Making Choices for Placement when Photographing in Siouxland, Sioux City

16 Feb

One of the toughest things to decide sometimes when I am photographing in Siouxland and elsewhere is how I want to frame up a subject and where I want to place that subject within the frame. Placing a subject within the frame of a photograph can evoke different emotions or feelings about that photo, even if it’s a simple outdoors image. Does a viewer believe they are right there with the photographer viewing the subject, or at a distance, purveying a scene from afar.

Perspective has a lot to do with presenting viewers images and the subjects contained within. And what is it the photographer wants the viewer to see, or experience with the image, if anything.  It’s all very subjective. But the photographer needs to show a person seeing an image what it is he/she sees, because it is their vision or perspective or object they want to share. And photography is all about visuals and sharing them with others.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A foggy day near the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A foggy day near the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Warm-up in Siouxland, Bacon Creek Park, Sioux City

14 Feb

A runner takes advantage of a warm day at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

During a recent change in weather in Siouxland, I ventured out to a local park, Bacon Creek, to enjoy some breathable fresh air without my lungs freezing. And I wasn’t alone. The recent extreme temperatures that with windchill was well below zero, approaching almost a -40 degrees. But people with their dogs or by themselves getting some exercise were enjoying the 40 degree weather, practically a 100 degree swing from the couple days previous.

On a warmer day than normal people walks the path at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A runner and her dog enjoy the warmer than normal day at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

More snow and cold is expected in the forecasts which is not to be unexpected for this time of year. But it is nice for a respite from the very cold weather and a chance to enjoy nature again without feeling the need to hurry from one indoor location to the next.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Someone left a Christmas ornament hanging on one of the trees at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A warm day at Bacon Creek park Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Art Around Siouxland, Great Plains Art Center, Lincoln, NE

12 Feb

The Great Plains Art Collection and exhibit space sits just a few blocks from the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am always an enthusiast to enjoy art galleries when I visit new places in and around Siouxland, and for that matter, those places I frequent more often. I accidentally walked by this exhibit space a couple of times knowing I was close, but not seeing the hanging signs from the direction I was coming from. The exhibit I saw featured a number of local or Nebraskan artists, in all different mediums. While not a big fan of sculpture, there was plenty of hanging art to view.

The Great Plains Art Collection and exhibit space shows off regional artists, Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the next time I am in Lincoln, NE I now have a landmark that should make it easy for me to remember this place, as well as the history of the Siouxland area because of an expedition a couple of centuries earlier.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Statues of the Lewis and Clark explorers sit outside the entrance to the Great Plains Art Collection and exhibit space sits just a few blocks from the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Spring Temps bring Fog in Siouxland, Sioux City

10 Feb

Fog along the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Recently Mother Nature has been giving Siouxland residents a roller coaster ride with temperatures going from extreme cold, to warm and extreme cold again. But visually it’s a break during the winter months, as well as a nice break to get outdoors without wearing 10 layers for warmth. I attended a presentation about wildlife photography recently and spent a few moments on the walking path nearby and enjoying the warmer temps and the fog created as it rose off the Missouri River. Not one anymore for being out in extreme cold, it was nice to spend a few minutes enjoying some fresh air and creating some images that don’t always occur. But Mother Nature has more in store yet this winter, and sometimes one needs to be patient to enjoy it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A foggy day along the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Fog obscures the Missouri River Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Daydreaming in Siouxland, Le Mars

8 Feb

With the recent polar vortex hitting the Siouxland area and other parts of the Midwest and the U.S., I have been daydreaming of spring and summer. Warmer temps and the chance to wander about outside and not worry about freezing one’s arse or nose off. It just doesn’t apply to us poor humans. Area birds seek shelter out of the cold and blowing wind and snow and a perch that isn’t covered. And eventually the warmer temps and chance to wander will arrive, but until then, just some wistful thinking.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A fall scene in a neighborhood of Le Mars, Iowa, Tuesday Oct. 17, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Birds sit on a deck railing out of the wind on a cold February day, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Dark Event in Siouxland’s History, Inkpaduta and the Massacre, Arnolds Park

6 Feb

Every place probably has a dark past somewhere along the way. Even in Siouxland as mentioned previously a band of renegade Sioux Indians massacred white settlers in the Arnolds Park region and referenced as the Spirit Lake Massacre. And a memorial still exists in the region today telling perhaps only the one side of what happened, as tragic as the tale is.

