Category Archives: Self-Portrait

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”.

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 188 – RELIGION

A very solid week of submissions for RELIGION. We hit double digits and maybe if the weather stays nice, we can stay in that rarefied air!

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


WEEK 188 - RELIGION - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - JAXON SCHOFF
Jaxon Schoff

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - CHRISTOPER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 188 - RELIGION - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

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 189 - DESSERT
DESSERT

DESSERT! What an incredibly tasty theme! It should also put to rest any of the chatter on conspiracy nutbag YouTube channels that I rig the themes in some way, shape or form. Because if I did, and since today is Earth Day, if I rigged themes, this week’s theme would be GREEN.

But what is a DESSERT photo? It is any photo of a DESSERT or somebody enjoying a DESSERT. Personally, I think I’ll be heading down to The Filling Station in Madrid this weekend for a little hardcore DESSERT action.

This theme was suggested by Andy Sharp. See, suggesting themes does bear fruit!

I look forward to your 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 sweet Monday.

2009-01-05 & 2009-01-25

There aren’t many pictures in the folders 2009-01-05 and 2009-01-25 so I decided to combine them into one post.

The pictures are mostly from a trip around Boone during a snowstorm and Nader and I’s last trip to the Varsity Theater.

Many people may not remember the Varsity. It was on Lincoln Way across the street from Lake Laverne. It showed foreign, independent, and arthouse movies. It still hasn’t been properly replaced. Now Ames have two multiplexes that devote almost all their screens to whatever mindless Marvel or Star Wars movie is being released that week.

Then if you want to see something original or thought provoking you have to take a ride down to Des Moines. Even Des Moines recently lost one its independent cinemas. Also, call The Varsity.

Here are some pictures to look at:


Christmas Scarf

Varsity Theater Closing

Varsity Theater Closing

Varsity Theater Closing

Varsity Theater Closing

Varsity Theater Closing

Varsity Theater Closing

Varsity Theater Closing

Varsity Theater Closing

Winter Storm

Winter Storm

Winter Storm

The sweet Iowa State scarf was a Christmas present from Teresa. She also took the pictures of Nader and I.

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

Denouement

Snowy Pictures

Sweet Christmas Present

By restoring these journal entries, I was able to finish completely restoring all the journal entries from January 2009.

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a Boone fire.

2009-01-02 & 2009-01-03

The pictures from the folders 2009-01-02 and 2009-01-03 involved a trip to ACTORS theater in Ames. Plus a trip to Ottumwa to work on the house that Jen inherited. Plus there are some pictures of when I had winnowed down what house I would purchase down to two similar ranch style houses.

The house that I would ultimately purchase was the lucky winner mainly because it had the better yard. It had the better yard times a million. The intention was always to get a golden retriever when I was back up on my own feet and living on my own again.

As I look at the pictures of the runner-up, I assure you Naima would not have been happy with that yard. I also wouldn’t have been happy with such a small yard too. I mean, if you’re going to care about my happiness.

Here are the pictures:


ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

ACTORS

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

The Great House Hunt

I do confess though, I could have has some pretty great parties with that carpeted bar.

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

Blitz

Intermission

The Ballad of House Buying: Part 2: Initial Look

The Ballad of House Buying: Part 4 – A Closer Examination

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve saying goodbye to an old cinematic friend and a winter storm.

Shaving Says A Lot About A Man, Like, “I’m Not One”

Immediately after the beautiful beard go its final photo shoot Jay and I trudged from the Photography 139 Basement Studio to the kitchen where the unpleasantness was set to be done. “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana playing through my head.

I still had time to back down. It was now spring and the weather was starting to heat up and I was well past time for a shearing, there was no reason to do it now. It could wait a few days. Maybe even a week. Maybe there was no reason to shave at all? Despite the naysayers, the beard had a near cult like following. There were beard fanatics out there and didn’t I have a certain obligation to them?

I shook all these thoughts out of my head as we reached the kitchen. I sat down in the chair. Jay got out his clippers. The following pictures document what transpired:


Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

Shearing

It was then that the battery on Jay’s clippers died. I spent the rest of the night with that cheeseball mustache. When I woke up in the morning I shaved down to full dirty naked face.

Thanks to Jesse for document the horror of it all.

Who’s Afraid of Thomas Wolfe?

