Category Archives: Photography

Town Sign Project: Crawford County

A couple weeks back, on the same day that I harvested all the town signs I was missing for Carroll County, I continued west and also harvested all the signs I was missing in Crawford County. That ended up being less than I expected.

I didn’t find anything of real historical interest in Crawford County, so here are some facts about Crawford County:

+ Crawford County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,096. Its county seat is Denison. The county was named for William Harris Crawford, U.S. senator from Georgia and United States Secretary of the Treasury.
+ In January 1851, the Iowa Legislature authorized the creation of 50 additional counties in the state. Due to its lack of inhabitants, the designated Crawford County area was attached to Shelby County for purposes of revenue, taxation, and judicial matters.
+ In 1855 there were sufficient settlers, who petitioned for separation from Shelby. This was granted, and a county governing structure was established. The county as then designated did not include its present western townships.
+ In 1865, four eastern townships of Monona County were separated from that county and incorporated into Crawford County’s boundary.
+ After several adjustments and reorganizations, the present arrangement of Crawford County townships was completed in June 1872.

Here is the Crawford County Photo Map (borders, not remotely accurate):


Crawford County Photo Map
Crawford County Photo Map

And with Crawford County completed, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 10 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

10 counties completed. 10.1% of the state conquered.

Here are the Crawford County signs:


Denison, Iowa
Denison, Iowa
City of Denison – “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Population: 8,298

Schlewswig, Iowa
Schleswig, Iowa
Schleswig – Est. 1899
Population: 882

Manilla, Iowa
Manilla, Iowa
Manilla
Population: 776

Dow City, Iowa
Dow City, Iowa
Dow City – Est.1869
Population: 510

Charter Oak, Iowa
Charter Oak, Iowa
Welcome to Charter Oak
Population – 502

Vail, Iowa
Vail, Iowa
Welcome to Vail – A small town with a BIG heart
Population: 436

Westside, Iowa
Westside, Iowa
Westside
Population: 299

Kiron, Iowa
Kiron, Iowa
Kiron – BLESSED WITH THE BEST
Population: 279

Deloit, Iowa
Deloit, Iowa
Welcome to DELOIT – Oldest Town In Crawford County
Population: 264

Ricketts, Iowa
Ricketts, IOwa
Ricketts – “Middle of Nowhere”
Population: 145

Arion, Iowa
Arion, Iowa
Welcome to Arion
Population: 108

Buck Grove, Iowa
Buck Grove, Iowa
Buck Grove
Population: 43

Aspinwall, Iowa
Aspinwall, Iowa
Aspinwall – Still A Little Slice of Paradise – Est. 1882
Population: 40

Boyer, Iowa
Boyer, Iowa
Boyer
Former City

Crawford County is not a hotbed of great signs, but at least almost all the signs are respectable. Last week, at least a couple people let me know that they thought that the Arcadia sign was very phallic. I’m sure the same people will feel the same way about the Dow City sign. Perhaps it is the worst in Crawford County. The Aspinwall sign is peculiar because they took all the time and energy to put a slogan on the sign, but they put it so small that a person would need to stop their car, get out their magnifying glass, and get up close to the sign to even figure out what it says.

I think Best in Show is pretty much a no-brainer. I do like the Denison sign because I love Donna Reed and I love IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Absolutely one of the greatest movies ever made. Period. Here is her bio from the Internet Movie Database:

Donna Reed was born in the midwestern town of Denison, Iowa, on January 27, 1921, as Donna Belle Mullenger. A small town – a population of less than 3,000 people – Denison was located by the Boyer River, and was the county seat of Crawford County. Donna grew up as a farm girl, much like many young girls in western Iowa, except for one thing – Donna was very beautiful. That wasn’t to say that others weren’t as pretty, it’s just that Donna’s beauty stood out from all the other local girls, so much so that she won a beauty contest in Denison. Upon graduation from high school Donna left for college in Los Angeles, in the hopes of eventually entering movies.