The Spirit Lake Massacre Monument with the Gardner Cabin in the background which tells the story of a young girl was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. The museum is situated in the back center. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A museum and a replica Gardner Cabin is of historical significance for the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

This explanation appears on the history net website, while still does not excuse the massacre that took place, it helps give a fuller picture of why events took place. “In the spring of 1857, the renegade Wahpekute Dakota Chief Inkpaduta and his band of warriors descended on the homesteads near Spirit Lake in northwestern Iowa and committed murder and mayhem. The causes of the massacre are still debated. One reason can be traced to an 1854 episode when a whiskey trader and horse thief, Henry Lott, and his son killed, among others, Inkpaduta’s blood brother Sintomniduta and Sintomniduta’s wife and five children. Inkpaduta (meaning ‘Scarlet Point’ or ‘Red Cap’) appealed to the military to punish Henry Lott, but the killer fled and was indicted in absentia. The prosecuting attorney, Granville Berkley, took Sintomniduta’s head and skewered it on a pole over his house in a gross act of contempt. Lott was never found, and justice was never served.”

And the site and museum in Arnolds Park allows visitors a look back into time of settlers in the area and the story of Abbie Gardner who survived the massacre as a prisoner and later rescued. A short video presentation in the museum alludes to the wrongs committed  by white settlers against Inkpaduta to help explain why the massacre took place.

A look in a replica of the Gardner Cabin. The historical significance is the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A look in a replica of the Gardner Cabin. The historical significance is the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A look in a replica of the Gardner Cabin. The historical significance is the remembrance of a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the related history in the museum helps fill in the background and what occurred to Gardner who eventually moved back to the Spirit Lake / Arnolds Park region and used the Gardner cabin as one of the first must-see tourist attraction sites in the area.

A photograph, circa 1862, of the Gardner Cabin hangs in a museum near the cabin in Arnolds Park which tells the story of Abbie Gardner, a young girl who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A depiction of an Indian raid in the in the 1850’s seen in a museum in Arnolds Park next to the Gardner Cabin and tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, who was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An 1895 photograph showing Abbie Gardner-Sharp, front row with hat, and seated next to Charles Flandreau and Chetanmaza (Iron Hawk) during a dedication of the Spirit Lake Massacre. Iron Hawk was one of the three Indians who rescued Gardner from the renegade band of Sioux and Flandreau financed the venture to find the captives. The Gardner Cabin stands next to a small museum that tells the story of Gardner-Sharp as a young girl was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Besides the memorial and cabin the site also has the remains of those killed. in a small burial plot.

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre with the Spirit Lake Massacre Monument and the Gardner Cabin and museum in the background which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre near the Gardner Cabin and a museum which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre near the Gardner Cabin and a museum which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A burial plot the Gardner and Luce family members who perished in the 1857 Spirit Lake Massacre near the Gardner Cabin and a museum which tells the story of a young girl, Abbie Garnder, was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in Arnolds Park in the 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one never expects to find that such an event occurred in the area and I have found various little nuggets of history that probably many locals may not be aware of so many decades removed from the actual event. But I find that it helps one understand and better appreciate a place or region with what has gone on before.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Gardner Cabin is a historical remembrance where a young girl was the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Abbie Gardner-Sharp is seen behind a store counter of her family home that in 1891after returning to Arnolds Park and purchasing the cabin, Gardner-Sharp operated one of Iowa’s earliest tourist attractions. This photo and others as well as historical pieces are found in a museum next to the Gardner Cabin where Gardner, as a young girl, was taken captive and then became the sole survivor of a Sioux Indian massacre in 1857 and later found alive, seen in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Monday, July 1, 2014, (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Grandeur Around Siouxland, the Grand Manse, Lincoln, NE

4 Feb

Exploring a new area near Siouxland where one’s never been to before gets the senses into a bit of a hyper drive. Is there enough time to get to see things and spend time dawdling once one finds them?

The Grand Manse was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One a recent visit to Lincoln, NE I came upon a former government building in the downtown area near the capitol called the Grand Manse. I am not certain what it was housed as far as offices, but the gorgeous structure has been repurposed into shops, restaurants and apartments like many former buildings located in a downtown area no long used for the original purpose. The inside area that was accessible is really beautiful and harkens to an era of construction when the workmanship was stellar.

The Grand Manse was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Inside wood gleams and the grandiose amenities normally associated with turn of the century government buildings is still there.

The Grand Manse was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Grand Manse was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Grand Manse was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I wish it was possible to see more of the inside of the structure but I am certain the apartments are splendid, and probably a bit spendy (sp?), being so near the state’s capitol. Maybe government workers of a certain caliber, possibly lobbyist accommodations and local business people. When the mind wanders…….

But exploring a place is what traveling to new places is all about and curiosity is just that, even if one doesn’t get answers. Life can be full of questions. But it’s fun to see what’s there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A photograph hanging in the lobby of the Grand Manse which was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A photograph hanging in the lobby of the Grand Manse which was originally a government building which began in 1904 and reflects the Beaux Arts Neoclassical style of architecture popular in America from 1885 to 1920 and is seen near the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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