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Driving through Nature in Siouxland, Rural Cherokee County

16 Sep

Some days driving about Siouxland I just enjoy the look of nature, even if it incorporates a bit of agriculture. It’s still bucolic and relaxing and away from any glitz and hubbub of life in any fast lane. Cows are only interested if you brought any feed with you as long as you are stopping by. They gaze, then go about grazing again, just enjoying the day and the quiet of the countryside.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A bucolic scene in rural Cherokee County, Iowa Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bucolic scene in rural Cherokee County, Iowa Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Driving about Siouxland, Rural Iowa

8 Sep

Some days I get into my car and just drive about Siouxland. No particular destination in mind, just some wandering about the area looking at what is there.

Impressions of a summer’s day and scenes in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was a dreary, overcast day the day I went out and so began photographing in B&W to match soft light and pale look I saw as I went about. I find shooting black and white images digitally more challenging that when I photographed with black and white film. Then at least I could count on how I processed the film and eventually what kind of photo paper to print on to achieve a print that I liked. Now it’s all about seeing tonality and understanding the conversion digitally via software. And there is some very excellent software around to help people. I pretty much stick to Adobe Photoshop and Elements when I do my work.

Impressions of a later summer’s day and scenes in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Impressions of a summer’s day and scenes in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I don’t always feel like I achieve the same affect, but I keep trying and the software keeps getting better. So eventually I might achieve what I am looking to capture.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Impressions of a summer’s day and scenes in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A look into Nature in Siouxland, Alex Wiles at the Betty Strong Encounter Center

2 Sep

Photographer Alex Wiles talks about his Flood Plain Project involving the Missouri River at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Alex Wiles is a very accomplished photographer and spent part of a recent Sunday in Siouxland at the Betty Strong Encounter Center sharing his passion of photography which he uses to help illuminate the need for conservation. He has traveled the world seeking to shine a lot on endangered species and share that knowledge with others.

Photographs by Alex Wiles fill an exhibit space as attendees listen how he photographed the animals for his Flood Plain Project involving the Missouri River while giving a demonstration at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Photographer Alex Wiles gives a demonstration to attendees about how he photographed the animals for his Flood Plain Project involving the Missouri River at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Wiles not only explained his project about the Flood Plain, but had also set up a demonstration to share with photographers attending the talk how he goes about photographing these creatures. Working as a freelance photographer and from some grants, he is a bare-boned, simple equipment photographer focused on results and not name brand gear. It was refreshing to see such work being done with minimal dollars invested. Although in recent years third party photography brands have produced some gear that rivals some of the larger known brands but don’t break the bank. So if it’s damaged in the field, it’s easy enough to replace. Although having done freelance work for a few years one tries not to damage gear in the field.

Photographer Alex Wiles explains to attendees how he photographs animals for his Flood Plain Project involving the Missouri River at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And it’s nice to see someone pursue their passion attempt to make a difference, and share that and their knowledge with others along the way.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Photographer Alex Wiles explains to attendees how he photographed some of the animals for his Flood Plain Project involving the Missouri River at the Betty Strong Encounter Center in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summer in Siouxland, Rural Plymouth County

29 Aug

A summer’s day in rural Plymouth County, IowaThursday, Aug.9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Driving around Siouxland it is hard not to see a bucolic scene along the highways and byways. Part of the charm of “flyover” country is that it appears peaceful and unhurried. That is not always the case as evidenced by news stories. And for those who are on a pell-mell journey to arrive at their next destination before they left their current place, forever is a word that pops up often on the trip.

But that is the allure of such a place. Quiet, slow, peaceful and calm. And enjoying the moment that is presented here and now.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying Nature and its Creatures in Siouxland, Winnebago, NE

19 Aug

Recently I did a little work for a friend that required me to photograph some bison near the community of Winnebago, NE. These graceful creatures move fairly swiftly if they want too and are very aware of their surroundings. Trying to get close-up photographs of them was challenging. But also fun to watch them move about within an enclosure near the outskirts of the community. And being patient as they come to realize you mean them no harm.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Bison graze in a field across from a Ho-Chunk housing development in Winnebago, NE Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Bison grazing in a field late afternoon near Winnebago, Nebraska Friday June 22, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Bison grazing in a field late afternoon near Winnebago, Nebraska Friday June 22, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland’s Tonality of Summer, Le Mars Bike Trail

17 Aug

Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don’t, to borrow a jingle from a candy bar commercial. Walking the Le Mars Bike Trail is always pleasant. More pleasant when the weather is cooler, but I like the route and depending on whether one is a nut one day or not, a person can see something numerous times and yet see it differently.

Light and shadow involving a highway bridge and supports along the Le Mars bike path in Le Mars, Iowa July 20, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have traversed this route numerous times. And I always try to see it differently. This time I looked at it through tones, as in black and white tones. My first few photographic jobs as a newspaper photographer involved shooting B&W for these various publications. And it is through the tonal variety within an image as well as the subject matter that creates the photograph which people may remember. Color does not help here. And if one looks at color when shooting B&W it may even skew results because those bright reds will be surprisingly dark shades of grey. And to differentiate a person in similar color that seems apparent in the “real” world we live in, is not in B&W. One must be a little more deliberate in the execution of creating a photograph.

Light and shade along the Le Mars bike path in Le Mars, Iowa July 20, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

You want highlights to draw a viewer’s attention and lead them merrily through your photograph to a destination that can be mysterious or in plain sight. But in black and white it still must deliver a final effort or effect which is what hopes all photographs will do.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shade along the Le Mars bike path in Le Mars, Iowa July 20, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Exploring Summer in Siouxland, Lakeside Lab in Milford

11 Aug

Clouds dot the sky on a perfect summer’s day at the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One of the stone hut labs built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s at the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always enjoy stopping by the Lakeside Lab near Milford up by the lakes when I get the chance. Every season of course brings a different look to the place. Summer has its own bit of color, although in places one has to look closely.

Except for those extremely hot and humid days, hanging out near the water is a delight. As is exploring the area looking for various subjects and just seeing what is there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Boats sit stacked and waiting for use at the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of plants decorate the grounds of the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flowering plants that maybe part of the study mission dot the area at the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flowering plants follow the sun at the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

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