Category Archives: Alisa

Gratitudo

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 121 ALTERNATE

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

Naima

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!

Pizza Ranch Mission Trip Fundraiser!

Hey! Guess what! It is fundraiser season! The first fundraiser for the 2020 Mission Trip is tomorrow night at Pizza Ranch! You’ll get a chance to support some of these amazing kids:



You’ll notice something is a little different about the promo card this year. This is no longer the Boone First United Methodist Youth Group. I know it had some name that involved, what I’m sure was super clever, an acronym. But I never used it. I never cared about it.

We are now the Heart of Boone Youth Fellowship. Our Youth Group merged with the First Baptist Church and Central Christian Church to form one youth group. We had plenty of kids in our youth group, but we just couldn’t get enough adult volunteers to run the youth group any longer. Enter a relationship with a couple of other downtown churches and boom, something beautiful was born.

But you don’t need all that information, you just want to know how to support our 2020 Mission Trip.

Well, it is simple. Print off one of the vouchers below:



Bring it to Pizza Ranch tomorrow night. Have supper there. Give that voucher to the cashier. Boom! You get supper. We get $2.

If you think $2 isn’t enough, there will be tip jars all over the place and everything you put in the tip jars will go to the mission trip.

You might be wondering where we are going on our mission trip. Well, I know, but I’m not ready to reveal the information. However, you can rest assured that wherever we go, we will do awesome things like in the pictures below:


Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Houston Mission Trip - 2018

Mission Trip  - Day 0

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 1

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 2

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 3

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 4

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

I hope to see many of you there!

Post #3252 – 2018 Year in Review

Happy New Year to people who celebrate such things.

I like to look at some meaningless statistics every 250 posts and I also look at fairly meaningless year end statistics.

Just so happens that I get to combine them today!!

Here is both a year in review and a celebration that I have made it to 3252 blog posts. I was on the Alamo Bowl Road Trip visiting submarines, cults, and reality television stars when post #3250 came around, so I hope you can excuse the tardiness.

The first thing I want to look at are the most popular CATEGORIES in the history of “An Artist’s Notebook”.

Top 10 Journal Entry Categories

1. Portrait – 527
2. Weekly Photo Challenge – 504
3. Flowers – 497
4. Animals – 405
5. Jesse – 361
6. Photography – 355
7. Shannon – 320
8. Teresa – 296
9. Black & White – 291
10. Carla – 280

Top 10 People Categories

1. Jesse – 361
2. Shannon – 320
3. Teresa – 296
4. Carla – 280
5. Jay – 279
6. Mom – 277
7. Derrick – 256
8. Willy – 227
9. Vest – 221
10. Jen – 209

Top 10 Not-People Categories

1. Portrait – 527
2. Weekly Photo Challenge – 504
3. Flowers – 497
4. Animals – 405
5. Photography – 355
6. Black & White – 291
7. Road Trip – 262
8. Personal Photo Project – 261
9. Life – 234
10. Nature – 215

“Photography” and “Life” are general categories that I have been working on eliminating as I go back and restore historical “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory. Hopefully they will have both dropped off the Top 10 Lists by journal entry #3500.

If you are wondering how to become a Top 10 person on this list. The easiest way is to submit to the Weekly Photo Challenge. After that, the best way is to volunteer to model and photo assist for photography projects. Then after that, I would suggest going on road trips with me or attending Iowa State athletic events with me or going on road trips to Iowa State athletic events with me.

The people that are right outside of the Top 10 are:: Sara, Kim, Dawn, Becky, and Nader.

If you are looking for a goal for 2019, you could do worse than trying to crack the Photography 139 Top Ten People Category List. You obviously could do way, way, way, way, way, way, way better too.

Now we will turn out eye towards 2018.

