Category Archives: Candid Portrait

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 176 – SURPRISE

I knew SURPRISE was a tough theme and participation took a predictable hit this week. This week’s theme is considerably easier, but you might have to go out in the -50 (wind chill) temperatures to get a picture. You don’t have to, but I know I will be! Probably. You need to be careful with electronics in cold temperatures. I know a guy who recently bought a drone and can’t fly it yet because the temperatures are just too cold.

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


WEEK 176 - SURPRISE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 176 - SURPRISE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 176 - SURPRISE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 176 - SURPRISE - 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 177 - RUINS
RUINS

RUINS! What a great theme! But what is a RUINS photo? A RUINS photo is any photo of something in decay. Not necessarily something organic, but if you feel like interpreting the theme that way, more power to you.

I can’t wait to see your interpretations!

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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.

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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 ruinous Monday.

10-04-08

The pictures in the folder called 10-04-08 are from the Iowa State-Kansas football game in 2008.

It is a little known fact to many (in the state of Kansas) that the University of Kansas even has a football team. They even had a brief amount of success when they were coached by terrible human being Mark Mangino.

He was eventually fired by Kansas and they have yet to have a winning record since then. They are currently on their 5th head coach since 2010.

Here are some pictures from the game:


Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

Iowa State vs. Kansas

By adding these photos to the Photography 139 Gallery I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” blogs to their original glory:

Stupid John Greenleaf Whittier

Quintus Horatius Flaccus

Work Half Done

Doesn’t Turn Soggy in Milk

Next week’s walk down memory lane will involve a road trip to Kalona, among other things.

President Quest 2020 – Kirsten Gillibrand

I have a personal quest to meet, photograph, or see in person the politician that will take office as the next President of the United States in 2021.

In my quest I will try to see every (major-ish) candidate seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party. This quest could take some time as there will probably be at least 20 candidates.

The good news is that I have until February 3, 2020 to complete my quest. That is the day that Iowa file into schools, courthouses, churches and wherever else to cast their vote to help decide their party’s presidential nominee.

It gives Iowa an importance in our democracy that it quite frankly doesn’t deserve. Iowa’s populace isn’t a reflection of the demographics of the nation at large. Iowans are substantially older and substantially whiter than the rest of the country.

Iowans certainly aren’t the smartest in the country as we have consistently sent white supremacist Steve King and doddering old dementia case Chuck Grassley to represent us in Congress for the last several years.

In our defense, US NEWS & WORLD REPORT did rank Iowa the best state in the country. Ranking us #1 Overall, #3 in Health Care, #5 in Education, #17 in Economy, #4 in Opportunity, #1 in Infrastructure, #15 in Crime & Corrections, #21 in Fiscal Stability, and #9 in Quality of Life.

Whether it is fair or not, it is simply the way that it is for now. While Iowa doesn’t deserve its place in the pecking order, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to take advantage of it.

The first candidate I saw, photographed, and asked a question to was Kirsten Gillibrand. I don’t think I met her. I don’t think I shook hands with her. I didn’t get a chance to get my picture with her because I did 4 interviews while she was leaving.

I’m not an expert on Kirsten Gillibrand. I do have a leaning on whom I will vote for next February and it isn’t her, but going into this process, nearly everybody has a chance to earn my vote.

What I knew about her before yesterday is that many Democrats blame her for Al Franken resigning from the Senate because she pushed for his resignation. I don’t blame her for this because if Al Franken didn’t want to have to resign from the Senate, he shouldn’t have been grabbing boobs without being asked to grab them boobs.

Gillibrand is a Senator from New York. She has been since 2010. Here is a little on her early life from the Wikipedia:

Kirsten Elizabeth Rutnik was born on December 9, 1966 in Albany, New York, the daughter of Polly Edwina (Noonan) and Douglas Paul Rutnik. Both her parents are attorneys, and her father has also worked as a lobbyist. Her parents divorced in the late 1980s. Gillibrand has an older brother, Douglas Rutnik, and a younger sister, Erin Rutnik Tschantret. Her maternal grandmother is Dorothea “Polly” Noonan, a founder of the Albany Democratic Women’s Club, as well as a leader in Albany Mayor Erastus Corning’s powerful political machine, which lasted for more than 40 years. She has English, Austrian, Scottish, German, and Irish ancestry.