While at Los Angeles City College, she pursued her dream by participating in several college stage productions. In addition to the plays, she also won the title of Campus Queen. At one of those stage plays Donna was spotted by an MGM talent scout and was signed to a contract. Her first film was a minor role in MGM’s The Getaway (1941). That was followed by a small part in Babes on Broadway (1941), with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland as a secretary. Afterwards, MGM began giving her better parts, in films such as The Bugle Sounds (1942), The Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942) and The Man from Down Under (1943). In 1944 she received second billing playing Carol Halliday in See Here, Private Hargrove (1944), a comedy about a reporter drafted into the army who eventually meets up with Donna’s character as a worker in the canteen. The following year Donna starred in The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), her best role to date. It was a love story set in London in 1890. It got mixed critical reviews but did well at the box-office. Donna was now one of the leading ladies of Hollywood. In 1946 she starred in what is probably her best-known role, as the wife of James Stewart in the classic It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). This timeless story is a holiday staple to this day. The film also starred Lionel Barrymore and Thomas Mitchell. The next year Donna starred as Ann Daniels in Paramount’s Beyond Glory (1948) with Alan Ladd, which did well at the box-office. Her next role was the strongest she had had yet–Chicago Deadline (1949), again with Ladd. It was one of the best mystery dramas to come out of Hollywood in a long time, and did very well at the box office. As the 1940s faded out and the 1950s stormed in, Donna’s roles got bigger but were mainly of the wholesome, girl-next-door type. In 1953, however, she starred as the hostess Alma in the widely acclaimed From Here to Eternity (1953). She was so good in that film she was nominated for and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, beating out such veterans as Thelma Ritter and Marjorie Rambeau. The film itself won for Best Picture and remains a classic to this day. Later that year Donna starred in The Caddy (1953), a comedy with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. Three years later she landed the role of Sacajawea in The Far Horizons (1955), the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, starring Charlton Heston and Fred MacMurray. After finishing The Whole Truth (1958), Donna began her own TV series (produced by her husband), The Donna Reed Show (1958), a hit that ran for eight years. She was so effective in the show that she was nominated for TV’s prestigious Emmy Award as Best Actress every year from 1959-1962. She was far more popular in TV than on the screen. After the run of the program, Donna took some time away from show business before coming back in a couple of made-for-TV movies (in 1974, she had made a feature called Yellow-Headed Summer (1974), but it was never released)

She did get the role of Ellie Ewing Farlow in the hit TV series Dallas (1978) during the 1984-85 season. It was to be her final public performance. On January 14, 1986, less than two weeks before her 65th birthday, she died of pancreatic cancer in Beverly Hills, California. Grover Asmus, her husband, created the Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts in her hometown of Denison. The foundation helps others who desire a career in the arts. Donna never forgot her roots. She was still a farm girl at heart.

As much as I love Donna Reed and as much as I love IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, it just isn’t that great of a sign.

Kiron has an okay sign. Deloit’s is okay. I really like Manilla’s sign as well. But Best in Show for Crawford County is very obvious:


Ricketts, Iowa
Crawford County Best in Show – Ricketts, Iowa

I took this picture in September of 2020. If you are wondering about the Ricketts Centennial 1999 part of the sign.

There were a couple of Crawford County towns that have town sign alternates, I need to share:


Denison, Iowa
Denison Alternate

Manilla, Iowa
Manilla Alternate

The Denison alternate reminds me of Kansas. It seems a popular thing to do in central Kanas to put the name of your town up on the side of hill. I also really dig the Manilla alternate. I actually really dug Manilla. It had a pretty cool aesthetic in its downtown area.

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Here is the updated BENNETT TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:


Scranton, Iowa
#10. Scranton

Ricketts, Iowa
#9. Ricketts

Liscomb, Iowa
#8. Liscomb

Dexter, Iowa
#7. Dexter

Templeton, Iowa
#6. Templeton

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
#4. Farnhamville

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#3. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#2. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#1. Coon Rapids

The next county we will visit is Wright County.

Post #4,000

August 9, 2006. That was the date where I first took keyboard in hand and began typing out the blog that I entitled “An Artist’s Notebook”. I entitled that first post “First Journal Entry”. The categories for that first post were “Blogging”, “Contests”, “Jay”, and “Sara”.

This is the first paragraph I posted:

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”.

Then it goes on to talk about how I attended the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Reception with Sara to see what two pictures had been accepted for display that year. Then I would go on to talk about how Jay had talked me into entering the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

The last line of the entry was simply:

I don’t want to mail it in.

While I was actually referencing the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, it is my hope that I also didn’t choose to “mail it in” as it pertains to “An Artist’s Notebook”.

It has been 5,276 days since that first post. 5,276 days to reach this day and the 4,000th post in this blog, or “online journal” like I sometimes call it when I don’t like calling it a blog. It is hard to believe I have made it this far, for this long.

