Category Archives: Jay

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Results

Before I delve into the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, I do know what picture and what award I got into the Iowa State Fair. It is my policy not to reveal the pictures I entered until after the State Fair is over, but your clue is don’t go all the way into the main room. Go almost into that room, then look to your left.

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I think that the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest was a success this year. Not a smashing success, but I definitely feel like it is on greater footing now. A more solid foundation. In 2021 there were only 24 pictures entered. This year that number more than doubled to 61. Which is a good number, but I won’t be satisfied until that number hits triple digits. Until we outgrow KWBG and I’m forced to find a new location.

This is how the entries broke down.

ADULT
+ BLACK & WHITE – 1 entry (I can’t put into word how this breaks my heart!)
+ HIDDEN TREASURES OF BOONE COUNTY – 3 entries
+ NATURE – 16 entries
+ PEOPLE – 5 entries
+ TRAINS, PLANES, AND AUTOMOBILES – 6 entries
+ TOTAL – 31 entries

TEEN
+ BLACK & WHITE – 3 entries
+ HIDDEN TREASURES OF BOONE COUNTY – 1 entry
+ NATURE – 7 entries
+ PEOPLE – 1 entry
+ TRAINS, PLANES, AND AUTOMOBILES – 0 entries
+ TOTAL – 12 entries

YOUTH
+ BLACK & WHITE – 4 entries
+ HIDDEN TREASURES OF BOONE COUNTY – 1 entry
+ NATURE – 10 entries
+ PEOPLE – 1 entry
+ TRAINS, PLANES, AND AUTOMOBILES – 2 entries
TOTAL – 18 entries

Thank God for the Youth and teens that are holding down the BLACK & WHITE class. Once again the balance with the NATURE class was all out of whack, so next year I’m going to split them up into ANIMALS and PLANTS.

These are the winners:



Best of Show – “Pismo Beach Beauty” – Angie DeWaard


People’s Choice Award – “Just A Swingin'” – Daphne Harris


1st Place Adult Overall – “Pismo Beach Beauty” – Angie DeWaard


2nd Place Adult Overall – “The Art in Nature” – Angie DeWaard


3rd Place Overall – “La Vita Dolce” – Angie DeWaard


1st Place Teen Overall – “Edison Phonographs” – Emma Wiebold


2nd Place Teen Overall – “Happy Little Squirrel” – Simon Enabnit


3rd Place Teen Overall – “Cartwheel in the Creek” – Emma Wiebold


1st Place Youth Overall – “Light Shining on Tables” – Tommy Williams


2nd Place Youth Overall – “Fly” – Layla Gorshe


3rd Place Youth Overall – “Lake Sunset” – Reese Howie


1st Place Adult Nature – “Pismo Beach Beauty” – Angie DeWaard


2nd Place Adult Nature – “Libella pulchella” – Allison Kayser


3rd Place Adult Nature – “Lithobates castebeianus maculosus” – Allison Kayser


1st Place Adult People – “The Art in Nature” – Angie DeWaard


2nd Place Adult People – “Good Sports” – Angie DeWaard


3rd Place Adult People – “Persevere” – Jen Ensley


1st Place Adult Trains, Planes, and Automobiles – “La Vita Dolce” – Angie DeWaard


2nd Place Adult Trains, Planes, and Automobiles – “Two Tracks” – Sally Kay Whitney


3rd Place Adult Trains, Planes, and Automobiles – “Spike Driving Contest” – Bea Upah


1st Place Adult Black & White – “Zebra Bark” – Angie DeWaard


1st Place Adult Hidden Treasures of Boone County – “Through the Wires in Pilot Mound” – Angie DeWaard


2nd Place Adult Hidden Treasures of Boone County – “Mill Creek Stone Arch” – Bea Upah


3rd Place Adult Hidden Treasures of Boone County – “Sunset Over Boone” – Nicole Schecklman


1st Place Teen Nature – “Happy Little Squirrel” – Simon Enabnit


2nd Place Teen Nature – “Fence Post” – Emma Wiebold


3rd Place Teen Nature – “Garden Raider” – Simon Enabnit


1st Place Teen People – “Cartwheel in the Creek” – Emma Wiebold


1st Place Teen Hidden Treasures of Boone County – “Beautiful Garbage” – Simon Enabnit


1st Place Teen Black & White – “Edison Phonographs” – Emma Wiebold


2nd Place Teen Black & White – “Rosie the Pug” – Emma Wiebold


3rd Place Teen Black & White – “Old Tree in Pasture” – Emma Wiebold


1st Place Youth Nature – “Lake Sunset” – Reese Howie


2nd Place Youth Nature – “The Cone” – Kayelee Burns


3rd Place Youth Nature – “Black Lab Smelling Flowers” – Tommy Williams


1st Place Youth People – “Grass” – Evie Gorshe


1st Place Youth Hidden Treasures of Boone County -“Kate Shelley Museum” – Kayelee Burns


1st Place Youth Trains, Planes, and Automobiles – “Fly” – Layla Gorshe


2nd Place Youth Trains, Planes and Automobiles – “Steam Engine” – Kayelee Burns


1st Place Youth Black & White – “Light Shining on Tables” – Tommy Williams


2nd Place Youth Black & White – “Easy on Me” – Kayelee Burns


3rd Place Youth Black & White – “Snickers” – Daphne Harris

Maybe you don’t agree with the judges? Which is fine. I don’t agree with all of their decisions, but I selected a great collection of judges this year and they did a tremendous job!

Meet them:



One thing I learned this year is that a lot of people seem to think I was “the judge” or “a judge” and then when they found out I wasn’t a judge, then I didn’t really do that much. Which I think is funny, but I’m okay with people not knowing how much work goes into this and thinking the judges do all the work. If people see how much work this is, then I’m not doing my job.

I’ve already mentally selected the three judges for next year. Two of them have already committed. I’m sure the third one will commit as well, I just have to make the call. Janae will be returning and Nathanial and Logan will be rotating out. The second judge that has committed is Angie. I had been playing with the idea of whomever wins Best of Show gets to be a judge the following year. Her winning Best of Show cemented that or maybe quickcreted it for this year, at least.

