Category Archives: Logan

Logan’s Toy

Back in August, Logan purchased a new mirrorless Sony camera. I took it for a brief run through my backyard for fun.

I’ve been on the struggle bus lately because it is about time that I purchase a new camera but I can’t decide if I should stay in the world of the DSLR or join the mirrorless revolution. The issue being that Sony really only makes one DSLR that is better than my current DSLR.

Mirrorless is undeniably the future, but to make the move, I would have to commit to an entirely different lens lineup and I kind of like my current lenses. Not to mention I shudder to think what it would cost to replace them with comparable lenses.

I haven’t made my mind up and an upcoming auto bill means that I probably won’t pull the trigger any time soon, but we’ll see what happens. I could probably spend that money in better ways, but we both know that isn’t really what I do.

Here are some pictures I made playing with Logan’s mirrorless camera:

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

Logan's Toy

I guess there is no rush to make a choice. The 77ii is still going strong, even though I thought I had killed it twice this year under some rainy circumstances.

The number one thing other photographers don’t respect about me (to my face) is my lack of care for my equipment. But you know what? I’m going to get the shot I want!

Selfie Project – December

December was a truly busy month. I actually left the state more than one. I visited places like Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.

I feel I ended this attempt at THE SELFIE PROJECT fairly strong. Here are some of my favorite pictures from December:

December 1, 2019
December 1

December 2, 2019
December 2

December 3, 2019
December 3

December 4, 2019
December 4

December 5, 2019
December 5

December 6, 2019
December 6

December 7,  2019
December 7

December 10, 2019
December 10

December 12, 2019
December 12

December 14, 2019
December 14

December 15, 2019
December 15

December 19, 2019
December 19

December 20, 2019
December 20

December 21, 2019
December 21

December 22, 2019
December 22

December 23, 2019
December 23

December 24, 2019
December 24

December 25, 2019
December 25

December 26, 2019
December 26

December 27, 2019
December 27

December 28, 2019
December 28

December 30, 2019
December 30

December 31, 2019
December 31

January 1, 2020
January 1

I might do a year-end look at THE SELFIE PROJECT, at some point, but if I don’t, you can peruse all THE SELFIE PROJECT pictures by clicking on the link below:


I’m not duplicating this project in 2020. I might do a “selfie-type” project, but it will be completely different.


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

WEEK 225 - HDR

Remember an HDR image is a combination of several images to create on image with expanded dynamic range. Pretty much every camera will have an HDR setting that will do this for you automatically. If you can find me, I can show you the setting on your camera.

Happy photo harvesting!

After While Crocodile

On Christmas Day, my family was sitting around Carla and Jason’s basement digesting a delicious meal, letting DIE HARD play in the background, playing pool, and discussing one of Amanda’s latest real estate projects.

It was not going to be a joyous Christmas. About a week before Christmas, my last living grandparent was put into hospice care at the Boone County Hospital. Grandma Paris.

Grandma had 7 children and they had been taking shifts around the clock to make sure she was never alone. My Mom’s shift was from 3:30 to 7. Mom was about an hour away from going to cover her shift when the call came that she should come immediately. The time was here.

Teresa drove the Mom to the hospital. About 10 minutes later my phone rang and it was Teresa. Grandma was gone.

She was 94 years old and while she had been suffering from the symptoms of dementia for several years, she had never lost her wit. Just a few weeks earlier, one of my aunts was grousing about family conflict and asked Grandma, “Why did you have to have all of these kids?”

Grandma shot back, “Which one of them do you think I shouldn’t have had?”

My aunt had no response.

That was Grandma.

Her obituary:

Obituary for Doris Paris
Doris Paris
August 20, 1925 – December 25, 2019

Doris Irene (Majors) Paris, 94, died peacefully on Wednesday, December 25, 2019 at the Boone County Hospital in Boone, Iowa.

Doris, the daughter of Robert Lee and Goldie Faye (Patterson) Majors was born in Old Centerville, Iowa, August 20, 1925. She attended Hickory Grove School and received her GED from Des Moines Area Community College.

