Category Archives: Christianity

Alamo Bowl Road Trip: Branch Davidians

We loaded up the car and I punched the address of the Branch Davidians Compound into the GPS. I had absolutely no clue what we would find what we would find when we got to the place where 76 people died in the Waco Siege.

You see, we had stayed the night in possibly one of the worst places in the United States. If it wasn’t for Chip and Joanna Gains, Waco, Texas would have zero positive press.

When you say Waco, Texas people only think of a handful of things in no particular order:

1. Branch Davidians and their fiery end.
2. The Baylor football program and the scores of sexual assaults and rapes that they committed that were then duly covered up by the school, athletic department, and most disturbingly… the police department.
3. The 1916 lynching, torturing, burning, and mutilating of Jesse Washington. A lynching that was attended by in excess of 10,000 people.*
4. Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy being murdered by fellow Baylor basketball player Carlton Dotson.
5. FIXER UPPER

I wish I would’ve thought to go see the memorial to Jesse Washington, but it was forgotten. Sorry Jesse.

But being someone with an interest in history and more than a bit of a fascination with cults, there was no way we were going through Waco, Texas and not visiting the Branch Davidians and the site of the Waco Siege.

It is not a stretch to think that it was one of the most important historical events of the 1990s. It was an event that contributed to the dangerous rise of the alt-right and was directly responsible for the Oklahoma City Bombing. The deadliest domestic terrorist attack in American history. Killing 171 people. Including 19 children.

It is not overstated it to say that we would be living in a different America if the Waco Siege never happened. If you don’t know or don’t remember the Waco Siege, here is a brief synopsis from the Wiki:

The Waco siege was the siege of a compound belonging to the Branch Davidians, carried out by American federal and Texas state law enforcement, as well as the U.S. military, between February 28 and April 19, 1993. The Branch Davidians were led by David Koresh and were headquartered at Mount Carmel Center ranch in the community of Axtell, Texas, 13 miles (21 kilometers) east-northeast of Waco. Suspecting the group of stockpiling illegal weapons, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) obtained a search warrant for the compound and arrest warrants for Koresh and a select few of the group’s members.

The incident began when the ATF attempted to raid the ranch. An intense gun battle erupted, resulting in the deaths of four government agents and six Branch Davidians. Upon the ATF’s failure to raid the compound, a siege lasting 51 days was initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Eventually, the FBI launched an assault and initiated a tear gas attack in an attempt to force the Branch Davidians out of the ranch. During the attack, a fire engulfed Mount Carmel Center. In total, 76 people died, including David Koresh.

There is too much controversy and too much backstory to really do the Waco Siege justice. If you have questions about it, I suggest you leave them in the comments and I’ll answer with what knowledge I have and what opinions I possess.

What I will state definitively is that the Waco Siege was a terrible waste of life that could have been easily avoided. It is what happens when law enforcement tries to do things for public relations, rather than for… well law enforcement. They took their mistakes at Ruby Ridge and made them exponentially worse.

I’m sure these were some of my thoughts as we pulled up to the gate of Mount Carmel. One gate was open. There was a sign that said that you could get a look around the ranch for $10.

Shortly after we pulled into the ranch a truck came speeding up towards us. Considering where we were, was a little disconcerting. The driver rolled down their window and told us that we should hurry up to the chapel. They were giving a tour up there and we could make it if we hurried.

So we bypassed the building we thought we were supposed to pay at and headed up to the chapel.

Once we got there, there was a guy there telling the story of the Waco Siege. He wasn’t a member of the Branch Davidians in 1993, but now he researched the event with David Thibodeau** (one of the few to survive the fire).

He showed us pictures of the people that perished in the fire. He showed us “trophy photos” that the FBI took after the church (they are offended by the term “compound” because of its militaristic connotation) burned completely down. If you know any hunters, you know what a trophy photo is. You can imagine what you would feel like if people took trophy photos with the remains of your friends and loved ones.

He argued that David Koresh wasn’t even doing anything illegal. It isn’t illegal to stockpile and sell firearms. While it might (you can take out the might for me) be morally reprehensible to most of us to have sex with 14 year old girls, in Texas 14 year olds can be married with parental consent. Which David Koresh did have. Yeah. Gross. Texas, Do better.

Eventually the man (I can’t remember his name) left and we were introduced to Heather***. Heather really made this a special stop.

