Category Archives: Politics

President Quest 2020 – Pete Buttigieg – Volume 2

Last Friday I published pictures of when I saw Pete Buttigieg speak at the Iowa State Fair. It was the best place to hear somebody speak, so I decided to see him again.

A few weeks back he came to speak at the Farm Expo Grounds near Boone. It was a cold, rainy, Sunday morning, but I made my way out there with Jesse to see him speak.

Here are some pictures:


Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg was one of the most impressive candidates I’ve seen to date. I was legitimately surprised how impressive he was. His eloquence. His master of issues. It was all very impressive. You can tell that he was a Rhodes Scholar. He was the first candidate I saw that dramatically moved the needle for me.

But I’m very far from committing to one candidate at this time.

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


WEEK 216 - FORMAL PORTRAIT
FORMAL PORTRAIT

A FORMAL PORTRAIT is a PORTRAIT where the subject knows that they are being photographed and pose for the picture.

Happy photo harvesting!

President Quest 2020 – Pete Buttigieg – Volume 1

On my first stop to the Iowa State Fair, the trip where Baby Got Rack dominated the competition with our Meatloaf Cupcakes, I stuck around longer in the day to see 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.

He was speaking at the Des Moines Register’s Soapbox. I badly underestimated how soon the crowd would line up to see him. I also badly underestimated how many people would show up to see him.

I cracked out one of my longest telephoto lenses and grabbed what pictures I could. It was hard to hear him, so I decided that I would have to go see Mayor Pete a second time, in a more intimate locale.

Here is a little information on Pete Buttigieg from the Wiki, the first openly gay candidate to run for the presidential nomination of a major political party.

Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg[1] ( /ˈbuːtɪdʒɪdʒ/ BOOT-ih-jij;[2][3] born January 19, 1982) is an American politician and former U.S. Naval Reserve officer who has served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, since 2012. He is one of two combat veterans running for the Democratic Party nomination in the 2020 United States presidential election.[4]

After graduating from Harvard University and then from Pembroke College, Oxford, on a Rhodes Scholarship, Buttigieg worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.[5] From 2009 to 2017 he served as an intelligence officer in the United States Navy Reserve, attaining the rank of lieutenant and deploying to Afghanistan in 2014.[6][7]

Buttigieg was elected Mayor of South Bend in 2011 and reelected in 2015. Before his reelection, he publicly came out as gay. On April 14, 2019, Buttigieg announced his candidacy in the 2020 United States presidential election,[8] after having formed an exploratory committee in January 2019.[9][10] His platform includes support for reducing income inequality, pro-environmental policies, cooperation between the Democratic Party and organized labor, universal background checks for firearms purchases, the Equality Act, a public option for health insurance, and preserving the DACA program for children of illegal immigrants. Buttigieg also supports reforms that would end gerrymandering, overturn the Citizens United v. FEC decision, and abolish the Electoral College.[11]

Here are some pictures of Mayor Pete:


Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

Pet Buttigieg

I would see Mayor Pete again, a couple of months later.

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


WEEK 215 - LINES
LINES

LINES photography, is the drawing the viewer’s eye along vertical, diagonal, parallel and horizontal lines.

Many subjects make LINES. Roads, paths, bridges, buildings. Just to name a few.

Happy photo harvesting!

President Quest 2020 – Joe Biden

Back in early August I took the morning off from the Computer Mine to see my 9th presidential candidate at the Boone County Fairgrounds.

I went to see Joe Biden. I doubt that I need to give much of a background on Joe Biden. He has been leading the polls ever since he joined the race, mostly on name recognition I would reckon. He has lost some steam lately and now is neck and neck with Joe Biden. I’d still put him as the odds on favorite for being our next president, but I would say that he isn’t the presumptive favorite that he was a couple months ago when these pictures were taken.

Here is the bio of Joe Biden from the Wikipedia:


Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. (/ˌrɒbɪˈnɛt ˈbaɪdən/;[1] born November 20, 1942) is an American politician who served as the 47th vice president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. Biden also represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009. A member of the Democratic Party, Biden is a candidate for president in the 2020 election.

Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and lived there for ten years before moving with his family to Delaware. He became a lawyer in 1969 and was elected to the New Castle County Council in 1970. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, when he became the sixth-youngest senator in American history. Biden was re-elected six times and was the fourth most senior senator when he resigned to assume the vice presidency in 2009. Biden was a long-time member and former chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He opposed the Gulf War in 1991, but advocated U.S. and NATO intervention in the Bosnian War in 1994 and 1995. He voted in favor of the resolution authorizing the Iraq War in 2002 but opposed the surge of U.S. troops in 2007. He has also served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, dealing with issues related to drug policy, crime prevention, and civil liberties. Biden led the efforts to pass the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. He also chaired the Judiciary Committee during the contentious U.S. Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and in 2008.

In 2008, Biden was the running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, and became the first Roman Catholic vice president in history.[2] As vice president, Biden oversaw infrastructure spending aimed at counteracting the Great Recession and helped formulate U.S. policy toward Iraq through the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011. His ability to negotiate with congressional Republicans helped the Obama administration pass legislation such as the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which resolved a taxation deadlock; the Budget Control Act of 2011, which resolved that year’s debt ceiling crisis; and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which addressed the impending fiscal cliff. Obama and Biden were re-elected in 2012.

In October 2015, after months of speculation, Biden announced he would not seek the presidency in the 2016 election. In January 2017, Obama awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction.[3] After completing his second term as vice president, Biden joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named the Benjamin Franklin Professor of Presidential Practice.[4] He announced his 2020 run for president on April 25, 2019.[5]

Here is a little information on Joe from his campaign website:

America is an idea.

An idea that goes back to our founding principle that all men are created equal. It’s an idea that’s stronger than any army, bigger than any ocean, more powerful than any dictator. It gives hope to the most desperate people on Earth. It instills in every single person in this country the belief that no matter where they start in life, there’s nothing they can’t achieve if they work at it.

We’re in a battle for the soul of America. It’s time to remember who we are. We’re Americans: tough, resilient, but always full of hope. It’s time to treat each other with dignity. Build a middle class that works for everybody. Fight back against the incredible abuses of power we’re seeing. It’s time to dig deep and remember that our best days still lie ahead.

It’s time for respected leadership on the world stage—and dignified leadership at home. It’s time for equal opportunity, equal rights, and equal justice. It’s time for an economy that rewards those who actually do the work. It’s time for a president who will stand up for all of us.

Some pictures from the event:


Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

Joe Biden at Boone County Fairgrounds

I have pictures from a couple of Mayor Pete events I’ve attended in the hopper still. I also hope to see Elizabeth Warren in Ames on Monday night.

Selfie Project – September

Seems like as good of a time as any to check in with the Selfie Project. My September was incredibly busy. I had several photo shoots, youth group was back in session, Pufferbilly Days, Iowa State football season is ramping up, and Elainie was back in town.

But I confess that my selfies might not reflect that, it feels like.

Here are my favorite September Selfies:


September 2, 2019
September 2

September 3, 2019
September 3

September 4, 2019
September 4

September 6, 2019
September 6

September 7, 2019
September 7

September 8, 2019
September 8

September 9, 2019
September 9

September 13, 2019
September 13

September 14, 2019
September 14

September 17, 2019
September 17

September 19, 2019
September 19

September 20, 2019
September 20

September 21, 2019
September 21

September 22, 2019
September 22

September 24, 2019
September 24

September 25, 2019
September 25

September 27, 2019
September 27

September 29, 2019
September 29

3 months to go in the Selfie Project. I’m slated to actually leave the state in October. So that is something at least.

WPC – WEEK 210 – STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY proved to be an extremely unpopular theme, like I predicted. Not only did hardly anybody try this theme, only one person took on my added challenge of taking the picture in black & white as a tribute to the late great Robert Frank. Thanks Jen! The streak of double digit submissions is over and I don’t know if I will every fully recover. I soldier on.

