Category Archives: Self-Portrait

2009-02-18 – Arizona Day 3B

The pictures in the folder called 2009-02-18/Arizona_Day_3B are from the work/vacation to Arizona. The pictures are all from after Jesse and I met up with Lowell and Strabala and went back to the mini-mountain thing in Phoenix.

As it would just so happen, while we were there, Air Force One flew overhead. Looking at those pictures really made me nostalgic for when our country wasn’t the laughingstock of the entire world. Good times. Good times.


Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

Arizona Day 3

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:

Arizona Day 3 – Part B

Next week’s walk down memory lane will once again involve this Arizona work/vacation.

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′.

The New New

I have recently had a battle in my head and in my wallet. I knew I wanted to purchase a new camera that was something like an action cam, only so much more. It has the qualities of say a GoPro, but the image quality is vastly superior. The amount of control you have with the camera is like night and day.

The camera I’m talking about is the Sony RX0. I had it in my sights for several months. Then Sony went and released the Sony RX0 II. This put in something of a quandary. Three months ago, there was nothing wrong with the Sony RX0, but now there was a Sony RX0 II that was superior.

I had to make a decision. By the old and save a few bucks or pull the trigger on the new and lighten the wallet a bit.

Lucky for me, while I was wrestling with the decision, a bit of an unforeseen windfall landed in my lap and I decided to pull the trigger on the Sony RX0 II.

I’ve only had it since Tuesday, but I already love the little guy:


Sony RX0 II

Happy birthday to me!

Here are a few of the first pictures I’ve taken with the RX0 II:


First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

First Pictures

Here are some of the specifications of the camera:

Number of Pixels (Effective)Approx. 15.3 Megapixels
Lens Type ZEISS Tessar T Lens, 6 elements in 6 groups (6 aspheric elements)
F-Number (Maximum Aperture) F4.0
Focal Length 7.9mm
Focus Range (From the Front of the Lens)Approx. 0.66′ (20cm) to Infinity
Focus Area Wide (25 points [contrast-detection AF]), Center, Flexible Spot (S/M/L)Expanded Flexible Spot
ISO Sensitivity Auto (ISO125-12800, selectable with upper/lower limit)
125/160/200/250/320/400/500/640/800/1000/1250/1600/2000/2500/3200/4000/5000/6400/8000/10000/12800 (Extendable to ISO80/100)
White Balance Modes Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent
Fluor.: Warm White, Fluor.: Cool White, Fluor.: Day White, Fluor.: Daylight, Underwater Auto, C. Temp./Filter, Custom
Electronics Shutter 1/4″ – 1/32000
Continuous Shooting Speed Speed Priority Continuous Shooting: approx. 16fps, Continuous Shooting: approx. 3.5fps (Maximum) (With Max. Recording Pixels)
Waterproof Yes (IPX8 equivalent)
Dustproof Yes (IP6X equivalent)
Shockproo fYes (6.5′ (2.0m) (MIL-STD810G C1 Method516.7-Shock)
Crushproof Yes(200kgf/2000N/440lbf)

I made an unboxing video of it the RXO II for the YouTube Channel. It isn’t necessarily something I would recommend watching, unless you really like unboxing videos. It is in black & white, because I lazily didn’t check my camera settings before I started recording:



It isn’t the most watchable video in the world, but it allows me to practice my minimal video editing skills.

I’m going on a Birthday Road Trip on the morrow. I plan on using the RX0 II to do a vlog of the trip. I’m definitely not going to get in the habit of vlogging, but I wanted to test the RX0 II as a vlogging camera because some people say it is the greatest vlogging camera ever and some say it isn’t good for it at all.

One last thing, if you are a GAME OF THRONES fan, we will be watching the series finale at The Union Street Theater on Sunday night. You are invited! Jay might even be making cake. He also has a 20 year old surprise.

President Quest 2020 – Beto O’Rourke

Last Tuesday I took a little bit of time off from the Computer Mine to make progress in my personal quest to meet, photograph, or at least see in person the person that will take office as the next President of the United States in 2021.

Beto O’Rourke was in Boone at McHose Park to host a town hall. It was pretty well attended considering that it was at 11 AM on a Tuesday.

Here is a little information on Beto from the wiki:

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (/ˈbɛ.toʊ oʊ.rɔːrk/; born September 26, 1972) is an American businessman, musician, and politician who represented Texas’ 16th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019. O’Rourke is seeking the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2020.

O’Rourke was born into a local political family in El Paso, Texas and is a graduate of Woodberry Forrest School and Columbia University.[1] While studying at Columbia, O’Rourke began a brief music career as bass guitarist in the post-hardcore band Foss. After his college graduation, he returned to El Paso and began a business career. In 2005, he was elected to the El Paso City Council; he served on the Council until 2011. O’Rourke was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 after defeating eight-term incumbent Silvestre Reyes in the Democratic primary.

After being re-elected to the House in 2014 and 2016, O’Rourke declined to seek re-election in 2018. Instead, he ran for United States Senate against incumbent Republican Ted Cruz, running a competitive campaign that drew national attention. O’Rourke was defeated 50.9% to 48.3%.

There is what is called a “Vision” on Beto’s website, but not what I would call lots of concrete policy ideas. Here is an example:

On Healthcare

So if we believe in universal, guaranteed, high quality healthcare – because we see the consequences to our fellow Americans who go without – then let us come together around a policy that prioritizes affordability of prescription drugs, lowers the costs of premiums and ensures that in a country where one of the largest providers of mental health care services is our county jail system, a country where we have a maternal mortality crisis that is 3x as deadly for women of color — that universal healthcare means everyone gets primary healthcare, mental healthcare — and universal also means every woman makes her own decisions about her own body.

