Category Archives: Photo Journal

A Photo Journal – Page 104

Last Friday I took a birthday road trip with Jesse. It wasn’t my birthday, but it was the day before my birthday and I knew my actual birthday was going to be filled with working on my Mom’s bedroom ceiling and graduation open houses. So I took Friday off from work and Jesse and I hit the open road.

The ultimate goal of the road trip was to visit and photograph two waterfalls in the Decorah area. I had visited one of them a couple years back and I was never really satisfied with the photographs I took. The other waterfall I had never seen and it sounded very intriguing as it was described as a 1 mile hike to even get to it.

I have tons of photos of these two waterfalls coming in upcoming blog posts. Also pictures of a Civil War re-enactment with some of the “friendliest” folks you ever met in your life, plus a few new entries into THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, pictures of The Little Brown Church, and The Smallest Church.

Plus there is a bunch of video I’m going to edit into a vlog at some point. On this trip I fully intended to take a picture for Page 104 of The Photo Journal. I knew exactly how I wanted to take this picture. I wanted to take it with Rodan139. Unfortunately it rained pretty much all of the day and I wasn’t risking Rodan139 in rain. It isn’t supposed to fly in rain and at this time, I’m not going to push the boundaries.

Luckily, when we were at The Smallest Church, the sky was precipitation free and it fit my definition of the theme for Page 104:

Photo Journal - Page 104
Page 104 – Keep walking until you are lost. Take a photograph the moment you realize you are lost.

Now we weren’t lost, not in the traditional sense. I knew where we were, but I didn’t know the fastest way to get back on the path home without pulling up the GPS. That is as lost as I get. We didn’t walk to The Smallest Church, but seriously, there is zero chance I’m ever going to get lost walking. My sense of direction is just too good.

The Littlest Church is sometimes billed as The World’s Smallest Church, but it isn’t. It isn’t even close. However it is very small. The church seats 8 people and measures 14′ x 20′.

A Photo Journal – Pages 84-85

A few Saturdays back I went out to Long Park with Johnathan and Logan to test Rodan139 out as there were some quirky things that happened with it on the previous day when I took it to Don Williams. Turned out it was more of a phone update issue than anything and was nothing to worry about. Rodan139 is fine and dandy. At least for right now.

The videos I took of Logan and Johnathan will show up on the YouTube channel at some point, but that point isn’t exactly soon.

While we were out there, it was the perfect time to knock off Pages 84 & 85 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. This idea is stolen, I mean “influenced” by an illustration I once saw.

Photo Journal - Page 84
Page 84 – Photograph a lie.

Photo Journal - Page 85
Page 85 – Photograph a truth.

I don’t want you to think the truth is that Logan and Johnathan don’t get along. They certainly do. In fact, Johnathan, Logan, and Brandon worked like a seamless machine just the other day while hanging ceiling drywall at my Mom’s house.

For those wondering about the knives. Logan is holding my basement knife that is mostly used for opening popcorn bags. It was gifted to me by Vest. Johnathan is holding by upstairs knife. It is mostly used to open up UPS packages. That knife belonged to my Dad.

I did consider using my car knife, which was gifted to me by Kim, but it was left in my car and Johnathan drove.

More Photo Journal Project coming.


A couple Saturdays back I went to downtown Ames to watch Evie’s piano recital, making her the third Gorshe I have now seen in concert. just 3 more to go and I will have collected the entire set. Although I think it will be awhile before the twins are ready to tackle the music scene.

I arrived at the concert venue about 45 minutes early, so I figured I would knock out Pages 74 & 75 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT.

Pages 74 & 75 are to make “A record of interesting backgrounds that I can return to later should I need to shoot someone’s portrait.”

There are spots for 11 of these backgrounds in the physical PHOTO JOURNAL. As you will quickly find out, I’m partial to brick walls. Decrepit brick walls.

Photo Journal - Page 74-75

Photo Journal - Page 74-75

Photo Journal - Page 74-75

Photo Journal - Page 74-75

Photo Journal - Page 74-75

Photo Journal - Page 74-75
This wall is actually in Boone.

Photo Journal - Page 74-75

Photo Journal - Page 74-75

Photo Journal - Page 74-75

Photo Journal - Page 74-75

Photo Journal - Page 74-75

Plenty more from THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT coming this week!

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 113

I can’t say that I’m particularly proud of this picture. It isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse. If I thought about it more, it is something I would’ve had Jay help with. But I’m committed to not getting too hung up on quality and forging ahead and finishing off THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. I’m committed to knocking off at least one page a week and being finished with this project by the end of the summer.