During her childhood and college years, Gillibrand used the nickname “Tina.” She began using her birth name of Kirsten a few years after law school. In 1984, she graduated from Emma Willard School, an all women’s private school located in Troy, New York, and then enrolled at Dartmouth College. Gillibrand majored in Asian Studies, studying in both Beijing and Taiwan. While in Beijing, she studied and lived with actress Connie Britton at Beijing Normal University. Gillibrand graduated magna cum laude in 1988. While at Dartmouth, she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. During college, Gillibrand interned at Republican U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato’s Albany office. Gillibrand received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law and passed the bar exam in 1991.

She currently serves on the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Committee on Armed Services; and Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Here are some pictures from the event:


Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

I got to ask her the last question. I asked her:

“Before we vote, there will be 20 or so candidates vying for the nomination. What separates you from the rest of the field?”

Because I asked this question I got interviewed 4 times. I was interviewed once by ABC before Gillibrand arrived. Then afterwards, I was interviewed by THE NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, the newspaper from Buffalo, and a television station from New York.

While I was flattered by the media attention and tried my best not to sound like a moron, it did prevent me from getting a picture with Senator Gillibrand.

Maybe next time I’ll just keep my mouth shut.

Here are some pictures Jesse took of my media attention:


Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand

Stephanie (a NEW YORK TIMES employee) sent me the following screen capture of me being referenced in THE NEW YORK TIMES:


Kirsten Gillibrand

She is going to send me a copy of the newspaper for my scrapbook!

The following people have declared their candidacy:

-Julian Castro
-John Delaney
-Tulsi Gabbard
-Richard Ojeda

Of those, I only really consider Castro a serious contender. Most of the heavy hitters haven’t declared yet. I’m pretty sure the next President hasn’t declared yet, but I could be wrong.

I’ll try to see all the candidates that I can!

I’ll close this posting by hoping that many of you make it outside into the cold tonight to witness the lunar eclipse. It is one of the true wonders of nature!

10-01-08

There are two types of pictures in the folder called 10-01-08. The first types are pictures taken during the restoration process of the Ames Party Bus. The second type is everybody’s favorite: flowers!

Have a looksie!


Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Ames Party Bus

Flower

Flower

Moonflower

Moonflower

Moonflower

Asters

Asters

Asters

Asters

Asters

Asters

Asters

Asters

Mums

Mums

Mums

Mums

Miums

Miums

ON a future blog I will rehash the rise and ultimate demise of the Ames Party Bus, but this isn’t that post.

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

Volt-Face

Restoration

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve Iowa State football.

Alamo Bowl Road Trip: USS Batfish

After paying our respects to “The Tall Chief”, we hit the open road. We headed south in Oklahoma and weren’t really sure what we would find.

Several miles down the road we saw a sign for Muskogee. While I am personally devoid of musical talent, I do love music. I wanted to visit the town from the Merle Haggard classic.

Unfortunately, the signs indicated that we needed to make about a 60 mile detour to visit Muskogee. Nothing against Merle Haggard, but we aren’t talking about Johnny Cash here.

However, the signs seemed to be wrong. Not seemed to be wrong. The sign was wrong. We headed straight when it told us to turn. Yet, we drove right into Muskogee, Oklahoma. Where we were able to observe many an Okie. From Muskogee. Many of them seemed to be livin’ right. We didn’t see any that had let their hair grow long and shaggy. Unfortunately I can’t say I saw any Okies holding hands and pitchin’ woo. That being said, it definitely seemed like the kind of place where even squares can have a ball.