On March 7, 1942, she married Lyle R. Paris in Bethany, Missouri. She retired following 29 years of service with Bourns, Inc. located in Ames.

In 1937 she was baptized at the Central Christian Church and served as deacon, member of Christian Women’s Fellowship Group #1, Home Builder’s Sunday School class and choir. She also served many years as the church’s kitchen leader for its Annual Harvest Dinner, funeral luncheons and monthly lunches for senior church members. In addition to her church work, she actively participated in two quilt clubs and Jill’s craft club.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Lyle R. Paris and by four sisters: Margaret Lykens, Gladys Paris, Betty Walker and Marjorie Lau; six brothers: Donald, Harold, James, Robert, Raymond, and Thomas; daughter-in-law Charlene Paris; two sons-in-law: Gerald Bennett and Dean Walter; granddaughter-in-law Olivia Bennett and great grandson Samuel Bennett.

Survivors include five daughters and three sons-in-law. Charlotte Bennett, Delores (Dee) and Richard VanDePol, Sheryl (Sherry) and Terry Johnson, Dianna (Annie) Walter and Lori and Roger Sebring; two sons: Lyle (Butch) Paris and Gary Paris; three sisters-in-law: Denise Majors of Ankeny, Mary Jo Woodard and Jan Pulver both of Boone; 15 grandchildren; 29 great grandchildren and 7 great-great grandchildren.

Doris’ love of God, family, sense of humor, sweet spirit, gentle nature, hard work ethic, good cooking and the kindness she showed to others will truly be missed, but never forgotten.

The family will be present to greet friends at a visitation from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at Schroeder-Stark-Welin Funeral Home, 609 7th Street, Boone, Iowa. A private family burial will be held at Linwood Park Cemetery in Boone, Iowa at a later date.

Memorials are suggested to the family to be determined at a later date. Online condolences may be left at

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Doris Paris please visit our Sympathy Store.

I was mercifully out of the state while the details were worked out, but I believe that memorial will go to hospice and the American Heart Association.

I’d like to share a few pictures of Grandma with you:

Mom and Grandma

Grandma's Kids

Mom's Family

Old - Alternate

Stensland Family Photo Shoot - 2016

Majors Family Reunion - 2008

Stensland Family Photo Shoot - 2016

Photo Journal - Page 117

Photo Journal - Page 117

May 12, 2019

Grandma was a great gardener and I often would go over to her house and photograph her flowers. Here are some of her flowers:


One last thing I want to share about Grandma before I close. Grandma was an avid collector of garden statues. She had them all over the yard. Many other people in our family have shown the same affinity. My Mom does it. Teresa does it. Carla does it. You may have noticed the large collection of frog statues (and other things) strewn across my yard.

There are times that this trait is somewhat derogatorily referred to in the family as “The Doris Gene”. However, I never took it to be a negative. I actually consider it to be a blessing. The first time I buy a new statue for the yard in 2020 (and I already have my eye on one from a shop in Minnesota) and every time I buy a stature after, I will think about Grandma.

I hope you have things that you do to that help you to remember the people that you love. They are some of the greatest blessings.


14 weeks in a row! 14 weeks in a row of double digit submissions! I hope you guys prove me wrong and we hit 15 weeks in a row with HDR because you guys knocked in out of the park with CANDID PORTRAIT in more ways than one!

Because I have been on the road the last five days, I think I got every submission, but if I missed you somehow, just let me know.

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

Andy Sharp

Michelle Haupt

Tamara Peterson

Dawn Krause

Logan Kahler

Logan Kahler

Logan Kahler

Elizabeth Nordeen

Carla Stensland

Carla Stensland

Kim Barker

Jesse Howard

Micky Augustin

Shannon Bardole-Foley

Becky Parmelee

Christopher D. Bennett

Angie DeWaard

Mike Vest

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 225 - HDR

HDR! What a great theme! Wait a second. What the Hades is an HDR image?