While I’ve already tried to explain how much work I put into this contest. I definitely don’t do it myself. I need to thank people that helped along the way:
+ Kim Barker – Helped with label printing and only complained once, but for good reason.
+ Nathanial Brown – a judge, but also a good idea man. For example, his idea to split the youth division into Teen and Youth. Also provided sides for dinner AND most responsible for streamlining the Judges Form.
+ Kio Dettman – Got me this gig, but also is part of the Display Team. Both setting up and tearing down.
+ Janae Erickson – Judge while being super pregnant. A trooper.
+ Michelle Haupt – Did the Photo Contest Book. It looks professional because it is professional. I think she was only moderately frustrated when she would ask a question and 9 times out of 10 my answer was “I trust you.”
+ Jesse Howard – Part of the tear down team and gophered stuff between Ames and Boone for me. Including purchasing the photo stands for the overall photos.
+ Jay Janson – Designed one of the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Flyers.
+ Monica Jennings – Designed multiple Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Flyers, designed and assembled the judges board for the display case, designed and put together the certificates that went with each ribbon. She was also instrumental in putting together the display. Bossing Logan around even more than I did. Which is saying something. I got so many compliments on what the display looked like this year. I think that was a lot of Monica.
+ Logan Kahler – Was a judge. Which was big. But even bigger in my mind, was being the “inside the display case” man when putting the display together. He also provided the meat for the judgement night meal. It was delicious.
+ Teresa Kahler – Did a ton of the administrative stuff and has big ideas for streamlining that process next year with mail merge.
+ Carla Stensland – Did a ton of administrative stuff as well. She was the judges’ assistant and helped keep them moving forward.
+ The Staff of KWBG – They are all wonderful, but Jennifer in particular is VERY helpful. She put up lights so there is some lighting in there at night and fixed some of the small mistakes that were made on the administrative end.

I’ve already mentioned some of the tweaks I’m going to make for next year. There are still more to make. However, the rest I’m going to keep close to my vest for now. But I might share them when I share some of the behind the scenes pictures in the future.

However, I think there is time for one last look back. I mentioned the incredible job that Michelle did on the book. This idea is pretty much completely stolen from, I mean influenced by, the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. Michelle is a genius when it comes to making this kind of thing and I think you should click on the links below and really appreciate her work:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Book – Easy to Read

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Book – Easy to Print

Be wary, next year I might try bothering you to get you on the photo contest team! Or even better, maybe next year you or your kids will enter. I heard more than one story about this being a great activity for parents to do with their children and grandparents to do with their grandchildren.

Fat Mum Slim – July 2022

A quick heads up. If you were thinking of going to or entering an animal into the Pufferbilly Days Dog and Exotic Animal Show, because of the extreme heat of today it was postponed. It is now tomorrow at noon at the park on 9th and Story.

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I have another month done in the Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day Challenge. This month wasn’t as difficult as last month because they were just standard themes. I think the images I took are a fair record of my experiences in July.


July 1
July 1 – Reflection

July 2
July 2 – Letters

July 3
July 3 – Human

July 4
July 4 – I’m Working On This…

July 5
July 5 – Wall

July 6
July 6 – Bright Colours

July 7
July 7 – A Fave Place

July 8
July 8 – Out of Focus

July 9
July 9 – A Boomerang

July 10
July 10 – Behind Someone

July 11
July 11 – Interior

July 12
July 12 – Exterior

July 13
July 13 – Life

July 14
July 14 – Create A Postcard

July 15
July 15 – Where I Stood

July 16
July 16 – Pattern

July 17
July 17 – Water

July 18
July 18 – Street Photography

July 19
July 19 – A Cylinder

July 20
July 20 – Hug

July 21
July 21 – A Church

July 22
July 22 – Current Interest

July 23
July 23 – Still Life

July 24
July 24 – A Metaphor

July 25
July 25 – Beauty

July 26
July 26 – Beauty

July 27
July 27 – Countryside

July 28
July 28 – An Old Car

JULY 29
July 29 – Black and White

July 30
July 30 – Happy Days


July 31 – Sunday Morning

I think there was some pretty good work in July. Hopefully some good work to be done in August.

Here are the August prompts:

August 1 – I Am…
August 2 – I Love This Colour…
August 3 – I Walked Here…
August 4 – I Like To…
August 5 – I Love This Time of Day…
August 6 – I Love…
August 7 – I Made This…
August 8 – I Work Here…
August 9 – I Held This…
August 10 – I Wrote This…
August 11 – I Saw…
August 12 – I Like To Drink…
August 13 – I Stood Here…
August 14 – I Do This On Sundays…
August 15 – I Once…
August 16 – I Never…
August 17 – I Went To…
August 18 – I Read This…
August 19 – I Did This Good Thing…
August 20 – I Love This View…
August 21 – I Don’t Life To…
August 22 – On Mondays I…
August 23 – I Sat Here…
August 24 – I Like To Eat…
August 25 – I Have To…
August 26 – I Wore This…
August 27 – On Weekends I…
August 28 – I Watched This…
August 29 – I Can…
August 30 – I Can’t…
August 31 – I Believe…

I guess people will get to know me better this month… unless I can help it.

If you want to follow this project on the daily, they are posted on my Fat Mum Slim Instagram account.

@fmsbennett

Otherwise, we’ll check in on this next month.

Selfie Project – July 2022

This is a reminder that tomorrow there is a dog and exotic animal pet show for Pufferbilly Days. A person could also enter a cat, but people don’t, cause… cat. I mean, it explains itself.

However, I give this reminder with the caveat that it is possible that the Dog and Exotic Animal Pet Show could possibly be cancelled due to heat.

Here is the information you need if you are interested:


Pufferbilly Days Pet Show Flyer - 2022

If it goes down, I will be there to photograph it. If it doesn’t go down, I’ll probably be eating ice cream, in the air conditioning.

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It is time once again to check in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. One of the things I like about THE SELFIE PROJECT I get to take a quick look back at everything I did last month and be like, “that was last month? I thought that was forever ago!”

I think I had a pretty busy July, but you can be the judge of that.

Here are some of my favorite images:


Day 182 - July 1, 2022
July 1

Day 183 - July 2, 2022
July 2

Day 184 - July 3, 2022
July 3

Day 186 - July 5, 2022
July 5

Day 187 - July 6, 2022
July 6

Day 188 - July 7, 2022
July 7

Day 189 - July 8, 2022
July 8
Day 190 - July 9, 2022
July 9

Day 191 - July 10, 2022
July 10

Day 193 - July 12, 2022
July 12

Day 194 - July 13, 2022
July 13

Day 195 - July 14, 2022
July 14

Day 196 - July 15, 2022
July 15

Day 197 - July 16, 2022
July 16

Day 198 - July 17, 2022
July 17

Day 199 - July 18, 2022
July 18

Day 200 - July 19, 2022
July 19

Day 201 - July 20, 2022
July 20

Day 202 - July 21, 2022
July 21

Day 204 - July 23, 2022
July 23

Day 208 - July 27, 2022
July 27

Day 209 - July 28, 2022
July 28

Day 210 - July 29, 2022
July 29

Day 211 - July 30, 2022
July 30

Day 212 - July 31, 2022
July 31

Obviously there were lots of selfies that couldn’t make the cut for this month’s THE SELFIE PROJECT. Here are some of my favorite alternates:


SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE - JULY 2022

My August calendar is pretty loaded up with Pufferbilly Days, the Iowa State Fair, and numerous TOWN SIGN PROJECT road trips all planned for the month. I’m even going to take some time off work. I’m not going anywhere. I’m just not going to work for a few days. I’m looking forward to it. I hope when we reconvene to look at my August pictures that there are some great new memories in there as well.