It hasn’t been necessarily smooth sailing the whole time. My website has been through a couple different servers. I have been through a couple different hosts for the blog part of the website. I have been through 4 (I think) different image hosting options in those 5,275 days. That jumping around for image hosting solutions did cause the problem that images from my posts from the first few years of this website’s existence have had to be “restored” slowly over time. So far I have semi-successfully restored all the entries though June of 2010. Which means, I still have a full year’s worth of entries left to restore. Somewhere in 2011, was when I fully made the move to my current SmugMug image hosting solution. I have unfortunately lost a few images, probably forever, mostly old phone pictures, but those old posts are as complete as they will ever be.

When I hit these milestones, I like to publish a lot of fairly meaningless stats. This one will be no different. So, here are the “An Artist’s Notebook” categories that I have used the most often:

Top 10 An Artist’s Notebook Categories

#1. Black & White – 698 Entries

#2. Flowers – 693 Entries

#3. Animals – 620 Entries

#4. Jesse – 495 Entries

#5. Portrait – 472 Entries

#6. Shannon – 421 Entries

#7. Carla – 391 Entries

#8. WPC – Submissions – 381 Entries

#9. Teresa – 364 Entries

#10. Mom – 363 Entries

Top Ten An Artist’s Notebook People Categories

#1. Jesse – 495 Entries

#2. Shannon – 421 Entries

#3. Carla – 391 Entries

#4. Teresa – 364 Entries

#5. Mom – 363 Entries

#6. Jay – 320 Entries

#7. Derrick – 295 Entries

#8. Willy – 268 Entries

#9. Vest – 258 Entries

#10. Jen – 254 Entries

Top Ten Non-People An Artist’s Notebook Categories

#1. Black & White – 698 Entries

#2. Flowers – 693 Entries

#3. Animals – 620 Entries

#4. Portrait – 472 Entries

#5. WPC – Submissions – 381 Entries

#6. Nature – 349 Entries

#7. Macro – 332 Entries

#8. Photoshop – 327 Entries

#9. Road Trip – 326 Entries

#10. Art – 314 Entries

People often ask what is the best way to improve their Photography 139 Category Score. The easiest way is to submit pictures to THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. But posing for and assisting me with photo project or photo adventures is also a very good way.

What people have a shot at cracking the Top Ten by the time we hit Post #5,000? Kim, Sara, Logan, and Micky all have a shot. But 1,000 posts is a long ways away. So anybody has a shot!

But what are the Ten Most Popular Photo Galleries in Photography 139 history? Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question. I can only process stats up to 365 days ago. However, I can tell you the Ten Most Popular Photo Galleries of the last 365 Days are.

Click on the image to peruse that gallery.

Top Ten Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries (by view) of the Last 365 Days


WEEK 209 - ARCHITECTURE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#1. WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 7 – 57697 Views

Be True
#2. Christopher D. Bennett – 41080 Views

9 Emotions Project - Johnathan
#3. 9 Emotions Project – 36972 Views

Taylan Howard
#4. Taylan Howard – 2020 – 34075 Views

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2016
#5. Daisies – 26800 Views

Morning in America
#6. Drone – 24659 Views

WEEK 274 - FACELESS PORTRAIT - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
#7. Weekly Photo Challenge – HOF – 24603 Views

Be Aggressive!
#8. Family Happenings – 18,231 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#9. Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020 – 17057 Views

Black Lives Matter - Boone
#10. Black Lives Matter – Boone – 2020 – 16160 Views

The Ten Most Popular Photography 139 Images of the Last 365 Days (by Views)


Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1. 7254 Views

Taylan Howard
#2. 3153 Views

2020 Birthday Party Invites
#3. 2460 Views (Photo by Logan Kahler)

Cousin Amy and Sam - 2009
#4. 2228 Views

Garrett Larson
#5. 2127 Views

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2009
#6. 2111 Views

Camping World Bowl Road Trip - Day 3
#7. 1971 Views

2019  Computer Mine Holiday Card
#8. 1916 Views

The Most Tolerable Third Party
#9. 1891 Views

The Hero of Africa
#10. 1830 Views

Now the secret to the popularity of some of these images is that they are cover photos for albums, but shhhh… don’t tell anybody!

Another category of meaningless statistics, I’d like to share is what have been the most popular posts since the inception of “An Artist’s Notebook”. Although it might not be the most accurate way to judge such things, the only statistic I can use to judge this is “Comments” left on each post. That doesn’t mean emails or text messages or comments I received in person. These are comments that were left in the Comments section of each post.