Heather was 9 years old during the Waco Siege. She was in Mount Carmel when the siege began. She was the last person to leave, days before the final assault that ended in the deaths of almost every Branch Davidian in the building. Including her father.

If you know the timeline of the Waco Siege, Heather’s dad was the mailman that was inadvertently tipped off to the ATF’s attack by a lost member of the media. This is why the ATF didn’t have the element of surprise. This is why the raid should have been called off.

Before he died, he gave her a teddy bear and told her that the bear would watch over her until he saw her again. Then he sent her out into the “Babylonian” world.

As she told us the story she paused and then said, “I didn’t know at the time that he meant, when we see each other in heaven.”

As she walked down the driveway, she expected to be shot in the head every step she took. Finally, she reached the end of the drive and was grabbed by the police. They took the teddy bear away from her and ripped it up.

This wasn’t done (completely) out of malice though. They were checking the bear for a bomb. There wasn’t one.

Tears rolled down her face as she told us this part of the story.

Then she said, “I never got the bear back.”

You could tell with the way she said it that it still hurts that the last thing her dad gave her. The thing that was supposed to “watch over her” was taken from her, destroyed, and never returned.

She wiped the tears off her face and apologized for crying.

We told her not to apologize and thanked her for sharing such a memory to people who were basically tourists in her pain.

Then she offered to give show us the rest of the grounds.


Branch Davidians
The current chapel was built in the same place as the chapel that was burnt down.

Branch Davidians
The fire.

Branch Davidians
Trophy photos.

Branch Davidians
Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Stage.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Telling the story.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Pointing out the “Trophy Photos”.

Branch Davidians
David Koresh

Branch Davidians
Heather is seated in the lower right hand corner.

Branch Davidians
David Koresh thought he was the second coming of Jesus, but this time he wasn’t sinless.

Branch Davidians
Bill Clinton was president during the Waco Siege.

Branch Davidians
Tanks crushed this bus.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
People were trapped in this storage room.

Branch Davidians
Heather’s ducks.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
They built this pool the year before the Siege. They got to use if for 1 year.

Branch Davidians
Heather was really cold. It wasn’t cold for Iowans with plenty of built in insulation.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Oklahoma City Memorial

Branch Davidians
ATF Officer Memorial

Branch Davidians
Current Chapel

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Branch Davidian Memorial

Branch Davidians
Branch Davidians are an offshoot of Seventh Day Adventists.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
Gate.

Branch Davidians

Branch Davidians
The road outside of Mount Carmel.

Branch Davidians
The Branch

Alamo Bowl Road Trip
Selfie with Heather.

During the tour Heather didn’t say anything positive about David Koresh. She talked about how he separated her from her dad and took over her discipline.

As a child Heather was pigeon-toed. He used to make her walk back and forth the length of Mount Carmel. He would hit her with a stick when he felt she was walking pigeon-toed.

If David Koresh would have stayed alive and remained in power, she would have become one of his wives when she turned 14.

Mount Carmel burned down when I was in high school. We watched it in class. I have seen at least 5 documentaries on it. I have seen a movie on it. Willy and I watched the WACO television show last year. The tragedy of what happened there didn’t really hit home until I was standing on the same ground where it all happened. It is something I will never forget.

We thanked Heather again for sharing and giving us a tour. I felt like a doucher, but I asked for a picture with her. She obliged willingly. She asked us to friend her on The Facebook. This made me feel like less of a doucher.

I broke my 2 month absence from Facebook long enough to become her friend on The Facebook, but I haven’t been back since. If I ever get the stomach to return, I’ll hit her up and see if she remembers us and see how she is doing.

We gave her a hug. Loaded back up in the rental and left Waco profoundly changed in a way that is hard to figure. My best guess is that it would be the way you would change if you saw the Vietnam War Memorial with a veteran of the Vietnam War or if you talked to a holocaust survivor or met somebody that was in the towers on 9/11. Something that was merely academic, was suddenly real.

We were a couple hours from San Antonio and several hours from the kickoff, but the game seemed decidedly less important than it did just an hour or so earlier.

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


WEEK 177 - RUINS
RUINS

A RUINS photo is a picture of something that is in decay.

Happy photo harvesting!

