Category Archives: Jay

An Artist’s Notebook Post #3,500

Welcome to the 3,500th entry in “An Artist’s Notebook”. The blog portion of my Photography 139 website. It has been along time since I first took keyboard hand sitting in the old Computer Mine setup or possibly in my Mom’s basement, because that is where my life was at that time.

In fact, the first time I posted anything on “An Artist’s Notebook” was August 9, 2006. The very first word I wrote, “So”. Maybe not the best word. Maybe not the most forceful word. It is a word that almost feels like an apology.

I clearly didn’t know where this was going to take me and I’m not sure I even know where I’m at now. So.

I would go on in the first post to state that I had a few goals for this blog.

#1. To write in it.

I think I can say safely that 3,499 posts later, I have written in it. I often wonder if I were to print out every page of “An Artist’s Notebook”, how many pages it would be. While I know that most of those pages would just be pictures at not necessarily words, I’m still pretty sure that the entire thing would run several thousands of pages. While the things I write and the nature of what I write and post has changed over time and I’m sure it will continue to change, I will say for now, I’m still on track for Goal #1.

#2. To be as truthful as possible towards my true thoughts and feelings.

On this goal I’m going to give myself an incomplete. I feel that I am truthful to my loyal readers, but I don’t know that I necessarily share my feelings a lot. For example, I don’t know how many of you know how much I despise the open-faced sandwich. It is a pox upon mankind. Kind of like anti-vaxxers. When I think about it, I suppose I don’t hold back much. However, I’ll have to double down on my efforts to let you know about my true feelings. A 5,000 word piece on the worthlessness of the open-faced sandwich is coming your way on Sunday!

#3. Producing something that makes me worthy of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook”.

The question here, is this: Is the blog any darn good? It would be arrogant of me to claim that it is. I have garnered a small amount of loyal subscribers. But I’m sure a better blog would garner more. My entries do occasionally gather comments. But I’m sure a better blog would gather more comments. I guess I’ll have to keep plugging away and let the sands of time figure out if this thing is any good.

On these mile marker posts, I like to look at what things and what people have most influenced this post.

On my 750th post, these were the Top 16 post categories and I’ll assume, the only categories I had for posts back then:

1. Photography – 295
2. Friends – 269
3. Life – 238
4. Family – 98
5. Religion – 63
6. ISU Football – 41
7. Jaycees – 40
8. Movies – 39
9. Blogging 33
10. Sports – 25
11. Work – 25
12. House – 24
13. Writing – 23
14. Comedy – 20
15. Politics – 17
16. History – 12

On post 1,000, these were the 10 people that I had tagged the most in posts:

1. Jay (144)
2. Jesse (143)
3. Shannon (140)
4. Derrick (117)
5. Jen (101)
6. Teresa (96)
7. Willy (93)
8. Sara (88)
9. Baier (65)
10. Dawn (64)

By post 1,447 these were the 10 most tagged people:

10. Dad – 117
9. Carla – 118
8. Sara – 122
7. Willy – 124
6. Jen – 143
5. Teresa – 144
4. Derrick – 157
3. Shannon – 160
2. Jay – 180
1. Jesse – 195

This picture of Evie was the most popular picture on my website:



By post 2500, these were the 5 most tagged people:

1. Jesse – 283 Posts
2. Teresa – 244 Posts
3. Shannon – 231 Posts
3. Jay – 231 Posts
5. Derrick – 220 Posts

By post 3,000 these were the most popular categories:

#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

And these were the most tagged people:

#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

Here we are, post 3,5000. I should point out before I reveal the current most popular categories on “An Artist’s Notebook”, I should point out that while I’ve been going back and fixing old broken entries via our Saturday night trips down memory lane, I have also been re-categorizing and breaking some categories into multiple categories. That is why some categories have actually lost posts. Hopefully some of those generic categories like “Photography” and “Life” will be down to zero some day.

Here are the most popular categories:

10. Photography – 311 Posts
9. Teresa – 312 Posts
8. Carla – 314 Posts
7. Shannon -351 Posts
6. Black & White – 390 Posts
5. Weekly Photo Challenge – 394 Posts
4. Jesse – 404 Posts
3. Animals – 477 Posts
2. Portrait – 516 Posts
1. Flowers – 537 Posts

10 Most Popular Not People Categories:

10. Art – 243 Posts
9. Nature – 260 Posts
8. Personal Photo Project – 261 Posts
7. Road Trip – 288 Posts
6. Photography – 311 Posts
5. Black & White – 390 Posts
4. Weekly Photo Challenge – 390 Posts
3. Animals – 477 Posts
2. Portrait – 516 Posts
1. Flowers – 537 Posts

10 Most Tagged Humans

10. Jen – 222 Posts
9. Vest – 234 Posts
8. Willy – 238 Posts
7. Derrick – 267 Posts
6. Jay – 294 Posts
5. Mom – 300 Posts
4. Teresa – 312 Posts
3. Carla – 314 Posts
2. Shannon – 351 Posts
1. Jesse – 403 Posts

You may be wondering, what does it take to improve my Photography 139 Score? How do I get on the big board by the time Post 3750 comes around next August-ish?