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


WEEK 360 - PEOPLE
PEOPLE

PEOPLE! What a great theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a PEOPLE picture? Well, it is simply a picture that has a PEOPLE or multiple PEOPLE in it. (Somewhere an English teacher is hanging their head so low right now.) I know. PEOPLE are vile and disgusting subjects. They are a failed species that are responsible for 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the evil on this planet. Completely susceptible to propaganda. Responsible for the complete and utter raping of our planet. Avarice. Greed. War. Genocide. Racism. Homophobia. Transphobia. Misogyny. All unique products of PEOPLE. What I’m trying to say is that in the coming war between monkeys and humans, I am hard core #TeamMonkey*. I’d like to say we’ve had a good run, but all the evidence is to the contrary.

I have to admit that after some of the events of the past week, I’m still 100% #TeamMonkey in the coming Human vs. Monkey War (where do you think Monkey Pox comes from), but I think slightly better of our doomed and failed species than I did on Monday.

While thinking on possible subjects for your PEOPLE picture think on the words of the Law Giver:

“Beware the beast man, for he is the devil’s pawn.”
“Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. ”
“Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. ”
“Let him not breed in great numbers for he will make a desert of his home and yours. ”
“Shun him. ”
“Drive him back into his jungle lair. ”
“For he is the harbinger of death. “

Happy photo harvesting!

Baby Got Rack – Boone County Fair

Today is the last day to enter the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.


Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022

I will be picking up the entries from the Chamber about 5 PM today. I’m excited to see how many entries we got this year. I know of at least 4 people that have told me they are entering. I’m hoping there are plenty more out there. At the very least, there should be more submissions than there were last year. And that, my friends, is called improvement.

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A couple Saturdays back, Baby Got Rack put on our Hawai’ian shirts, our cargo shorts, and our fedoras and took to the field of battle in the rough and tumble world of competitive barbecue at the Boone County Fair.

Not everything went our way and we definitely dropped the ball in more than one way. But we did enough to win the combo category and we will be competing at the State Fair on Tuesday, August 16. In the morning. If you are at the State Fair on that day, stop by. We will be somewhere on the Grand Concourse.

Here are some pictures from the Boone County Fair:


Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Baby Got Rack - 2022 - Boone County Fair

Thanks to Jay for taking the Baby Got Rack team photo.

On to State!

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


WEEK 359 - ODD CAMERA ANGLE
ODD CAMERA ANGLE

ODD CAMERA ANGLE! What a great theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

But what exactly is an ODD CAMERA ANGLE photo? It is pretty simple. 99.9% of the pictures in the world are taken from the eye level of the photographer. This theme asks you to move the camera. It can be from an extremely low camera angle. Or it can be from an extremely high camera angle. Move your body and your camera to a perspective of your subject that isn’t normally seen.

Happy photo harvesting!

Fat Mum Slim – June 2022

On Thursday I completed another month of the Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day Challenge. For June, there was only one prompt. Grateful. Everyday, post a picture of something that makes you grateful. What I decided to do was every day take a picture with somebody that I am grateful to have in my life. 30 days in June. 30 different people. Only one person a day. It wasn’t going to be easy, but it wasn’t necessarily difficult. Most days, I just let people come into my life. I never made a trip way out of my way to take a picture. I think the farthest I went out of my way was to Madrid for the last day. Most people agreed to come to me. The farthest away a picture was taken was in Lansing, Iowa. But I didn’t go to Lansing, Iowa to take the picture. I went to Lansing to take a picture of their town sign. The second farthest away a picture taken was Spirit Lake, Iowa. But I didn’t go to Spirit Lake to take the picture. I went to Spirit Lake to go camping. The funny thing about those subjects is they were my sisters, who both live pretty darn close to me. The farthest away anybody lives from me that was included was Easton, Kansas. But that person definitely didn’t drive to Boone to have their picture taken with me.

The breakdown of people that I got pictured, if I were to categorize these people by how I first met them, it would break down like this:

+ Friend from Work: 11 – 7 current and 4 from the past.
+ Blood Relative – 7 people.
+ Church Friend – 5 people.
+ School Friend – 4 people.
+ In-Law – 1 person.
+ Teresa’s Friend – 1 person.
+ Olivia’s Friend – 1 person.

Here are my gratitude pictues:


June 1
June 1 – Grateful – I’m grateful for my “Workspace Buddy” Joe. Not only because he is a great co-worker, but a great guy. He 100% believes the earth is flat, that there is no such thing as space, the moon landing was faked, and all celebrities are clones. While I don’t buy any of his views, I do have more respect for them than somebody that believes that supply side economics work. I’m grateful to know such an outside of the box thinker.

June 2
June 2 – Gratitude – This is Derrick. I’ve known him since we were slinging burgers together at the Evil Clown Empire back in college. I’m grateful to have him in my life, not just because we have season tickets together for Iowa State Cyclones football, but also because I wish I had 5% of his musical talent. He is a true guitar god in that he can both play a face melting solo and he can tell you everything about and repair any guitar. Just listening to him talk about guitars is a privilege.

June 3
June 3 – Gratitude – This is Willy. I’ve known him since I started getting invited to Saturday Morning Basketball in 9th Grade. Willy used to dominate the game before the “Big Dog” started to prowl the court. Willy is a world traveler as his Costa Rico hat and Portugal shirt attest and I do live vicariously through him. But the reason I’m most grateful to have him in my life is shortly after his teenage sister passed away suddenly, we started getting supper together on Friday nights. Other members of Friday Night Supper Club came and went, but Willy and I got supper together almost every Friday for a decade, right up until the pandemic. It was and maybe in the future, the perfect end to a work week.

June 4
June 4 – Gratitude – This is Brandon. I’m grateful for all my nieces and nephews, biological and otherwise. Brandon is my oldest nephew and grows the best beard of any of them. He also has great taste in pop culture as he shares my love for all things Godzilla.

June 5
June – Gratitude – I know there are well more than 30 people from my life that I am grateful for, but I also just don’t know if that I will see 30 different people on 30 different days. Especially when I mostly work from home. Some days I don’t really know that I will see anybody that I haven’t already photographed, but then something happens totally unexpected. My sister Teresa had tickets to see Hamilton with her best friend Sheri, but then she got sick and couldn’t go, so I ended up going to see Hamilton with Sheri. While I feel bad for Teresa, I am grateful to have Sheri in my life as she is one of those friends that is more like family to everybody in my family. And yes Hamilton was great! It is Hamilton.