Since we had hit the mythical Haggard town, I was hoping to find a statue of Merle Haggard or at least a plaque that bragged up the only reason anybody has ever heard of Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA. But my mad googling didn’t come up with any information on a Merle Haggard statue or even a plaque indicating where kids still respect the college dean or even a store that sells white lightning.

The biggest tourist attraction in Muskogee… Oklahoma… USA.. according to the googles was a park that had a submarine in it.

A park with a submarine in it?

Muskogee is a good 10 hour drive from the nearest ocean, gulf, or sea. So a submarine… in the middle of a park? This is something we had to see.

We put in the GPS coordinates into the phone and before you knew it, we had paid $7 and were staring at a submarine.

This is what we saw:


U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

U.S.S. Batfish

The submarine is the USS Batfish. It was launched in 1943 and decommissioned in 1969. It is known primarily for sinking three Japanese submarines in a 76 hour period in 1945.

It was definitely one of the surprise bonuses of the road trip. It also confirmed my belief that I would never make it in a submarine. In addition to never wanting to me submerged underwater at a depth of any more than a few feet, submarines are definitely not made for the talls.

Average height for people serving on the USS Batfish was 5 foot 8 inches. I believe anything below 5 foot 10 inches is considered a midget. Some of them preferred to be called dwarves. None of them enjoy being tossed.

We bid a fond adieu to the USS Batfish and got back on the open road. Let the tones of Merle Haggard take us from Muskogee.

“We still wave Old Glory down at the court house…”

As we meandered down to Texas we enjoyed a beautiful Oklahoma sunset on an unknown lake:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

When we hit Atoka, Oklahoma we stopped for gas, snacks, and a restroom break at a Pilot Travel Center. It was here that I made the most wonderful discovery! You could call it an Alamo Bowl miracle!


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

As an aficionado of sweet tea of some note, Gold Peak Extra Sweet Tea is kind of like my holy grail. While southerners cling to their racist past and try to denigrate us yankees incorrectly for not knowing sweet tea, there is one thing they do have. Gold Peak Extra Sweet Tea. I have never been able to find it up north. This makes me melancholy. It is a fact that I have even tried to order it online, with nothing but failure greeting my every step.

I was beginning to think Gold Peak Extra Sweet Tea was something that I had imagined. But it isn’t.

I picked up a few bottles and we hit the open road, more than a little bit happier than before we had met the magical place known as Pilot Travel Center in Atoka, Oklahoma.

Our next stop was for supper. We got a little ways past Dallas and pulled in to the first Whataburger we could find.

Who has two thumbs and LOVES Whataburger?

This guy!

I realize now, that would work better with a picture.

Enjoy these pictures instead:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Whataburger is the #1 franchise we don’t have in Iowa that I wish we had in Iowa. There isn’t even a close second. And not just because as a general rule I can’t stand corporate eateries.

We made the rest of the journey and found a cheap hotel in Waco and bedded down for the night.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

It was a Motel 6. They don’t have breakfast, but it is still relatively nice compared to some of the other places that Jesse and I have stayed.

I slept like a baby. Like an angel. Like a baby angel. I woke up in the morning ready to take on the world.

To be continued…

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is MACRO!



MACRO

But what is a MACRO photo? There is a technical definition that involves the ration of the real life object being a 1:1 ratio for reproduction blah, blah, blah.

All you need to know is that it is close-up photography. Get close to your subject. Very close. Very, very, very close.

Happy photo harvesting!

Alamo Bowl Road Trip: The Tall Chief

Jesse and I left for the Alamo Bowl at about 7 AM on Thursday, December 27.

Our first stop was at a Casey’s in Peculiar, Missouri. It was noteworthy mostly because gas there was $1.75 a gallon. A good 20 cents cheaper than in the Cyclone State:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Our second stop was at Red Hot & Blue a blues themed barbecue in Joplin, Missouri. Every time I get just a little bit south into the Civil War participant ribbon part of the country I try to drink almost exclusively sweet tea.

