Category Archives: State Fair

Ghost in a Dream

In a sad, but necessary decision, the Iowa State Fair officially cancelled for this year yesterday. They sent out the following email:

The Iowa State Fair Board, the governing body who oversees the Iowa State Fair, today voted to postpone the 2020 Iowa State Fair until August 12-22, 2021, amid ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns. The decision was made to protect the health and safety of all Fairgoers.

After a thorough review of possible options, while carefully reviewing current health guidelines and examining operating limitations, it became clear that holding the 2020 Iowa State Fair, which attracts approximately one million people over 11 days, would not be responsible.

“The top priority of the Iowa State Fair has and always will be to protect the health and safety of Fairgoers. While the decision of the Iowa State Fair Board today will certainly come as a disappointment to many, the Board determined that holding a Fair in accordance with current health guidelines related to COVID-19 wasn’t feasible,” said Iowa State Fair Manager and CEO Gary Slater. “We appreciate the support of Fairgoers over the past few months as we’ve reviewed various options for the 2020 Iowa State Fair. We certainly look forward to welcoming over one million people back to the Fair in 2021.”

The Iowa State Fair had been scheduled for August 13-23, 2020. The Iowa State Fair Board delayed a decision as long as possible and believed it was important to make a decision on the Fair now in order to give concessionaires, vendors and Fairgoers planning a trip to the Fair ample notice.

Iowa State Fair staff and management have already begun the process of booking entertainment and planning for the 2021 Iowa State Fair scheduled for August 12-22.

I’m particularly sad because this was supposed to be the year that Jennie’s Grinders returned to the Fair. I am glad that I didn’t spend money or too much time on planning my Photography Salon entries.

I don’t think that the Boone County Fair has decided to cancel yet, but I would have to imagine that it is only a matter of time. Along with Pufferbilly Days.

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Back in March I took a series of pictures for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE with Logan for the theme FASHION at a roadside park near Grand Junction. I never got around to sharing the alternates until now:


Ghost in a Dream

Ghost in a Dream

Ghost in a Dream

Ghost in a Dream

Ghost in a Dream

Ghost in a Dream

Ghost in a Dream

Ghost in a Dream

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Ghost in a Dream

Ghost in a Dream

Like a Ghost in a Dream
Logan took this picture so he could get a taste of the Lensbaby.

Going out for lunch after church. Taking pictures of people. Seem like weird foreign concepts right now.

Suds, Dickcissel, and Lensbaby Redux

Hey, I screwed up the schedule of posts and 2 posts accidentally posted at the same time yesterday. This one, that I took back down and re-posted and another one with daffodils. It is possible that you didn’t get the post about the daffodils yesterday. If that is the case, click on the link below:

My soul and pocketbook are glad to announce that I have finished THE CANVAS WALL PROJECT. 5 new canvases arrived on Monday and I was able to get them up that night. Here are the 5 final canvases:

Before the Swallow Dares – 2020

There is also an update on Naima and birthday wishes for Jorge in there.

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My soul and pocketbook are glad to announce that I have finished THE CANVAS WALL PROJECT. 5 new canvases arrived on Monday and I was able to get them up that night. Here are the 5 final canvases:


Canvas No. 73

Canvas No. 74

Canvas No. 75

Canvas No. 76

Canvas No. 77

This is what the wall looks like:


Canvas Wall Finished

Now, I realize that when there is furniture in place, not every picture is visible. That isn’t the important part. The important part is that they are there at all.

On to the next decorating project. Whatever that may be!
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I don’t consider pictures that were taken in the same calendar year in which we currently exist to be a backlog. However, if I did, this collection of images would be somewhat of a backlog. This clears out all images from January and February that had yet to be edited or curated.

Pictures from a trip to Dickcissel with Naima, some Lensbaby tests, and a picture of the Root Beer Symposium we had during movie night back in January.


Backyard Bird Art

Naima Lensbaby

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima at Dickcissel

Naima

Naima

Naima

Root Beer Symposium

Root Beer Symposium

Root Beer Symposium

Michelle Lensbaby Test

Derrick Lensbaby Test

Derrick Lensbaby Test

Winter at Dickcisel.

We haven’t had Movie Night at The Union Street theater since February, so we haven’t been able to crown a root beer champion, but those pictures might give you the slightest indication of how messy my basement is right now. Although I would estimate that the big parts of the basement cleanup are about 30% done.

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


WEEK 247 - SIGNS
SIGNS

A SIGNS picture is just that, a picture of a SIGN or multiple SIGNS. Remember, there are more than one kind of SIGN(S).

Happy photo harvesting!

Be True

Today, a little after 8 AM, I dropped Naima off at the vet for surgery. She has a fatty deposit growing under her right shoulder that is getting pretty gigantic. Hopefully by the time this publishes, she will be out of surgery and I’ll be getting the phone call that she is awake and doing well. But I’m sure that call won’t be coming until this afternoon.