June 6
June 6 – Grateful – This is my Aunt Linda. She is practically the last one left from my Dad’s generation. I’m grateful to have her in my life as she is a connection to my Grandma and Grandpa Bennett that I never got to know, my Uncle David that I never got to know and my Dad who I lost when I was nine. I don’t see her much because she lives in Easton, Kansas but she was in town today to take care of her Boone house.

June 7
June 7 – Grateful – This is Nader. I met him when in another life, I transferred to the Campustown outpost of the Evil Clown Empire. I’m grateful to have Nader in my life because despite having spent 5 years in an Iranian prison without a trial for saying Allah wouldn’t want you to kill people, in front of the wrong people, he still managed to find happiness in Henry Fonda winning an Oscar for On Golden Pond. I share his love of movies, but not how infatuation with the Oscars.

June 8
June 8 – Gratitude – This is Kim. At work I’m somewhere between the low man on the totem pole to not being on the totem pole at all. However, a big wig like Kim takes care of the little people by scheduling Popcorn Day around my schedule!

June 9
June 9 – Gratitude – This is Ron. I’ve worked with him for over 16 years now. Ron has a Purple Heart because he was injured in the terrorist attack on Khobar Towers. However, the truth about his heart is that is gigantic in his love for dogs. He has several dogs and he and his late wife were very active with the animal rescue league in his hometown and he is active in trying to get puppies away from puppy mills, often going to Missouri in this pursuit. I’m grateful for Ron, not just because he is a fountain of knowledge but because he loves dogs even more than me!

June 10
June 10 – Gratitude – This is Carla. She is my elder sister. The middle child of 3. I could just say I’m grateful cause she is my sister, but I realize not everybody has a sister where they are also friends. I am fortunate to have that with both my sisters. If you doubt that, I’m writing this while smashed into the bottom bunk of her camper reminding myself, that I’m not claustrophobic. I’m not claustrophobic. I’m not claustrophobic.

June 11
June 11 – Grateful – This is Sara. Today was her daughter Maven’s birthday party. Before this picture we tried to remember when we first met. Sadly, we can’t figure it out, but it was definitely no later than 1997, but probably before that. Sara has a hard fast rule that when taking a picture of her there has to be at least 3 takes. She is one of the best educated people I know. She has a Bachelor’s from Iowa State. A nursing degree from Mercy, and a Nurse Practitioner degree from Iowa with an emphasis in mental health. While I respect all that learning, but really I’m grateful for her because she is just incredibly fun to be around.

June 12
June 12 – Grateful – This is Pastor Dave. Today was his last day at our church. He is moving on to become a chaplain. I know that Dave must be a devastatingly handsome man because when I’m in my short beard mode I often get mistaken for him. I wish he was sticking around but I’m grateful to him for the job he did taking over in our church shortly before the pandemic began. It could not have been easy!

June 13
June 13 – Grateful – This is Jay. I’ve known Jay since 7th Grade. He is one of the most talented and creative artists that I know. I’m grateful to have some of the art he has created, including this hand staff he made when like 5 years ago I decided I wanted to make MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE themed birthday party invitations.

June 14
June 14 – Grateful – This is my brother-in-law Jason. He’s married to my sister Carla. He’s a great guy and very selfless. But probably why I’m most grateful to have him in my life is because he is handy. I am decidedly not “handy” and anytime I need help with a home project or a car repair, he volunteers his time and expertise.

June 15
June 15 – Grateful – This is Scottie D. I’ve known him since we worked together at the Boone Outpost of the Evil Clown Empire. We (with a few other rotating members) the competitive barbecue team Baby Got Rack. Not gonna lie, Scott is pretty much all the culinary talent and I mostly help pack and unpack and photodocument and follow orders. We’ve won more than a few competitions, but haven’t competed since before the pandemic. The hiatus might be coming to an end next month, but even if it doesn’t, I’m grateful to have Scott in my life because of all the delicious food he makes.

June 16
June 16 – Gratitude – This is my nephew Logan. Of all my nieces and nephews, he is the one that is continuing the family legacy of photography. He is even pursuing it professionally doing portrait and wedding photography. I’m grateful to have family that share my passion.

June 17
June 17 – Grateful – This is Kio. He is the person I know that is most dedicated to philanthropy and volunteering. But the reason I’m most grateful to have Kio in my life is that he was instrumental in hooking me up with running the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. A gig I coveted for years.

June  18
June 18 – Gratitude – This is my niece Alexis. It is rather embarrassing how long it has been since today that we’ve seen each other. She is the baby of the family. Well of her generation. She lived with me for a bit and that is the one and only time she heard me “swear”. It was apparently significant enough to her that she immediately took to social media to post about it.

June 19
June 19 – Grateful – This is Andrea. She was the Associate Pastor at my church about 10 years ago until she got moved to Fort Dodge to have her own church. Last year they moved her to West Des Moines. I went down to her worship service today and her sermon was so affirming and so everything I needed to hear. She is probably the Pastor that has had the most influence on my faith journey… in many ways… but including the simple act of asking me to help chaperone a Youth Group Mission Trip to Kansas City a long time ago.

June 20
June 20 – Grateful – This is Jesse. We’ve been best friends since meeting in Mrs. Ford’s 2nd Grade Class. Probably could write a ton on him, but enough to say he has been with me on most adventures and tragedies in my life since then. Which is a lot of years when you’re old and washed up like us.

June 21
June 21 – Grateful – This is Johnathan. He is the last of my biological nieces or nephews that will be featured this month. I have one more. My niece Elainie, but she is off in California currently with her Navy husband. So… Johnathan. He is the often quiet, keep to yourself nephew and I can relate to that. He is a phenomenal cook and is way better at cleaning than I am. He also lived with me briefly and his portion of the house was always in order. Like all my nieces and nephews, I need to effort to see him more, especially because his work schedule is so tough.

June 22
June 22 – Grateful – This is Micky. I’ve worked with him for over 16 years now. And while I’m grateful to him for all the help he gives me at work, I’m really grateful for our friendship outside of work. He is a great outdoorsman, but in ways that are opposite to how I enjoy it. Meaning, he likes to hunt and fish. Frankly, I do enjoy fishing a bit, I don’t think I could ever murderize other animals, I just don’t have it in me. Yet I have went turkey hunting with him. But my favorite part of our friendship is the great outdoorsman is terrified of snakes and I love sending him videos of snakes.

