Category Archives: Calendar

Dogs with Papers

Today is the last day of 2019. Therefore, I will reveal the November and December images for the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar.

November Image:

2020 Calendar - November

The November image is a collection of dew drops that were trapped in a spiderweb. The spiderweb was located on a evergreen bush in my front yard. This picture was selected to be entered in the Boone County Fair Photography Contest by Michelle Haupt. It received a Blue Ribbon. This picture was taken July 14, 2018.


Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 60mm
Aperture: f/2.2
Exposure: 1/100
ISO: 100

December Image:

2020 Calendar - December

The December image is of Old Highway 30 crossing through the Des Moines River Valley between Boone and Ogden. The image looks west towards Ogden as the sun begins to set. On the left is the Jay Carlson Wildlife Area. In the distance Seven Oaks can be seen. This picture was entered in the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon, but was not selected for display. This picture was taken March 8, 2019.


Camera: Hasselblad L1D-20C
Focal Length: 10.3mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/400
ISO: 100
Altitude: 343.7 meters above sea level

That concludes the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar images. I hope you enjoyed them and I hope if you got a calendar, you enjoyed it too.


Before I left for the Mission Trip, I agreed to photograph the graduation of the Boone Area Humane Society’s Dog Obedience Class for Kio. Here are some of my favorite images from the experience:

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Guess I’ll see you in 2020. Happy New Year’s Eve if you’re the type that celebrates. I believe I have successfully escaped being invited to a New Year’s Eve Party for like at least the 10th straight year!

Week 225 Theme Reveal

Today I reveal the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar images for September and October.

2020 Calendar - September

The September image is of the Union Pacific Big Boy. It was taken a few miles east of Boone, near Jordan. It was taken on August 2, 2019. The Big Boy was on a tour to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.


Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 28mm
Aperture: f/8
Exposure: 1/400
ISO: 100

2020 Calendar - October

The October image was taken in the Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair. The subject is a monarch butterfly on top of a zinnia. The picture was taken on August 19, 2018.


Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 200mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/320
ISO: 400


If things go right, by the time you read these words I will be somewhere in Illinois or Missouri or maybe even Kentucky on my way back from Orlando, still high from a Cyclone victory of Notre Dame.

Therefore, when I get home from Orlando I will publish all the submissions for last week’s theme CANDID PORTRAIT.

However, just because I’m out cruising through the country, doesn’t mean you should be delayed on starting this week’s theme:

WEEK 225 - HDR

HDR! What a great theme! Wait a second. What the Hades is an HDR image?

Okay, so this is the one that I was pretty sure would end the double digit submission streak. If the holidays didn’t end it already, but CANDID PORTRAIT is a pretty easy theme especially when, is there a better CANDID PORTRAIT opportunity then little kids opening presents on Christmas morning?

But none of that answers the question what is an HDR image? HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Here is a great explanation from Digital Trends:

HDR stands for “high dynamic range.” For those who aren’t so acquainted with this high-tech shutterbug lingo, dynamic range is basically just the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark you can capture in a photo. Once your subject exceeds the camera’s dynamic range, the highlights tend to wash out to white, or the darks simply become big black blobs. It’s notoriously difficult to snap a photo that captures both ends of this spectrum, but with modern shooting techniques and advanced post-processing software, photographers have devised ways to make it happen. This is basically what HDR is: a specific style of photo with an unusually high dynamic range that couldn’t otherwise be achieved in a single photograph.

The best way to think of it is several pictures taken at different exposure levels, combined to create one image.

How the hades am I going to do that? Well, it isn’t as hard as you think. Pretty much every camera (including your phone camera) has a setting that will do this for you automatically. For example on my Pixel 2:

I can turn off and on HDR. Or even enhanced HDR. Look under you camera settings, you can find it there too.

You can also try to get fancy and take individual pictures yourself and try combining them yourself. You can even use an HDR toning program to create an HDR image from just one image.

As you can see, this isn’t an intimidating theme at all. You can literally take a picture of anything, as long as you change a setting on your camera before you take the picture.