You didn’t come here to hear me talk all tommyrot about abysmal participation rates, you came to see the submissions:


WEEK 210 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

WEEK 210 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 210 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 210 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 210 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

WEEK 210 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 210 - STREET PHOTOGRAPHY - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard

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 211 - RUINS
RUINS

RUINS! What a great theme! But what is a RUINS photo? A RUINS photo is a photo of something that has been destroyed, obliterated, or more commonly, is in a state of decay. Think about the entire town of Beaver, Iowa. Or don’t. It is sad to think about Beaver. However, RUINS challenge you to take a picture of something that isn’t considered “beautiful” by the Funk & Wagnall definition. Go out there and find something that has been abandoned. That isn’t getting any love or attention any longer and give it some love and attention!

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.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

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 ruinious Monday!

A Photo Journal – Page 106

Page 106 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT was a difficult one for me to process at first. The idea is to send one of your photos to your “photography hero” and ask them what they had about it.

When you really break it down, my photography hero is my Dad. For obvious reasons, I can’t send him one of my pictures. Once you leave the family, most of my favorite photographers are also dead.

From Ansel Adams to Vivian Maier to Henri Cartier-Besson to Robert Frank to Margaret Bourke-White. They are all gone. In fact, Robert Frank just passed away on Tuesday.

So I thought about it and there are a couple of living photographers that I do admire and came up with a couple. Richard Bernabe. He is an amazing nature photographer and outspoken environmentalist. If you are looking for a great photography book, I highly recommend his book “Wildlife Photography”. You can look at my copy next time you make it to the Photography 139 Studio.

However, I chose to go a different direction. I decided to go with Pete Souza. Pete Souza was the White House Photographer for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

If the election was held today, Joe Biden would be the next President of the United States. Frankly, the election wouldn’t even be all that close. I don’t think that Joe Biden will end up being the next President, but since he is the overwhelming favorite right now, when Joe Biden came to Boone, I knew instantly that I needed to send a picture to Pete Souza.

Below is the picture I sent to Pete Souza:


Photo Journal - Page 106
Page 106 – Email one of your pictures to your photography hero and ask them what they hate about it.

In the end, I never heard back from Pete Souza. To be honest, I didn’t expect to hear back from him. If I ever do hear from him, I’ll post that here.

Here are a couple other pictures I considered sending Pete Souza:


Photo Journal - Page 106 Alternate

Photo Journal - Page 106 Alternate

This leaves only the following images left to capture before finally closing the book on THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:

Page 28 – Recreate a famous photograph without looking it up.
PAGE 66-67 – Make a sequence of four pictures inspired by the rise and fall of Britney Spears (or another celebrity).
Page 123 – Don’t take any more photographs -none- until you see something that emotionally moves you. Only then pick up your camera.

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This is your reminder that this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is ARCHITECTURE.


WEEK 209 - ARCHITECTURE
ARCHITECTURE

An ARCHITECTURE picture is any picture that involves a building or a structure.

Happy photo harvesting!

Selfie Project – August

Now seems like a good time to check-in with my favorite pictures from my August SELFIE PROJECT pictures.

It would seem that I had a successful month of August. I met Vice-President Joe Biden. I competed in a barbecue contest at the Iowa State Fair. I also competed in a photography contest at the Iowa State Fair. I dine at a Brazilian Steakhouse totally not for Jay’s birthday. I went to an air show. I met my great nephew. I went to the Minnesota State Fair. I dined at Zeno’s. I went to an Iowa State football game.

Here are my favorites:


August 1, 2019
August 1

August 2, 2019
August 2

August 3, 2019
August 3

August 4, 2019
August 4

August 5, 2019
August 5

August 9, 2019
August 9

August 10, 2019
August 10

August 11, 2019
August 11

August 13, 2019
August 13

August 15, 2019
August 15

August 17, 2019
August 17

August 18, 2019
August 18

August 23, 2019
August 23

August 24, 2019
August 24

August 25, 2019
August 25

August 26, 2019
August 26

August 29, 2019
August 29

August 30, 2019
August 30

August 31, 2019
August 31

I’m not sure I’ve had as busy of a September, but I guess we’ll find out in October when I get a chance to look back at it.