There is a thing about southerners where they don’t think us yankees know anything about sweet tea. A point that was hammered home by a Waffle House waitress in Mississippi during the Liberty Bowl Road Trip.


Liberty Bowl Road Trip

It is a myth that all yankees don’t know about sweet tea. I am somewhat of an expert on sweet tea. I design and make Thick Soul Sweet Tea for Baby Got Rack Barbecue, an award winning competitive barbecue team of some note.

When we posted up in Red Hot & Blue I ordered up a sweet tea. This became a story in 3 acts.

Sweet Tea: Act 1

The first glass of sweet tea hit the spot. It had almost the perfect amount of sweetness. Almost.

Sweet Tea: Act 2

The refill was decidedly less sweet. Maybe about 45% as sweet as the first glass of goodness.

Sweet Tea: Act 3

They gave us a glass of sweet tea for the road. This final insult to sweet tea was an insult to sweet tea. It was little more than brown water. Did you have an aunt growing up that put so little sugar in Kool-Aid that it was little more than colored water? That wasn’t just me? It was an abomination.


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Our next stop was at the Conoco One Stop Food Mart in Big Cabin, Oklahoma. The thing that stands out about the Conoco One Stop Food Mart is that in the front of its parking lot is a 46 foot tall statue called The Tall Chief.

It might be the best art in Oklahoma, if this gas station clock of Taylor Swift is any indication:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

I pulled out the real camera and took some photos of “The Tall Chief”:


Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip
Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip
Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

Alamo Bowl Road Trip

After paying our respects to “The Tall Chief” we hit the open road heading towards San Antonio, but uncertain what we would see between there and there.

To be continued…

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Reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is ART:


WEEK 174 - ART
ART

An ART photo is any photo of a piece of ART or of somebody engaging in making a piece of ART. A truly confident person could argue that any photo they take is a piece of ART.

Happy photo harvesting!

Arizona Day 3 – Part A

Some pictures from Day 3 in Arizona.


Arizona Day 3
Peavy and Young

Arizona Day 3
The guy that I hope wins the #5 Starter Spot

Arizona Day 3
The new closer.

Arizona Day 3
Some Mariner

Arizona Day 3
Some Mariner

Arizona Day 3
Spring Training Home of the Cubs

Arizona Day 3
More Hohokam

Arizona Day 3
Image from the Road

Arizona Day 3
I’d never eaten at a Del Taco. I endorse it and its slogan of going “Bold or Going Home”.

Arizona Day 3
Prior

Arizona Day 3
This guy kicks us out of Hohokam.

Arizona Day 3
Lowell and Jesse with their purchases.

Arizona Day 3
A dead cactus.

Jesse and I spent the morning watching the Padres and Mariners practice. Then we picked up Lowell and Eric at the resort and went to the Cubs practice field. Plus we ate at a Del Taco. Then when went to the “mountain” that Jesse and I had visited on the previous day.

Arizona Day 1

As I sit here in Josh and Summer’s house waiting for Jesse to wake up, I might as well post a few pictures from yesterday.


Arizona Trip - Day 1
Jesse waiting for the flight to leave from Des Moines

Arizona Trip - Day 1
Denver

Arizona Trip - Day 1
Jesse in Denver

Arizona Trip - Day 1
Me in Denver

Arizona Trip - Day 1
Jesse on the people mover

Arizona Trip - Day 1
Organ Stop Pizza

Arizona Trip - Day 1
The organist

Arizona Trip - Day 1
The Dancing Cats

Arizona Trip - Day 1

There were a few good times to be had on Sunday. My head didn’t hurt nearly as bad as I feared it would after the two flights.

We had supper with Jesse’s family at Organ Stop Pizza. It is a pretty impressive place. They have built a giant organ their with a bunch other percussion instruments also controlled by the organ.

The organist played a lot of old standards and a medley from Phantom of the Opera. Not too bad at all.