Category Archives: Black & White


The 2009 Photography 139 Calendar went through quite a large metamorphosis this year. I wasn’t sure that I was going to produce a calendar this year. The amount of time involved in the designing, printing, laminating and binding the calendar was becoming a burden on me and my friends. I can’t even count how many hours last year Jesse, Jay and Nader put in to making these calendars.

This year I outsourced the printing of the calendar. This was much harder for me to do than one might suspect. I think I don’t necessarily give the outward appearance of being a control freak, but I do have things in my life where compromise is not to be considered.

Once I was able to talk myself into outsourcing the printing, everything else sort of fell into place. The amount of time put into the calendar this year by me and my friends was only a couple of hours. Most of the time was actually spent in designing the calendar. Jesse and Jay were not even bothered at all.

I can thank Mike Vest for being my liaison between me and my printer. He also punched every hole in the calendars for hanging. I also need to thank Shannon for binding all of the calendars.

I have yet to distribute all of the calendars, but I would like to beginning sharing the pictures that I selected for the 2009 calendar.

Below is the picture for January.

This is the only picture in the calendar that wasn’t taken in 2008. This self-portrait was taken late in 2007. The location of this picture was the Campanile on the Iowa State University campus.


I spent most of Monday with Sara.

We started the day by lunching at Fresh Cafe and Market. It is an interesting little restaurant in West Des Moines that is only open about 20 hours a week. They specialize in serving an organic menu.

We started the meal with a double shot of wheat grass. I’m not big into wheat grass, but Sara has made me curious about it. This was the fourth different type of wheat grass that I have tried with her. This was also the best. It was a healthy boost that was most likely negated by our supper.

Sara ordered the Hummus & Veggie Wrap.

I ordered the Mediteranian Wrap. I assume that there is a reason why they spell it that way. I chose the spinach tortilla. The wrap consisted of organic greens, fresh veggies, black and green seasoned olives, tomatoes, feta, lemon and olive oil. It was quite excellent.

At the conclusion of the meal we hopped in her car to travel to Ottumwa to visit Jen.

Ottumwa House
Sara likes driving to Ottumwa because there are no turns.

Ottumwa House
We stopped at a gas station in Oskaloosa to get candy. Sara was very high on Big League Chew.

Ottumwa House
Sara was very high on this sucker that reminded her of the Ogden swimming pool.

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House
Bailey and a neighborhood dog

Ottumwa House
Derrick,Sara and Jen

Ottumwa House
Jackson and a neighborhood dog

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House
Derrick’s Chainsaw Sculpture

Ottumwa House
This mullet wig would be part of a Halloween costume, if I were to dress up.

This was my first time ever in Ottumwa. It is a town that seems to be fading out of existence, but there are a few nice touches.

In downtown Ottumwa there is an “Adult” Theater. Two storefronts down is a Christian outreach ministry.

We had supper at the Sirloin Stockade. The Sirloin Stockade is kind of a low rent Golden Corral or Bonanza, but it is also considered the best restaurant in Ottumwa.

Before we got out of the car Derrick made a dramatic announcement.

“At some point during the meal they are going ask you if you want a baked potato. The answer to this question is ‘yes’.”

“Why is that? Is the baked potato the best part of the meal?”

“No. But they won’t stop harassing you about the potato until you take it.”

I took the advice to heart.

Our waitress asked us if we wanted a potato.

“Yes, I want that potato.”

Then Derrick, Jen and Sara all turned down the potato.

“What the heck? You told me to take the potato and then you turn it down.”

Derrick answered, “I didn’t want the potato.”

It was the closest to a Willy moment that I’ve ever had with Derrick.

For the record, they never asked the rest of my party if they wanted a potato again AND the potato was the best part of the meal.

My Saturday (Volume 2)

More pictures from Saturday. Some of these pictures were taken by Sara as she was auditioning to become a Photography 139 Photo Assistant.

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
On dry land

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Oar duty

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Oar Duty

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Celebrating with some juice.

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Jen and Derrick

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
The Past

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Back in the convertible

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Sara after winning a scholarship.

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Classic Frozen Custard

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Classic Frozen Custard

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

All in all, it was a pretty good day.

Selected Pictures

This year I took a different route selecting pictures for the Photo Contest. I put together 20 pictures and then had certain people select and name 1 picture from that list. I then entered those pictures.

I liked the way this process worked out. I will do it again in the future, with only a slight tweak here and there.

These are the pictures that were entered:

15 Minutes

This picture was selected by Shannon. The picture was part of my experimentation with light painting. This is an experiment that I need to start back up again. The name comes from the flower being in the spotlight.

Iowa State Fair - 2008
Soaking up the Rays

This picture was selected by Teresa. This picture was taken at the State Fair.

Kentucky Vacation - 2008
Grains and Creases

This picture was selected by Jay. This picture was taken of wooden praying hands outside of a Baptist church in Paducah, Kentucky.

Deity Saturation

This picture was selected by my Mom. This picture was taken north of Boone. I actually named this picture. It comes from the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: “Nature is saturated with deity.”

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2008
“The Last Dragon”

I picked this picture because one person I asked to pick a picture never made a choice. I really can’t remember what I named this picture, but it might have been named after the classic 80s kung fu flick Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon. It is also possible that I named it “Jay LeRoy”. This picture was taken while I was sitting on my back on the sidewalk in front of the basilica in Dyersville. There has been a glow effect thrown onto this picture.

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - 2008
The Last Refuge

I also picked this picture because I needed to switch out another picture that didn’t print very well. This picture was originally in color, but I switched it to black and white because I wanted to enter more than 1 black and white picture. The name of this picture comes from the Samuel Johnson quote: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” This picture was taken at ground zero of the Ames fireworks show. This picture did get 3rd Place in the Black and White division. One more ribbon for the trunk.

I am currently taking application for photo selectors for next year.


More pictures that weren’t selected.

Miller Farm - 2008

This is a picture of June and Dean’s barn.

Field of Dreams Road Trip

This is a picture of the Basilica in Dyersville. This picture was actually originally selected for entry, but I decided that I didn’t really like the way it looked when it was printed, so it was removed.

A picture of a flower with a little Photoshop thrown in.

A picture of a flower.


A couple more pictures that were not selected.

Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad

I took this picture last year when Jay went on his first ever trip on the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. I threw this particular picture into the mix to see if anybody would consider selecting this picture because of the nature of the photo contest.

Nobody took the bait. That is good, because it would have been pandering on the scale of a John McCain VP nominee.

I took this picture at Jester Park. Jay was impressed by this picture and I gave it to him as a birthday present. I think of this picture as being melancholy at first glance, but as being hopeful the longer it is gazed upon.

I named this picture based on an Emily Dickinson poem.


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


Two more pictures that were not selected.


It took me some time to actually find one of these old merry-go-rounds. I searched high and low and only found one in Boone. Perhaps there is another one somewhere, but the only one I could find was at the Trinity playground.

The point of this picture was to convey movement by making the background a motion blur, but keeping the foreground in focus.


I don’t really have much to say about this picture. I can’t even remember when or where I took it. It is a black and white flower picture.