self Portrait Project - 2012

Photo Journal - Page 56 Reject

Honey Hollow

PORTRAIT - ALTERNATE

While we don’t get to worship an awesome God together right now, I still have a pretty incredible church family:


October 27, 2019

October 30, 2019

September 25, 2019

June 27, 2019

June 23, 2019

January 16, 2019

While I continue to work at home, I still talk to and try to stay in contact with my amazing work family:


August 30, 2019

December 27, 2019

PORTRAIT - ALTERNATE

And while Naima is becoming off the charts spoiled, I’m blessed to have her in my life as well:


Black and White Alternate

I hope to see so much more of all of you in 2021. In fact, I’ve started to compile a list of things that I look forward to doing when this pandemic subsides. It isn’t a glamorous list. But that is a sign of 2020.