Most Popular An Artist’s Notebook Entries (by Comments)

#1. The People’s Choice Round Two – 24 Comments

#2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 9 – Food – 22 Comments

#2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 43 – Sunrise/Sunset – 22 Comments

#4. Town Sign Project: Hamilton County – 21 Comments

#4. Town Sign Project: Dallas County – 21 Comments

#6. Postcard Recreation Project: Some Churches – 20 Comments

#6. Rodan139: Swede Valley Lutheran Church – 20 Comments

#8. Will History Blame Me… – 19 Comments

#9. Yo, Ya Just Get in that, You Get in that Head Space, Ya Know – 15 Comments

#9. You Can Call it a Comeback – 15 Comments

#9. Wild Goose Chase – 15 Comments

#9. Sorry Not Sorry – 15 Comments

One thing to note is that each “An Artist’s Notebook” entry has its Comments section close 30 days after being posted. Some of those still have a chance to grow, but most have been locked into place forever.

The last statistic I want to share before closing out Post #4,000 is kind of a loyalty score. To even be considered for this list, you first have to have a Photography 139 Email Subscription. The following is a statistic based on “loyalty” for lack of a better term to that service.

Top Five Most Loyal Photography 139 Subscribers

1. Michelle Haupt – 99%
2. Joe Duff – 97%
3. Shannon Bardole-Foley – 94%
4. Sara Lockner – 90%
5. Corey Faust – 89%

Thanks to everybody that has supported this adventure for 14 years, 5 months, and now 10 days!

WPC – WEEK 279 – COMMERCIAL

I need to start by noting that today is the day we honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.


Civil Rights Museum

I’d like to share a teaching on The Good Samaritan from the last speech that King ever gave as my small part of honoring his legacy today:

Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus, and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters of life. At points he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew and throw him off base…. Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side.

They didn’t stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But he got down with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the “I” into the “thou,” and to be concerned about his brother.

Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn’t stop. At times we say they were busy going to a church meeting, an ecclesiastical gathering, and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn’t be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that “One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony.” And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem — or down to Jericho, rather to organize a “Jericho Road Improvement Association.”

That’s a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effect.

But I’m going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It’s possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, “I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable.” It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles — or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you’re about 2200 feet below sea level. That’s a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the “Bloody Pass.”

And you know, it’s possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it’s possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked — the first question that the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?”

That’s the question before you tonight. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to my job. Not, “If I stop to help the sanitation workers what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?” The question is not, “If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?” The question is, “If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?”
That’s the question.

In a time where we have white supremacist terrorists threatening our country, we should all heed the widsom of Martin Luther King Jr. and we should all strive for his calling of dangerous unselfishness.

And to honor the fact that the pastor at Martin Luther King Jr.’s church was just elected to the United States Senate. While the white supremacists throw a big shadow in this country, it is just a shadow. There are more of us, than there are of them. The election of Raphael Warnock is proof of that.

+++++++

I do want to point out that last week, in the chaos that was my 11 AM hour, I missed Cathie’s submission for FAMILY. I have corrected that error and it has since been added to last Monday’s journal entry. I encourage you to go to the website to see it. My apologies Cathie!

I was actually worried that this is the theme that would break the streak. I figured COMMERCIAL would be a tough nut to crack for many people. But we did it! For the 68th week in a row, we hit double digits!

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


WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

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 280 - HOBBIES
HOBBIES

HOBBIES! Another great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

What defines a HOBBIES photo? HOBBIES are activities done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. What do you do in your leisure time, regularly, for pleasure? What do your friends or family do regularly in their leisure time for pleasure. Take a picture of somebody that is engaged in their leisure time pleasure. Or take a picture of an item that is used for leisure time pleasure. We aren’t here to judge what people do for leisure time pleasure. We are just here to photograph what give somebody leisure time pleasure.

As you should know, the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic PSYCHO is tied for being my favorite movie of all-time. Think about the scene is PSYCHO where Marion Crane and Norman Bates are eating supper together in the backroom of the Bates Motel office, with all of the birds that Norman has stuffed.

INT. NORMAN’S PARLOR -(NIGHT)

In the darkened room, lit only by the light from the office spilling in, we see Norman placing the tray on a table. Mary comes to the doorway, pauses. Norman straightens up, goes to lamp, turns on the light.