With that in mind, I present Page 113 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:

Photo Journal - Page 113
Page 113 – Photograph a vegetable so it looks like a body part.

My rough estimate is that I have about 25-30 of these pages still to knockout.

The next time we check in with THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, it will most likely involve one of these pages:

PAGE 112 – Take a picture inspired by the last thing that jolted you awake.
PAGE 121 – Show us photography is a form of magic.
PAGE 116 – Shoot an advert where the image says it all without the need for any additional copy.
PAGE 74-75 – A record of interesting backgrounds.
page 20 – Make something big look small.


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


A GREEN photo is any photo that involves the color GREEN. Remember that there are more than one definition of the term GREEN.

Happy photo harvesting!

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 32

Last Saturday Logan stopped by to show me his super sweet gimbal and to borrow my Rode microphone to see if it is something that he wanted to add one to his arsenal in the future.

I hadn’t actually touched the Rode in probably 4 or 5 years. I guess that isn’t 100% true. I picked it up and put it in the Photography Closet. But I haven’t actually attached it to the microphone in several years.

When I pulled it out of the closet I was shocked to find out that the battery was still alive. Which was a good thing because I was also shocked to discover it used a 9 volt battery.

After playing with the gimbal for a bit, Logan and I went out to McHose Park to take a picture for Page 32 for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:

Photo Journal - Page 32
Page 32 – Contrast movement and stillness in a single frame.

We took a few other images while we were out there:

Photo Journal - Page 32

Photo Journal - Page 32

Photo Journal - Page 32

Next week when we check in with the PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, we might check in with one of these pages:

Page 36 – Use shutter speed to capture anger!
Page 37 – Use aperture to capture melancholy.
Page 43 – Take a picture that only works in black & white.
Page 84 – Photograph a lie.
Page 109 – Photograph a word to change its meaning.


This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is DESSERT.


A DESSERT photo is any photo involving a delicious, tasty DESSERT.

Happy photo harvesting!

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 68

The journey to taking the picture for Page 68 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT is one that came completely out of nowhere. I certainly didn’t see it coming. I don’t think anybody saw it coming.

It all started when I got home from Youth Group a couple weeks back and saw a bunch of text messages on my phone from Logan. It had been a fascinating night at Youth Group. Pastor Doug came and talked to the youth about the multi-million dollar public relations disaster for the United Methodist Church that was the Saint Louis Conference.

If you aren’t Methodist or don’t follow the news, the Saint Louis Conference was a conference where a bunch of Methodists got together to decide what to do about homosexuality. Just like Jesus wanted. People getting together in big meetings, with a ton of parliamentary rules, to discuss a topic he wouldn’t care about.

He’d be like, “You guys do that. I’m just going to be over here loving people. You might want to think about joining me.”

I have no doubt that Jesus would be throwing all sorts of shade at the modern church. Not just the Methodist Church, but all the pedo-church down the street and the church across town that makes divorcees second class members and the church out in the country that spends a fortune on having a beautiful building but turns it back on the suffering widow and the starving child.

Borrowing from Carlos A. Rodriguez:

Here’s what Jesus did NOT say:

Welcome the stranger, if he has money.
Feed the hungry, who earned the food.
Love your neighbor, when it’s good for the economy.
Give water to the thirsty, once they pay their dues.

Rule. Don’t server.
Be first. Not last.
Take and keep taking.


Borrowing from Barbara Brown Taylor:

The only clear line I draw these days is this: when my religion tries to come between me and m neighbor, I will choose my neighbor… Jesus never commanded me to love my religion.

Remember, 100% of the people you hate were created in God’s image.

There were basically two plans on the table. (That isn’t 100% accurate, but you don’t want to be here all day do you?) One plan was called the Traditional Plan and it was basically, “Hey we’re going to take a couple verses in Leviticus out of context and then forget about literally almost everything Jesus said and pretty much make that our thing. You cool with that? If you don’t agree and step out of line, we’re going to hit you with a bunch of punishments.”

This was put forward by the super conservative churches that our drawn to Christianity because they think it is a way they get to judge other people. Which I get, judging other people makes you feel really good about yourself without having to earn that feeling. It is almost like found money.

My understanding is that this super bigoted plan was put forth by these conservative churches with the intention that it would never pass. Then they could cry foul, take their ball and go home. Their ball being that they could break off from the rest of the Methodists and have their Klan lite meetings without anybody bothering them.