We can give every American and every business the choice to enroll in Medicare without eliminating plans that many Americans like for their families because they work for their families. This means every one of us is able to afford our prescriptions, see a doctor, take our children to a therapist. No one priced out. No one denied care. No one left behind. The goal of universal, guaranteed high-quality health care must be achieved as quickly and as surely as possible.

Here are some pictures from the event:


Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

Beto O'Rourke Town Hall

I currently don’t have plans to see another candidate. The ones that are in Iowa this weekend don’t seem to be around here. We will have to wait and see.

President Quest 2020 – Bernie Sanders

It has been over a month since I made any progress in my personal quest to meet, photograph, or at least see in person the person that will take office as the next President of the United State in 2021.

I finally scratched a third person off the list when I went to see Bernie Sanders at Iowa State University on Saturday. Bernie Sanders is the best known of the candidates that I have seen and I didn’t get a chance to actually meet him or get my picture taken with him. After his speech was over, he made a quick circle around the barrier that separated him from the crowd and then he was gone.

Of every political event I have ever been to, (except when I saw Obama when he was President) this was the most security. It was the first time they had a list of items prohibited. The list prohibited me from bringing in my camera bag, so I had to choose one lens and go with it. I also had to empty my pockets and have a magnetic wand passed over my body. As I indicated earlier, there was also a barrier that separated the crowd from the speakers.

Perhaps this is because Bernie already has a large national profile or perhaps it is just an Iowa State thing. I saw Obama speak at Iowa State a couple times. Once was his first speech after he announced he was running. That speech was in Hilton. The next time I saw him speak at Iowa State, he spoke in front of Curtiss Hall. There wasn’t much in terms of security at any of those events.

The crowd actually wasn’t as large as I was expecting. Bernie is popular with college students, so I was actually surprised when he was in the Sun Room at the Memorial Union. I thought that Bernie could easily fill the Great Hall, but in fact, he only filled about half the Sun Room. With a small spillover crowd in the other half of the Sun Room.

As I was walking in, a fellow 1993 graduate of dear old Boone High School called me out. I turned around and is was Saul. Turns out Saul is a big Bernie supporter. We had a good long conversation. It was good to see him and catch-up. I don’t know if Saul goes to class reunions, but he is one of the people that I wouldn’t mind seeing if I ever attend a class reunion. (Spoiler: I will never go to a class reunion.)

If you don’t know about Bernie Sanders, here is some information on him from the Wiki:

Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician who has served as the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. The longest-serving Independent in congressional history, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990 and caucuses with the Democratic Party, enabling his appointment to congressional committees and at times giving Democrats a majority.

Sanders was born and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, and attended Brooklyn College before graduating from the University of Chicago in 1964. While a student he was an active protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement. After settling in Vermont in 1968, Sanders ran unsuccessful third-party political campaigns in the early to mid-1970s. As an independent, he was elected mayor of Burlington—the state’s most populous city—in 1981, by a margin of ten votes. He was reelected three times. He won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1990, representing Vermont’s at-large congressional district; he later co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Sanders served as a U.S. Representative for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He has been reelected to the Senate twice: in 2012 and 2018.

Bernie has very extensive policy positions on his website. This is from his page entitled “Fight for Working Families”:

We need leaders who will fight for the interests of workers, not just the 1%.

In the richest country in the world, there is no state in which working 40 hours at the state minimum wage generates enough income to afford a one-bedroom apartment.

It is unacceptable that workers rely on employers for life-saving health care. Working for a living should mean earning a living wage, and health care should be a human right—not a bargaining chip that keeps employees in coercive, exploitative environments. And families should have the security of knowing they can take care of sick loved ones and secure an education for their children. We must:

Raise the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15 an hour.
Enact a universal childcare and pre-kindergarten program.
Make sure women and men are paid the same wage for the same job through the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Guarantee all workers paid family and medical leave, paid sick leave and paid vacation.
Make it easier for workers to join unions through the Workplace Democracy Act.
Make quality education a right.
Implement a green jobs program.

It was yet another political campaign event where the lighting was not great. I was fairly far from Bernie and he is a short man. The pictures are what they are:


Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders
With Ben from Ben & Jerry’s

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

On a not Bernie related note, but political. A friend of mine gave me the great honor of cutting up their NRA membership card yesterday. It felt as great as I imagined.

Maybe someday there will be a gun rights group that actually reflects the opinions of the majority of gun owners. Until that day, I have to take joy in a domestic terrorist organization imploding. They will continue to have a few supporters hanging around. Those that have been radicalized by right wing media. The last rats, clinging to the sinking Russian financed ship.

Yesterday was a great day! Hopefully tomorrow will be a great day as well!

Selfie Project – April

Seems like a good time to share my favorite pictures from THE SELFIE PROJECT from April.

I’ve been trying to be more interesting with the pictures, or at least more interesting with my life, since it felt like in January and February I didn’t do anything.

I don’t know if I’m accomplishing that or not, but at least in the month of
April I did leave the Cyclone State once. So that is something.

Here are my favorites from April:


April 1, 2019
April 1

April 3, 2019
April 3

April 5, 2019
April 5

April 6, 2019
April 6

April 7, 2019
April 7

April 8, 2019
April 8

April 9, 2019
April 9

April 12, 2019
April 12

April 14, 2019
April 14

April 16, 2019
April 16

April 17, 2019
April 17

April 18, 2019
April 18

April 19, 2019
April 19

April 21, 2019
April 21

April 23, 2019
April 23

April 24, 2019
April 24

April 27, 2019
April 27

April 28, 2019
April 28

April 30, 2019
April 30

As of this writing, I haven’t taken my picture for today, but my May 1 picture does involve a giant check, so May is shaping up to be quite the month!

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.