Category Archives: Laura

My (Sad) Photo Contest History – 2

When we left off, I had just won 1st Place in Black and White and 3rd Place in Color at the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but had been completely rejected by the Iowa State Fair for the 4th year in a row.

Whatever I was selling, the judges were not buying. I was despondent, but not discouraged because I knew I had entered some great photos, but they were not what the judges were looking for that year.

2011 comes around. I decided to retire from the Boone County Fair Photo Contest and to start a new way of picking pictures for the Pufferbilly Days. I also had what was probably the peak of my photo contest career at the Iowa State Fair. I got all 4 pictures exhibited. This is extremely hard to do. Thousands of people enter the contest every year. Only 5 of us got all 4 pictures exhibited. You can do the math. It is a big deal.

These are the pictures that were exhibited:


2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - I Recommend Pleasant

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon
2nd Place Class 25

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Must Be Truth

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Drenched in Loneliness
Honorable Mention Class 13

For the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest it was the second year of letting other people select my entrants. Dawn, Derrick, Jen, Scott, Russell, and Rebecca chose my entries. Dawn’s choice got 2nd Place in Black and White:


2011 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Radiant Beams
2nd Place – Black and White

I was pretty excited for 2012. I thought I had cracked the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Code, but there is no code. Some years the judge like you. Some years they don’t. In 2012, they like one of my pictures:


2012 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Truth Perception

That year, I decided to retire from the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

Then shortly after that, I decided to retire from Photo Contests altogether.

But in 2017, the itch came back. I decided to put on a Washington Wizards Jersey and come out of retirement. Hard. I decided to enter all 3 contests again. I got all Blue Ribbons at the Boone County Fair:


2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

I got one picture selected for display at the Iowa State Fair:


2017 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Little Apple

I had the following people select my entries for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest: Jim Robbins (yeah that is a long story), Micky, Michelle, Amber, Laura, and Dawn. However, none of the pictures earned a ribbon.

In 2018, my Boone County Fair entries were determined by popular vote:


2018 Boone County Fair
Red

2018 Boone County Fair
Purple

2018 Boone County Fair
Blue

2018 Boone County Fair
Blue

2018 Boone County Fair
Blue

I had two pictures selected for display at the Iowa State Fair:


2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Peep

2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Christmas Eve Morn

My Pufferbilly Days entries were also selected by popular vote that year:


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - INRI
1st Place Photoshop

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Freedom Flight
1st Place Photojournalism

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Abandoned (Mill Creek)
3rd Place Hidden Treasures of Boone County

2019 would also be a successful year. I moved to having individuals select my Boone County Fair entrants. Shannon, Michelle, and Logan selected my entries.


2019 Boone County Fair
Purple

2019 Boone County Fair
Blue

2019 Boone County Fair
Red

2019 Boone County Fair
Blue

2019 Boone County Fair
Purple

I had one picture selected for exhibition at the Iowa State Fair and it earned a ribbon:


2019 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Entry - Green Little Vaulter
Honorable Mention Class 18

My Pufferbilly Day entries were once again selected by popular vote:


2019 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Hocks
1st Place Nature

2019 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Drops
1st Place Photoshop

In 2020 the pandemic hit and all photo contests were cancelled. Which was sad and I think it was avoidable because in a digital age, I think they could have found a way. For example the Iowa State Fair still held its Fine Arts competition.

Which brings us to 2021. I’m currently working on my next embarrassing failure at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. However, I am not going to enter the Boone County Fair this year. There is a reason for this decision. A very good reason. However, I’m not going to share the reason until it becomes official or it falls through. Things seem to fall through quite often these days. No decision has been made on Pufferbilly Days yet, but Pufferbilly Days has been moved to early August this year. I’m not crazy about the decision, but I’ll give it a chance.

If you want to peruse all 153 Photo Contest entrants in this long weird journey, click on the link below:

Photo Contests

You can see them all from the out of focus to the award winners. The good, the bad, and the moldy jam equivalent.

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

It is time once again for the greatest sporting event of year. It is that time known as March Madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Once again, I will be sponsoring a pool. There is not cost to enter the pool, except for pride.

The winner gets a trophy. The dead last place person gets a trophy known as The Sara*.

By winning, you get your name etched on the list of immortals:

PAST ROUNDBALL ORACLE CHAMPIONS

2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

But I said that there are 2 trophies. The 2nd trophy, The Sara, goes to the adult that finishes dead last, while trying. A person can not tank on purpose and win The Sara. The reason The Sara winner has to be an adult is that I don’t want to mock children, to their face. Probably a better rule would be that to “win” The Sara, you have to be at least a teenager. I have no problem mocking teenagers to their face. I do it pretty much every Wednesday night at Youth Group.

Past “The Sara” Winners:

2019 – Russell Kennerly
2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2014 – Sara Lockner

The Sara doesn’t have the long storied history of the championship trophy, but it will get there. I have no doubts.

Last year, the tournament was cancelled. This year, we will hopefully have a tournament as the world starts to look like it will “normalize” sometime this year. Here’s hoping anyways.

