Joseph Hallenbeck

Anno Domini 2010

December 03, 2010

A Return from the Southwest

Filed under: Wanderlust
I just returned from a month-long road trip around the southwest. After six long months at Jewel Cave, a few weeks of camping in the frigid nights of a desert winter, waking to gusting winds, and traversing three-thousand miles of the American west, I feel a renewed vigor for returning to work. I notice that film equipment never fails to break right before a big trip (when I toured Ireland in 2008 my auto-focus on my telephoto lens broke). This time I not only broke my tripod immediately before the trip, I discovered that my flashgun wouldn’t fire on the...
September 21, 2010

Dust in the Camera

Settings Nikon D80 with a 35mm lens (52mm equivalent) Shutter Speed 1/6s Aperature f/22.0 ISO 100 Filter Circular Polarizer A friend and I went out to St. Onge, SD last weekend to capture some photographs of the old abandoned buildings out that way. After a hundred shots, I got home, unloaded them into Adobe Bridge and found this massive spec of dust on every photo. I checked my filters, checked each lens. Took a dozen practice shots. I found no dust on any lens, filter, nor saw it in the view screen. Which left only one place: the sensor. Now...
August 27, 2010


Filed under: Journal
Right now, I’m finishing my work with Sunset Office Cleaning and I hope to see their website live by the end of September. After that, expect some remodeling around here. I’ve decided that this particular site attempts to focus on too many of my activities at once. Ergo, I’m going to break into a sequence of sub-domains with each site focusing on a particular aspect of my work: web design/development, print design, photography, and writing. (I also hope to increase my output for Drifting in the Sea of Nihilism once the site development is done. Speculation continues as to where...
Last night, I took my first stab at cave photography while on a caving trip with two friends into Jewel Cave. Out of 61 shots taken that night, only two felt “okay.” Settings Nikon D80 with a 35mm lens (52mm equivalent) Shutter Speed 1.3s Aperature f/11.0 ISO 100 2 Vivitar 283s with a firefly 2 flash Jessie Ketchum models on the canyoning portion of Jewel Cave’s Wild Caving Route. A slave flash fired by Vicki Bierwirth from below lights the corridor beyond Jessie while a secondary flash, held at arm’s length from the camera, provides fill for Jessie. I would’ve...
August 10, 2010

Hitting the Road Again

Filed under: Journal
Ploughshares says “no” to “Model Crow.” So once again, I’m off to the market to see where else this story might go. I discovered (to my chagrin) that many publications close their doors to submissions through the summer months, so although I sit on a nice stack of poems and stories ready for the slush pile, I’ve no where to send them. In the meantime, I concentrate on my website work. I began the process of splicing together Sunset Office Cleaning’s design and setting up the proper style sheets that will display their website brilliantly across the net. Once this...
Photos of the moon seem to rarely turn out. They’re either out of focus, too bright, or too dim. Last night I climbed up Little Devil’s Tower in Custer State Park and after fidgeting with my telephoto for some time captured one good image of the moon. Above is the result. I took this cropped shot of the moon on my Nikon d80 using the Nikkor 18-200mm zoom lens fully extended to 200mm, a 1/60s shutter speed, f/11 f-stop and set on ISO 100. The result is my first sharp image of the moon.
July 21, 2010

Summer Update

Filed under: Journal
Amongst caving, hiking, and all that fun under the summer sun, I somehow find time to update this portfolio. A quick update on what’s going on right now: Drifting in the Sea of Nihilism celebrates one month of persistent updates! (consequently, I also celebrate twenty-five years of avoiding death). My short story “Model Crow,” is beginning to make the rounds to magazines. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping someone picks it up. I retooled large sections of the portfolio to reflect my growing push towards graphic design in web and print media. This includes updated resumes, an expansion of my...
I discovered webcomics back in high school, but my love of comics went a long ways back. I’ve collected comic books since grade school, loved Bill Waterson’s Calvin & Hobbes and Gary Larson’s Farside. I recall wanting to be a cartoonist in the third grade, and now it seems I’ve started to make that come true. Yesterday was the launch of Drifting in the Sea of Nihilism: Experiments in Comicking, my first stab into the world of webcomics. Drifting will update on Tuesdays and Thursdays following two separate storylines and possibly more as I continue to hone my skills at the craft...
VLP USD Dakota Hall 212 414 E Clark, Vermillion, SD 57069-2390 In other news, my time in the lovely city of Seattle is at an end. I elected to return to my post at Jewel Cave National Monument for another exciting season of leading visitors through the cave. Monument staff have already asked me to do a follow up of last year’s Jewel Cave Scout Ranger Booklet in the form of a new publication: The Jewel Cave Jr. Spelunker Booklet.
February 06, 2010

The Dogged Philosopher

Filed under: Philosophy
This week I would like to announce The Dogged Philosopher, a new website and blog  I developed to showcase my philosophic writings, various literary essays, and discourses of a more political nature. The Dogged Philosopher will be updated multiple times a week (time permitting from other writing projects), so please bookmark it and check it regularly if you would like an insight into my thinking or additional examples of my research work.
As of late, I became greatly concerned with justice. Not the particularities of certain virtues, but the general systems and movements we make as individuals to navigate through our judgments as we pursue happiness in our lives. In the past, we looked to the wise to find our solutions, but following wise men fell out of favor. Culture still exists and still informs our acts. Yet for many, Hegal lays broken on the ground as the masses trod about making one ethical paradigm shift after another until they muddied the river and no one really knows what Culture was trying...
I am excited to announce that my first professional publication for the National Park Service is now available. I got a call yesterday saying the print copy of the Jewel Cave Scout Ranger Activity Booklet is back from the printers and is now available at Jewel Cave National Monument. My copy is still in the mail, but if the test prints indicate anything, the final print will be one of the highest quality free publications the park service offers. If you are a scouting or youth organization planning a visit to the Black Hills of South Dakota, please take time...
January 22, 2010

A Statement of Purpose

Filed under: Journal
My experience in blogging indicates that without some statement of why the blog exists or what the blog will cover the blog will gradually sink into a meandering journal of the author’s random thoughts. I know this, because I have blogs filled with my random musings. Let this one be different. Let it focus more on informing others rather than introspectively informing myself. What might you find here in future entries? Announcements relating to my upcoming publications, current writings, and work. A highlight of my photographs and artwork Short essays on philosophy, travelogues, and art reviews