Okay, so this is the one that I was pretty sure would end the double digit submission streak. If the holidays didn’t end it already, but CANDID PORTRAIT is a pretty easy theme especially when, is there a better CANDID PORTRAIT opportunity then little kids opening presents on Christmas morning?

But none of that answers the question what is an HDR image? HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Here is a great explanation from Digital Trends:

HDR stands for “high dynamic range.” For those who aren’t so acquainted with this high-tech shutterbug lingo, dynamic range is basically just the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark you can capture in a photo. Once your subject exceeds the camera’s dynamic range, the highlights tend to wash out to white, or the darks simply become big black blobs. It’s notoriously difficult to snap a photo that captures both ends of this spectrum, but with modern shooting techniques and advanced post-processing software, photographers have devised ways to make it happen. This is basically what HDR is: a specific style of photo with an unusually high dynamic range that couldn’t otherwise be achieved in a single photograph.

The best way to think of it is several pictures taken at different exposure levels, combined to create one image.

There should be a setting on your camera that will do this for you automatically.

I look forward to your interpretations!




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 by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.


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.


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 dynaimc Monday!


Today we will reveal the January and February images for the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar.

The January image:

2020 Calendar - January

The January image was one of the earlier pictures I took with the drone. It was taken for the TRANSPORTATION theme of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. The image is of the original Kate Shelley High Bridge and the less pleasing aesthetically bridge that replaced it. This image was taken February 23, 2019.


Camera: Hasselblad L1D-20C
Focal Length: 28mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Exposure: 1/160
ISO: 100
Altitude: 420.3 meters above sea level

The February Image:

2020 Calendar - February

The February image is of a pink hollyhock that grew in my backyard. This photo was elected by popular vote to be entered in the Nature category of the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. It won first place in that category. This picture was taken August 6, 2013.


Camera: Sony SLT-A35
Focal Length: 60mm
Aperture: f/9
Exposure: 1/160
ISO: 400

We will reveal the March and April images tomorrow.


Back in March Logan got a dog. A dog named Sky. He brought it over to my house so Sky could meet Naima. Here are a few pictures of Sky:









I don’t know that I have seen Sky since this day. It would seem that Logan should correct that.

Selfie Project – November

Now that the 2018 backlog is mercifully behind us, it seems like a good time to check back in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. The 2019 version of THE SELFIE PROJECT has almost ran its course. I won’t repeat it in 2020, but maybe I’ll bring it back in 2021. We’ll see.

Here are my favorite images from November:

November 1, 2019
November 1

November 2, 2019
November 2

November 3, 2019
November 3

November 4, 2019
November 4

November 7, 2019
November 7

November 9, 2019
November 9

November 11, 2019
November 11

November 12, 2019
November 12

November 13, 2019
November 13

November 14, 2019
November 14

November 15, 2019
November 15

November 16, 2019
November 16

November 17, 2019
November 17

November 20, 2019
November 20

November 21, 2019
November 21

November 23, 2019
November 23

November 24, 2019
November 24

November 25, 2019
November 25

November 26, 2019
November 26

November 27, 2019
November 27

November 28, 2019
November 28

November 29, 2019
November 29

November 30, 2019

I think November was one of my best months. At least for interesting pictures.

The 2018 Backlog Endeth

Before I get too much into the end of the 2018 Backlog, I do want to talk about Advent. On Wednesday we finished our Advent candle services for the Youth Group. The proudest moment of that was when Emily actually remember what Advent means! I was pretty pumped, let me tell you.

This Sunday, Mom, Logan, and I lit the Advent Candles during the first service at church. Today is the second Sunday of Advent and I forgot that because I missed the first Sunday of Advent when I went to Manhattan, Kansas last Sunday.

I thought (lest you forget that this is a Christian website) we could have our own little advent service here. I could just lift the reading straight from what the readers at my church read. We will have to do two candles this Sunday because I slacked off last week.