It is almost too easy!

July/August Reveal

Today we reveal the images that graced the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar for the months of July and August.

Here is the July image:

2020 Calendar - July

The July image was taken of the Pig Races held at the Boone County Fair in 2018. I took this image for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, Page 77. The theme for Page 77 was “Instill a powerful sense of narrative in your picture.” It was selected to be entered in the Boone County Fair Photo Contest by Shannon Bardole-Foley. It earned a Purple Ribbon. It was taken on July 22, 2018.


Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture: f/5
Exposure: 1/2000
ISO: 250

The August image:

2020 Calendar - August

The August image is of a yellow lily that lives in the lily patch that surrounds the old clothesline pole in my backyard. I nominated this picture for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Nature category, but it did not get enough votes to be entered. It was taken July 14, 2018.


Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 60mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/200
ISO: 100

Tomorrow I will reveal the imagees from September and October.


Today we reveal the images for May and June from the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar.

The May Image:

2020 Calendar - May

The May image is of the Dunning Spring waterfall in Decorah, Iowa. Jesse and I took a road trip to check them out and to photograph them as my birthday road trip. I entered this picture in the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon, but it was not selected for display. In fact, the picture that was selected for display is not in the 2020 calendar. It is the September image for the 2019 calendar. This picture was taken on May 17, 2019.


Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 20mm
Aperture: f/18
Exposure: 1/2
ISO: 50

The June Image:

2020 Calendar - June

If you think it was weird that there was a picture from 2013 in the calendar, then this one will really mess with your head. This black and white image of a swan was taken at Lake Laverne on the beautiful campus of Iowa State University. I came across it when during our Saturday walks down memory lane as I restore old entries of “An Artist’s Notebook”. I liked it and I decided to throw it into the collection of nominees for the pictures I would enter in the Boone County Fair Photo Contest. I didn’t expect anybody to pick it, but Logan did. It won a Purple Ribbon. It was taken May 10, 2006.


Camera: Konica Minolta Dynax 5D
Focal Lenght: 300mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/500
ISO: 200

Tomorrow we’ll reveal the images for July and August.


The pictures in the folder 2009-08-05 are from the last Ames Jaycees event I ever attended. It was at that point just a formality. I had joined the Ames on the Half Shell Committee, therefore I was going to fulfill my duties. The moment that last not of the Ames on the Half Shell season faded from existence, I was Audi 5000.

Now that you have sat through several entries about my ill-fated time with the Ames Jaycees, I think you, loyal reader, deserve an explanation for why it came to an end.

I joined the Ames Jaycees for two reasons. First, a friend asked me to join. This person, we will refer to as “1”, was like 1000% into the Ames Jaycees. Her passion was somewhat contagious. I was also doing her a favor because recruiting a new member made her like a 33rd degree Mason. I don’t know, the inner workings and rankings of the organization were something I never cared about. Even when I was at my peak Jayceeness. Which I’m guessing was about January of 2009. my passion for the Jaycees was about a 5 on a scale of 1-10.

By March of 2009, I knew that that my time with the Jaycees was over, but I also knew, I would finish out the Ames on the Half Shell. I was a quitter, but I always finish out my commitments.

In January of 2009 I joined the Board as a Vice-President in some capacity. VP of Promotions or something like that. All it really meant was that I ran the website and had to go to an extra meeting a month. Which was okay, even though I am a person that to their very core, loathes meetings.

Which brings me to the other reason I joined the Jaycees. I needed an excuse to leave my house now and again. This provided that. I didn’t realize it would put so much undesired drama into my life.

The Board was split into basically two factions. There were 1’s friends, who were also all 1000% into the Jaycees. The other half of the boardroom was dominated by the President and his cronies. The President was apparently buggering one of the vice-presidents, which wasn’t cool because he was married, but not to the vice-president he was buggering. I can’t even recall how this even factored into the story, but it provided me with a chance to use the term buggering.