June 23
June 23 – Grateful – This is Michelle – I’ve worked with Michelle for a bit now. But like all my work friends it is our friendship outside of work that I’m truly grateful for.She is from Fort Dodge, so she does have the affliction of not knowing that Taco Tico is disgusting. But despite that she has went with me on more than one occasion to try a new tenderloin. She plays banker for the football betting pool I run and she currently has the 8th longest consecutive submission streak for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE I run. She is proof not all Walmart Hawkeyes are bad people (she went to Drake).

June 24
June 24 – Grateful – This is Jen. I’ve known Jen since we worked together at the Boone Outpost of the Evil Clown Empire. Now she works for NASA. I don’t really care where my friends work, as long as they are happy, but I use it as an example of what a long, strange, often tragic and often joyful, trip we’ve been on. I’m wearing a banana hat because she hates bananas, but one thing we definitely agree on is that today was an incredibly sad day in this country’s history. But she will persist. I will be an ally.

June 25
June 25 – Grateful – This is my eldest sister Teresa. Like I mentioned with my other sister Carla, I am lucky to also be friends with my two siblings. She is super crafty and she’s probably made like half the shirts I wear, including the one in this picture with her Cricut. She also crochets and paints and many other things I’m probably forgetting.

June 26
June 26 – Grateful – This is Phil. He is another former Pastor from my church. He has also had a huge influence on my faith journey. He was a key part of my becoming way more active in my church and he did this by visiting my at a point in my life when I was deep in grief and not giving me any of the platitudes that you are given at that time. He was just present and it made such a huge difference. Over lunch he also shared a story when he knew I saw him as a person and not just a Pastor and I won’t share it, but I will remember it and it will help shape my interactions in the future.

June 27
June – 27 – Grateful – This is Anders. I’ve known him since meeting him in Jr. High band. He is a major driving force in the monthly movie night I host in my theater room. I’m grateful to have somebody in my life who has similarly eclectic taste in cinema as I do. In fact, the book I’m holding is a 700 page book he wrote on the making of our favorite bad movie, ROBOT MONSTER.

June  28
June 28 – This is Andy. I’d guess I’ve really known Andy about 10 years now. I don’t know he made a great first impression, but that is one of the cool parts of this friendship. We have chaperoned youth group mission trips to Martin, South Dakota, Saint Paul, Houston, Milwaukee, Rapid City, and I think Kansas City. Would be more, except for the pandemic. The shirt he is wearing is for a local charity he supports (there are too many to list) that gives support to families that have lost a baby. (Neonatal, perinatal, and infant loss) I’d explain why this is necessary, but it makes me sad. Andy’s big heart is why I’m grateful he is in my life.

June 29
June 29 – Grateful – This is Elizabeth. This might be a hard one to write because I was only partially convinced that she would agree to do this and I wasn’t expecting her to come to me this morning with her hair all straightened and say, “I don’t like having my picture taken, but I do like you. So let’s take this picture.” Which was an absolute highlight of my day. And she will read that and give me grief about it. Then she said, “You’ll probably write something snarky about how I don’t like having my picture taken”. Which I probably would have and pointed out about how as a photographer it really gnaws at you, the pictures you don’t get to take. I might have even written something about the misogynist in me vs. the feminist in me, but none of that will cover why she is important to me. So I will get to that. She is probably the person that most calls me on my BS, which somebody like me needs. She at least attempts to tell me when she thinks I’m wrong as she is the unnamed other opinion on my TOWN SIGN PROJECT posts on my regular Instagram account. While we have differing opinions on the important things (pizza and she doesn’t LOVE peanut butter and chocolate together, right?)… I’ve somehow come to value her opinion. That probably even surprises her.

June 30
June 30 – Grateful – This is Mike. Made it. 30 days. 30 different people. That is a lot of grateful and a lot of grateful still left on the table. But Mike… I’ve known him since I started working at the Computer Mine 16 plus years ago. He is the number one influence on my photography website being as advanced technologically as it is. And because we both have interests in photography (both interests inherited from fathers we both lost way too early) it was originally mostly his idea to create THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE on my website. A challenge that has very slowly grown from a couple people a week to consistently over 30 submissions a week. And his technological savvy is just a small part of why I conclude the grateful month with Mike.

I definitely didn’t write nearly enough about some people. Sometimes it was a time crunch. Sometimes, it just seemed obvious and obvious is sometimes hard to put into words.

Obviously there are more than 30 people in my life that I am grateful to have in my life. I won’t even give you examples of people that I am thankful for, because I’m sure I would leave people out. Then they would have been left out of the 30 days and then out of the list of but I’m also grateful for you list and then would be like a double slap. Just know that if you think I’m grateful to have you in my life, I probably am and you weren’t included in this set of 30 because you live too far away or I don’t see you on a regular basis. Or at least didn’t see you in June.

Here are the FatMumSlim Prompts for July:

July 1 – Reflections
July 2 – Letters
July 3 – Human
July 4 – I’m Working on This…
July 5 – Wall
July 6 – Bright Colours
July 7 – A Fave Place
July 8 – Out of Focus
July 9 – A Boomerang
July 10 – Behind Someone
July 11 – Interior
July 12 – Exterior
July 13 – Life
July 14 – Create A PostCard
July 15 – Where I Stood
July 16 – Pattern
July 17 – Water
July 18 – Street Photography
July 19 – A Cylinder
July 20 – Hug
July 21 – A Church
July 22 – Current Interest
July 23 – Still Life
July 24 – A Metaphor
July 25 – Beauty
July 26 – Portrait Mode
July 27 – Countryside
July 28 – An Old Car
July 29 – Black and White
July 30 – Happy Days
July 31 – Sunday Morning

Some good prompts in there. It will fill weird getting back to a different prompt everyday, but I’m sure I can handle it.

Late Morning Lullaby

It is less than one month until the deadline to turn in your pictures for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. This is my second year running the contest, so I had time to make a few changes this year. But first, I actually had two flyers made for this year’s contest. One by Jay and one by Monica.


Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022
Jay’s Flyer

Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022
Monica’s Flyer

Here are a few of the things I’ve changed this year:
+ Eliminated the photo categories: Photoshop and Photojournalism.
+ Added the photo categories: People, Trains, Planes, & Automobiles. and Black & White.
+ Split up the age divisions, so now there is a separate age category for ages 13-17.
+ Added a Best in Show.
+ Added the People’s Choice Award. Where people will vote online for their favorite.

For the most part, the rules haven’t changed, but the form is drastically different:


Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022

Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022

Pufferbilly Days Form - 2022

Here is where to go to download the entry form:


Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Entry Form

The rule to really note is the pictures should be mounted on foam board because, while I have a plan, and Andy and I should start working on the plan soon, to help keep the photo display window cool. It does get toasty in there. Might have to throw a thermometer in there to see how toasty it gets in there.