Be True

She will have to be fairly inactive for a few days while she recovers, which isn’t something she does all that well.

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Back in January, when I didn’t know that a horribly mismanaged global pandemic would completely alter our lives, I took some self-portraits while my beard was at its most fierce. The idea was to take a picture to use for the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. As of now, the Iowa State Fair is still on, but I would be surprised if it goes off. Minnesota and Wisconsin have already cancelled their fairs.

Iowa is going to make an announcement on June 15 on what they are going to do. I imagine, that it will be to cancel it. However, I think there is a chance that they could still cancel the Fair and still have some of the competitions. I guess we’ll wait and see what is announced on June 15.

Until then, here are some self-portraits I took to potentially enter into the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon:


Be True

Be True

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Be True

Be True

Be True

Be True

If you are interested, this is what the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon sent out on May 15:

To: Iowa State Fair Photography Entrants
From: Iowa State Fair Competitive Events Department
Re: Photography Entry Deadlines and Procedures

In light of the current and ongoing situation regarding the COVID-19 virus, adjustments are being made to this year’s Iowa State Fair
Photography entry process and dates.

• The preferred method of entry will be by mail.
Please do NOT mail before Monday, June 22. Entries by mail must be postmarked by midnight on Friday, July 3. To
enter by mail you must include your entry form, entry fee and photos in the same package. Make sure to wrap your
photos with plenty of packing materials to prevent them from being damaged during shipment. You can use either of
the two shipping addresses below.

Standard Mail: Iowa State Fair, Photography Salon, P.O. Box 57130, Des Moines, IA 50317.

UPS or FedEx: Iowa State Fair, Photography Salon, 3000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50317

• The date for entering in person at the Iowa State Fair Cultural Center is moved back to July 11 & 12
Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center.

To help reduce lines and allow for social distancing the process of dropping of entries will be different. Drop off tables
will be located at the north and west Cultural Center entrances. Photos need to be packaged with your entry form and
entry fee all together in a sack, envelope, etc. Please make sure you have the entry form complete, labels completed
and attached to the upper left-hand corner of each photo, and exact change for payment before you arrive. There will
not be an area available to finish putting entries together.

• To eliminate the handling of cash, we will ONLY be accepting payment by check or credit card.

• Entries will be accepted at the alternative dates and locations. Please refer to the above information to have photos
ready for drop off.

o University Photo – 7128 University Avenue, Windsor Heights, IA 50324
Monday- Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Call 515-223-5462 to confirm hours before delivery
Photos must be delivered by July 3.

o Iowa State Fair Administration Building Entry Department – 3000 East Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317
Monday, July 7 thru Friday July, 10; 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Entrance to the Entry Department is located on the east side of the Administration Building and down the
stairs. (Handicap access is available thru the Administration Building lobby)

• The Photography Salon book will not be available for pre-purchase. We are still determining if we will be able to
print the salon book this year due to the condensed entry calendar or what the alternatives may be.

• The Pre-Fair awards ceremony and reception will not be held. Award winners will be able to pick up their prizes
during a ceremony held during the Fair. If not present at the award ceremony prizes will be available during photo pick
up or mailed after the Fair if postage is provided.

• Updated Photography rules and entry forms can be found
here: https://www.iowastatefair.org/participate/competition/how-to-enter/#fine-art-photography

Please share these changes with anyone that may be interested. We appreciate your help in spreading the word.
It is our full intent and hope that the 2020 Iowa State Fair will occur. The environment and recommendations are constantly
changing and we understand additional changes may be necessary. We will continue to monitor and re-evaluate the situation
and make additional adjustments as needed, while continuing to do what is best for our exhibitors. We appreciate your
understanding during these unprecedented times and will do everything we can to make sure the show will go on.

A good weekend project, besides working on the basement, will be picking out some pictures to enter.

An Artist’s Notebook Post #3751

We have hit another milestone in the history of “An Artist’s Notebook”. Post #3751. I would normally make these statistical look back at the past type posts on even numbers, but I felt you guys were probably chomping at the bit to see the entries for RULE OF THIRDS.

This blog/online journal burst onto the world on August 9, 2006. Nearly 14 years later, it is somehow still around. That is success of some kind. At least it is perseverance.

As you know, I like meaningless statistics. That is what these posts are usually about. That and to take stock as to how I’m doing with my original mission to:

#1. Write in it.
#2. To be truthful as possible towards my true thoughts and feelings.
#3. Produce something that makes me worthy of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook”.

I’m going to say that I continue to manage all 3. You probably wouldn’t know if I was being honest with you on my thoughts and feelings anyways. You’ll just have to take my work for it.