My Mom moved out of my boyhood home 20 years ago. I loved that house and to some degree it will always be home to me.

While one can debate whether or not the 20 years that have passed have been kind to me, there is no doubt that it has not been kind to that boyhood home. If that house were an animal, the owners would be prosecuted for neglect.

There was a time when I would even avoid driving down the street where that house sits. Just the look of it falling deeper and deeper into a decrepit state would cause waves of anger to come crashing to the surface.

Then a couple years back, I heard through the grapevine that the house had been condemned. Anger turned to sadness. While I still avoid that street, it is a different emotion that cause the boycott.

The grapevine wasn’t 100% accurate though. While the house feels like it is a good blast of wind away from falling over, it isn’t exactly condemned. It isn’t fit for living, but it isn’t condemned either. In fact, it recently was put back on the market with an asking price of $15,000.

I recently toured the house with my Aunt Linda and took a few pictures of what it has become:


Boyhood Home
The upstairs bathroom.

Boyhood Home
My old bedroom.

Boyhood Home
I would still gladly take this tub off their hands.

Boyhood Home
Carla’s old bedroom.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
The den.

Boyhood Home
The living room.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
The old darkroom.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
Basement shower.

Boyhood Home
My model railroad track used to sit there.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
Living room.

Boyhood Home
I believe Grandpa Bennett put up that thermometer.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
Garage is cleaner than the inside of the house.

Boyhood Home
No window though.

Boyhood Home
That poor owl thermometer.

Boyhood Home
I wish I could say that my old hoop was about to fall over because of my numerous thundering dunks.

Boyhood Home

Carla, Teresa, and Mom had all toured the old stomping grounds at some point, but this was my first time in the place. I was shocked to see that all the carpet and paint was the same as when Mom moved out. Okay, shocked might be overstating it.

I’m glad that the old place isn’t being torn down, but at the same time, I won’t be driving down that street anytime soon.

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.

12December2008

Sometime in late 2008 my organizational process of my photos went all FUBAR. The result is that it appears that I have actually lost several images from late 2008 and early 2009.

None of the lost pictures are of much consequence, but it is annoying nonetheless.

Part of this breakdown in the system was that it seems that rather than breaking images into folders by date, I just dumped a ton of pictures into the December folder.

Fortunately for you, I don’t usually take a ton of pictures in December. However, this still potentially might be one long journal entry.

There are pictures from Iowa State at night, Toys for Tots, an American Legion event in Roland, Iowa State basketball, Shannon dressed nice for once, a night with the Daniels, and crayfish that took home from a Chinese buffet.

Here we go:


Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

Iowa State at Night

The Daniel Household

The Daniel Household

The Daniel Household

The Daniel Household

The Daniel Household

The Daniel Household

The Daniel Household

The Daniel Household

The Daniel Household

Thelma & Louise

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Toys for Tots - 2008

Panther Candy

UNI Hat

The Great Wager

Iowa State vs. Oregon State - 2008

Iowa State vs. Oregon State - 2008

Iowa State vs. Oregon State - 2008

Iowa State vs. Oregon State - 2008

Looking at those pictures something that struck me is that I had forgotten how badly Greg McDermott had destroyed Iowa State’s basketball program. Thank you Creighton for taking him off of our hands! It is a debt that can never be repaid!

All those pictures added to the Photography 139 Gallery enabled me to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” journal entries to their original glory:

Thelma and Louise

Boone Taxi Driver

Saturday Night

Toys for Tots

Burying the Lead

Muskrat Carcass

Beavers

Plus Five

Roland, Iowa

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve hanging around the ACTORS Studio.

Moments Before

I never meant for this to go so far. At a certain point, it felt like things got out of control and I was powerless to do anything about it. What started as laziness had grown to a point where it had a life of its own. I was supposed to be in control, but now I was a passenger. Then on March 15, I grabbed the wheel back. I empowered myself. Took control of the situation.

It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to a close friend. We had become inseparable. It was a relationship that had started in June, possibly May of 2018. It is hard to pinpoint a date, but I know the whole affair started before leaving for the mission trip in Vidor, Texas.

There was no plan. Nothing was building towards anything. There were many times I felt like just cutting things off and walking away. There were times I looked in the mirror and told myself that I can’t do this any more. But I would cave and walk away.

