Category Archives: Nature

Selfie Project – March

It has been awhile since we checked in with THE SELFIE PROJECT. I figured today was as good of a day as any to check out March before April is over.

I’m not sure I did more interesting things in March than I did in February or January where it felt like I never left the house. I think I’ve continued that in April. I actually even left the state in April!

Here are my favorites from March:


March 1, 2019
March 1

March 2, 2019
March 2

March 3, 2019
March 3

March 4, 2019
March 4

March 6, 2019
March 6

March 7, 2019
March 7

March 8, 2019
March 8

March 9, 2019
March 9

March 10, 2019
March 10

March 12, 2019
March 12

March 14, 2019
March 14

March 16, 2019
March 16

March 17, 2019
March 17

March 19, 2019
March 19

March 21, 2019
March 21

March 22, 2019
March 22

March 23, 2019
March 23

March 24, 2019
March 24

March 26, 2019
March 26

March 28, 2019
March 28

March 29, 2019
March 29

March 31, 2019
March 31

No doubt you already excited to see my April “adventures”.

Back to Harrier

A couple Saturdays back I took Rodan139 back to the Harrier Marsh for a bit of a joy flight. I’m not sure I really had an agenda. Just wanted to take it out for a bit of a flight and snap a few photos.

It was on this trip that I did decide that I would like to actually post some drone videos on YouTube. I don’t really enjoy video editing and I’m not much of a vlogger, but we’ll see where this takes me. Probably not that far, but when I do get my first drone video up I’ll let you know and then you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Right now I’m a mere 980 subscribers short of being allowed to broadcast live on YouTube.

Here are some pictures i took at the Harrier Marsh:


Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Since these pictures were taken, they have burned out much of Harrier Marsh. The new plants should be coming in shortly and it will look very different next time we visit there, I’m sure.

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 90

A couple weekends back up I went to Minnesota to check out the Final Four festivities and check-in with a few people I hadn’t seen for a long time.

On Sunday morning I hit a donut shop with Becca and Shawn. Then I went to Minnehaha Falls to kill sometime before meeting Sarah, Shawn, and Addie at Revival. I figured that this trip was a great time to knock out Page 90 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. Even though it was absolutely just pouring down.

I made the walk to from the parking lot to Minnehaha Falls, protecting the camera as best as I could. I took a few pictures and then it really started pouring down. By the time I got to the car every inch of me was completely soaked.

I was so soaked that even after a 30 minute or so wait at Revival and about an hour eating and talking, my shirt only had a few dry spots on it.

Here is the picture that will be physically adhered to Page 90 of the physical PHOTO JOURNAL:


Photo Journal - Page 90
Page 90 – Create ambiguity with a blend of artificial and natural light

Pretty much every camera (even your cell phone) has white balance. This is where you set the kind of light that is dominant in your scene. It is set on Auto White Balance so that you don’t have to think about it. This is the type of thing that in the olden days you had to do with film. Film was balanced for different kinds of light. Pretty much all consumer film was balanced for daylight. Which is why when you took pictures inside, there was often a strange color cast to it.

The same thing happens when you take your color balance off of auto and set it for a type of light that isn’t in your picture. For example, in the picture of Minnehaha Falls, I set the white balance to tungsten. Since the lighting of this picture could be best described as shady, it the camera cast a blue hue on the image, thinking it was seeing tungsten light. Different kinds of lights have different color temperatures. You can make surreal images by setting your white balance against type.

One of the advantages of shooting in RAW is that you can change the white balance to whatever you want it to be. So I changed half the white balance from the image above to shady, so you can see what the image would have conventionally looked like:


Photo Journal - Page 90

Admittedly, I did play up the blue cast of the images a bit in post.

Here are a few other images I took at Minnehaha Falls:


Photo Journal - Page 90

Photo Journal - Page 90

Photo Journal - Page 90

Photo Journal - Page 90

Photo Journal - Page 90

I’m still on goal to knock out one page of the PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT a week. This week I’m looking at knocking out one of these pages:

Page 97 – Photograph a human as though it were an animal.
Page 84 – Photograph a lie.
Page 43 – Take a picture that only works in Black & White.
Page 37 – Use aperture to capture melancholy

You could be featured in just such a picture.

+++++++

Reminder that the theme for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is RELIGION:


WEEK 188 - RELIGION
RELIGION

A RELIGION picture is any picture that involves the practice of a RELIGION. From a picture of a religious building, to a religious symbol, to a religious book, to a religious service.

Happy photo harvesting!

Lazarus Come Out!

A few weeks back Rodan139 took a tremendous tumble from the sky. According to the flight log, Rodan139 fell out of the sky from 190 feet. It was going 40.3 MPH when it hit sweet, round, Mother Earth.

Rodan139 was a hurting unit when I got to it. A couple arms were broken off, the camera was barely hanging on, and most of the body was considerably damaged.

To be brutally honest, it sucked. However, Rodan139 is just a machine. So I picked up his pieces and threw them in the Sir Pixalotmobile and Jason and I drove to Luther to have a tasty lunch.