One: Advent calls us to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ.
All around us people prepare for parties, dinners and presents.
These events could distract us from the real reason for our anticipation.
On the other hand, they also could prepare us;
they could be the voice crying in a wilderness of materialism:
“Prepare the way for the coming of what is really important.”

All: Rather than get lost in the wilderness of distractions,
we will let the music and the lights make us sensitive
to the voice that is even now calling our name.
We will listen for the Word in the words and even in the noise.

One: A reading from the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 40, verses 1-5,9.
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”

Please join me:

All: In this season of hustle and bustle
we are tempted to get frantic and join the panic
to shop our way into the holiday spirit.
In this moment, we resist that temptation
and choose instead to be at peace
with who we are and where we are on this path.
We will let this time prepare us,
and we will hear God’s call
to be those who prepare the world.

One: On this first Sunday of Advent
we choose to be a peaceful presence
in this midst of a frantic season.
So, today, we light the first candle
as an act of preparation and call it Peace.



One: As our days grow shorter and our nights longer,
we who are people of faith turn to symbols
such as candles, evergreens and wreaths
to proclaim our belief in the unquenchable light.
In hopeful anticipation,
we prepare for the coming of the Reign of God.
Listen for the Word in the words of the prophet
for the second Sunday of this new church year:

All: We open our hearts to the Word in the words.

One: A reading from the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 64, verses 1, 7- 9.
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Please join me:

All: As we begin our journey to the light,
we confess that our lives have not always been lived
in ways pleasing to God.
Our shame has left us feeling distant from
the One who is both Mother and Father to us all,
the One in whose hands we are like clay.
Yet even now,
our longing for the One
who tears open the heavens and comes down
kindles like a fire in our soul.
Even now as we wait, we dare to hope.

One: We who are pregnant with anticipation
feel hope rise up within us.
And so we light this second candle
and name it Hope.


Yes, I know the candles are lit out of order.


A special Sunday post to celebrate the end of the 2018 backlog. From now on “An Artist’s Notebook” will live more in the here and now, however, it should be pointed out that there is quite the 2019 backlog, but I can probably hammer that out in another 9 months or so…

Backlog Endeth

Backlog Endeth

Backlog Endeth

Focus Stacked Image

Backlog Endeth

Backlog Endeth

Backlog Endeth

Backlog Endeth

Backlog Endeth

Backlog Endeth

Believe it or not, some of the Naima pictures weren’t taken at Dickcissel. They were taken at the Jay Carlson Wildlife Area. I don’t take Naima there very often because it just isn’t setup very well for her.

The 2018 Backlog is dead! Long live the 2019 Backlog!


There are a metric buttload of pictures in the folder 2009-07-23. Strangely, most of them were actually taken in December of 2008. I’m not entirely sure what was going on there. I can just state that my organizational system back then wasn’t rock solid like it is now. Mostly because I let a program do most of the organizational heavy lifting for me.

There are pictures from a foggy Friday Night Supper Club. Pictures from a Bennett Christmas. Pictures of my old buddy Missionary Mark. Pictures from a Roland VFW Fundraiser.

Many of these pictures have never been published before. Have a peek:

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Bennett Christmas - 2008

Foggy Night Supper Club

Foggy Night Supper Club

Roland VFW Fundraiser

Roland VFW Fundraiser

Roland VFW Fundraiser

2009 Mark Reunion

The Hero of Africa

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

Foggy Night Supper Club

The Hero of Africa


Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Brandon, Sara, and Ledges. But not all at the same time.


Happy Thanksgiving! Every year on Thanksgiving I like to think about my many, many blessings. I know, real original. You should feel free to try it sometime. But make sure you let everybody know that I invented gratitude.