The President and the VP he was buggering didn’t like one of 1’s friends, we will call her 2. I think it was because 2 knew about the buggering, but I don’t know that to within a degree of certainy. What I do know is that what happened next is that the Buggered VP accused 2 of some creative accounting involving some kind of Halloween drinking outing that involved the Jaycees.

One reason why I was a 5 on the Jaycees at my peak Jayceeness was that they like to talk about drinking. I don’t mean they liked to drink. They liked talking about drinking. You know that thing that high school students and college students do when they drink, they can’t stop talking about it. “Look at me I’m drinking.” Yeah, nobody cares. Shut up and drink your Zima Chad.

This is all hypothetical at this point. I haven’t been around a high school student or college student that is drinking alcohol, since I left the service of the Evil Clown Empire, but I’m sure it hasn’t changed much. Other than, I assume that nobody drinks Zima now. White Claws?

But I digress…

The charges were at least 76% hokum that stemmed from some kind of personal grievance with 2. Plus, there might have been a bit of a power play in there. A chance to show dominance. A chance to show that the Buggered VP wasn’t the President, but she was still running this beach.

I think there was some kind of trial. Not really, it was really just one person’s word and then there was some kind of vote. 2 got sent to Jaycee prison. I think she wasn’t allowed to touch money for a year.

Almost as soon as the sentence was handed down, 1 and all of her friends resigned. Grabbed their Jaycee ball and went to Nevada and Des Moines. That left me alone. Like I said, I was a 5. In January. at this point, I was a 3. Even at a 3, I was willing to stick around and fight for the soul of the Ames Jaycees. When the people who were at a 1000% were like deuces and checked out, I was like make that 3 a -2.

The funny thing is that after everybody else left, 2 stuck around. I’m not sure if I respect that or not. Maybe I’ll have to talk to her about it someday.

I fulfilled my obligations and haven’t been to a Jaycee event since. I sometimes see them at the unofficial reunions and I chalk this up as a life lesson. I don’t leave my house now.

(This is how I remember everything going down, I’m sure some of my details aren’t 100% accurate, but if you are going to complain about that, you can bugger off.)

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

If you want to look at the pictures from the 2009 Ames on the Half Shell season, you can click on the link below:

Ames on the Half Shell – 2009

Next Saturday’s walk down Memory Lane will involve things I grew in my backyard.

A Photo Journal – Page 123

Today we will reveal the March and April images from the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar.

March image:

2020 Calendar - March

The March image was taken at the Harrier Marsh near Ogden. It was taken of the not best maintained gravel road that splits the marsh into two. It is taken from a drone. This image was taken on April 13, 2019.


Camera: Hasselblad L1D-20C
Focal Length: 10.3mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure: 1/800
ISO: 100
Altitude: 284.6 meters above Sea Level

April Image:

2020 Calendar - April

The April image is a yellow bird (that I have yet to identify) enjoying the cherry blossoms of one of my cherry trees. This image was taken on May 14, 2018.


Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 400mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/500
ISO: 320

Tomorrow we will reveal the images for May and June.


Here it is, the end of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. You didn’t think I’d ever get there, did you. Wherever I am when this publishes (probably in Tennessee is my guess), I will be drinking a steaming hot cup of coffee. Cause coffee is for closers. As of today, I am a closer!

Just kidding. Coffee is gross and I won’t be touching that trash. If there is any silver lining to be taken from man made climate change, it is that coffee is one of the first things that will stop growing. Bye-bye coffee. You won’t be missed.

Back to my Trevor Hoffman moment. This is the last page from THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:

Photo Journal - Page 123
Page 123 – Don’t take any more photographs -none- until you see something that emotionally moves you. Only then pick up your camera.