*If we ever have Youth Group again, we will briefly discuss the lynching of Jesse Washington
**David Thibodeau is the survivor that wrote the book that part of the television show WACO is based on. He was played by Rory Caulkin in the show. I can’t recommend that show highly enough.
***Heather is featured in a documentary about the Branch Davidians that aired on A&E in 2018. I have procured a digital copy of it. If you ever want to watch it, I can arrange it. But you have to ask nicely.

2019 Photography 139 Calendar

Yes Virginia, there was a Photography 139 Calendar this year. However, I didn’t sell them this year. I just made a small run and gave them out to a very few small group of select people.

Here are the pictures from the 2019 Photography 139 Calendar:


2019 Calendar - Cover

The front cover is a picture of William McAlpine peering through the hole in a brick. It was taken in the backyard of the Photography 139 Studio. It was taken for the FRAMED theme of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

This photo was entered into the 2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was accepted for display.

Willy is the first person to appear in a Photography 139 Calendar since the 2012 Calendar featured a final rendition of THE 9 EMOTIONS PROJECT that included images of AmyJunck-Wallendal, William McAlpine, Derrick Gorshe, Shannon Bardole, Jesse Howard, Jennifer Gorshe, Sara Junck, Jill Gorshe, and Jay Janson.


2019 Calendar - January

The January image was taken on a very foggy Christmas Eve morning. It was taken facing northeast from the road in upper Ledges State Park.

This image was entered in the 2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was selected for display.


2019 Calendar - February

The February image of a red hibiscus was taken in the Photography 139 Flower Garden in 2017.

Unfortunately, the hibiscus did not survive the winter and did not return to the Photography 139 Flower Garden in 2018.


2019 Calendar - March

The March image is of a lily is located in the Photography 139 Flower Garden. It is located in a designated lily patch near the birdbath.

While this macro photo might appear to be one image, it is actually the product of a technique called focus stacking. This image is actually 7 images with different focus ranges stacked one on top of the other.

This photo was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but it lost the popular vote and was not entered.


2019 Calendar - April

The April image was taken at The Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa. It was taken on a road trip with my Office Buddy Joe Lynch. It was taken with the in-camera black & white HDR setting.

This image was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme of the image was to go some place “touristy” and take a “non-touristy” picture.

The picture of Mary holding a crucified Jesus was selected for April to coincide with the celebration of Easter.

This image was entered in the Photoshop category of the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. It won 1st Place.


2019 Calendar - May

The May image is of the sculputre Skallagrim by Peter Lundberg. Skallagrim is located in the Franconia Sculpture Park near Shafer, Minnesota.

I took this photo on a trip there with Bethany, Dae Hee, and Nora.

The image is HDR toned and is used as the base image for a Small World image.


2019 Calendar - June

The June image was taken on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. It was taken on the Liberty Bowl Road Trip I took with Russell Kennerly and Jesse Howard to watch the Iowa State Cyclones defeat the Memphis Tigers.

The image was originally taken in color and was transformed into black and white in post production.


2019 Calendar - July

The July image is of a hollyhock from the Photography 139 Studio Flowerbed. This pink hollyhock grew in the dedicated hollyhock patch along the north fenceline.

This macro image was taken while experimenting with a new set of extension tubes.

This image was nominated for the flower category for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but was not entered.


2019 Calendar - August

The August image was taken in the midway of the Iowa State Fair. It was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme of the picture was to take a picture of something that is “nondescript during the day.”

The image was taken when I was able to sneak away during a break in the action of Baby Got Rack’s competitive barbecue competition.

The image was HDR toned in post-production.


2019 Calendar - September

The September image was taken of a grasshopper at Big Creek State Park near Polk City, Iowa. The image was taken for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT. The theme for this image was to create a playlist and listen to it while taking pictures. The playlist I selected was the BABY DRIVER SOUNDTRACK. I was listening to the song “Bongolia” by Incredible Bongo Band when I took this image.

2019 Calendar - October

The October image of a ram lounging was taken in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. The image I was taken on the way home on a road trip I took with my Mom to Mount Rushmore.

This image was voted to be entered in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Nature Category.


2019 Calendar - November

The November image was taken at the Iowa State Fair in the Discovery Garden. It was originally taken in color and converted to black and white in post-production.

It was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Nature Category, but it was not entered.


2019 Calendar - December

The December image of an abandoned dump truck was taken in Boone, Iowa near the south terminus of Division Street.

The image was color processed through the Color Efex Pro 4 plugin during post production.