Mary is startled by the room. Even in the dimness of one lamp, the strange, extraordinary nature of the room rushes
up at one. It is a room of birds. Stuffed birds, all over the room, on every available surface, one even clinging to
the old fashioned fringed shade of the lamp. The birds are of many varieties, beautiful, grand, horrible, preying. Mary
stares in awe and a certain fascinated horror.

CLOSE UP – THE VARIOUS BIRDS TWO SHOT – MARY AND NORMAN

NORMAN
Please sit down. On the sofa.

As Norman goes about spreading out the bread and ham and pouring the milk, we follow Mary across the room. She studies
the birds as she walks, briefly examines a bookcase stacked with books on the subject of “Taxidermy.”

CLOSE UP – THE BOOKS ON TAXIDERMY MED. CLOSE SHOT – MARY

She notices, too, the paintings on the wall; nudes, primarily, and many with a vaguely religious overtone.

Finally Mary reaches the sofa, sits down, looks at the spread.

MARY
You’re very… kind.

NORMAN
It’s all for you. I’m not hungry.
Please go ahead.

Mary begins to eat, her attitude a bit tense. She takes up a small slice of ham, bites off a tiny bite, nibbles at it in the manner of one disturbed and preoccupied.

Norman gazes at her, at the tiny bite she has taken, smiles and then laughs.

NORMAN
You eat like a bird.

MARY
You’d know, of course.

NORMAN
Not really. I hear that expression,
that one eats “like a bird,” is really
a falsie, I mean a falsity, because
birds eat a tremendous lot.
(A pause, then
explaining)
Oh, I don’t know anything about birds.
My hobby is stuffing things…
taxidermy. And I guess I’d just rather
stuff birds because… well, I hate
the look of beasts when they’re
stuffed, foxes and chimps and all…
some people even stuff dogs and
cats… but I can’t… I think only
birds look well stuffed because
they’re rather… passive, to begin
with… most of them…

He trails off, his exuberance failing in the rushing return of his natural hesitancy and discomfort. Mary looks at him,
with some compression, smiles.

MARY
It’s a strange hobby. Curious, I
mean.

NORMAN
Uncommon, too.

MARY
I imagine so.

NORMAN
It’s not as expensive as you’d think.
Cheap, really. Needles, thread,
sawdust .. the chemicals are all
that cost anything.
(He goes quiet, looks
disturbed)

MARY
A man should have a hobby.

NORMAN
It’s more than a hobby… sometimes…
a hobby is supposed to pass the time,
not fill it.

When you are preparing to take your HOBBIES photo, meditate on an activity that passes the time, but doesn’t fill it.

Then send me you submission(s) by 11 AM next Monday. Remember, while I might consider you FAMILY, 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 our idea of HOBBIES in this place that passes the time next Monday.

Alexis Prego Uno

A couple months back I met Alexis at McFarland Park to take some pictures of her shortly before she gave birth to Anela. While 2020 was a cesspool of terrible, I did add two great-nieces to my family. In Anela and Dahlia. Here is the first collection of Alexis pregnancy pictures:


Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

As always, with my luck with portraits, the lighting was brutal, but yet I feel still like we did some good work. There is more of pregnant Alexis on the way. Kupono and Kanoa will even show up eventually.

2010-06-13

There were a ton of pictures in the folder 2010-06-13. Some were from Johnathan’s Graduation Open House. Some were from Shannon’s Birthday Camping Trip. Others were of frogs. Even others were of insects. It is a truly great folder!


Shannon Birthday Camping - 2010

Shannon Birthday Camping - 2010

Shannon Birthday Camping - 2010

Shannon Birthday Camping - 2010

Use and Virtue

Frog with Tail

Personal Photo Project No. 28 Alternate

Personal Photo Project No. 28 Alternate

Personal Photo Project No. 28 Alternate

Personal Photo Project No. 28 Alternate

Personal Photo Project No. 28 Alternate

Personal Photo Project No. 28 Alternate

Personal Photo Project of the Week #30 Alternate

Personal Photo Project of the Week #30 Alternate

Personal Photo Project #30 Alternate

Personal Photo Project #30 Alternate

Personal Photo Project #30 Alternate

Personal Photo Project #30 Alternate

Personal Photo Project #30 Alternate

Personal Photo Project of the Week #30

Johnathan's Graduation Open House - 2010

Johnathan's Graduation Open House - 2010

Johnathan's Graduation Open House - 2010

Johnathan's Graduation Open House - 2010

Johnathan's Graduation Open House - 2010

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:

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK NO. 28

PERSONAL PHOTO PROJECT OF THE WEEK #30

Cleanup

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will, at the very least, be STRONG.