Phew! Thanks to everybody that will appear on one of the pages of the physical photo journal that sits on my coffee table:

DaeHee Yoon
Nora Yoon
Kyle Sharp and some random wrestler from Perry
Saydie Howard
Micky Augustin
Elainie Hernandez
Sabas Hernandez
Willy McAlpine
Logan Kahler
Brandon Kahler
Nader Parsaei
Ernie Redd
Russell Kennerly
Greg Wever
Jason Baier
Andree Jauhari
Shannon Bardole-Foley
Mike Vest
Jesse Howard
Joe Lynch
Johnathan Stensland
Autumn Sharp, Emily Bridges, Kassidy, and Myriah Sharp (I think)
Layla Gorshe
Kalista Howard
Taylan Howard
Tiffany Bloomquist
Doris Paris
Charlotte Bennett
Jay Janson
Anders Runestad
Alexis Stensland
Kanoa Baugher

If you wish to see all 105 pictures taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, click on the link below:


So, what is next? I hinted that I was going to tack a new photo project next year. There is a new project. In 2020 I’m going to tackle a book called “104 Things to Photograph”. There are 52 weeks in a year, there for I plan on taking 2 pictures a week.

The themes in this book are not nearly as ambitious as the themes in THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. Here is an example of some of the themes:

Jumping Rope
A Belly Laugh
A Neon Sign
What’s in your Pocket

I’m sure I’ll be calling on many of the people that appeared in THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT and I’m sure I’ll be calling on many other people as well. Stay tuned.


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


A CANDID PORTRAIT is a picture of somebody that isn’t posing for a picture. They can know that you are taking their picture, but they aren’t posing for the picture.

Happy photo harvesting!


Today we will reveal the January and February images for the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar.

The January image:

2020 Calendar - January

The January image was one of the earlier pictures I took with the drone. It was taken for the TRANSPORTATION theme of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. The image is of the original Kate Shelley High Bridge and the less pleasing aesthetically bridge that replaced it. This image was taken February 23, 2019.


Camera: Hasselblad L1D-20C
Focal Length: 28mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Exposure: 1/160
ISO: 100
Altitude: 420.3 meters above sea level

The February Image:

2020 Calendar - February

The February image is of a pink hollyhock that grew in my backyard. This photo was elected by popular vote to be entered in the Nature category of the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. It won first place in that category. This picture was taken August 6, 2013.


Camera: Sony SLT-A35
Focal Length: 60mm
Aperture: f/9
Exposure: 1/160
ISO: 400

We will reveal the March and April images tomorrow.


Back in March Logan got a dog. A dog named Sky. He brought it over to my house so Sky could meet Naima. Here are a few pictures of Sky:









I don’t know that I have seen Sky since this day. It would seem that Logan should correct that.

2019 Photography 139 Calendar

Yes Virginia, there was a Photography 139 Calendar this year. However, I didn’t sell them this year. I just made a small run and gave them out to a very few small group of select people.

Here are the pictures from the 2019 Photography 139 Calendar:

2019 Calendar - Cover

The front cover is a picture of William McAlpine peering through the hole in a brick. It was taken in the backyard of the Photography 139 Studio. It was taken for the FRAMED theme of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

This photo was entered into the 2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was accepted for display.

Willy is the first person to appear in a Photography 139 Calendar since the 2012 Calendar featured a final rendition of THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT that included images of AmyJunck-Wallendal, William McAlpine, Derrick Gorshe, Shannon Bardole, Jesse Howard, Jennifer Gorshe, Sara Junck, Jill Gorshe, and Jay Janson.

2019 Calendar - January

The January image was taken on a very foggy Christmas Eve morning. It was taken facing northeast from the road in upper Ledges State Park.

This image was entered in the 2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was selected for display.

2019 Calendar - February

The February image of a red hibiscus was taken in the Photography 139 Flower Garden in 2017.

Unfortunately, the hibiscus did not survive the winter and did not return to the Photography 139 Flower Garden in 2018.

2019 Calendar - March

The March image is of a lily is located in the Photography 139 Flower Garden. It is located in a designated lily patch near the birdbath.

While this macro photo might appear to be one image, it is actually the product of a technique called focus stacking. This image is actually 7 images with different focus ranges stacked one on top of the other.

This photo was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but it lost the popular vote and was not entered.

2019 Calendar - April

The April image was taken at The Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa. It was taken on a road trip with my Office Buddy Joe Lynch. It was taken with the in-camera black & white HDR setting.