The image was nominated for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Hidden Treasures of Boone County category, but was not entered.

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There are a few calendars to handout, but for the most part delivery has finished. Almost on time this year.

06-11-08

The pictures from the folder 06-11-08 are from a road trip I took with Willy and Jay to Dyersville. The point of the road trip was to see The Field of Dreams. Jay actually suggested this road trip, even though he doesn’t like baseball. I agreed to go, even though I don’t like the movie FIELD OF DREAMS.

Also on the trip, we stopped at the Basilica of Dyersville. I’m not 100% sure of what Basilica is, but I believe it is a really fancy Catholic church where the Pope can hang out if he ever get kicked out of Rome.

Here are some pictures from the road trip:


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


Field of Dreams Road Trip


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

Field of Dreams

St. Francis Xavier Basilica

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve a trip to the Iowa State Fair!

08-03-08

The pictures in the folder 08-03-08 is from the third day of my vacation in Kentucky with Teresa.

On that day, we went to a Southern Baptist Church service. We spent 3 hours at the church service, before we snuck out the back. I’m not sure how much long it went on. There were some positives about the church service. The music was amazing. The people were friendly. The story of the church was fascinating. It was started by a former prisoner. When he got out of prison he started the church with a mission of helping other convicts of surviving outside of prison and not falling back into the actions that got them in prison the first time.

The negative was it was the only time I’ve heard hate preached from a pulpit. At least hate on a certain group of people. The weird part of it was the pastor wasn’t even talking about the group of people he hated. He just threw a couple of bombs at them for no apparent reason. It was kind of sad.

After the 3+ hour church service, we also went to the lake and watch birds. Then we went to Ernie’s pond and fed his catfish.

Here are some pictures from the day:


Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008













Kentucky Vacation - 2008













Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

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:

KENTUCKY – DAY 3

Next week’s walk down memory lane will involve driving home from Kentucky and a look at some Abraham Lincoln history!

08-01-08

The pictures in the folder 08-01-08 are from a trip I made to Kentucky with Teresa to visit Ernie.

On the way down we stopped in Metropolis. Visited an illegal immigrant friend of mine. He’s a good chap. Maybe you’ve heard of him:


Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

Kentucky Vacation - 2008

I highly endorse going to Metropolis. It is pretty cool!

By adding these images to The Photography 139 Gallery I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” blog to its original glory:

The South – Day 1

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will continue to revolve around this 2008 trip to Kentucky.

Focus Stack II

There are only a few hours left to cast your vote for what pictures I will be entering in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. If the poll ended this second, this would be the results:


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo would win. It has a 2 vote lead.

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo….

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
Is tied with this photo. So tomorrow there would be an emergency runoff election.
2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo would win. It has a 4 vote lead.

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo would win. It has a one vote lead.

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo…

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
Would be tied with this photo. Tomorrow there would be an emergency runoff election.

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee
This photo would win. It has a 2 vote lead.

There still is about 7 hours to vote, if you haven’t voted yet.

+++++++

Once again, I’ve been messing around a little bit with focus stacking. Here are 2 images I created with the technique:


FOCUS STACK - LILY

Coneflower - Focus Stack

I think I’ll continuing playing with these technique more in the future.

The Juncks – Vol. 1

REMINDER

It is once again time for me (and by me, I mean you guys) to pick out my photos to enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. Once again, I am going to leave it up to a popular vote.

The Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest allows you to enter up to 6 photos.

There are 4 Categories:

1. Nature
2. Photojournalism
3. Photoshop Enhanced
4. Hidden Treasures of Boone County.

I have selected 60 images for you to consider. To simplify things, I have split the 60 photos into 6 sets of 10. If you wish to exercise your enfranchisement, clicking on the link below will take you to Poll #1. Vote for one of those pictures and then move onto the next poll, until you have voted in all six polls.

The winner of EACH poll will be entered into the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

Click on the link below to start voting:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominees

Voting will end at midnight, August 8.

As of this writing, if the polls closed, there would need to be a run-off election in the categories of Photoshop and Photojournalism.

The other 4 entries would be:


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

+++++++

Hitting that 2016 backlog again. Just a few more Sundays and I’ll have all of the 2016 backlog knocked out. Definitely before 2019!

Here we check in on a portrait session I did with the Juncks. You can tell that it is old because there is no Maven!