The last time we looked at these stats in Post #3500 on October 4, 2019 these were the 10 most popular categories on “An Artist’s Notebook”:

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

Here are the current “standings”:

MOST POPULAR CATEGORIES

10. Mom – 332 Posts
9. Teresa – 338 Posts
8. WPC – Submissions – 342 Posts
7. Carla – 354 Posts
6. Shannon – 384 Posts
5. Jesse – 455 Posts
4. Portrait – 491 Posts
3. Animals – 554 Posts
2. Black & White – 568 Posts
1. Flowers – 594 Posts

Back in October, these were the 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

Here are the current “standings”:

MOST POPULAR NOT PEOPLE CATEGORIES

10. Naima – 263 Posts
9. Photoshop – 285 Posts
8. Art – 287 Posts
7. Nature – 303 Posts
6. Road Trip – 308 Posts
5. WPC – Submissions – 342 Posts
4. Portrait – 491 Posts
3. Animals – 559 Posts
2. Black & White – 568 Posts
1. Flowers – 594 Posts

I anticipate by the time we get to post 4,000 Black & White will surpass Flowers. Especially considering I’m giving some consideration into breaking Flowers down by flower type. All that would be one beast of a job.

Back in October, these were the 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

These are the current standings:

10 MOST TAGGED HUMANS:

10. Jen – 243 Posts
9. Vest – 247 Posts
8. Willy – 258 Posts
7. Derrick – 284 Posts
6. Jay – 312 Posts
5. Mom – 332 Posts
4. Teresa – 338 Posts
3. Carla – 353 Posts
2. Shannon – 384 Posts
1. Jesse – 455 Posts

It is strange that the Top 10 Humans is almost identical. Except Carla has passed Teresa.

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.

But what are the most popular pictures and galleries of this website?

Currently, there 74,942 files in the Photography 139 Gallery. That takes up 450.88 GB of storage space on the SmugMug servers.

Over time, it is historically difficult to determine what is the most popular photos and galleries. I can only track statistics for the last 365 days. But for the last 365 days, these are the most popular albums:

TOP 10 PHOTOGRAPHY 139 ALBUMS (POPULARITY BY VIEWS)


Baby Tri-Force 1st Birthday Party

#10 Miller Triplet 1st Birthday Party – 13751 Views

Miller-Peterson Christmas - 2019

#9 Family Happenings – 14222 Views

Iowa State vs. Iowa

#8 Iowa State Cyclones Football – 2019 – 15711 Views

#7Naima– 16108 Views

Taylan Howard

#6 Taylan Howard -2020– 21320 Views

Autumn Sharp

#5 Autumn Sharp – 2020– 21852 Views

WEEK 158 - BOREDOM - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

#4 Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 6– 29218 Views

July 14, 2019

#3 Selfie Project – 2019 – 40726 Views

9 Emotions - Bill

#2 9 Emotions Project – 43867 Views

WEEK 222 - SPORTS/GAMES - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT

#1 Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 7 – 48433 Views

These are the 10 Most Popular Images (by Views):

10. 973 Views

Camping World Bowl Road Trip - Day 3

9. 1056 Views

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

8. 1063 Views

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

7.1082 Views

Thanksgiving - 2019

6. 1116 Views

Howards - 2019

5. 1141 Views

Autumn Sharp

4. 1635 Views

Garrett Larson

3. 1261 Views

Stenslands- 2019

1283 Views

July 15, 2017

1. 2283 Views

January 14, 2019

I’m surprised that THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT is still so popular, since I haven’t touched it in over a year. But I do hope to get back to it. In fact, I have purchased a few things to make it possible to get back to THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT while safely physically distancing. So if you are interesting in being a victim… err… a subject. You know where to find me.

The 2019 Howards – Subset Dos

One of the products of all this home times is that I have started up on THE CANVAS WALL PROJECT again. What started as the accent wall in my living room and then turned into the Friend Wall and then became the 9 Emotions Project wall, was turned into the Canvas Wall about 2 years ago. The ultimate goal is to cover at least 95% of the wall with canvas photos.

I recently added 7 more canvases to the wall. These are all smaller canvases that are meant to fill around the doorway that leads to my hallway.

Here are the 7 canvases that have recently been added:


Canvas No. 46

Canvas No. 47

Canvas No. 48

Canvas No. 49

Canvas No. 50

Canvas No. 51

Canvas No. 52

The pictures that have been selected for THE CANVAS WALL PROJECT are meant to be a combination of every day life pictures and my more artistic pictures.

I’m getting pretty close to the bottom of the wall now. The next collection of pictured added to the wall are definitely obstructed, but that is okay. It matter less that they can be seen, and more that they are there.

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Time to reveal a second collection pictures from the 2019 Howard Family Photo Shoot:


Howards - 2019

Howards - 2019

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Still plenty more Howards to go!