Top 10 Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries of 2018 by Views

1. 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT – 48,722
2. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE YEAR 5 – 37,614
3. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE YEAR 5 – ALTERNATES – 33,622
4. 2008 – JANUARY – JUNE – 26,032
5. SELFIE PROJECT – 2017 – 23,141
6. HOUSTON MISSION TRIP – 2018 – 22,046
7. SOUTH DAKOTA TRIP – 2017 – 21,868
8. BOONE COUNTY FAIR CONTEST NOMINEES – 2018 – 17,211
9. SAYDIE HOWARD – CLASS OF 2017 – 14,808
10. IOWA STATE CYCLONES FOOTBALL – 2018

The 10 Most Popular Photography 139 Images by Views


Selfie Project - January 27
1. 2524

01-01-08
2. 2386


3. 2327

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
4. 1958

No. 45
5. 1621

No. 43
6. 1456

No. 12
7. 1445

July 15, 2017
8. 1321

WEEK 110 - REFLECTION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
9. 1293

No. 38
10. 1241

On the Instagram, these were my 9 Most Popular Photos based on Likes:


My theme for my 2018 Instagram posts was Black & White. My theme for 2019 will be HDR Toning. Also, I will be bringing back THE SELFIE PROJECT to Instagram in 2019.

You can follow me on Instagram here:

@christopherdbennett

I entered 3 photo contests with the following results:


Boone County Fair - 2018
Red Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Purple Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Boone County Fair - 2018
Blue Ribbon – Boone County Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Not Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair Entry - 2018
Not Selected for Display – Iowa State Fair

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
1st Place Photoshop – Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
1st Place Photojournalism – Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
3rd Place Hidden Treasures of Boone County – Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2018
Pufferbilly Days

Last note:

My goal for 2019 is the same as it was in 2018:

I’m gonna step my game up and get what is coming to me.

Good luck in 2019 everybody!

Houston (Vidor) Mission Trip – Day 5

This is my telling of my experience on the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group’s Mission Trip to Houston (Vidor). There were 18 people on the mission trip and all of them experienced the mission trip in a completely different way than I did.

Therefore, you should pull your tired bones out of bed on Sunday, July 8 and drag yourself to the basement of the Boone First United Methodist Church (703 Arden Street) between worship services (approximately 10 AM) and listen to the other 17 people give their testimony about the mission trip. I’ll probably run my yap as well. There will also be a video. Also, there will be refreshments.

+++++++

The third group from Bone First United Methodist Church was the Rattlesnakes. They had breakfast cleanup on Wednesday morning.

Here is my day in pictures:


Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Alan organizing stuff.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Summer and Autumn.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Autumn balancing cups.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Summer cleaning dishes.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
There was a bunch of donated furniture in the building where we were staying and a lot of it came from Iowa State University.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Finishing up dishes.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Cleaning up after lunch prep.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
For the first time all week we could see some blue in the sky!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Hands in!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Megan and Mackenzie finishing up in the living room.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Cleaning up the ceiling rollers.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna and Ellie from Missouri packing up the tarps.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jordan cleaning up the floors.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Tiffany getting paint out of Mackenzie’s hair.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jordan and Anna finishing up the trim.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Jordan keeping his selfie game strong.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Really strong!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Cowboys, without Ellie from Missouri!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
With Ellie from Missouri. Can you find her?

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe doing Megan Squats. Anna trying not to look impressed.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
On our way out of the house that had been our work site all week, the daughter of the woman who owned the house stopped by. She started crying while she was thanking us for our help. Some of the kids cried. I held strong though. For the most part.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Next we went to house where we unloaded drywall.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
2 trailers full!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Maci. The anchor of the drywall team!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Kolbe and Jordan

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Drywall team!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Teamwork!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Allegedly Kolbe and Anna are Big Hosses. Either they don’t know what that means, or I don’t. Take your pick.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Cowboys had dinner prep.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Mixing lemonade!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Look at all this pizza the Cowboys made!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Luckily Megan was trained in knife work back in Boone by Brad, one of FUMC’s master chefs.

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Anna, showing leadership skills!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Sonic run!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Sonic!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
The Ukeladies rocking worship!

Houston Mission Trip - 2018
Okay, this is bizarre. I drove all the way to Vidor, Texas to see that 2 of my cousins are chaperoning a church in Missouri. Kari and Wendy. We are like 3rd cousins or something. They knew me, but honestly I didn’t know them. I know them now though.

I’ve been telling you about how much Kolbe LOVES the song CONVOY. Below is video evidence



The group that does lunch prep has to do a creative way of introducing supper to the rest of the group. This is how The Cowboys introduce supper!