The Juncks - 2016

The Juncks - 2016

The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


The Juncks - 2016


You think working with toddlers is hard work… try getting David Junck to look at the camera!!

There is one more collection of pictures from this photo shoot on the way. Don’t worry, there is plenty more of Gretchen being adorable coming your way!

Flowers, Always and Always

REMINDER

It is once again time for me (and by me, I mean you guys) to pick out my photos to enter in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. Once again, I am going to leave it up to a popular vote.

The Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest allows you to enter up to 6 photos.

There are 4 Categories:

1. Nature
2. Photojournalism
3. Photoshop Enhanced
4. Hidden Treasures of Boone County.

I have selected 60 images for you to consider. To simplify things, I have split the 60 photos into 6 sets of 10. If you wish to exercise your enfranchisement, clicking on the link below will take you to Poll #1. Vote for one of those pictures and then move onto the next poll, until you have voted in all six polls.

The winner of EACH poll will be entered into the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

Click on the link below to start voting:

Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominees

Voting will end at midnight, August 8.

As of this writing, if there are no votes between now and the end of the voting, these will be the Entries:


2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest Nominee

+++++++

A friendly reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is TREE:


WEEK 151 - TREE
TREE


A TREE picture is any picture that involves a TREE or a TREE byproduct.

Happy photo harvesting!

+++++++

I must have flowers, always and always.
-Claude Monet

Monet is one of my favorite painters and his work is definitely an influence on my photography. There was a point that I could argue that my most popular photo was named after Monet’s personal garden. I called the photo “My Giverny”.

I respect Monet’s love of flowers. I like to have a wide variety of flowers in my yard. Of course, I always have to visit the Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair.

These are the balance of pictures from my trip to the Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair last year:


Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

Iowa State Fair - Discovery Garden

I have more State Fair pictures to share at some point in the future. The near future.

You Still Wonder Why I Existed, I Exist in a World That’s Real Different!

I need to start this post with yet another apology. On Monday, when I posted the submissions for RELIGION and THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE I did not post a second picture submitted by Andy.

This was not an error of carelessness like in some past weeks. I legitimately didn’t know that it was a submission.

You see, he sent me a picture of Hawkeye propaganda. I didn’t realize that it was a submission for RELIGION. I thought he was committing a hate crime and I nearly called the police.

However, I remember that in some societies, being a Hawkeye fan is considered a mental illness. With the way this society stigmatizes mental illness, I thought I better just pretend like nothing happened. Back away from the propaganda and nobody gets hurt.

But the ordeal wasn’t over. You see before Andy sent me the picture of his boat, he implied that I might not publish his submission. I let him know that I will publish ANY submission that doesn’t get me in trouble with the law.

He then sent me a picture of his boat with the following explanation:

I feel closest to God in my boat on water at sunrise or sunset…

I can relate to this sentiment. I don’t fish (much), although I did catch a fish worthy of a Master Angler Big Fish award once, but didn’t turn it in due to my modesty. I also often feel closest to God when I am in nature.

I texted back:

I was worried it was going to be some Hawkeye garbage.

He then sent me the picture of Hawkeye propaganda with the commentary that they go together. I didn’t put together that the pictures went together. I thought that the propaganda was on the boat, because it is.

I have since rectified the situation. If you click on the link below, you can see Andy’s submitted Hawkeye propaganda:

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – WEEK 142 – RELIGION

Now that bit of unpleasantness is behind us, I need to remind you that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is:


WEEK 143 - WORK
WORK!


A WORK picture is anything that involves WORK. A person WORKing. The tools somebody uses when they are WORKing. The results of WORKing. If you don’t know what WORK is, ask an immigrant. They get the job done. We all know that Peter Piper claimed he picked them, he just underpaid Pablo.

The world wasn’t ready for the following RELIGION pictures on Monday. Not sure the world is ready now, but I can’t hold them back any longer:


Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

Religion - Alternate

You’re welcome world!

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE REMINDER – RELIGION

It is reminder time!


Don’t forget that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is RELIGION!


You should also remember photos should be submitted by 11 AM CST to bennett@photography139.com.

What is a RELIGION photo? Here is an example below:


Week 142 - Religion
RELIGION


A RELIGION photo will show either a religious activity, a religious building, a religious book, a religious piece of art… The possibilities go on and on and on.

Happy photo harvesting!