Entries are due on Friday, July 29 by 5 PM at the Chamber Office. Located at 903 Story Street.

The photos will be judged (tentatively) on Wednesday, August 3. Then we will put the photo display up on Thursday, August 4. In the morning. Before the sun starts beating down. The photo display will be displayed in the KWBG windows. Located at 824 Keeler.

At that time, the People’s Choice Award voting will open.

I hope some of you will enter. If you can’t enter, I still could probably use a few volunteers, here and there. Just in the last 7 days, the ball has really started moving on this whole thing. But I definitely could use a couple hands to get the display put up on Thursday morning and then taken down on the following Monday. I don’t pay cash, but I do buy breakfast. I might need some administrative help and I might need help running a scanner. If either of those appeal to you, you know how to get a hold of this guy.

In case you don’t know, you will probably get sick of hearing about this contest between now and then. You’ve been warned.

+++++++

As soon as my eyes shut the slide show begins
Yesterday is gone now and panic sets in
With a weight upon my chest
And a ghost upon my back
And the numbing sensation of everything I lack
that leaves me
Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming,
Your real world away

Flower Thursday baby!


Shy and Lowly - 2022

Shy and Lowly - 2022

Shy and Lowly - 2022

A Proud Assertion - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Digging for God - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Solace of Ordinary Humanity - 2022

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2022

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2022

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2022

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2022

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2022

I didn’t get to enjoy my lilacs much this year. They bloomed shortly before my Miami Beach trip, and were mostly gone by the time I got back. On the positive, the lilac that I planted into my front yard seems to have survived. Maybe in 3 years it will bloom. Maybe sooner, but I think 3 years is probably about right.

Four Thousand Five Hundred

It has been 5,795 days since August 9, 2006. 5,795 days since I first took keyboard in hand and started the blog portion of the Photography 139 website. The portion I pompously named “An Artist’s Notebook”. The part I started with the words:

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”.

Over the years this website has transitioned less from an “idea box” and more into a “show and tell”. I keep my idea box more private these days. I didn’t even publish a picture on “An Artist’s Notebook” for months.

In fact, it wouldn’t be until October 20, 2006 that a blog post included an image. This image to be exact:


Groundhog Steve

It is a picture of “Steve” the Groundhog that lived behind the Computer Mine for years.

While the format and what has posted on An Artist’s Notebook has changed several times over the years, its main goals of “actually writing in it”, “being truthful as possible”, and of course the goal of having produced something worthy as being as “pretentious sounding as An Artist’s Notebook” have remained intact.

On these periodic check-ins I like to overwhelm those that stick around this long with a ton of meaningless statistics. Today’s post should be no different. Every post in “An Artist’s Notebook” is tagged with at least one Category. It is one of the easiest ways to navigate around the website. They are listed at the top of each post. Here are some statistics about Categories:

The Top 10 (Most Used) Categories (Rank in Post #4250 & Increase since then):
9. WPC-Submissions – 455 (#9 – +38)
9. Teresa – 455 (NR)
8. Carla – 476 (#7 – +41)
7. Road Trip – 477 (NR)
6. Shannon – 500 (#5 – +42)
5. Art – 506 (#10 – +92)
4. Jesse – 579 (#4 – +50)
3. Animals – 698 (#3 – +33)
2. Flowers – 819 (#2 – +65)
1. Black and White – 918 (#1 – +99)

Top 10 Non Human Categories:
10. Formal Portrait – 381 (NR)
9. Nature – 396 (#9 – +17)
8. Portrait – 435 (#4 – -15)
7. Macro – 441 (#8 – +51)
6. WPC – Submissions – 455 (#5 – +38)
5. Road Trip – 477 (#7 – +83)
4. Art – 506 (#6 – +92)
3. Animals – 698 (#3 – +33)
2. Flowers – 819 (#2 – +65)
1. Black and White – 918 (#1 – +99)

Top 10 Human Categories:
10. Jen – 286 (#9 – +9)
9. Vest – 294 (#10 – +20
8. Kim – 297 (NR)
7. Derrick – 320 (#7 – +9)
6. Jay – 337 (#6 – +8)
5. Mom – 453 (#4 – +31)
4. Teresa – 455 (#5 – +50)
3. Carla – 476 (#3 – +41)
2. Shannon – 500 (#2 – +42)
1. Jesse – 579 (#1 – +50)

If you have spent any time on the Photography 139 website, you know that on the left sidebar, the “Top 100 Categories” are listed. I thought I would give a little bit of coverage to the Bottom 10 of the Top 100. There are currently 194 categories used on the website. I could cover the Bottom 10, but they are mostly people that either very recently came into my life by birth (Dahlia, Anela) or another way. Or people that I thought would be a bigger part of my life and then weren’t. No need to cover those people. The Category that is #194 probably needs to be purged.

The Bottom 10 of the Top 100:

#100. Jaycees – 65
#99. Vacation – 67
#98. Mark – 69
#97. Commercial – 72
#95. Pastor Sarah – 74
#95. Life – 74
#94. Andree – 75
#93. Lowell – 77
#92. Photo Journal – 79
#91. Birthdays – 80

Some of these are bound to slip out of the Top 100. For example, there will never be another Jaycees post. Ever. I also apparently don’t take many vacations. Mark, not really part of my life any more. Life, is a broad category that I’ve tried to eliminate over the years. Photo Journal, a project I have completed, so there will never be another post on that. Birthdays, I currently don’t wish people “happy birthday”, but maybe I will again someday.

So what has a shot at cracking the Top 100? These are the 5 that are the closest.

+ Self-Portrait Project
+ Dae Hee
+ Kelly
+ Layla
+ FNSC

So, you might be wondering, how do you improve your Photography 139 score?

The easiest way is simple. Participate in THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. You don’t even have to be around me and most people will tell you that being around me isn’t all that great. I mean look at Shannon. She is still #2 on the Big Board and I haven’t seen her in person since October 22, 2021. It can be done!

Other ways to increase your score:
+ Act as a Photo Assistant
+ Show up in THE SELFIE PROJECT
+ Go on TOWN SIGN PROJECT road trips with me… that one to Scott County is going to be epic!
+ An underated way is to assist with the FatMumSlim Photo a Day Project.
+ Doesn’t hurt to be related to me, but most of those slots are taken.
+ Doesn’t hurt to work with me, go to the same church as me, or otherwise engage me socially.

That is probably enough Category nonsense. I bet at least Joe is still here with me though.