Whatcha Smoking Tenderloin

Let me tell you, nothing mends the cracks in an emotional broken heart while at the same time clogs up the plumbing of a physical heart like a tasty, tasty tenderloin*.

After lunch I went home and did some research on the level of fiscal pain this accident was going to cause me. I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap, but the worst case scenario was that I was going to have to push off the purchase of the Sony RX0 that I have been coveting for a few months now (but that is another dilemma for another time).

I contacted DJI Repair and they sent me a UPS Label to send Rodan139 into them. I boxed it up and sent it off and waited. What happened next surprised me.

They covered the whole thing. All the parts. All the labor. All the shipping. Covered. And what was covered wasn’t cheap.

Here is a list of everything they covered and what it would have cost:

Item List

Gimbal Axis Arm Module (Pro)

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 160.00

Total Price: 160.00

Upper Cover Module

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 11.00

Total Price: 11.00

Middle Frame Module

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 13.00

Total Price: 13.00

Core Board Module

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 320.00

Total Price: 320.00

Vibration Absorbing Board (Upper)

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 2.00

Total Price: 2.00

Rear Arm Module (Left)

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 21.00

Total Price: 21.00

Front Arm Module (Left)

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 24.00

Total Price: 24.00

Front Arm Module (Right)

Quantity: 1

Net Price : 24.00

Total Price: 24.00

Repair Service Fee

Quantity: 2

Net Price : 65.00

Total Price: 130.00

Tax

0.00

Shipping Cost

0.00

Total Amount

705.00

Discount

705.00

Total Payment (USD$)

0.00

You read that right. It could have cost me $705.00, but it cost me nada. Zilch. The big goose egg. Hmmmm…. I wonder what also costs about $705? That is a discussion for another time though.

What is not a discussion for another time is how amazing DJI’s Customer Service is. I was very impressed and I was glad that I decided to go with DJI when I decided to take a stab at aerial photography.

Yesterday at approximately 4:05 PM I was reunited with Rodan139. Now that I am complete again, I feel I can share a couple of pictures taken from that last fateful flight that ended in carnage of twisted wire and broken plastic.


Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Yesterday it was a little windy, so I took Rodan139 out for another very shorty maiden voyage.


Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

The last picture I took in my backyard as I wanted to test a night photography setting.

I definitely was the most nervous I have ever been on one of these little flights. In particular, there was a moment when I was out at the Harrier Marsh when Rodan139 was surrounded by a flock of birds. Visions of a bird smashing it to it and it tumbling to the ground danced in my head. I quickly rose above the birds, but I was shocked out how close they came to it. A mental note was made for future trips out to Harrier.

The weather on Saturday and Sunday does look promising. Although Saturday, Baby Got Rack might be doing a little research project. Oh… I’ve said too much.

*At this time, there will not be a review of the tenderloin. While I have very good perspective on what is actual tragedy and what is just “well that sucks”, I still wasn’t in the proper state of mind to properly assess the tenderloin.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 185 – WATER

The high submission rate hit a second straight week. If we get a third week that is called a streak. If we get a streak going, we might just force a one game playoff with the Yankees where our catcher calls his shot but it is a fake and he bunts and our streak centerfielder scores from second base. He will look like Wesley Snipes, but next season he will look like Omar Epps.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about baseball season (Padres are 3-1 by the way), you came to see the submissions:


WEEK 185 - WATER - BECKY PAREMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 185 - WATER - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 185 - WATER - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 185 - WATER - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 185 - WATER - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 185 - WATER - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 185 - WATER - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 185 - WATER - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 185 - WATER - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 185 - WATER - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 185 - WATER - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 185 - WATER - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 185 - WATER - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 185 - WATER - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 185 - WATER - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 185 - WATER - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

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 186 - TOOL
TOOL

TOOL! What a great theme! But what is a TOOL photo? A TOOL photo is any photo of a TOOL. A TOOL at rest. A TOOL in action. Of course there is more than one definition of TOOL.

I look forward to seeing you interpretations!

HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

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

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date. It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.

A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

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

+++++++

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

Requiem for Rodan139

You probably thought that with the weather warming up, you’d see more drone pictures courtesy of Rodan139. However, sadly. I have to report that Rodan139 met with a bit of a tragedy a couple weeks ago.

Inexplicably, Rodan139 just fell out of the sky from about 200 feet. It was quite badly damaged. I didn’t take pictures of it because it was just too sad.

It isn’t all bad news though. Rodan139 will be back to prowling the friendly skies in a couple of weeks. It is at the Drone Doctor right now. It should be repaired and back home in about 2 more weeks or so.

The best part, because Rodan139 is still under warranty, what would have been a several hundred dollar repair bill is going to cost nothing. I can’t speak highly enough of DJI at this point.

However, before Rodan139 had its crash, I did have another trip with it out to the Jay Carlson Wildlife Area to experiment a little bit with some of its panorama settings.

Here are some of the pictures from that day:


Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

I want to enter an aerial photograph into the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon this year. When Rodan139 and I are reunited, we will have to get cracking. The entry deadline is less than 3 months away!