Initially I was going to say goodbye on January 1. New year, new beginnings. Even though the stinging encounter with a parade Santa had left a wound that had just days before been ripped open by a little girl at the Chinese buffet, I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. I needed some documentation. Proof of what I had become. I was going to take some pictures before finally walking out on this toxic relationship.

Then, the weather changed. A polar vortex ripped through the area. Some days the wind chill factor was below -40. Some days it was below -20 without the wind chill factor. The temperature stayed below freezing for six straight weeks.

Rather than committing to the change that needed to be made, I used the cold as an excuse. As a crutch. As a reason to hold on.

But the cold weather receded and my resolve strengthened. A new date for a new me arrived in March. The first day of spring. New life. New beginnings. Time to say goodbye. Place this friend aside and walk away.

I still needed the pictures. If I ever saw that old friend again I could remember the pictures and remind them, we were good together, but even the best things come to an end.

Moments before my beard got shaved off, I sat down for a photo shoot. Jay took the following pictures:


Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments Before

Moments later, I would look like a corporate sellout. My old friend wanted to punch me in the face, but there were quite a few moments between the glory of the beard and the shame of being a dirty nakedface.

President Quest 2020 – Cory Booker

It has been awhile since I made some progress in my personal quest to meet, photograph, or at least see in person the politician that will take office as the next President of the United States in 2021.

Way back in January I saw New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at the Livery Deli. Since then I failed to see anybody else. This was partially a product of the weather. Partially the product of the college basketball season. Partially the product of politicians coming to Boone while I was at work. Partially because many of the big names were visiting other parts of the state.

However, I made it out last Sunday to the Prairie Moon Winery with Angie to see Cory Booker speak.

Here is a little information on Cory Booker from the super reliable Wikipedia:

Cory Anthony Booker (born April 27, 1969) is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from New Jersey since 2013 and a member of the Democratic Party. The first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey, he was previously the 36th Mayor of Newark from 2006 to 2013. Before that, Booker served on the Municipal Council of Newark for the Central Ward from 1998 to 2002. On February 1, 2019, he announced his campaign to run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 United States presidential election.

As senator, his voting record was measured as the third most liberal.[1] Considered a social liberal, Booker supports women’s rights, affirmative action, same-sex marriage and single-payer healthcare. During his five years in office, Booker co-sponsored and voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (2013), tougher sanctions against Iran, sponsored the Bipartisan Budget Act (2013), voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (2014), co-sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act (2014) and led the push to pass the First Step Act (2018). In 2017, he became the first sitting senator to testify against another when he testified against Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing. In April 2018, following the FBI raid on the offices of Michael Cohen–U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney–Booker together with Chris Coons, Lindsey Graham, and Thom Tillis, introduced the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to limit the executive powers of Trump.

Cory Booker is easily the best orator that will run for President in 2020. His speeches eloquently intertwine quotes from The Bible and poets like Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou and historical figures like Martin Luther King Jr.

He often uses this line in his speeches:

The lines that divide us are nowhere near as strong as the ties that bind us. When we join together and work together — we will rise together.

At the event was also J.D. Scholten and the founder of Working Hero Action Joe Sanberg.

Here are some pictures from the day:


Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

Cory Booker

I badly underestimated how many people would be there to see Cory Booker because he isn’t doing all that well in the polls. However, there was a standing room only crowd there. Since I got there kind of late, I had to sit in the last row. I only got that seat because Angie got there before I did and saved me that seat. So I the pictures of Cory Booker are what they are.

He was able to intertwine “Still I Rise” into his speech:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

He was also able to intertwine “There Is A Dream In The Land” into his speech:

There is a dream in the land
With its back against the wall
By muddled names and strange
Sometimes the dream is called.

There are those who claim
This dream for theirs alone–
A sin for which we know
They must atone.

Unless shared in common
Like sunlight and like air,
The dream will die for lack
Of substance anywhere.

The dream knows no frontier or tongue,
The dream, no class or race.
The dream cannot be kept secure
In any one locked place.

This dream today embattled,
With its back against the wall–
To save the dream for one
It must be saved for all.

When you hear Cory Booker speak, it will not surprise you to learn that he almost went to divinity school instead of law school.

Cory Booker stayed after his speech and took pictures with and recorded videos with everybody that wanted some of his time.

I’m not sure what presidential hopeful I will see next, but I have my ear to the ground.