Not pictured:

Wednesday night we were told that we were no longer allowed to play secular music. Now, we weren’t the ones playing the music, it was the YouthWorks crew that was playing secular music. Normally YouthWorks plays Christian music, but this year I would describe the music as “Humble Narrator’s Junior High Mixtape”. Lots of AC/DC and Guns’n’Roses and Bon Jovi.

A member of the Baptist Church we were staying at came in and heard the music that they were playing. They were shocked, SHOCKED, that they were playing secular music in their building. And it was so hard too. That was the end of the secular music. Well, at least the end of secular music for the most part, but we’ll get to that.

I texted Pastor Sarah, about the secular music ban. She wrote back, that we were lucky the Baptists didn’t find out we were dancing in their building.

I texted to Alisa and she texted, back: “Were they playing Cardi B.?”

The Cultural Event for Wednesday night was going to the Baptist Church for Bible Study. The boy and girls were segregated into separate groups. The boys group listened to Part 3 on a 4 part series on “How to be a Real Man”.

Part 3 of being a “real man” is being romantic with your woman. The teacher used the example that how he is romantic with his wife is listening to her talk.

This was followed with a lesson how to use a compass.

I confess that it was incredibly boring and I began staring at the floor and counting the time until it was over. Then all of a sudden I heard an audible gasp across the room.

The compass guy had pulled a switchblade-lie knife out of his pocket. He was trying to show that the metal in the knife threw off the compass’ reading of true north. It was then that Andy pointed out to me that the compass guy was carrying a gun. Texas.

From what I gathered, the girls talked about “being nice”. Particularly in a blended family.

After worship and church time, the boys “serenaded” the girls with John Denver’s COUNTRY ROADS.





After that, I stayed up until 1 AM talking with Chris the Youth Pastor from the Missouri church and Donovan. It was 3 hours of conversation about the church and it was great perspective. It was perhaps the low key highlight of the trip for me.

I knew Thursday morning was going to come quick, but I’ve had later mission trip nights than this one. At least this one wasn’t spent in a hospital Emergency Room.

Mr. 3000

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”.

I do also have a goal of producing something that makes me worthy of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook”.

With those words on August 9, 2006 this blog burst into the world with the blog entry titled:

FIRST JOURNAL ENTRY

Now here we are 4294 days later and I’m posting journal entry number 3,000.

The blog has changed quite a bit over the years. It started out as a blog that I physically coded and added to a website that I physically coded back when my website was hosted on Frank’s basement server. Then, I moved it to a third party company called Blogger. If you visit this URL, you can still see its pathetic remains:

An Artist’s Notebook – Blogger Version

After that, I still used Blogger, but I published An Artist’s Notebook to the server that currently hosts my website. The content was the same, but the URL changed. If you click on the link below, you can still see it’s pathetic remains, that are identical to the Blogger URL remains:

An Artist’s Notebook – Photography 139 Hosted Version

Well before this, I had changed my website over to WordPress. Even though WordPress has very powerful blogging tools, it wasn’t until March of 2010 that I started using WordPress and An Artist’s Notebook moved to (hopefully) its final URL:

An Artist’s Notebook – Current Incarnation

Last time I posted that An Artist’s Notebook had reached a milestone number of posts, I received a bunch of congratulations. I was confused by this because I didn’t feel it was necessarily an accomplishment. After all, I basically was just too stupid to quit. Just plugging along in relative obscurity, with a few loyal subscribers that send me emails or leave comments on the blogs scattered across the globe earth. A smarter person would have just stopped by now.

But instead, other than a slight walking away from An Artist’s Notebook back in the spring of 2015, nevertheless he persisted.*

I don’t know if just persisting is an accomplishment, but looking at the earlier formats for An Artist’s Notebook, I see that I used to link to several other blogs, that have either stopped updating or are just simply gone with the wind.