“An Artist’s Notebook” is part of Photography 139. The 139 comes from Psalm 139:1-12. The Photography part comes from this website is supposed to be filled with photography. So, what are the most popular photo galleries on the Photography 139 website? Glad you asked:

TOP 10 PHOTOGRAPHY 139 PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERIES (LAST 365 DAYS)

To View the Gallery, Click on its Representative Image
Loess Hills Road Trip
10. Iowa – 35,595 Views

9 Emotions Project - Nader Parsaei
9. 9 Emotions Project – 69,259 Views

WEEK 311 - PEOPLE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
8. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 8 – 74,730 Views

WEEK 343 - GRATITUDE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
7. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 9 – 77,929 Views

Day 134 - May 14, 2022
6. SELFIE PROJECT – 2022 – 84,763 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
5. Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020 – 95,358 Views

Abandoned Photomosaic
4. Christopher D. Bennett – 104,433 Views

Shelby County - Elk Horn
3. Town Sign Project – Auxiliary Images – 108,873 Views

Day 282 - October 9, 2021
2. Selfie Project – 2021 – 120,185 Views

Bradgate, Iowa
1. Town Sign Project – 176,664 Views

At post 4,250 these were the 5 most popular galleries:
5. Gorshe Family
4. Town Sign Project
3. Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 8
2. Selfie Project – 2021
1. Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020

But what are the most popular single images of the last 365 days? Don’t worry, I’m gonna feed you baby birds.

Top 10 Photography 139 Images

Coon Rapids, Iowa
10. Coon Rapids, Iowa – 2,319 Views

Pufferbilly Days
9. Carla and Teresa – 2,379 Views

Dexter, Iowa
8. Dexter, Iowa – 2,426 Views

Scranton, Iowa
7. Scranton, Iowa – 2,484 Views

Moingona, Iowa
6. Moingona, Iowa – 2,770 Views

Howards - 2021
5. The Howards – 2,842 Views

Miami Beach Work Trip - May 2022
4. Miami – 2,920 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
3. Alexis Pregnant – 3,458 Views

Day 73 - March 13, 2021
2. Me and Mom – 4,134 Views

Day 30 - January 30, 2022
1. Bellevue – 14,629 Views

The final statistic I want to share with everybody before riding off into the sunset and not boring you with these statistics for another 250 posts is the 5 people with the highest Photography Subscriber Loyalty Scores.

Top 5 Photography 139 Loyalty Scores
5. Frank Meiners – 97.0%
4. Michelle Haupt – 98.6%
3. Angie DeWaard – 99.5%
2. Joe Duff – 99.7%
1. Mary Green – 100.0%

People right outside the Top 5:
+ Linda Bennett
+ Tamara Peterson
+ Jeannette Duff

To be honest, I don’t know how this number is figured. I believe it is the percentage of emails from the subscriber list that you open within the first 24 hours of getting an email from me, but but I really don’t know if we are being honest. But thanks for doing what it is you are doing!

I think that is enough. Here is to the next 4,500 posts!

WPC – 353 – SERVICE

I want to start this post with the text of a text that Joe sent me last week.

If I haven’t said, the WPC really helps me be present and look at the world a little differently. Thanks for facilitating!

If there was a mission statement for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE, that is essentially what it is. To help people be more present and look at the world differently.

Thanks for the kind words Joe. I hope it has helping other people in a similar way.

+++++++

SERVICE can feel like a bit of a more abstract concept theme, so I wouldn’t be surprised if people struggled with this one a bit. I guess you will have to scroll down to find out.

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, June 13, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore the numbers in parentheses):

+ Angie DeWaard – 1 week (2)
+ Mary Green – 2 weeks (2)
+ Sara Lockner – 3 weeks (2)
+ Dawn Krause – 4 weeks
+ Linda Bennett – 6 weeks
+ Jesse Howard – 8 weeks
+ Kim Barker – 10 weeks
+ Joe Duff – 11 weeks (3)
+ Logan Kahler – 13 weeks (2)
+ Teresa Kahler – 21 weeks (2)
+ Tamara Peterson – 21 weeks
+ Carla Stensland – 21 weeks
+ Michelle Haupt – 22 weeks
+ Micky Augustin – 23 weeks
+ Andy Sharp – 24 weeks
+ Bill Wentworth – 25 weeks
+ Cathie Morton – 29 weeks
+ Elizabeth Nordeen – 30 weeks
+ Shannon Bardole-Foley – 31 weeks
+ Kio Dettman – 35 weeks (3)

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates or streaks. You came to see the submissions and what streaks continued and what streaks flamed out:


WEEK 353 - SERVICE - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin – 24 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE -KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman – 36 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE -KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 353 - SERVICE -KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 353 - SERVICE -KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley – 32 weeks*

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett – 7 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson – 22 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth – 26 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton – 30 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland – 22 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff – 12 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler – 22 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker – 11 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp – 25 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard – 2 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause – 5 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt – 23 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee – 1 week

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler – 14 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard – 9 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen – 31 weeks

WEEK 353 - SERVICE - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest – 1 week


21 participants submitted 28 submissions. That is a good number of participants for a theme that is somewhat abstract.

Bill reached the Half a Year Club this week! WooHoo!

But it wasn’t all good news. Mary Green’s steak came to a halt after two weeks. And we bid a fond adieu to Sara’s 3 week streak.

Here are the current top streaks:

9. Teresa Kahler – 22 weeks
9. Tamara Peterson – 22 weeks
9. Carla Stensland – 221 weeks
8. Michelle Haupt – 23 weeks
7. Micky Augustin – 24 weeks
6. Andy Sharp – 25 weeks
5. Bill Wentworth – 26 weeks
4. Cathie Morton – 30 weeks
3. Elizabeth Nordeen – 31 weeks
2. Shannon Bardole-Foley – 33 weeks
1. Kio Dettman – 36 weeks

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 354 - SELF-PORTRAIT
SELF-PORTRAIT

SELF-PORTAIT! What a great theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE! While SERVICE might have seemed obtuse, SELF-PORTRAIT is literally the easiest streak of this 52 weeks. All you need is a camera, which you have, and a self, which you also have. There should be at least 50 participants next Monday. Or at least 25.

A quick shoutout to Jay for helping me take this week’s theme reveal image. Thanks Jay!

But what is a SELF-PORTRAIT? Please don’t play coy. It is simply a portrait of one’s self. Now a SELF-PORTRAIT doesn’t necessarily have to be a picture of your face. It could be of your hands or feet or whatever body part. It doesn’t even have to include you at all. It can be a picture of something that is uniquely you. For example Wily keeps pretty much every pair of running shoes he has ever had. He has maybe an excess of 100. A picture of his running shoes with or without his feet in them would be a SELF-PORTRAIT. OR you could even take a picture of somebody taking a SELF-PORTRAIT.