I Miss Your Smile, And I Miss Your Touch

Here is the second collection of pictures of flowers I took at the Iowa State Fair on the last day of the Iowa State Fair. Almost all of these were taken in the Discovery Garden. The last one was taken near Pioneer Hall.


Iowa State Fair - 2019

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I see more than a couple potential future photo contest entries or calendar pages or additions to THE CANVAS WALL PROJECT in this collection. Hopefully there is an Iowa State Fair or a Boone County Fair or Pufferbilly Days to have a contest. At the very least THE CANVAS WALL PROJECT isn’t going anywhere.

Dear Love, I Miss You Much

I’ve finally hit the point in the backlog where I am emotionally, spiritually, physically, and psychologically prepared to start curating pictures of flowers from the Iowa State Fair.

It is known that one of my favorite places at the Iowa State Fair is the Discovery Garden. I have to spend at least a couple hours there every year. In fact, here is my power rankings of my 5 favorite places at the Iowa State Fair:

#5. The Avenue of the Breeds
#4. Pioneer Hall
#3. Cultural Center
#2. DNR Building
#1. Discovery Garden

#5 is because Shorty used to take his Scottish Highland cows there. #4 is because my parents used to volunteer there. #3 is because that is where the Photography Salon is located and also because the cheapest Pepsi refills are in the courtyard. #2. Is because it is one of my favorite places to photograph. #1 is because it is my favorite place to photograph.

This list is off the top of my head. I’m sure if I considered the list longer, some of these would be shuffled. Others might be added, like the Animal Learning Center, Heritage Village, 4-H Building, or the Big Boar.
However, I’m pretty sure no matter how many times I made the list, the Discovery Garden would almost always be #1.

Here is the first of two collections of flower pictures from the 2019 Iowa State Fair:


Iowa State Fair - 2019

Iowa State Fair - 2019

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The first few pictures were taken inside the Agriculture Building. The rest were taken in the Discovery Garden.

Minnesota State Fair – Pixel Pictures

This is the final collection of pictures from my trip to the Minnesota State Fair with Bethany, Becca, Jonah, and Shawn. These are the cruddy cell phone pictures.

One thing that I found disappointing when I went back and looked at these is that I didn’t take pictures of my food OR even the bucket of cookies. It is a genetic marker of being a Bennett to take pictures of your food. Bennetts invented hipsters, I fear.

The fact that I only took a picture of my delicious pineapple drink makes me worried that I might have been adopted, for the first time in my life.

The other thing you will learn from this collection of photos is how big of a Stan I am for British period television shows. I badly miss DOWNTON ABBEY. I grieved the recent end of POLDARK. I can’t wait for the next season of VICTORIA. All these are shows I watch with my Mom.

We started watching the DURRELLS IN CORFU, but it is only okay. I might have to look into BELGRAVIA, but I don’t have my hopes up.


Minnesota State Fair - 2019
Weird to see the globe Earth cover-up in person.

Minnesota State Fair - 2019
Teach them the globe lie young.

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By the way, I know the Earth isn’t flat.

It looks like as of now, the Iowa State Fair is still a go. I got my information about the Photography Salon in the mail on Tuesday. I need to start thinking about getting my entries ready.

Minnesota State Fair #3

Here is the final collection of Minnesota State Fair pictures that came from a real camera. This highlight being pictures of Becca and Jonah going down the giant slide. A secondary highlight is the extremely creepy statue right next to the giant slide.


Minnesota State Fair - 2019

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The final place we visited before calling it a day was the “photo contest”. It was actually the biggest disappointment of the fair. There were hardly any photos and they were just mixed in with the rest of the art. Fortunately, the rest of the art contest was actually pretty cool.

I still have one more collection of cruddy cell phone pictures to share. Then we can close the door on the 2019 Minnesota State Fair.

Minnesota State Fair #2

In this second collection of pictures from my trip to the Minnesota State Fair with Bethany, Becca, Jonah, and Shawn, I reveal a picture of the All You Can Drink Milk Stand. It is a good half mile, at least from the famous cookie place.

There are also a couple places that we walked by but couldn’t stop at that I will stop at if a future trip to the Minnesota State Fair is in my future. The butterfly building. The reptile building. Those are tops on the list.


Minnesota State Fair - 2019

Minnesota State Fair - 2019

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John Deere Powered Ice Cream Machines!

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Reminds me of that scene in ELF.

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The Governor of Minnesota

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247 miles to a better State Fair

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Bernie Sanders was there. Must’ve been a big thrill for people from a state that doesn’t have a first in the nation caucus.

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This is what overcrowded looks like.

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Yes, that is poop.

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My actual biggest disappointment in the Minnesota State Fair was the DNR exhibit. It is at least 25 times the size of Iowa’s. Somehow it isn’t as good. But it has great facilities, so there is lots of potential there. Although the fire tower is admittedly pretty badass.

Still more pictures from my trip to the Minnesota State Fair on the way!