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

Cellpic Sunday – 4 November 2018

Fargo, North Dakota.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… er, ah, I mean, a short time ago in a parking lot nearby, I found this Nissan Rogue. The owner, just getting back to his Rogue from the local Best Buy store, paused for a photo with his transportation. My favorite part of the tack is the lightsaber on the rear window wiper. Too bad his vehicle wasn’t washed and prepped for its photo shoot and debut on these august pages. >grin< Continue reading

Red River Zoo – A WOW Experience for the Community

Fargo, North Dakota.

Fargo opened a zoo in 1999, and 18 years later, Lynn and I finally decided to visit. Not that we have anything against zoos or this zoo in particular. It just wasn’t a priority for us. A chance mention made me realize that our grandson, Owen, who lives with our daughter has been there several times. It was about time for Owen to show us what we’ve been missing. The first unusual animal is the tigeralo (what else would you call it?) As part of an art exhibit some years ago, painted buffalo are found all around the city. I’d never seen this buffalo painted in tiger stripes. I thought it is very creative and fitting for the zoo, though there are no big cats of any kind on exhibit here. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 5 August 2018

Fargo, North Dakota.

I’ve been overloaded this week on aviation. The Blue Angels performed last weekend here. I did some glider towing for one of our pilots to take his glider checkride, our glider (with that pilot) spent this weekend at the Northern Neighbors Day Airshow at Minot Air Force Base, and I spent the last two days working with Air Force and Civil Air Patrol National staff as we concluded the North Dakota Wing’s Compliance Inspection (a close-up look at our state operations that happens every four years. (We came away from that inspection looking good with only a few bits of administrivia that need to be addressed in the next several weeks.) Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 29 July 2018

Fargo, North Dakota.

This week the Blue Angels are in town for a visit. Earlier this week I noticed #7 sitting on the ramp at the Jet Center. This aircraft is the only two-passenger aircraft in their fleet. It’s used for media rides and other special purposes. I understand it arrives early in the week to be available for such events. As this is being written, I am preparing to help at the Civil Air Patrol booth. We have our FLIR-equipped Cessna 182 and our glider on display. Expect a photo story on this in an upcoming Travel Tuesday. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge – Tour Guide


Fargo, North Dakota.

This week, Krista Stevens asks us to share what we love about where we live. In her challenge post, she shares images of her home city of Winnipeg, Canada. She comments about not having many tourists come to her city. You can read her entire challenge post here. My wife, Lynn, and I live only about four hours south of Krista’s home town. Like Winnipeg, Fargo isn’t a tourist mecca, though there are plenty of interesting things to see and do in the city where I worked for over three decades. When I retired we had the chance to move, but elected to stay living in the community that we’ve called home since 1978. OK, so we got a bit tired of the cold and now spend our winters in the great Southwest, but we always return to our home each spring. Continue reading