While considering how you are going to do your SELF-PORTRAIT, meditate on this following quote:

Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.
Ann Landers

With all due respect to Ann Landers, but she can s… I strongly disagree with her. Maybe her dog isn’t a great judge of character, but Naima certainly is!

However, I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

RULES

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

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

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing your idea of SELF-PORTRAIT in this place that is little more than my giant selfie next Monday.

* Although perhaps Shannon should be disqualified for taking a cat picture out of spite… but it does qualify as SERVICE because as she wrote me “You defined a service as helping someone else. Well this beauty needed help. And I’m getting my cat photo in even if you don’t like my suggestion of CAT as a theme.”

Nine Emotions

The pictures in the folder Nine Emotions are from when I had the Original 9 pick what the considered what were the best representations of each of the 9 emotions from THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT. I didn’t say that they had to use everybody once. I put no limits on how many times they chose the same person or chose themselves or didn’t choose themselves. I was fascinated with what came back.



My Picks – Otherwise known as the Correct Answer

The 9 Emotions Project - Cousin Amy's Picks
Cousin Amy’s Picks

The 9 Emotions Project - Derrick
Derrick’s Picks

The 9 Emotions Project - Jay
Jay’s Picks

The 9 Emotions Project - Jen
Jen’s Picks

The 9 Emotions Project - Jesse
Jesse’s Picks

The 9 Emotions Project - Jill
Jill’s Picks

The 9 Emotions Project - Sara
Sara’s Picks

The 9 Emotions Project -Shannon
Shannon’s Picks

The 9 Emotions Project - Willy
Willy’s Picks

I was asked the other day (from when I wrote this, but from the time you are seeing this, it was months ago) by Elizabeth what I was going to do when I was done with THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT. I’m not saying it was an accusatory way, but it was kind of like, “is that it, are you out of ideas?”. And maybe I am out of ideas, because I have never really been satisfied that I was done with THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT. I did go on to photograph more people after the original 9. Bill, Logan, Johnathan, Nader, Alexis, Anders, Dawn, Brandon, Nate, Laura, Dae Hee, Bethany, and Michelle. But I feel like there needs to be more.

Some photo projects are left abandoned on the side of the road of life, like THE BEAVER MACHETE MASSACRE. But some, I think are worth picking out of the ditch. Dusting off and trying out again.

Problem is, these days, I’m pretty much a social pariah. I only see the same handful of people.

I see the same like five or six people when I got to work: Denise, Elizabeth, The Hof, Jesse, Joe, Kim, Michelle, and Ron.
I see the same like four people at my Monthly Movie Night: Anders, Jay, Jason, and Jesse.
I see Teresa after church for lunch.
I see Andy when we make soap.

Rinse and repeat. Five or six people. Over and over again. Don’t get me wrong. These are some pretty wonderful people. But it makes a project like this difficult to pick up again. However, maybe some day, I will fire it up again. But I will need to find new blood. I could revisit some of the originals, it has been 10 years after all. I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud.

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

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK #70

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a camping trip, at the very least.

Selfie Project – March 2022

Tomorrow is the Final Four. Thought it would be a good time to check-in on the Roundball Oracles.

With 3 games left to go in the NCAA tournament this is the Top 3:

1. Becky Parmelee – 231 Points
2. Carla Stensland – 229 Points
3. Angie DeWaard – 224 points

This is the Bottom 3:

34. Joey Randazzo – 143 points
35. Olivia Baier – 141 points
36. Toby Sebring – 140 points

At this point, there are 4 people left that have a chance of taking home the Championship Trophy. 2 people still have a shot at The Sara.

Here are the scenarios for The Sara:

If Villanova beats Kansas then Toby “wins” The Sara.
If Kansas beats Villanova then Joey “wins” The Sara.

Note as Olivia Baier is a child, she is not eligible for The Sara.

Here are the scenarios for the Championship:

If Duke wins the National Championship then Sarah Karber wins the trophy.
If Kansas wins the National Championship then Ben Baier wins the trophy.
If Villanova beats Duke for the National Championship then Becky wins the trophy.
If North Carolina beats Villanova for the National Championship then Becky wins the trophy.
If North Carolina beats Kansas for the National Championship then Ben wins the trophy.
If Villanova beats North Carolina for the National Championship then Derrick Gorshe wins the trophy.

It is possible, that there is an error in my math, but I’m fairly certain this is correct.

Root accordingly.

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I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I think I actually did some stuff in March. I didn’t go to Pennsylvania and Illinois (briefly) and North Carolina (briefly), but I did stand in Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota all at the same time. I ate the reigning Best Tenderloin in Iowa. I went to two Iowa State NCAA Tournament games. I stood on the highest point in Iowa and the second highest. I hosted Alligator Movie Night. I had some good times with friends and some poignant times with family. March wasn’t too bad. Raised the bar a bit for April.

Here are my favorite SELFIE PROJECT images from March:


Day 60 - March 1, 2022
March 1

Day 62 - March 3, 2022
March 3

Day 63 - March 4, 2022
March 4

Day 64 - March 5, 2022
March 5

Day 66 - March 7, 2022
March 7

Day 67 - March 8, 2022
March 8

Day 68 - March 9, 2022
March 9

Day 70 - March 11, 2022
March 11

Day 71 - March 12, 2022
March 12

Day 72 - March 13, 2022
March 13

Day 74 - March 15, 2022
March 15

Day 75 - March 16, 2022
March 16

Day 76 - March 17, 2022
March 17

Day 77 - March 18, 2022
March 18

Day 78 - March 19, 2022
March 19

Day 79 - March 20, 2022
March 20

Day 80 - March 21, 2022
March 21

Day 82 - March 23, 2022
March 23

Day 84 - March 25, 2022
March 25

Day 85 - March 26, 2022
March 26

Day 88 - March 29, 2022
March 29

Day 89 - March 30, 2022
March 30

Day 90 - March 31, 2022
March 31

Oh yeah! I also bought a new camera in March! I hope to continue to do good work in April!

Of course, there can only be one selfie for each day. Here are my favorite alternates I took for THE SELFIE PROJECT:


SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

SELFIE PROJECT - ALTERNATE

Jesse is a sleeper!

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


WEEK 342 - FRAMED
FRAMED

But what exactly is a FRAMED picture? It is simply a picture where the subject is FRAMED in by something else. In the theme reveal, the edge of the garbage can makes a frame for the subject of the refuse. A doorway makes a good frame. So does a hall way. A window Any thing that creates negative space makes a great frame for your subject. Or you could even do something as easy as taking a picture of something that is in a literal picture frame.

Happy photo harvesting!