Light it Up!

A few months back, I took a dead zinnia down to my basement, lit it and then lit it up. I believe Jesse and Anders were standing by as potential firefighters. Even though, they didn’t understand why I was starting even the smallest fire, inside my house.

Here are the pictures:


Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

Digging for God - 2020

I actually start have a small collection of dead flower sitting on my dining room floor that I intend to light up at some point in the future. Flowertography doesn’t have an offseason.

+++++++

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


WEEK 279 - COMMERCIAL
COMMERCIAL

What defines a COMMERCIAL photo? I want you to think of something that you really like. Maybe even love it. Something that you think other people would enjoy or find useful. It could be something that you already sell. At least a few of you own your own business! Now think about how would you sell it to other people through the language of photography.

While this image, might recall a bit of the old days of magazine (anybody remember magazines, I used to subscribe to 6 or 7 of them) advertising, it isn’t the only avenue of sales. For example, the picture that people take and put on dating apps, that is a way of trying to sell yourself.

That is this week’s challenge, to think of something (or even somebody) and try to photograph it in away that other people would think, I want some of that.

You can even think of trying to make a COMMERCIAL image for something that is reprehensible like smoking. Here is a quote from a character named Nick Naylor from the movie THANK YOU FOR SMOKING. Nick Naylor is a lobbyist for the tobacco companies and this is an exchange he has during a meeting with tobacco executives:


Nick Naylor: [during a meeting with company executives and other staff members] In 1910, the US was producing ten billion cigarettes a year, by 1930 we were up to one hundred twenty three billion, what happened in between? Three things: a world war, dieting and movies

BR: Movies?

Nick Naylor: In, 1927 talking pictures are born and suddenly directors need to give their actors something to do while their talking, Cary Grant and Carole Lombard lighting up, Bette Davis a “chimney”, and Bogart, remember the first picture with him and Lauren Bacall?

BR: Not specifically

Nick Naylor: She shimmies through the doorway nineteen years old, pure sex, she says “anyone got a match?” and Bogie throws the matches at her, she catches them, greatest romance in the century, how did it start? lighting a cigarette, we need the cast of Will & Grace smoking in their living room, Forrest Gump puffing away between his boxes of chocolates, Hugh Grant earning back the love of Julia Roberts by buying her favorite brand, her Virginia Slims, most of the actors smoke already, when they start doing it onscreen, we can put the sex back into cigarettes.

Meditate on that, while thinking of how to make a COMMERCIAL image.

Happy photo harvesting!

Postcard Recreation Project – Courthouse

The subject for this week’s POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT is the Boone County Courthouse.

Here is some information on the Boone County Courthouse from the Boone County Government website:

Boone County was organized in February of 1847. It was named for Nathan Boone, the youngest son of Daniel Boone, who had explored the lands near the Des Moines and Boone Rivers in June of 1835 as an officer of the US Dragoons. For more than two years after its founding, Boone County remained a part of Polk County, but by 1849 area residents wished to vote, pay taxes and do business under their own county jurisdiction. In order for this to occur, Iowa law specified that the county sheriff had to order an election of county officers. Therefore, on May 8, 1849, William McKay, judge of the Fifth Judicial District of which Boone County was a part, appointed Samuel B. McCall county sheriff. McCall then ordered the first election of county officers, which was held on August 6, 1849.

At first, court sessions were held in several Boonesboro (now West Boone) houses, those of John Boyles, John M. Wane and John M. Crooks. Early in 1851 court sessions moved to a log school house, located on Honey Creek about a half mile south of the present day skating pond in McHose Park. A marker denotes the site*.

The county seat was officially established in Boonesboro in July of 1851. On July 26, 1851, recognizing the need for a permanent court room, Boone County Commissioners ordered Wesley C. Hull “to furnish a suitable room in . . . Boonesboro to hold court at the October term. . .” Hull built a double log cabin on lots No. 3 & 4 in block 12, across from the northeast corner of the Public Square. Two years later in 1853, court sessions moved again; this time to a new log school house, which was located where the Garfield School building is today**.