  • The original Little White Lye Soap website is gone, but it has been replaced by the Franklin Broomworks website.
  • Act of Gravity – BrogFrog’s band at one time is gone. True I don’t think Act of Gravity every played a show, but you could pretend.
  • Waxen Media – Vest’s website is still up, but hasn’t been updated since 2015. Although I’ve heard rumors that a comeback might be on the horizon.
  • Lesser Known Saint – My friend Mike’s old band website is still up, but they broke up in 2012.
  • Impassioned Versifier – Dawn’s poetry blog is still up, but she hasn’t versified, impassioned or otherwise since 2011. Get it together Dawn!
  • Mayor Goldie’s Website – Jesse’s website is frozen. He must have done something bad. Like giving up his dream of being mayor of Hill Valley.
  • LowellDavis.net – Still up, but the last post was in 2015.
  • Carla’s Blog, Teresa’s Blog, and J- The Online Magazine are all victims to Windows Live Spaces no longer being a thing. I miss knowing what was in Jay’s fridge.
  • Live Like A Champion Today – Mark’s blog on his Missionary Work is still up, but he no longer posts. He isn’t a missionary any longer, but he could make stuff up.
  • Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century – Died on October 1, 2010. Sad. I think we all remember where we were when we heard the blog about 19th century mustaches stopped production. I was grooming my beard.
  • True Wife Confessions – Died on October 28, 2012
  • I Found Your Camera – Date of death, lost.

I have to give props to the other people who are also too dumb to quit:

  • Horror Movie A Day – Sure he isn’t cranking them out like he used to, but he hasn’t given up the ghost.
  • A Novel Blog – The writing blog of a person I actually knew in the real world once. A very talented writer named S.E. White.

I’m still here. Let’s not make a big deal of it.

Even though An Artist’s Notebook is meant to complement the rest of the Photography 139 website and universe, I actually didn’t post a photo in the blog until a good 3 months after I started it. On October 20, 2006 history was made with the blog post:

A GOOD DAY AT WORK

This was the first picture ever posted to An Artist’s Notebook:


Groundhog Steve

A picture of a groundhog that lived behind the computer mine.

Although the seal was broken the floodgates didn’t exactly open. I didn’t post an image again until December 31, 2006. That picture was the back page of the the 2007 Photography 139 calendar.


2007 Back Page
Back from when I printed the calendars myself.

The picture flood gates really opened on January 5, 2007 with this post:

FAILED BEGINNING

And these 2 photos:


Chocolate Milk Endorsement

Thinker Recreation

The rest, has been photographic history.

An observant reader of An Artist’s Notebook would have notice that my Saturday post walking down memory lane are partially done so that I can have a look at my old images and partially done so I can restore my old blog posts to their original glory. The reason why this is necessary is because in addition to having gone through several ways to post a blog, I also went through several hosting options for my photos.

The first one was a company known as Photobucket. Photobucket was a good free option. I used it from October 2006 up until October 2008.


Photobucket

I abandoned Photobucket because eventually I was going to outgrow their limits. Recently they stopped allowing people to embed images stored with them, so if you were to click on a journal entry from May 2008 to October 2008, you’d see something like this:


Photobucket

After Photobucket, I decided to host my pictures with a MySQL-PHP photo gallery called Coppermine. I ran with Coppermine from November 2008 until July 2011. I left those galleries up for several years, even though you couldn’t access them unless you had a direct URL. Also by leaving them up, pictures would still show up on the website. Unfortunately, those galleries were used to hack my website and take it down a few years back. As a result, I had to completely delete the galleries to close the security loophole in my website. So until I get the journal entries from November 2008 until July 2011 restored to their original glory, they will look something like this:




Then in April of 2011 I was hired to be the photographer for the American Red Cross Young Heroes event. They wanted to have a way that people could go to my website and buy pictures. I didn’t actually have a way to do that, so I needed to find one. I ended up with Smugmug. It was a service that a professional photographer I knew used and recommended. You can store unlimited photos there and people can buy them directly from your website.


American Red Cross Young Heroes

It took me a few months to realize that the Smugmug was the future of my photo hosting. It has unlimited data storage and it stores full resolution images.

That unlimited full resolution pictures is a pretty big deal because I have currently uploaded 45,005 images/videos that take up 395.59 GB of hard drive space. Probably not going to be slowing down any time soon on that front, either.

Also, if anybody every wanted to buy a print or a coffee mug or a puzzle or a mouse pad or a ceramic tile or a mahogany desk organizer or playing cards or photo key tag or coasters or a phone case with one of my pictures on it, they can do it straight from the website. Don’t worry people who submit photos for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Those photos are not for sale on the website. Either are pictures from Graceland or of Iowa State athletic events. I can’t sell those for legal reasons.