If you are a basketball fan, or are just interested in having fun, click on the link below to join my pool:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

The rules are as follows:
Round 1 = 1 point + seed
Round 2 = 2 points + seed
Round 3 = 4 points + seed
Round 4 = 8 points + seed
Round 5 = 16 points + seed
Rounds 6 = 32 points + seed

The Play-in Games (AKA the First Four) don’t matter. You can wait for those games to complete before filling out your bracket. The deadline to fill out your bracket, is tip-off of the first game on Friday. Roughly 11 AM. Yes, there are no Thursday games this year.

Under special circumstances, I will allow you to turn in a paper bracket to me. So, don’t be afraid to ask.

Yes, your child can fill out a bracket. Your dog, no.

There were 42 competitors in 2019. Now, I doubt there will be as much excitement for the tournament this year, with no Iowa State. But Drake is sorta in the Tournament, so that is exciting!

*You have to be 18 years of age to win “The Sara”.

Miller Time – 2020 – Vol. 4

This is the final collection of pictures from when I went to Manhattan to take pictures of the triplets near their second birthday. Chaos! That is the only way to really describe what a photo session with 3 two year-olds with their own agenda. I should have brought a photo assistant, but that certainly isn’t the easiest thing to do in a pandemic. However, in the future, I am going to try to get Alexis to come with me for all family portrait shoots. She has a great eye for the part of portrait photography that I generally fail at. Posing people. I don’t know that she will want to go on 10 hour car rides, but I’ll figure out a way to make it worth her while.

Here are the remainder of the Miller pictures:


Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020
A picture that proves sometimes, there are no rules in photography.

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Hopefully we have another great photo session when they get ready to turn 3!

Miller Time – 2020 – Vol. 3

I need to start this post off by wishing Lowell a happy birthday. Happy birthday Lowell!


Arizona Day 3

Little League - 2009

Computer Mine Holiday Card - 2017

I hope it was as happy as you wanted it to be!

+++++++

Here is another collection of pictures from when I travelled to Manhattan to take pictures of the Millers. These are mostly post-park pictures, where I was just playing around. Which is what I do best:


Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

There is one more collection of photos from this day still in the hopper.

Miller Time – 2020 – Vol. 1

The picture for the August in the 2021 Photography 139 Calendar was taken after the derecho devastate a good chunk of Iowa. It was taken of the elevator in Luther with a fisheye lens. It was taken on August 11, 2020.


2021 Calendar - August

Here are some details on the photo:

DETAILS

CAMERA: Sony ILCE-7M2
LENS: Fisheye
EXPOSURE: 1/320
ISO: 100
LATITUDE: 41.96685
LONGITUDE: -93.82281

+++++++

Back in October, I made a daytrip to Manhattan, Kansas to take pictures of the triplets around the time of their first birthday. Although a more formal portrait was planned, candid portraits more ruled the day. 1 year olds (particularly 3 of them) don’t cooperate much for formal portraits.

Here are some of my favorites:


Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

Miller Family - 2020

When we got to the park, we ran into a group of witches. Just kidding, it was a group of women that were in the woods, dancing in a circle. They gave us bubbles though, so they were good witches… errr… women dancing in the woods in a circle.

There are definitely more pictures from this day to come.

2009-11-23

I need to start this post by wishing the happiest of birthdays to my bro Nate. Happy birthday Nate!


NATE - SYMPATHY

WEEK 198 - CANDID PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

06-22-09

Nate and Laura Engagement Pictures

Truth is, I just hope Nate gets a good nap on his birthday!

+++++++

The pictures in the folder 2009-11-23 are from a trip I made with the family to Kansas City to watch Alexis compete in a cheerleading competition.

If you niece and nephew are going to compete in a sport, they can do worse than cheerleading. The routines last maybe a couple minutes. The you can leave. It isn’t a several hour commitment. Which is key, because I love my nieces and nephews dearly. But I care nothing about other people’s nieces and nephews. I don’t want to spend hours watching them compete, just to get to watch my niece and/or nephew compete. I want to watch my niece compete. Then I want to go get some tasty barbecue.

What I’m getting at is this, never, under any circumstances, agree to go to a gymnastics meet. There are multiple events and 10,000 kids. The worst part, they all use the same music for the floor exercise. Trust me, you don’t want to hear the same 30 second clip of some horrible song 10,000 times in one day. It will make you psychotic. Just saying…


Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

Be Aggressive!

One caveat though… cheerleading moms 100% live up to the stereotype.

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:

Be Aggressive

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Jill and her foot.

Baby Triforce 1st Birthday Party – Gamma

The third and final collection of pictures from the Miller Triplets birthday party. I know, I’m sad about it too. Who knows when I’ll be able to get adorable triplet pictures again. Hold on to these times my friends.


Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

It could be a long time before I see any of these people again, so I guess Laura’s Snapchat stories and Becca and Bethany’s Instagram posts will have to be enough for now.

+++++++

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



EMOTIONS

An EMOTIONS pictures is pretty simple. It is just a picture of somebody or something showing an EMOTION(S) or even a picture of something that stirs EMOTIONS in you would also work.

I get the notion that this might not be as popular of a theme. I’ve had zero submissions to this point. The last couple of weeks I have had a handful of submissions by now.

Get on it!

And.

Happy photo harvesting!

Baby Triforce 1st Birthday Party – Beta

You want even more pictures of the triplets first birthday party? Guess what. You came to the right location!


Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

The one thing about having triplets is that there is almost enough babies to go around to all the grandparents and aunts and uncles. Almost.

One more collection of Baby Triforce birthday party pictures in the hopper!