1. Submit pictures for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.
2. Assist or pose for photo projects.
3. Be related to me.

If you are wondering who is just outside of the top ten? The 3 people just outside of the Top Ten are Kim, Sara, and Logan.

Here are the current most popular pictures in the Photography 139 Gallery, by views in the last 365 days:


Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa
10. Iowa State Cyclones Football Varsity Marching Band – 514 Views

Howard Family Photo Shoot - 2017
9. Howards 2017 – 571 Views

Ortho 2 Holiday Card Portrait
8. Michelle – Computer Mine Holiday Card – 2018 – 690 Views

Iowa State vs. Iowa 2005
7. Cy beating down Herky – 746 Views

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019
6. Rapid City Mission Trip – 776 Views


5. Autumn Sharp – 935 Views

January 1, 2019
4. Selfie Project – January 1, 2019 – 1251 Views

July 15, 2017
3. Selfie Project – July 15, 2017 – 1511 Views

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
2. Metropolis, Illinois – 2724 Views

January 14, 2019
1. Selfie Project – January 14, 2019 – 3215 Views

And these are the Ten Most Popular Albums in the Photography 139 Gallery by views in the last 365 Days (You can go to the album by clicking on the picture):



10. Autumn Sharp – 2020 -11,036 Views

SELF-PORTRAIT
9. Misc. Portraits – 11,198 Views

Ortho 2 Holiday Card Portrait
8. 2018 Computer Mine Holiday Card Portrait – 11,409 Views

Iowa State vs. Nebraska
7. Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2008 – 12,024 Views

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma = 2018
6. Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2018 – 12,715 Views

Naima at Dickcissel
5. Naima – 14,770 Views

Page 49 - Reject
4. Photo Journal Rejects – 14,872 Views

June 25, 2019
3. Selfie Project – 2019 – 37,416 Views

WEEK 180 - TRANSPORTATION - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 6 – 43,174 Views

9 Emotions Project - Anders Runestad
1. 9 Emotions Project – 58,863 Views

Whew! Well, I’m spent. Thanks to everybody that subscribes to this here blog. You are a big part of whatever success that is does have!

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


WEEK 212 - FRAMED
FRAMED!

Reminder that a FRAMED photo is a photo where your subjected is FRAMED by objects that aren’t the subject of the photo. Like a window. Or a door. Or literally anything that creates negative space.

Happy photo harvesting!

Selfie Project – August

Now seems like a good time to check-in with my favorite pictures from my August SELFIE PROJECT pictures.

It would seem that I had a successful month of August. I met Vice-President Joe Biden. I competed in a barbecue contest at the Iowa State Fair. I also competed in a photography contest at the Iowa State Fair. I dine at a Brazilian Steakhouse totally not for Jay’s birthday. I went to an air show. I met my great nephew. I went to the Minnesota State Fair. I dined at Zeno’s. I went to an Iowa State football game.

Here are my favorites:


August 1, 2019
August 1

August 2, 2019
August 2

August 3, 2019
August 3

August 4, 2019
August 4

August 5, 2019
August 5

August 9, 2019
August 9

August 10, 2019
August 10

August 11, 2019
August 11

August 13, 2019
August 13

August 15, 2019
August 15

August 17, 2019
August 17

August 18, 2019
August 18

August 23, 2019
August 23

August 24, 2019
August 24

August 25, 2019
August 25

August 26, 2019
August 26

August 29, 2019
August 29

August 30, 2019
August 30

August 31, 2019
August 31

I’m not sure I’ve had as busy of a September, but I guess we’ll find out in October when I get a chance to look back at it.

2009-05-29

There are a wide variety of pictures in the folder 2009-05-29. They range from pictures of socks that Shannon made to Ernie trimming trees to baby worst birds to invites to my housewarming party to pictures Sara took at my housewarming party.


Baby Grackles

Baby Grackles

Shannon Socks

Shannon Socks

Cherries

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

Lift

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

2009 Birthday/Housewarming Party Invitation

The guy in the picture with me and Jesse was my neighbor across the street from me. He would sometimes drop by at all hours of the night. He was a good guy, but his struggles overcame him and he passed away a couple years after this picture was taken.