+++++++

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


WEEK 185 - WATER
WATER

A WATER photo is any photo that involves WATER. It is that simple.

Happy photo harvesting!

It Stands for the Sun

Yellow.

Yellow is the most recent filter from the super cheap filter set that I cracked out and tested. I still took mostly pictures of Naima, but I actually left my yard and went out to Dickcissel.

This, was perhaps, not the best plan. With all the space to roam, Naima is definitely harder to photograph at Dickcissel. Also, your shutter speeds often slow down when using filters, so a dog running all over the place isn’t the best subject. But I made do.

You might be wondering what a yellow filter does in black & white photography.

Here is an explanation from shuttermuse.com:

A Yellow filter absorbs all coloured light except yellow. It is the most-popular colored filter used with black and white film. Because a yellow filter absorbs blue, it provides significantly greater contrast between blue and yellow or white subjects. The classic example of the use of a yellow filter is when shooting black and white scenes which include portions of a cloud filled sky. Use of a yellow filter in this situation significantly darkens the blue portions of the sky, whilst allowing the clouds to remain bright and vibrant. This change in contrast gives the sky a vastly improved sense of depth and drama.

Here are some pictures from the yellow filter photo shoot:


Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

Naima decided she needed to dig a giant hole while we were out there. Here are a couple pictures in color to help you appreciate the mess she made:


Yellow Filter Test

Yellow Filter Test

The next filter I will test will be the green filter.

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 122

I have been absolutely horrible about working on THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT lately. This will be the first post I’ve had since December 28, when I posted pictures of Andy’s progeny competing in the ages old activity of wraslin’.

I need to put my nose to the grindstone and stop getting stuck in cases of intellectual paralysis. I got to stop overthinking each theme and perhaps more importantly getting overly married to 1 or 2 concepts per theme. I absolutely intend to take at least one of these pictures every week.

By my calculations I have 31 pages left to complete. My goal is to have this finished by the 4th of July.

Expect for me to bug you about potentially being in or assisting in one of these project very soon.

I have a couple other projects I want to get going and I don’t want to just quit on this one. My mama didn’t raise any quitters. If she did, it must be one of my sisters.

With that in mind, last Thursday night I went out and knocked out Page 122 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:


Photo Journal - Page 122
Page 122 – Take a picture by the light of the full moon.

Here are a couple alternates I took a long time and never liked enough to publish:


Page 122 - Reject

Page 122 - Reject

I kept holding out for taking picture of an abandoned car and another idea I never pulled the trigger on was an abandoned school on Highway 169 near Highway 141.

This week, I hope to pull the trigger on 1 of the following themes:

+Page 16 – Photograph the last thing that made you laugh.
+Page 36 – Use shutter speed to capture ANGER!
+Page 43 – Take a picture that only works in B+W.
+Page 82 – Show us the world is flat.
+Page 109 – Change a word to change its meaning.

But we’ll see how the cookie crumbles.

It is Beyond Dimensions

Time to reveal another filter test from the super cheap Neweer filter set I purchased on Amazon several weeks back.

This time the filter that is up is the blue filter.

Here is a description of what a blue filter does in black & white photography from photographymad.com:

Blue filters are rarely used for black and white photography. They darken most colours and reduce contrast across an image.

When used correctly, this reduced contrast can be useful for giving a shot a calm, soothing atmosphere. A blue filter also increases the appearance of haze and mist, making it handy for enhancing the mood of an early-morning scene.

Here are a ton more pictures of Naima taken with a blue filter:


Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Naima Blue Filter Test

Blue Filter Test

Blue Filter Test

Blue Filter Test

Blue Filter Test

Blue Filter Test

Blue Filter Test

i would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the lighting conditions were considerable harsher than when I did the red and orange filter tests.

The next filter to be texted will be the yellow filter.

11-15-08

The pictures from the folder 11-15-08 are from the final home game in Iowa State’s Gene Chizik era.

I can still remember the afternoon I head that Chizik was leaving for Auburn. I was driving around with Jason looking at potential houses when the rumors came across the radio.

We were looking at a house where the current occupant had smoked so much that you could smell it from the driveway. It was awful. As awful as these rumors. Rumors that I scoffed at and dismissed out of hand.

Auburn was not necessarily a national power, but they were certainly a national name. They had just fired a coach that consistently won 8 or 9 games a season. There was no way they were going to hire a coach who had gone 5-19 at Iowa State. A coach who had lost his last 10 games. Many of them weren’t even close.

38-10
35-7
59-17
52-20

But it still happened. Auburn hired Chizik. Iowa State was without a head coach. I was still without a house. It was a weird world.

Here are a few pictures from the Iowa State-Missouri game from 2008:


Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

Iowa State vs. Missouri - 2008

The tailgating pictures make me nostalgic. I do need to do more tailgating this season than I have the last few. I probably say that every year though.

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entry to its original glory:

It Ends

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane involves the Living History Farms Run and a very special cribbage board.