This image was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme of the image was to go some place “touristy” and take a “non-touristy” picture.

The picture of Mary holding a crucified Jesus was selected for April to coincide with the celebration of Easter.

This image was entered in the Photoshop category of the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. It won 1st Place.

2019 Calendar - May

The May image is of the sculputre Skallagrim by Peter Lundberg. Skallagrim is located in the Franconia Sculpture Park near Shafer, Minnesota.

I took this photo on a trip there with Bethany, Dae Hee, and Nora.

The image is HDR toned and is used as the base image for a Small World image.

2019 Calendar - June

The June image was taken on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. It was taken on the Liberty Bowl Road Trip I took with Russell Kennerly and Jesse Howard to watch the Iowa State Cyclones defeat the Memphis Tigers.

The image was originally taken in color and was transformed into black and white in post production.

2019 Calendar - July

The July image is of a hollyhock from the Photography 139 Studio Flowerbed. This pink hollyhock grew in the dedicated hollyhock patch along the north fenceline.

This macro image was taken while experimenting with a new set of extension tubes.

This image was nominated for the flower category for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but was not entered.

2019 Calendar - August

The August image was taken in the midway of the Iowa State Fair. It was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme of the picture was to take a picture of something that is “nondescript during the day.”

The image was taken when I was able to sneak away during a break in the action of Baby Got Rack’s competitive barbecue competition.

The image was HDR toned in post-production.

2019 Calendar - September

The September image was taken of a grasshopper at Big Creek State Park near Polk City, Iowa. The image was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme for this image was to create a playlist and listen to it while taking pictures. The playlist I selected was the BABY DRIVER SOUNDTRACK. I was listening to the song “Bongolia” by Incredible Bongo Band when I took this image.

2019 Calendar - October

The October image of a ram lounging was taken in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. The image I was taken on the way home on a road trip I took with my Mom to Mount Rushmore.

This image was voted to be entered in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Nature Category.

2019 Calendar - November

The November image was taken at the Iowa State Fair in the Discovery Garden. It was originally taken in color and converted to black and white in post-production.

It was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Nature Category, but it was not entered.

2019 Calendar - December

The December image of an abandoned dump truck was taken in Boone, Iowa near the south terminus of Division Street.

The image was color processed through the Color Efex Pro 4 plugin during post production.

The image was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Hidden Treasures of Boone County category, but was not entered.


There are a few calendars to handout, but for the most part delivery has finished. Almost on time this year.

Mr. 3000

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”.

I do also have a goal of producing something that makes me worthy of having a pretentious sounding journal title like: “An Artist’s Notebook”.

With those words on August 9, 2006 this blog burst into the world with the blog entry titled:


Now here we are 4294 days later and I’m posting journal entry number 3,000.

The blog has changed quite a bit over the years. It started out as a blog that I physically coded and added to a website that I physically coded back when my website was hosted on Frank’s basement server. Then, I moved it to a third party company called Blogger. If you visit this URL, you can still see its pathetic remains:

An Artist’s Notebook – Blogger Version

After that, I still used Blogger, but I published An Artist’s Notebook to the server that currently hosts my website. The content was the same, but the URL changed. If you click on the link below, you can still see it’s pathetic remains, that are identical to the Blogger URL remains:

An Artist’s Notebook – Photography 139 Hosted Version

Well before this, I had changed my website over to WordPress. Even though WordPress has very powerful blogging tools, it wasn’t until March of 2010 that I started using WordPress and An Artist’s Notebook moved to (hopefully) its final URL:

An Artist’s Notebook – Current Incarnation

Last time I posted that An Artist’s Notebook had reached a milestone number of posts, I received a bunch of congratulations. I was confused by this because I didn’t feel it was necessarily an accomplishment. After all, I basically was just too stupid to quit. Just plugging along in relative obscurity, with a few loyal subscribers that send me emails or leave comments on the blogs scattered across the globe earth. A smarter person would have just stopped by now.