However, looking at these pictures, it does inspire me to bring back the birthday party in 2020. I’m about 95% sure that I will.

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:

The Fruit of the Mystery Trees
Mr. Bunyan
Memorial Day Backyard
Shindy
Housewarming Invites

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve flowers.

A Photo Journal – Page 31

Last Saturday night Jay, Willy, Jesse, and I piled into the Sir Pixalot-mobile and headed down to Des Moines for a dinner that had absolutely nothing to do with Jay’s dinner. Anybody that says that the very delicious dinner we took down had anything to do with Jay’s birthday is a terrible liar.

Jay had selected (totally unrelated to his birthday) BAH Brazilian Steakhouse for the dinner. When we got there, there was a 45 minute wait. I took this as an opportunity to take Willy across the river and take the two pictures that I needed for Page 31 for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT.


Photo Journal - Page 31
Page 31

Photo Journal - Page 31
Tell a joke with two pictures.

This leaves only the following images left to capture before finally closing the book on THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:

Page 18 – Shoot the other half of this picture by Jason Evans. – This is a profoundly stupid page, but I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and do it at some point.
Page 28 – Recreate a famous photograph without looking it up.
Page 64 – Head out with a fellow photographer and play a game of photography dare.
PAGE 66-67 – Make a sequence of four pictures inspired by the rise and fall of Britney Spears (or another celebrity).
PAGE 101 – Find an object, close your eyes and compose your shot using touch rather than vision.
Page 106-107 – Email one of your pictures to your photography hero and ask them what they hate about it.
Page 117 – Freeze the frame exactly 57 minutes and 32 seconds in to your favorite film. Take a picture inspired by what you see.
PAGE 121 – Show us that photography is a form of magic.
Page 123 – Don’t take any more photographs -none- until you see something that emotionally moves you. Only then pick up your camera.

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


WEEK 205 - FLOWER
FLOWER

A FLOWER picture is pretty self-evident. Happy photo harvesting!

Rodan139 – Kamrar

I recently went to Pickles in Kamrar with Jesse, Jay, and Nader to celebrate my birthday. I packed up my camera and Rodan139 because I intended on knocking out a couple of needed photos on the trip.

#1. I wanted get my GROUP PHOTO image for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.
#2. I wanted to take a picture for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT.

Since I forgot to pack a tripod, I ended up taking the GROUP PHOTO with Rodan139. I also was able to knock off my THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT photo as well. However, while Rodan139 was prowling the friendly skies of Kamrar, I took a few pictures that don’t fit into either category.

Have a look:


Drone Photography - Kamrar, Iowa

Drone Photography - Kamrar, Iowa

Drone Photography - Kamrar, Iowa

Drone Photography - Kamrar, Iowa

Drone Photography - Kamrar, Iowa

Drone Photography - Kamrar, Iowa

Earlier in the day I went to see the new GODZILLA movie with Brandon and Nader. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I feel the portrayal of Rodan in the movie was less than flattering. The made him into a bit of an iris. It almost made me regret naming my drone after him. Brandon even suggested that I should rename the drone, but I’m holding out hope that Rodan will rebound and man-up in a future Godzilla movie.

WPC – WEEK 194 – GROUP PORTRAIT

GROUP PORTRAIT turned out to be surprisingly popular. When I woke from my slumbers this morning, about 15 minutes after arriving at the computer mine, I had only received 2 submissions. I thought there was no way we would get to double digits for submissions. But as the morning unfolded, a ton of submissions came flying my way. As it turns out, GROUP PORTRAIT is a very popular theme!

The Photography 139 Empire was all over the place this week. From the Dominican Republic to Grand Central Station to Canada to Colo to Kamrar!

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


WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 194 - GROUP PORTRAIT - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

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 195 - PARK
PARK

PARK! What a great theme! But what is a PARK image? Simply enough, it is any picture taken at a PARK. There are all sorts of PARK(s). There are nature preserve PARKS(s). There are playground PARK(s). There are amusement PARK(s). There are even PARK and rides. The word PARK also has more than one meaning. I look forward to your interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

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. 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.


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Congratulations to Jennifer Schoff! She is the latest person to show taste, class, and sophistication by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ve actually known Jennifer’s kids longer than I’ve known her and she is the person that does most of the heavy lifting for me on the mission trip preparation work. If you see Jennifer out and about, give her a knowing glance and feel free to teach her the super, secret Photography 139 handshake.

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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 parked Monday.

Selfie Project – March

It has been awhile since we checked in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. I figured today was as good of a day as any to check out March before April is over.