While people can go to the gallery and leave comments on pictures and rate them up to 5 stars (hint: this will be how Pufferbilly Day Photo Contest and possibly Boone County Fair entries will be determined this year), the way I determine the most popular images is by views. Views statistics go back one year.

These are the 10 most popular Photography 139 Images (by views) of the last 10 Months:


WEEK 61 - STILL LIFE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#10 – Sidewalk Chalk – 1,223 Views – Picture taken for STILL LIFE in the WPC. Taken outside of the Ericson Public Library

9 Emotions Project - Johnathan
#9 – Johnathan Stensland – 1,261 Views – Taken for THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT in the Photography 139 Studio


Iowa State vs. Kent State>
#8 – Brett Meyer – 1,403 Views – Taken at the Iowa State vs. Kent State football game in 2007

Falls Park - Sioux Falls
#7 – Sioux Falls – 1,428 Views – Taken on my South Dakota Road Trip with my Mom

Saint Paul - Irish Fair
#6 – Nora – 1,493 Views – Taken at the Irish Fair in Saint Paul, Minnesota

ART - ALTERNATE
#5 – Graffiti – 1,707 Views – Taken in downtown Ames for ART for the WPC

WEEK 110 - REFLECTION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#4 – Reflection – 1,762 Views – Taken in Ledges for REFLECTION for the WPC


01-01-08
#3 – Angel Ornament – 3,197 Views – Willow Angel Ornament taken in my Mom’s house

07-01-07
#2 – Ground Squirrel – 3,732 Views – Ground squirrel on top of a shepherd’s hook at my Mom’s house

Selfie Project - January 27
#1 – With Alisa – 9,541 Views – Taken at Winter Jam in 2017 for THE SELFIE PROJECT


The following are links to the 5 Most Popular Photography 139 Photo Galleries:

Original 9 - Fear Composite
#5 – 9 Emotions Project – 23,417 Views

FRAMED - ALTERNATE
#4 – Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 5 – Alternates

WEEK 113 - PARTY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#3 – Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 5 (34,203 Views)


LOSER - CHILDREN
#2 – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 4 (52,673 Views)

December 30, 2017
#1 – THE SELFIE PROJECT – 2017 (62,509 VIEWS)

I also use a category system to organize my posts so that a person could find all the posts on a certain topic or a certain person. This is far from a scientific system and it is a moving target as I am re-categorizing old entries as I restore them. I’m trying to get rid of some of the more generic categories like “Photography” or “Life” or “Family” or “Friends” or “Religion”. But this is an ongoing process.

These are the 10 most popular categories on “An Artist’s Notebook”:

#10 – Jay – 262 Posts

#9 – Life – 274 Posts

#8 – Teresa – 282 Posts

#7 – Shannon – 289 Posts

#6 – Animals – 301 Posts

#5 – Portrait – 313 Posts

#4 – Jesse – 328 Posts

#3 – WPC (Formerly RWPE) – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – 432 Posts

#2 – Flowers – 436 Posts

#1 – Photography – 440 Posts

10 Most Popular Not People Categories

#10 – Slice of Life – 189 Posts

#9 – Religion – 191 Posts

#8 – Road Trip – 217 Posts

#7 – Personal Photo Project – 259 Posts

#6 – Life – 274 Posts

#5 – Animals – 301 Posts

#4 – Portrait – 313 Posts

#3 – WPC (Formerly RWPE) – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – 432 Posts

#2 – Flowers – 436 Posts

#1 – Photography – 440 Posts

If you are relatively new and are wondering what the heck a “Personal Photo Project” is, it came about at a time where I seemed to be working on a ton of other photo projects (for various entities) and seemed to be getting pulled a way from the pure joy of photography. At that time I decided to work on a Personal Photo Project once a week to keep photography from becoming a grind.

10 Most Popular People Categories

#10 – Vest 204 Posts

#9 – Jen – 205 Posts

#8 – Willy – 209 Posts

#7 – Derrick – 241 Posts

#6 – Mom – 247 Posts

#5 – Carla – 261 Posts

#4 – Jay – 262 Posts

#3 – Teresa – 282 Posts

#2 – Shannon – 289 Posts

#1 – Jesse – 328 Posts

You may be looking at the list and wondering, “what can I do to improve my Photography 139 Q Score?”