But instead, other than a slight walking away from An Artist’s Notebook back in the spring of 2015, nevertheless he persisted.*

I don’t know if just persisting is an accomplishment, but looking at the earlier formats for An Artist’s Notebook, I see that I used to link to several other blogs, that have either stopped updating or are just simply gone with the wind.

  • The original Little White Lye Soap website is gone, but it has been replaced by the Franklin Broomworks website.
  • Act of Gravity – BrogFrog’s band at one time is gone. True I don’t think Act of Gravity every played a show, but you could pretend.
  • Waxen Media – Vest’s website is still up, but hasn’t been updated since 2015. Although I’ve heard rumors that a comeback might be on the horizon.
  • Lesser Known Saint – My friend Mike’s old band website is still up, but they broke up in 2012.
  • Impassioned Versifier – Dawn’s poetry blog is still up, but she hasn’t versified, impassioned or otherwise since 2011. Get it together Dawn!
  • Mayor Goldie’s Website – Jesse’s website is frozen. He must have done something bad. Like giving up his dream of being mayor of Hill Valley.
  • – Still up, but the last post was in 2015.
  • Carla’s Blog, Teresa’s Blog, and J- The Online Magazine are all victims to Windows Live Spaces no longer being a thing. I miss knowing what was in Jay’s fridge.
  • Live Like A Champion Today – Mark’s blog on his Missionary Work is still up, but he no longer posts. He isn’t a missionary any longer, but he could make stuff up.
  • Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century – Died on October 1, 2010. Sad. I think we all remember where we were when we heard the blog about 19th century mustaches stopped production. I was grooming my beard.
  • True Wife Confessions – Died on October 28, 2012
  • I Found Your Camera – Date of death, lost.

I have to give props to the other people who are also too dumb to quit:

  • Horror Movie A Day – Sure he isn’t cranking them out like he used to, but he hasn’t given up the ghost.
  • A Novel Blog – The writing blog of a person I actually knew in the real world once. A very talented writer named S.E. White.

I’m still here. Let’s not make a big deal of it.

Even though An Artist’s Notebook is meant to complement the rest of the Photography 139 website and universe, I actually didn’t post a photo in the blog until a good 3 months after I started it. On October 20, 2006 history was made with the blog post:


This was the first picture ever posted to An Artist’s Notebook:

Groundhog Steve

A picture of a groundhog that lived behind the computer mine.

Although the seal was broken the floodgates didn’t exactly open. I didn’t post an image again until December 31, 2006. That picture was the back page of the the 2007 Photography 139 calendar.

2007 Back Page
Back from when I printed the calendars myself.

The picture flood gates really opened on January 5, 2007 with this post:


And these 2 photos:

Chocolate Milk Endorsement

Thinker Recreation

The rest, has been photographic history.

An observant reader of An Artist’s Notebook would have notice that my Saturday post walking down memory lane are partially done so that I can have a look at my old images and partially done so I can restore my old blog posts to their original glory. The reason why this is necessary is because in addition to having gone through several ways to post a blog, I also went through several hosting options for my photos.

The first one was a company known as Photobucket. Photobucket was a good free option. I used it from October 2006 up until October 2008.


I abandoned Photobucket because eventually I was going to outgrow their limits. Recently they stopped allowing people to embed images stored with them, so if you were to click on a journal entry from May 2008 to October 2008, you’d see something like this:


After Photobucket, I decided to host my pictures with a MySQL-PHP photo gallery called Coppermine. I ran with Coppermine from November 2008 until July 2011. I left those galleries up for several years, even though you couldn’t access them unless you had a direct URL. Also by leaving them up, pictures would still show up on the website. Unfortunately, those galleries were used to hack my website and take it down a few years back. As a result, I had to completely delete the galleries to close the security loophole in my website. So until I get the journal entries from November 2008 until July 2011 restored to their original glory, they will look something like this:

Then in April of 2011 I was hired to be the photographer for the American Red Cross Young Heroes event. They wanted to have a way that people could go to my website and buy pictures. I didn’t actually have a way to do that, so I needed to find one. I ended up with Smugmug. It was a service that a professional photographer I knew used and recommended. You can store unlimited photos there and people can buy them directly from your website.