Built between 1856 and 1857, Boone County’s first public courthouse was a two-story frame Old Courthouse building, containing county offices as well as courtroom space. It stood on the corner of Third and Fremont Streets, a block east of the square. Only eight years later, changes were again in the air. In 1865, the new railroad town of Montana (Boone Station, now Boone), a mile and one/half to the east of Boonesboro, was challenging Boonesboro’s economic and political status. Hoping to preserve Boonesboro as the county seat, residents, merchants and officials agitated for the building of a new, larger courthouse on the town square. Completed in 1868, this new brick building was located on the site of the present courthouse. Boonesboro had won the battle of the courthouse location, but by 1887 Montana (Boone) would become the driving economic and political force in the area when the two towns became a single municipality.

By 1915, a new courthouse was in order. The old brick building was given to the Boone Biblical Ministries, and in June of 1916 it was moved across the street. Employees continued to work in the building as it was moved, and it was reported that “not a drop of ink was spilled.” It continued to function as a courthouse until the new building was ready in 1918.

The cornerstone for the current courthouse was laid on October 1, 1916, and the building was dedicated on May 1, 1918. It is 147 x 81 feet and has four entrances, each on a compass point. Constructed of Vermont gray granite and Bedford limestone, brick, and reinforced concrete, the building is virtually fireproof. Even the interior is built primarily of marble, granite and metal. Only the hand rails on the stairs and some other trim is wood. Cost of construction was $200,000. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

Written by Boone County Historical Society

*That marker isn’t there any more.
**Where Garfield School was located is now being turned into a housing development by Amanda.

I don’t think that Boone has a particularly pretty courthouse. Especially compared with say the courthouse in Adel or Marshalltown. However, its look has grown on me over the years. It isn’t gorgeous, but it is kind of a standard pretty.

Here are the postcards:


Court House, Boone, Iowa - Original
Court House, Boone, Iowa – Original

Court House, Boone, Iowa - Redux
Court House, Boone, Iowa – Redux

Court House. Boone, IA - 2218 - Original
Court House. Boone, IA – 2218 – Original

Court House. Boone, IA - 2218 - Redux
Court House. Boone, IA_2218 – Redux

Boone County Courthouse - Original
Courthouse – Original

Boone County Courthouse - Redux
Courthouse – Redux

Boone County Courthouse - Modern Interpretation
Boone County Courthouse – Modern Interpretation

When I did mail-in ballot counting observing, I learned a bit more about the history of the courthouse. There used to be an apartment on the top floor where the groundskeeper lived. They lived there until a lot more recently than you’d expect. The last groundskeeper used to keep a shooting range in the basement.

The next postcard subject will be the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace.

TOWN SIGN PROJECT: CARROLL COUNTY

I recently drove through Carroll County to harvest all the signs in Carroll that I was missing. I didn’t run across any interesting historical markers in Carroll County, so might as well just get straight to it.

Here is a look at the Carroll County Photo Map. Once again, the boundaries of Carroll County are approximate at best:


Carroll County Photo Map
Carroll County Photo Map

And with Carroll County completed, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 9 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

Here are the towns signs of Carroll County (Population Stats from 2010 Census):


Carroll, Iowa
Carroll, Iowa
Carroll
Population: 10,103

Manning, Iowa
Manning, Iowa
Manning – It’s Refreshing!
Population: 1,500

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Coon Rapids, Iowa
Coon Rapids – In the Heart of Corn Country
Population: 1,305

Glidden, Iowa
Glidden, Iowa
Glidden
Population: 1,146

Arcadia, Iowa
Arcadia, Iowa
Arcadia
Population: 1,146

Breda, Iowa
Breda, Iowa
Welcome To Breda
Population: 483

Templeton, Iowa
Templeton, Iowa
Welcome to Templeton – A Strong Community Spirit
Population: 362

Dedham, Iowa
Dedham, Iowa
Dedham Welcomes You
Population: 266

Halbur, Iowa
Halbur, Iowa
Welcome to Halbur
Population: 246

Lidderdale, Iowa
Lidderdale, Iowa
Lidderdale
Population: 180

Lanesboro, Iowa
Lanesboro, Iowa
Welcome to Lanesboro
Population: 121

Willey, Iowa
Willey, Iowa
Willey
Population: 88

Ralston, Iowa
Ralston, Iowa
Ralston
Population: 79

Mt. Carmel, Iowa
Mt. Carmel, Iowa – I don’t even know what Mt. Carmel is, it isn’t listed as an unincorporated community, but it isn’t exactly a ghost town either, but it does exist.

Carrollton, Iowa
Carrollton, Iowa – Ghost Town

It is very obvious that Carroll has the worst town sign in Carroll County, and it isn’t even close. Although Breda’s sign is pretty terrible. As is the sign for Arcadia and Lidderdale.