First, I should point out that these aren’t necessarily the people that have influenced by photography the most. That would be my Dad by having photography in the house. My Mom for buying me my first camera. Olivia for loving flower photography. The favicon on this website was her favorite flower picture. Carla and Teresa for doing photography with our Dad. The list could continue, but you get the idea.

However, these are the people that most influence this blog.

But about that Q-Score thing…

Obviously, the easiest way is to submit photos to the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. You could also volunteer to be a photo assistant on photo projects. Pose for THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT. Head out on the open road with me. Join an organization that I am in. Commission me to do work for you (i.e. photograph your baby, wedding, family, senior picture, work holiday card, church directory, soap, leather goods).

Follow those simple suggestions and someday, when we hit blog post number 3,500, you could see yourself in the Photography 139 Top 10. After all, Sara, you are knocking right on the door!

I also decided to update my profile pictures for Twitter and Instagram and Smugmug. Here is the new one below:


Social Media Profile Picture

That should work for another year or so!

I think that more than covers where the Photography 139 community currently sits. Until next time!

*I hope Elizabeth Warren doesn’t mind my appropriating this phrase. I guess it was accidentally created by a half man-half turtle creature and I am at least half a man. No turtle. I’ve had a grudge against turtles since The Great Turtle Race was fixed back in 2016. Sorry Mitch.

Happy Ash Wednesday!

I know it is also Valentine’s Day, but Ash Wednesday is the more important holiday. So Happy Ash Wednesday!

If you don’t know what Ash Wednesday is, it is the day that Christians post selfies that look something like this:


February 10, 2016
File Photo

If the Selfie Project was still ongoing, I’m sure I would also partake in this ancient Christian ritual on the Instagram. However, since the Selfie Project is dead and unlike Jesus, it won’t be resurrected in 3 days.

Therefore I’m going to use my Ash Wednesday blog post to pimp 2 things.

#1. I’m working on a project for an upcoming Youth Group lesson on perception of Christians. To further the discussion I’m looking for volunteers to help me out. The process will cost you 5 minutes of your life. Max.

Interested?

Curious?

This is what I want people to do. Record a video of you answering the following 4 questions:

1. State your name
2. How were you raised, religiously speaking? Example: I was raised in a cult in Waco, Texas
3. How would you describe yourself now, religiously speaking? I currently
4. What do you think of first, when you hear the word Christian?

NO VERTICAL VIDEO!!

I’m serious about the no vertical video. If you send me a vertical video I will track you down and I will punch you in the throat. I’m looking for a diversity of opinion. Not a diversity of aspect ratios.

The average video has been about 30-60 seconds.

No profanity would be great as well, but I can edit that out. It just would be work for me. If I was interested in doing work, I wouldn’t be getting you to fill up the lesson for me.

Deadline is next Monday (the 19th).

This isn’t an attempt to whitewash people’s views. If your view of Christians is negative, be negative.

If you know anybody that would have an interesting perspective, grab them too!

If you are interested in participating, let me know and I will email you instructions on how to put your video in my possession.

Click on this link to email Christopher D. Bennett

Thanks in advance for your participation.

#2. I hope you didn’t think I was done talking about the Youth Group, cause I’m not. You like to eat food, right? Well it just so happens that tonight starting at 5:30, in the Boone First United Methodist Church basement, the Youth Group is serving a Spaghetti Dinner as a fundraiser for our mission trip to Houston. The cost is an at-will donation. So you can get a free meal if you are so inclined! Or you can donate a Hamilton or two or three to a worth cause!

If you are wondering, we will be doing the Protestant thang and serving sauce with meat in it. That’s how us Methodists roll. With meat. 365. 366 on leap years!

Then after you carb load, you can come to church with me and get your ash on. No pictures this year though. Respect the day man. It marks the first day of Lent. A 46 day period of fasting, repentance, prayer, AND self-control!

It is like what Jesus set in Matthew 6:1-6:

“Be [very] careful not to do your [a]good deeds publicly, to be seen by men; otherwise you will have no reward [prepared and awaiting you] with your Father who is in heaven.

