Cellpic Sunday – 23 June 2019

Mandan, North Dakota.

A couple of Sundays ago, I made the trip to Mandan’s Y19 airport for their annual Planes and Pancakes fly-in. I try to get there every year to help share the Civil Air Patrol story, sometimes bringing along the glider behind me. That was the case on this day, as well as hoping to give some Civil Air Patrol members a sortie or two in the glider after we showed it off to the fly-in attendees. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 9 June 2019

Fargo, North Dakota.

OK, so this isn’t technically a Cellpic. It is, however, captured from a truly mobile device. First, the backstory… One of the newest missions of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) involves the use of small unmanned aerial systems, in CAP parlance, sUAS Missions. In the common vernacular, drones. The sUAS class of device weighs between .5 (266 g) and 55 lbs (25 kg). In a word, “small”. In the last couple of years, I’ve gone through the steps needed to become a Commercial sUAS Pilot. The FAA calls this class of license a Part 107 and CAP requires that all of our members who wish to pilot one of these devices hold a Part 107 UAS license.

There will be more to this story in future posts, but for now, I thought I would share a “dronie” photo, a term equivalent to a “selfie” in Cellphone parlance. I’ve purchased one of these little marvels of flying photo technology and I am learning to fly it. They aren’t that hard to fly in automatic modes, but CAP needs pilots who can fly with precision without depending upon automatic modes often built into these devices.

About the photo: During one of my practice take off and landing sessions, I brought the aircraft to a hover a few feet in front of us and asked my wife, Lynn, to push the camera button to take a snapshot. The photo from the camera in RAW mode is 4056 x 3040 pixels (4K). Though usually prized for their video prowess, drones make very capable still cameras. This image was tweaked with Lightroom and Luminar Flex to bring out definition in the sky and overall detail in the image. The rule for Cellpic Sunday has not been changed… the image must be captured by a mobile device… after all, what’s more mobile than a drone?

John Steiner

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – History

Mandan, North Dakota.

This week’s photo challenge asks us to consider sharing something historic. Patti Moed writes, “History can be personal or public. It can last for a moment, a decade, or a century. It is local, national, or international. It can be a monument, a relic, a person, a place, or a memento.” Her challenge is punctuated by a gallery of images from around the world that focus on historic places, people, and times. You can read her entire challenge post here. Continue reading

Chief Looking’s Village – Sonali’s Garden

Bismarck, North Dakota.

In August, 2015, Lynn and I were in Bismarck for a Civil Air Patrol activity. While there, I decided to scout around for a place to capture the sunset. What came of that evening’s exploration was an image of the Missouri River Valley captured by my cell phone. I’d gathered other images with my Nikon, but the cell phone capture above ended up being my favorite. The majority of images captured that day were featured in a blog post on macro photography as I spent some time in a small garden that was ablaze with summer flowers.  Continue reading

Buckstop Junction – The Buck Stops Here in Bismarck

Bismarck, North Dakota.

It’s harvest time in North Dakota and one of the annual activities of the season for a dozen years now, is Applefest, a celebration of autumn and a fundraiser for the Bismarck Cancer Center. Applefest this year was September 22 and 23 and as in years past was held at Buckstop Junction, a recreated pioneer village on the southeast end of the Bismarck metro area. Activities included everything from a pie eating contest to a 5K run and many more. Having recently stopped at a frontier village at Jamestown, on our way to Bismarck, we decided to check out Buckstop Junction. It was our good fortune to be there during Applefest 2018. Continue reading

But I Digress – Louis L’Amour, Favorite Son of Jamestown North Dakota

Jamestown, North Dakota.

One of the more interesting attractions in Jamestown’s Frontier Village (see last week’s Travel Tuesday post,) is the building known as Louis L’amour’s writing shack. The building has nothing to do with where he wrote as he left Jamestown as a teenager, but is instead an homage to his prolific writing. Born the last of seven children in the midwestern farming community of Jamestown, North Dakota, Louis spent the first fifteen years of his life there. Though he never finished high school, he was a self-educated man, for a short time a prize fighter, a hobo riding the American railroads, and eventually one of the most successful and prolific writers in the 20th century.  Continue reading