There are some really good town signs in Carroll County though. Manning has a great sign, but I have no clue why Manning is refreshing. Templeton, also has a great and clever town sign, with the tie in to their local distillery. However, the best town sign in Carroll County is pretty obvious:


Coon Rapids, Iowa
Coon Rapids – Carroll County Best in Show – The best part, that ear of corn spins!!!

Some of these towns did have alternate town signs I’d like to share:


Coon Rapids, Iowa
Coon Rapids – Alternate

Lanesboro, Iowa
Lanesboro – Alternate #1

Lanesboro, Iowa
Lanesboro – Alternate #2

Templeton, Iowa
Templeton – Alternate

Also, while I was on this trip I found an alternate sign for the Greene County sign of Scranton:


Scranton, Iowa
Scranton – Alternate

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:


Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Coon Rapids

Here is the updated BENNETT TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:


Scranton, Iowa
#10. Scranton

Boone, Iowa
#9. Boone

Liscomb, Iowa
#8. Liscomb

Dexter, Iowa
#7. Dexter

Templeton, Iowa
#6. Templeton

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
#4. Farnhamville

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#3. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#2. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#1. Coon Rapids

The next county we will visit is Crawford County.

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

A few weeks back, I took Rodan139 for a little flight around the Des Moines River Valley. Just off the boat ramp that is next to US30. It was a little late in the day, so it was a short flight before it got dark, but still got plenty of good pictures.


Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

Rodan139: Des Moines River Valley

This might be it for drone pictures for a bit. I don’t have any more in the hopper. It kind of depends on the weather and lighting on whether or not Rodan139 will take to the skies again before spring. I am hopeful though!

WPC – WEEK 278 – FAMILY

Here it is! The first week of Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. I asked people to submit a picture that showed what they think, when they think of FAMILY. For the 67th week in a row, we had double digit submissions!

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


WEEK 278 - FAMILY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEL 278 - FAMILY - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEL 278 - FAMILY - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEL 278 - FAMILY - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler

WEEL 278 - FAMILY - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEL 278 - FAMILY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEL 278 - FAMILY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEL 278 - FAMILY - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEL 278 - FAMILY - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEL 278 - FAMILY - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEL 278 - FAMILY - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 278 - FAMILY - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

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 279 - COMMERCIAL
COMMERCIAL

COMMERCIAL! The second theme of Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

What defines a COMMERCIAL photo? I want you to think of something that you really like. Maybe even love it. Something that you think other people would enjoy or find useful. It could be something that you already sell. Now think about how would you sell it to other people through the language of photography.

While this image, might recall a bit of the old days of magazines (anybody remember magazines, I used to subscribe to 6 or 7 of them), advertising, isn’t the only avenue of sales. For example, the picture that people take and put on dating apps, that is a way of trying to sell yourself.

That is this week’s challenge, to think of something (or even somebody) and try to photograph it in away that other people would think, I want some of that.

You can think of trying to make a COMMERCIAL image for something that is reprehensible like smoking. Here is a quote from a character named Nick Naylor from the movie THANK YOU FOR SMOKING. Nick Naylor is a lobbyist for the tobacco companies and this is an exchange he has during a meeting with tobacco executives:

Nick Naylor: [during a meeting with company executives and other staff members] In 1910, the US was producing ten billion cigarettes a year, by 1930 we were up to one hundred twenty three billion, what happened in between? Three things: a world war, dieting and movies

BR: Movies?

Nick Naylor : In, 1927 talking pictures are born and suddenly directors need to give their actors something to do while their talking, Cary Grant and Carole Lombard lighting up, Bette Davis a “chimney”, and Bogart, remember the first picture with him and Lauren Bacall?

BR: Not specifically

Nick Naylor : She shimmies through the doorway nineteen years old, pure sex, she says “anyone got a match?” and Bogie throws the matches at her, she catches them, greatest romance in the century, how did it start? lighting a cigarette, we need the cast of Will & Grace smoking in their living room, Forrest Gump puffing away between his boxes of chocolates, Hugh Grant earning back the love of Julia Roberts by buying her favorite brand, her Virginia Slims, most of the actors smoke already, when they start doing it onscreen, we can put the sex back into cigarettes.

Meditate on that, while thinking of how to make a COMMERCIAL image.

Then send me you submission(s) by 11 AM next Monday. Remember, while I might consider you FAMILY, 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 our idea of COMMERICAL in this maybe not all that sexy place next Monday.