American Red Cross Young Heroes

It took me a few months to realize that the Smugmug was the future of my photo hosting. It has unlimited data storage and it stores full resolution images.

That unlimited full resolution pictures is a pretty big deal because I have currently uploaded 45,005 images/videos that take up 395.59 GB of hard drive space. Probably not going to be slowing down any time soon on that front, either.

Also, if anybody every wanted to buy a print or a coffee mug or a puzzle or a mouse pad or a ceramic tile or a mahogany desk organizer or playing cards or photo key tag or coasters or a phone case with one of my pictures on it, they can do it straight from the website. Don’t worry people who submit photos for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. Those photos are not for sale on the website. Either are pictures from Graceland or of Iowa State athletic events. I can’t sell those for legal reasons.

While people can go to the gallery and leave comments on pictures and rate them up to 5 stars (hint: this will be how Pufferbilly Day Photo Contest and possibly Boone County Fair entries will be determined this year), the way I determine the most popular images is by views. Views statistics go back one year.

These are the 10 most popular Photography 139 Images (by views) of the last 10 Months:

#10 – Sidewalk Chalk – 1,223 Views – Picture taken for STILL LIFE in the WPC. Taken outside of the Ericson Public Library

9 Emotions Project - Johnathan
#9 – Johnathan Stensland – 1,261 Views – Taken for THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT in the Photography 139 Studio

Iowa State vs. Kent State>
#8 – Brett Meyer – 1,403 Views – Taken at the Iowa State vs. Kent State football game in 2007

Falls Park - Sioux Falls
#7 – Sioux Falls – 1,428 Views – Taken on my South Dakota Road Trip with my Mom

Saint Paul - Irish Fair
#6 – Nora – 1,493 Views – Taken at the Irish Fair in Saint Paul, Minnesota

#5 – Graffiti – 1,707 Views – Taken in downtown Ames for ART for the WPC

#4 – Reflection – 1,762 Views – Taken in Ledges for REFLECTION for the WPC

#3 – Angel Ornament – 3,197 Views – Willow Angel Ornament taken in my Mom’s house

#2 – Ground Squirrel – 3,732 Views – Ground squirrel on top of a shepherd’s hook at my Mom’s house

Selfie Project - January 27
#1 – With Alisa – 9,541 Views – Taken at Winter Jam in 2017 for THE SELFIE PROJECT

The following are links to the 5 Most Popular Photography 139 Photo Galleries:

Original 9 - Fear Composite
#5 – 9 Emotions Project – 23,417 Views

#4 – Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 5 – Alternates

#3 – Weekly Photo Challenge – Year 5 (34,203 Views)

#2 – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – YEAR 4 (52,673 Views)

December 30, 2017
#1 – THE SELFIE PROJECT – 2017 (62,509 VIEWS)

I also use a category system to organize my posts so that a person could find all the posts on a certain topic or a certain person. This is far from a scientific system and it is a moving target as I am re-categorizing old entries as I restore them. I’m trying to get rid of some of the more generic categories like “Photography” or “Life” or “Family” or “Friends” or “Religion”. But this is an ongoing process.

These are the 10 most popular categories on “An Artist’s Notebook”:

#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

10 Most Popular Not People Categories

#10 – Slice of Life – 189 Posts

#9 – Religion – 191 Posts

#8 – Road Trip – 217 Posts

#7 – Personal Photo Project – 259 Posts

#6 – Life – 274 Posts

#5 – Animals – 301 Posts

#4 – Portrait – 313 Posts

#3 – WPC (Formerly RWPE) – WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – 432 Posts

#2 – Flowers – 436 Posts

#1 – Photography – 440 Posts

If you are relatively new and are wondering what the heck a “Personal Photo Project” is, it came about at a time where I seemed to be working on a ton of other photo projects (for various entities) and seemed to be getting pulled a way from the pure joy of photography. At that time I decided to work on a Personal Photo Project once a week to keep photography from becoming a grind.