A Photo Journal – Page 101

I don’t think I’m going to quite reach my goal of finishing of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT off before the first Youth Group of the year. That deadline is next Wednesday, but I don’t think it matters because Youth Group is going to be so dramatically different this year that I don’t think it is going to require anywhere near the level of dedication that I have provided that last few years.

Also, I know that the subjects for what will probably be the last page in THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT won’t be in the Cyclone State until mid-September.

I don’t want to get too political today. My inspiration for Page 101 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT occurred a few weeks back when J.D. Scholten announced that he will be running for U.S Representative for Iowa District 4. I immediately put out my J.D. Scholten sign when I got home from work.


Photo Journal - Page 101
Page 101 – Find an object, close your eyes and compose your shot using touch rather than vision.

I think we all know that Steve King is one of the most vile, disgusting human beings on the planet. He is a disgrace to the office he holds, the state of Iowa, and upright walking humans all over the planet.

In addition to being a virulent white supremacist, he recently gave a passionate defense of rape and incest. Yeah, he’s a great guy.

Steve King is so racist.

How racist is he?

Steve King is so racist that the Republicans stripped him of all of his committee assignments.

Perhaps not my best joke, but even if your totally on board with racism, rape, and incest, he isn’t even in a position to help out his district because he is such an embarrassment he has zero committee assignments.

But let’s be honest, in the nearly two decades he has been farting around in Congress he has only ONE legislative accomplishment. He changed the name of a post office.

When he isn’t doing literally nothing for Iowa, Steve King can be found hanging out in Austria hanging out with literal Nazis!

This leaves only the following images left to capture before finally closing the book on THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT:

Page 18 – Shoot the other half of this picture by Jason Evans. – This is a profoundly stupid page, but I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and do it at some point.
Page 28 – Recreate a famous photograph without looking it up.
Page 64 – Head out with a fellow photographer and play a game of photography dare.
PAGE 66-67 – Make a sequence of four pictures inspired by the rise and fall of Britney Spears (or another celebrity).
Page 106-107 – Email one of your pictures to your photography hero and ask them what they hate about it.
PAGE 121 – Show us that photography is a form of magic.
Page 123 – Don’t take any more photographs -none- until you see something that emotionally moves you. Only then pick up your camera.

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


WEEK 207 - TOY
TOY

Remember that next Monday is Labor Day. While most people are taking a holiday that day, Photography 139 doesn’t take holidays. Plan your photo submissions accordingly.

2009-04-28 & 2009-05-01

There are only 3 days left to vote for what pictures I enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

If you don’t think you have the time or energy to vote in all 6 polls right now, you can vote for one of the Nature polls right now!

Nature Set 2

Poll will Start on August 7
Nature Category - Nature - Choose 1 (2019)
Butterfly
Butterfly
Bird
Insects
Bee
Grasshopper
Pelicans
Bird
Waterfall
Butterfly

If you are ready to vote in all 6 polls, click on the link below:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest

Thanks for voting!

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The pictures in the folders 2009-05-01 & 2009-04-28 are from my backyard when I was still trying to figure out what I had in my backyard.

Except one picture is of a text message I got from James on the day he was given one of the most basic human rights. Hard to believe that it was only 10 years ago. It is hard to believe that such a basic human right was “given” 10 years ago.

It is a reminder that we have come some ways in the civil rights in this country. Even though we have had a major regression in the last couple of years.


2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-04-28

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

2009-05-01

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:

The Land Awakens
Cardinalidae
Don Lockwood
State of Enlightenment

Next week’s walk down memory lane will feature Shannon, very well dressed.

2009-04-24

The pictures in the folder named 2009-04-24 are from when Jesse and I went to Tom Harkin’s office and met with a member of his staff to encourage him to support ending the civil war in Uganda.

We were very pleased with ourselves and decided to celebrate afterwards by meeting Sara at Snookie’s for celebratory ice cream. To this day, I celebrate all major accomplishments with ice cream. Also minor accomplishments. Also major failures. Basically, I’m eating ice cream while I’m typing this out.


Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Tom Harkin Office Visit

Letter from Tom Harkin

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:

Better Than Work

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve plants from my backyard.

Wow! I finished another blog! Time to go celebrate with some ice cream!