Category Archives: Jesse

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

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

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!


This is your reminder that this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is 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 – September

Seems like as good of a time as any to check in with the Selfie Project. My September was incredibly busy. I had several photo shoots, youth group was back in session, Pufferbilly Days, Iowa State football season is ramping up, and Elainie was back in town.

But I confess that my selfies might not reflect that, it feels like.

Here are my favorite September Selfies:

September 2, 2019
September 2

September 3, 2019
September 3

September 4, 2019
September 4

September 6, 2019
September 6

September 7, 2019
September 7

September 8, 2019
September 8

September 9, 2019
September 9

September 13, 2019
September 13

September 14, 2019
September 14

September 17, 2019
September 17

September 19, 2019
September 19

September 20, 2019
September 20

September 21, 2019
September 21

September 22, 2019
September 22

September 24, 2019
September 24

September 25, 2019
September 25

September 27, 2019
September 27

September 29, 2019
September 29

3 months to go in the Selfie Project. I’m slated to actually leave the state in October. So that is something at least.


STREET PHOTOGRAPHY proved to be an extremely unpopular theme, like I predicted. Not only did hardly anybody try this theme, only one person took on my added challenge of taking the picture in black & white as a tribute to the late great Robert Frank. Thanks Jen! The streak of double digit submissions is over and I don’t know if I will every fully recover. I soldier on.

You didn’t come here to hear me talk all tommyrot about abysmal participation rates, you came to see the submissions:

Jen Ensley-Gorshe

Andy Sharp

Kim Barker

Christopher D. Bennett

Stephanie Kim

Tamara Peterson

Jesse Howard

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:


RUINS! What a great theme! But what is a RUINS photo? A RUINS photo is a photo of something that has been destroyed, obliterated, or more commonly, is in a state of decay. Think about the entire town of Beaver, Iowa. Or don’t. It is sad to think about Beaver. However, RUINS challenge you to take a picture of something that isn’t considered “beautiful” by the Funk & Wagnall definition. Go out there and find something that has been abandoned. That isn’t getting any love or attention any longer and give it some love and attention!



The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.


I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.


Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.


That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very ruinious Monday!

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.


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









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
Housewarming Invites

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

Selfie Project – July

Usually I don’t like to get this late into a month before I publish my favorite photos from the previous months SELFIE PROJECT, but I guess I’ve been busy and I’ve really been trying to be diligent with hitting up that 2018 backlog.

I don’t know that I did anything that was as interesting as what I did in June, but it wasn’t the worst month of the year for me.

Here are my favorites from July:

July 3, 2019
July 3

July 5, 2019
July 5

July 6, 2019
July 6

July 8, 2019
July 8

July 9, 2019
July 9

July 11, 2019
July 11

July 12, 2019
July 12

July 13, 2019
July 13

July 14, 2019
July 14

July 15, 2019
July 15

July 18, 2019
July 18

July 19, 2019
July 19

July 20 , 2019
July 20

July 21, 2019
July 21

July 24, 2019
July 24

July 26, 2019
July 26

July 27, 2019
July 27

July 28, 2019
July 28

July 31, 2019
July 31

I’d like to think that I’ve done some borderline interesting stuff in August so far, with a couple things left to go. A trip to Zeno’s. A trip to the Minnesota State Fair. The first Iowa State football game are all left to go!

Iowa State Fair 2018 – Misc.

This is final collection of Iowa State Fair pictures from 2018. Published just in time for the close of the 2019 Iowa State Fair.

I’ll be spending the day at the Iowa State Fair solo today as all 4 of the people that were going to go with me all gave me the shaft. C’est la vie!

These pictures are from the day I went to the last day of the Fair to pick up my pictures from the Photography Salon. Nader and Jesse went with me on that day.

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

I’m already looking forward to the 2020 Fair.

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.


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


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

Iowa State Fair – 2018 – DNR

There are now 5 days left to vote for what pictures I will enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

If it is too much for you to take on all 6 polls at once, you can vote in the Photojournalism poll below. At this point, there is a clear cut Photojournalism front-runner.


Poll will Start on August 7
Photojournalism Category Poll - Choose 1 (2019)
Old Glory
Greatest Patriot
Big Boy

If you want to vote in all 6 polls, click on the link below:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Poll

Thanks for your assistance!


Since today is the opening day of the Iowa State Fair, you should remember that I do have one picture on display at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. You should go check it out!

I also figured that today would be a good day to publish pictures from last year’s trip to the Iowa State Fair with Jesse and Nader. This is collection is from the DNR Building. The DNR Building is probably my 2nd or 3rd favorite building to visit at the Iowa State Fair.

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Iowa State Fair - 2018

Plenty more from last year’s Iowa State Fair in the backlog!


The pictures in the folder named 2009-04-24 are from when Jesse and I went to Tom Harkin’s office and met with a member of his staff to encourage him to support ending the civil war in Uganda.

We were very pleased with ourselves and decided to celebrate afterwards by meeting Sara at Snookie’s for celebratory ice cream. To this day, I celebrate all major accomplishments with ice cream. Also minor accomplishments. Also major failures. Basically, I’m eating ice cream while I’m typing this out.

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Letter from Tom Harkin

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:

Better Than Work

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve plants from my backyard.

Wow! I finished another blog! Time to go celebrate with some ice cream!