2 “So whenever you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not blow a trumpet before you [to advertise it], as the hypocrites do [like actors acting out a role] in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored and recognized and praised by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing [give in complete secrecy], 4 so that your charitable acts will be done in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.

5 “Also, when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to pray [publicly] standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets so that they may be seen by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your most private room, close the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.

I’m pretty sure that verse is all about selfies. If you don’t like my interpretation, then to quote Shawn from Youth Group, “fight me”. But you know that I already have my fighting dander up because I want to throat punch all the vertical videophiles.

This is the part in the blog post where I post pictures of the Youth Group doing good deeds publicly on a mission trip to try to convince you to come support our mission trip, even if you don’t like spaghetti. Cause let’s face it, spaghetti ain’t all that, but remember crooked sticks can draw straight lines.


Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Misc.

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Misc.

Mission Trip  - Day 0

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 1

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 3

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 3

And if you are celebrating that other holiday, what could be more romantic than a spaghetti dinner in a church basement for a good cause? I mean if Lady and Tramp could make it work in an alley, I think you can make it work in a church basement. I will not play accordion for you though. I mean, I would, but I can’t play the accordion.

2017 – Year in Review

Time for a look back at 2017. While it was a disaster for our country and for the world, it wasn’t so bad for me personally.

Here are the 5 Most popular Photo Galleries on my website:

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 4 (96932 VIEWS)


SELFIE PROJECT – 2017 (58566 VIEWS)


2007 – JULY-DECEMBER (30046 VIEWS)


2007 – JANUARY-JUNE (21923 VIEWS)


9 EMOTIONS PROJECT (21752 VIEWS)




The 5 Most Popular Blog Entries (BASED ON COMMENTS):



YOU CAN CALL IT A COMEBACK (15 COMMENTS).


YOU, YA JUST GET IN THAT HEAD SPACE, YA KNOW (15 COMMENTS)


WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 76 – GOVERNMENT (14 COMMENTS)


I LOST MY NERVE (11 COMMENTS)


“THE WRONG GUY GOT ELECTED” (11 COMMENTS)


The 5 Most Popular Photos on my Website (BASED ON VIEWS):


Selfie Project - January 27
Alisa & I at Winter Jam – 9565 VIEWS


07-01-07
Ground Squirrel – 4349 VIEWS


Me and Naima – 2619 VIEWS


WEEK 61 - STILL LIFE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Sidewalk Chalk – 1862 VIEWS


2017 Big 12 Tournament Championship
Jesse and I at the Pep Rally Before the Big Men’s Basketball Championship Game – 1800 VIEWS

There were 400 blog posts in 2017. Pretty sure that is a record.

In 2017, I got to see Beale Street, Mount Rushmore, The Civil Rights Museum, and the Badlands. All places I’ve wanted to see for years.

In 2017, I got see Iowa State win a Big 12 Championship in Men’s Basketball and win a bowl game and watch Iowa State beat the #5 team in the country.

In 2017, I got to be President of the Methodist Men, serve on the Administrative Council for my Church and go on a Mission Trip with the Youth Group to Saint Paul.

In 2017, I attended birthday parties, birthday dinners, 4 weddings (I think), and too many funerals. Even though, there weren’t many.

In 2017, I went on vacations to Minnesota, Kansas, South Dakota, and Tennessee.

In 2017, I established a new tradition of The Union Street Movie Theater Movie Night.

In 2017, I didn’t spend enough time with friends and family.

In 2017, I watched too much television and read too few books.

This brings me to my goals for 2017:

1. I’m gonna step my game up and get what’s coming to me. (My standard goal.)
2. I’m going to read at least 20 books in 2018.

I don’t have any new photo projects for 2018. I’m not continuing the Selfie Project. My Instagram account is going to go 100% black and white in 2018. I will finish the Photo Journal Project.

These are the things that I will do in 2018.

Manger Things

I don’t usually explain the titles of the entries in The Artist’s Notebook, but I’m going to explain this one.

Last night as I was restlessly watching a DVRed copy of THE HUNT FOR THE ZODIAC KILLER and thinking about general events of the day, I played a snap from Alisa from her church’s youth group. The theme from their current sermon series is “Manger Things”.

A reference to the Netflix hit (and second best show on television) STRANGER THINGS.

