Doorways in Siouxland, Vermillion, South Dakota

6 Aug

Some days when I go out looking for images, I don’t always find something I like. And then there are times when I find something and the changing light adds or detracts from what I try to photograph and “capture”. Being successful in achieving an image depends on the photographer and whether or not what they see a particular day feels a need.

I have visited Vermillion, South Dakota numerous times. Yet I always find something there that catches my eye, even if I am not going out of my way to do so. I love serendipity. Others might feel I should push myself more to define something when I photograph it, wait for the light, but after years of working for newspapers and having to deal with what is in front of me at the moment I am photographing, I go with the flow and make best with what I see.

This trip walking around a friend and I came upon an old church that is now serving as an arts center. And what stuck me was the side door. As the sun peeked out from behind clouds and went in again, it created a different image. While checking out the church, I struck up a conversation with a neighbor to the former church and saw an old screen door that I asked permission to photograph. It was lovely. Nice texture and the sun was striking it in a way that appealed to me.

When I have students from one of my community college Lifelong Learning classes out on a Photo Safari, I try to point out such things to them, whether large in scope such as a landscape, or small, like a detail much like the screen door. To get them to begin seeing subjects in either too familiar places or to see ordinary scenes in an unordinary way.

One may not always be successful, but it’s almost always fun.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa


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