10 Most Popular People Categories

#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

You may be looking at the list and wondering, “what can I do to improve my Photography 139 Q Score?”

First, I should point out that these aren’t necessarily the people that have influenced by photography the most. That would be my Dad by having photography in the house. My Mom for buying me my first camera. Olivia for loving flower photography. The favicon on this website was her favorite flower picture. Carla and Teresa for doing photography with our Dad. The list could continue, but you get the idea.

However, these are the people that most influence this blog.

But about that Q-Score thing…

Obviously, the easiest way is to submit photos to the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. You could also volunteer to be a photo assistant on photo projects. Pose for THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT. Head out on the open road with me. Join an organization that I am in. Commission me to do work for you (i.e. photograph your baby, wedding, family, senior picture, work holiday card, church directory, soap, leather goods).

Follow those simple suggestions and someday, when we hit blog post number 3,500, you could see yourself in the Photography 139 Top 10. After all, Sara, you are knocking right on the door!

I also decided to update my profile pictures for Twitter and Instagram and Smugmug. Here is the new one below:

Social Media Profile Picture

That should work for another year or so!

I think that more than covers where the Photography 139 community currently sits. Until next time!

*I hope Elizabeth Warren doesn’t mind my appropriating this phrase. I guess it was accidentally created by a half man-half turtle creature and I am at least half a man. No turtle. I’ve had a grudge against turtles since The Great Turtle Race was fixed back in 2016. Sorry Mitch.

Final Day to Order – 2018 Photography 139 Calendar

A friendly reminder that today is the last day to order a 2018 Photography 139 Calendar!

The price of the calendar is still $10. A veritable bargain in this climate of rising prices!

I’m sure you are ready to plunk down $10 or $20 or $30 based on the high quality product that has existed in the past. I would gladly take your money, sight unseen, but I would at least like to reveal what pictures are in the 2018 Calendar.

Have a look:

2018 Calendar - Cover
Front Cover

2018 Calendar - January

2018 Calendar - February

2018 Calendar - March

2018 Calendar - April

2018 Calendar - May

2018 Calendar - June

2018 Calendar - July

2018 Calendar - August

2018 Calendar - September

2018 Calendar - October

2018 Calendar - November

2018 Calendar - December

Each picture was aligned with the month it was taken in. Okay maybe a hair of finagling was done at that front… I’ll never tell… Even if the .exif data will.

The calendars are 17 x 11 inches in size when they are open.

Calendar comes with a free Christopher D. Bennett business card. Good for getting you out of any life or death situation involving Boone toughs.

If you wish to order a calendar or calendar(s), you may email me at:

If you live within reasonable driving distance (about 45 minutes from Boone’s Golden Circle) I can hand deliver the calendar free of charge.

If the calendar needs to be mailed, there will be a shipping and handling charge of some kind.

Order fast! Supplies are limited!


Christopher D. Bennett
Photography 139
Chairman of the Board
Superintendent of Invention

Let’s Party

Don’t know that there is anything particularly special in these images from Iowa State’s Spring Game, but another notch in the back log is another notch in the back log.

Plus after Iowa State’s victory over Iowa on the basketball court last night, I felt like an Iowa State sports type post:

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

Spring Game - 2017

I never would’ve guessed, sitting in Jack Trice Stadium, on that Saturday afternoon, that this Cyclone team would go on to beat 2 Top 5 teams on the way to ending Iowa State’s bowl drought.

I already got my Liberty Bowl tickets ordered. Jesse, Russell, and I are going to Memphis!


Quick message from Photography 139 Shameless Commerce Division:

At this time, 40% of the 2018 Photography 139 Calendars have been sold:

2018 Calendar - Composite

If you wish to purchase one, they are $10. I will hand deliver for free anywhere in Boone’s Golden Circle. Otherwise, I will ship anywhere in the United States for a small fee. If you are interested in purchasing a Photography 139 Calendar, contact the email address below:

I will only keep tagging the end of the blog posts with this commercial message until I’m sold out.