The other plan was the One Church Plan. It basically said, “Hey guys, we aren’t all going to agree on this one issue, but this whole Jesus thing is a whole lot bigger than one issue. So let’s let each church and Pastor do their own thing. If officiating gay weddings is your bag, we dig it, go do it. If it isn’t, that’s like super judgmental, but we won’t force it on you.”

Well, the Traditional Plan passed. So yeah. Sucks to be a Methodist.

But the news isn’t all bad. The Traditional Plan is super unconstitutional (because of a bunch of super boring technical financial issues) and has been sent to the Methodist Judicial Council where it will crash to the ground faster than a Boeing 737 Max 8.

Now the youths weren’t being super talkative. So I had all the people in the room that wear glasses stand on one side of the room and told them for the purpose of this exercise, what would they do if I told them that they were only allowed to come back to Youth Group if they gave up their glasses wearing lifestyle.

Many of them threw their glasses off. They said, they would be willing to cover up who they were to keep coming to Youth Group and that made sad. I dare say melancholy.

Now this exercise was I’m sure was subconsciously based on the C.S. Lewis quote:

“I believe in Christ, like I believe in the sun – not because I see it, but by it I can see everything else.”

But then something that will go on the list of my favorite things that I have ever seen with the youth group happened when two of the youths told me that what they would do if they were kicked out of Youth Group for living a practicing eye glass wearing lifestyle. They said that they would build a giant pair of glasses and put it on the church building.

They were being probably about 40% facetious and another 40% punk, but I thought: “My God! These kids have created the perfect metaphor for the situation we are in.”

Much of the rest of the night’s conversation surrounded the gender fluid and transsexual kids that they knew and ways that they can be their allies in what is probably the worst roughest part of life. High School.

The conversation lasted well past the time we are supposed to close up shop. I feel that is was a successful night.

When I got home it was then that I saw all the text messages from Logan. They were pictures of old doors. One had my Dad’s name and my Uncle David’s name on it. The other had artwork drawn on it, by my Dad. I had never seen these doors. I didn’t know they existed.

My Dad passed away two days before Christmas when I was nine years old. My Uncle David passed away before I was born. This artwork had to date back to the early 1960s.

Logan is the someday to be Pulitzer Prize winning editor of the Boone News Republican. For reasons that aren’t clear, but also aren’t important, his job landed him at Paradox. I think the best way to describe Paradox is that it is an art and antique and craft store. Yes, Boone has a ton of them. But Paradox is different. The kind of things they sell in there are strange. Maybe even a little twisted. Basically, not the type of thing you’d expect to see in Boone.

Somehow Logan got a tour of the entire building that Paradox owns. It used to be Ensley Photography Studio, but right now it is being rehabbed into something entirely different.

On the second floor of the building there is an old vaudeville stage. In this area, there is a door. On the window are the names Gerald D. Bennett and John D. Bennett. In a pile of doors off to the side is a door that is the work of Doc Bennett.

From talking to my Mom, Logan figured out that this building used to be apartments. My Dad lived there after divorcing his first wife. Uncle David lived there with his first wife. This was in the early 60s. They were still there almost 60 years later.

I told Logan that I needed to see these doors and to see if they would sell one of them to me. Logan went back and setup an appointment to get a tour again on that Saturday.

It was on this tour that I took the picture for Page 68 of the PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:

Photo Journal - Page 68
Page 68 – Let a window do all the talking.

Now the actual purpose of Page 68 in THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT isn’t to find a window with artwork on it. It is actually to put a subject next to a window and take their picture lit by the light coming through the window.

However, when the wording is “Let a window do all the talking”, you better believe that I haven’t had a window talk to me like that window talked to me.

Here are a few other pictures I took of artwork, some of it kind of creepy, that I absolutely can’t believe are still there 60 years later:

Photo Journal - Page 68

Photo Journal - Page 68

Photo Journal - Page 68

Photo Journal - Page 68

After the tour I did inquire about buying the door from the husband and wife team that owns Paradox. They said, that they would have to think about it, but they thought that they would. I gave them one of my super fancy Photography 139 business cards so that they could contact me. I haven’t heard from them yet, so I may have to go back in and inquire again.

The next time we check into the PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, we will look at Page 90.


This is your reminder that this week’s theme for the WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is FAVORITE COLOR:


A FAVORITE COLOR photo is any photo that involves your FAVORITE COLOR.

Happy photo harvesting!