I’m not sure I did more interesting things in March than I did in February or January where it felt like I never left the house. I think I’ve continued that in April. I actually even left the state in April!

Here are my favorites from March:


March 1, 2019
March 1

March 2, 2019
March 2

March 3, 2019
March 3

March 4, 2019
March 4

March 6, 2019
March 6

March 7, 2019
March 7

March 8, 2019
March 8

March 9, 2019
March 9

March 10, 2019
March 10

March 12, 2019
March 12

March 14, 2019
March 14

March 16, 2019
March 16

March 17, 2019
March 17

March 19, 2019
March 19

March 21, 2019
March 21

March 22, 2019
March 22

March 23, 2019
March 23

March 24, 2019
March 24

March 26, 2019
March 26

March 28, 2019
March 28

March 29, 2019
March 29

March 31, 2019
March 31

No doubt you already excited to see my April “adventures”.

2009-01-02 & 2009-01-03

The pictures from the folders 2009-01-02 and 2009-01-03 involved a trip to ACTORS theater in Ames. Plus a trip to Ottumwa to work on the house that Jen inherited. Plus there are some pictures of when I had winnowed down what house I would purchase down to two similar ranch style houses.

The house that I would ultimately purchase was the lucky winner mainly because it had the better yard. It had the better yard times a million. The intention was always to get a golden retriever when I was back up on my own feet and living on my own again.

As I look at the pictures of the runner-up, I assure you Naima would not have been happy with that yard. I also wouldn’t have been happy with such a small yard too. I mean, if you’re going to care about my happiness.

Here are the pictures:


ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

I do confess though, I could have has some pretty great parties with that carpeted bar.

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

Blitz

Intermission

The Ballad of House Buying: Part 2: Initial Look

The Ballad of House Buying: Part 4 – A Closer Examination

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve saying goodbye to an old cinematic friend and a winter storm.

Shaving Says A Lot About A Man, Like, “I’m Not One”

Immediately after the beautiful beard go its final photo shoot Jay and I trudged from the Photography 139 Basement Studio to the kitchen where the unpleasantness was set to be done. “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana playing through my head.

I still had time to back down. It was now spring and the weather was starting to heat up and I was well past time for a shearing, there was no reason to do it now. It could wait a few days. Maybe even a week. Maybe there was no reason to shave at all? Despite the naysayers, the beard had a near cult like following. There were beard fanatics out there and didn’t I have a certain obligation to them?

I shook all these thoughts out of my head as we reached the kitchen. I sat down in the chair. Jay got out his clippers. The following pictures document what transpired:


Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

It was then that the battery on Jay’s clippers died. I spent the rest of the night with that cheeseball mustache. When I woke up in the morning I shaved down to full dirty naked face.

Thanks to Jesse for document the horror of it all.

Moments Before

I never meant for this to go so far. At a certain point, it felt like things got out of control and I was powerless to do anything about it. What started as laziness had grown to a point where it had a life of its own. I was supposed to be in control, but now I was a passenger. Then on March 15, I grabbed the wheel back. I empowered myself. Took control of the situation.

It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to a close friend. We had become inseparable. It was a relationship that had started in June, possibly May of 2018. It is hard to pinpoint a date, but I know the whole affair started before leaving for the mission trip in Vidor, Texas.

There was no plan. Nothing was building towards anything. There were many times I felt like just cutting things off and walking away. There were times I looked in the mirror and told myself that I can’t do this any more. But I would cave and walk away.

Initially I was going to say goodbye on January 1. New year, new beginnings. Even though the stinging encounter with a parade Santa had left a wound that had just days before been ripped open by a little girl at the Chinese buffet, I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. I needed some documentation. Proof of what I had become. I was going to take some pictures before finally walking out on this toxic relationship.

Then, the weather changed. A polar vortex ripped through the area. Some days the wind chill factor was below -40. Some days it was below -20 without the wind chill factor. The temperature stayed below freezing for six straight weeks.

Rather than committing to the change that needed to be made, I used the cold as an excuse. As a crutch. As a reason to hold on.

But the cold weather receded and my resolve strengthened. A new date for a new me arrived in March. The first day of spring. New life. New beginnings. Time to say goodbye. Place this friend aside and walk away.

I still needed the pictures. If I ever saw that old friend again I could remember the pictures and remind them, we were good together, but even the best things come to an end.

Moments before my beard got shaved off, I sat down for a photo shoot. Jay took the following pictures:


Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments later, I would look like a corporate sellout. My old friend wanted to punch me in the face, but there were quite a few moments between the glory of the beard and the shame of being a dirty nakedface.