I am thankful for my family, no matter how family is defined:

April 9, 2019

May 18, 2019

May 25, 2019

August 24, 2019

September 19, 2019

October 26, 2019

January 26, 2019

February 25, 2019

June 29, 2019

July 6, 2019

August 4, 2019

April 6, 2019

May 12, 2019

I am thankful for my friends:

January 16, 2019

March 12, 2019


Photo Journal - Page 56 Reject

March 21, 2019

May 6, 2019

May 17, 2019

June 1, 2019

June 6, 2019

August 25, 2019

July 12, 2019

August 10, 2019

August 13, 2019

August 18, 2019

September 7, 2019

September 20, 2019

September 21, 2019

October 5, 2019

October 21, 2019

April 27, 2017

Selfie Project - January 21

March 3, 2019

I am blessed with an amazing church family:

April 7, 2019

Selfie Project - January 27

April 17, 2019

May 1, 2019

June 15, 2019

June 23, 2019

June 24, 2019

June 25, 2019

June 27, 2019

July 13, 2019

September 25, 2019

October 27, 2019

June 28, 2017

I am blessed with a decent job and work friends that I don’t mind seeing more than 40 hours a week:

January 12, 2019

August 30, 2019

May 2, 2017

Selfie Project - March 27

Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa

I’m blessed to share my house with Naima:

January 10, 2019

October 6, 2019

July 9, 2019


This is only a small sampling of my blessings, but I feel to go on much longer would sound like boasting. Thank all of you for choosing to be part of my life!


Sometimes these Saturday walks down memory lane that are part of a restoration project of old blog posts, takes a completely unexpected turn. The images in the folder 2009-07-15 contains a couple of those pictures.

In there are pictures of Sara and a sparkler. Then there are pictures of lilies. There is a picture of Andree in front of his house. Then there are pictures of Logan and Willy running in Midnight Madness.

But buried in those Midnight Madness photos are 2 pictures of people I haven’t thought about in years. One guy I liked and miss when I remember them and another person that was just the strangest briefest flash across the sky of my life. He was a person I had completely forgotten about.

The first picture is of a UPS guy named Blake that used to be the dedicated UPS guy at the Computer Mine my first 6 or 7 years I was swinging the pick. At a certain point Blake took a different route and I haven’t really seen him since then and it is too bad. I miss talking to that guy. He even once tried to pay me to pretend to be Santa for his kids. I declined the offer because, you know, kids smell, but in the history of people thinking I should portray Santa, Blake the UPS guy was the first. At least the first to offer me money.

The second is a more weird twisted, rocky memory lane. There is a picture of a guy named John in the collection. I can’t remember John’s last name at all, but at the very end of my tenure with the Evil Clown Empire I was stationed at the West Ames Outpost. John was my “boss”. He suffered from some mental illness, but I’m not entirely sure what flavor.

He spent an entire afternoon once counting paper clips and rubber bands in the lobby. Then he calculated which one was cheaper to bundle money with, paper clips or rubber bands. He spent hours on this project to try to save the store .0003 cents per bundle of bills.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. There are two ways to control your profit at a restaurant that matter. You control your labor costs. You control your food costs. Placing energy on anything is a complete waste of your resources. Control those 2 things and almost everything else will fall into place.

I only worked with John a few weeks. He was fired during the weeks I took off work after Olivia passed away. I can remember sitting in my Mom’s kitchen a couple days after Olivia’s funeral when John called me. He called to tell me that he had been fired. When I returned to work, they offered me John’s job. I told them where to stick their job in so many words. It was also when I put in my 1 month notice. In retrospect, I don’t know why I gave them a full one month notice, but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do.

As for John, it would be 3.5 years before I would see him again. He was running in Midnight Madness. He seemed to be doing well. I haven’t thought of him in years until I came across his picture in this collection.

I wonder what he is doing now, but I can’t even look him up. I don’t remember his last name.

Here are some pictures from that folder:



Midnight Madness - 2009

The Most Tolerable Third Party

The Most Tolerable Third Party

The Most Tolerable Third Party

The Most Tolerable Third Party

New Digs

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009
This is John

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009

Midnight Madness - 2009
This is Blake

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:


New Digs

The Most Tolerable Third Party

Yet There is Method in It

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve another Ames on the Half Shell concert.