I thought that was a clever idea and I’m curious how it is. Often times when Christians try to appropriate pop culture it comes off like this:




I’m hoping it is actually pretty cool, but I guess I’ll just never know.

On Sunday, following the soup supper my church (Boone First United Methodist Church represent!) did its own version of MANGER THINGS. Here are a few images:


2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

2017 Boone FUMC Christmas Play

Solid work from everybody involved! I think it was one of my favorite Christmas plays we’ve done to date!

Won’t Take that Credit; I know Where We Get It; Them Blessings Be Comin’ from God Above

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Rather than my standard picture of an inflatable turkey, thought (with apologies to Lecrae, I’d give thanks for some of the many blessings in my life.

Count it up, count it up, count it up.
Line ’em up, line ’em up, line ’em up.


Bennett 2017 Family Photo
Blessed with a tremendous biological family. Blessed to share DNA and a life with these people.


Blessed to be a part of Olivia’s family. Blessed to learn a new definition of the word “family” from Shorty and Doris.

Mission Trip  - Day 0
Blessed to be a part of an incredible church family. From Youth Group to Methodist Men to the people I see in the pews on Sundays.

Thanksgiving - 2017
Blessed to have a job and double blessed to have a great work family. 7 AM comes pretty early, but so many of the people I work with make the struggle worth the effort.


Blessed to share a life with this band of brothers. Not one of us has any fashion sense, but I’d still take a bullet for any of them.


Blessed to fit in with this band of sisters as well.

Movie Club
Blessed to be able to share my love of weird cinema with like minded individuals once a month.

October 28, 2017
Blessed to be a Cyclone and double blessed to have somebody to share so many trips to Jack Trice (a spiritual place for me) with.


Blessed to have a roof over my head that belongs to me. Blessed that I can extend that roof over friends and family when their life needs it. Blessed that when I say, “Want to help paint by house?” 20+ people show up.


Blessed that friends from past jobs are still important pillars of my current life.

The Howard Children
Blessed that people that aren’t related to me consider me an uncle to them.

August 15, 2017
Blessed to have a car that I can drive out of town and not worry about the tire falling off.


Blessed to have so many people in my life that when I say, “I’m coming to your city”, they say, “You’re staying with us right?”

Tenderloining at Nick's
Blessed to have so many people in my life that fill gaps.

Selfie Project - March 5
Blessed that even though I’m aged, I still healthy enough to still ball. Although pretty poorly these days.

Selfie Project - January 27
Blessed that even though I’m aged, I still have people in my life that keep me young.

Selfie Project - January 21
Blessed to have people in my life that want to change the world for the better, when I get cynical.

Selfie Project -January 14
Blessed to have art in my life.

May 25, 2017
Blessed to have a beautiful beard. Even if the old guys at my church hate it.


Blessed to have people who will help with projects like this, no questions asked.

Photo of the Day 0003 - May 5, 2014
Blessed to share a life and a domicile with this crazy beast. Teaches me about selfless love every single day.

June 28, 2017
Blessed to have a chance to spread my blessings to others, sometimes, with some of my favorite people.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of my blessings. But I don’t want it to start to sound like I’m bragging.

The Only Thing I Fear is the IRS and God

Looking for a chance to give to a good cause and eat completely edible food? Then do I have an opportunity for you!

Next Wednesday (October 4, 2017) the Boone First United Methodist Church Youth Group will be having a fundraiser to help pay for their mission trip to a yet to be determined location!

Just come out to the Boone Pizza Ranch between 5-8 and bring one of the slips below:


Tip Night

For every one of these we get turned in, we will get $2 towards our Mission Trip. Plus, there will be tip jars all around the Pizza Ranch where you can give a donation to help the cause.

What would you be helping to support? Take a look at the pictures below from past mission trips:


Saint Paul Mission Trip - Misc.

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Misc.

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 1

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 2

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 3

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 3

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 3

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 3

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 4

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 4

Saint Paul Mission Trip - Day 4

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Milwaukee Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Martin, South Dakota Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Kansas City Mission Trip #2

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Minneapolis Mission Trip

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

Kansas City Mission Trip #1

So please come out to Pizza Ranch next Wednesday and help support great kids doing great work!