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 82

Last Saturday I continued on my goal to try to finish THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT as Joe agreed to pose for Page 82.

Before you ask, yes, Joe legitimately think the world is flat. Not only does he believe that the world is flat, he is an evangelical for the theory. He spends hours upon hours posting on Facebook and YouTube about his belief that the earth is flat.

He sells flat earth shirts. He orders books about the earth being flat. He intended to go to the Flat Earth Convention last year. He plans on going this year. He says he can not date a girl that isn’t open to the earth being flat.

It isn’t a joke to Joe. It is a core, perhaps the core part of his identity.

Here is Page 82:

Photo Journal - Page 82
Page 82 – Show us the world is flat.

Now the original intent of “Show us the world is flat” was to get up high and look down on the earth and then compress the image by using a telephoto lens. I decided to go in a different direction.

Photo Journal - Page 82

My goal is still to knock at least one of these pictures out a week. I have yet to take one this week as I haven’t had the free time I expected yet, but these are some of the ones I’ve been thinking on:

PAGE 21 – Make something small look big.
PAGE 43 – Take a picture that only works in black & white.
Page 68 – Let a window do the talking.
Page 90 – Create ambiguity with a blend of natural and artificial light.


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


Remember that a TOOL photo is simply any photo involving a TOOL. Remember that there are multiple definitions of the world TOOL.

Happy photo harvesting!

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.

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 13

Before we dig into the meat of this blog, I should point out that I’m (hopefully) in San Antonio right now. Getting ready to root for the Cyclones against the Washington State Cougars in the Alamo Bowl.

You should definitely sit down and root the Cyclones to victory.

The game starts at 8 PM Central Standard Time. The channel is ESPN. Root hard, because better believe that I will be!


Last Thursday night Andy texted me and invited me to come to an event I’ve never been to in my life. Something I’ve never really wanted to attend. However, it involved his progeny Kyle and Kyle is a good egg, so I figured, “Why not?”

It was also a good chance to put Page 13 into the completed column of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:

Photo Journal - Page 13
Page 13 – Take a picture that helps you come to terms with a personal hang-up.

How is a high school wrestling meet a personal hang-up? It isn’t really. It is more like Youth Sports is kind of a personal hang-up of mine. I helped coach Little League for 10 years and I saw very little good come from the experience.

I can say that wrestling also isn’t my thing. I don’t hold any ill-will towards the sport, but it just isn’t my thing.

I appreciate the discipline, hard work, and commitment it takes to be a wrestler, I just don’t understand why you wouldn’t take those same things and direct them towards something fun… like basketball. You know, the best sport.

But I have agreed to go to 1 Kyle wrestling meet every year for the next 3. 2 if he makes it to State.

While I can only physically adhere one picture in the physical THE PHOTO JOURNAL, I did take several more wrestling pictures.

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Page 13 - Alternate

Not sure what page we will cross off next time we check-in with THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. Perhaps that page will be crossed off in San Antonio!


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


A FRIENDS image is a picture of FRIENDS or anything that comes along with having FRIENDS.

Happy photo harvesting!

A Photo Journal – Henry Carroll – Page 88

My favorite church service of the year is undeniably the Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve.

The last 4 weeks at Youth Group we have been having our own Advent Candle series.

It culminated on Wednesday when we lit the Love Candle and then the Christ Candle and then had our own Candlelight Service.

It was the perfect time to take Page 88 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:

Photo Journal - Page 88
Page 88 – Take a picture inspired by your favorite poem

I took this picture in the worst way possible. I put the DSLR on a little tripod in the front of the room and controlled it with my smart phone, while running the ceremony. The results were less than spectacular, but they are what they are. I’ll set up for success next time.

Here are a few of the other photos:

Page 88 - Alternate

Page 88 - Alternate

Page 88 - Alternate

Page 88 - Alternate

The poem that is my inspiration for these photos is “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

I first came across the poem in the movie AKEELAH AND THE BEE. If you haven’t seen that movie, I highly recommend it!


Here is your weekly reminder that the theme for this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is PHOTOJOURNALISM:


A PHOTOJOURNALISM photo is any photo that can be used to tell the story. It doesn’t have to be the kind of story that the “New York Times” would report. A small company newsletter would still count as PHOTOJOURNALISM.

The editor of the “Boone News Republican” is a subscriber to this blog. You never know, you could catch his eye and you could be launched on a PHOTOJOURNALISM career.

Reminder that Monday is Christmas Eve. Plan your submitting accordingly.

Happy photo harvesting!