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Springing Forward in Siouxland, rural Woodbury County

8 Mar

The sun sets behind a hillside in rural Woodbury County near Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 7, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As daylight savings time kicks in here in Siouxland and elsewhere in the U.S., I will have to stay out a little later to capture a sunset, or earlier for that sunrise. Once the last of winter moves on and the temperature stays in the 50’s or higher, it will be more pleasant shooting either time of day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The sun sets behind a hillside in rural Woodbury County near Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 7, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The sun sets behind a hillside in rural Woodbury County near Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 7, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Perspective in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Lauritzen Gardens

6 Mar

Sometimes going out in Siouxland to photograph is like going to a grocery store. So many choices to choose from depending on what one might like that day. And then there are the choices within the choices.

Perspective is everything.

A day out photographing at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A day out photographing at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I still like photographing with prime lenses, although I do own zooms and use them quite a bit as well. When talking with students I tell them they should set their zoom lens on just one focal length. 18mm, 35mm or 50mm. It helps them learn what that particular focal length produces as far as images with a specific focal length. After a while, when one sees a scene you already begin to formulate in your head the perspective you want to present the scene in. And with primes, or just using a single focal length on a zoom lens, one then needs to zoom with your feet.

With over 600 hours to build a Dodo bird Lego exhibit by Sean Kenney showcases an extinct species seen at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

With over 600 hours to build a Dodo bird Lego exhibit showcases an extinct species seen at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

The different focal lengths also create a different look of the subject matter as well, and how much information a person wants to incorporate in their image. Practice helps one build their own photographic vocabulary. And after a while a person begins seeing the world through a particular focal length. But even when shooting with primes, I still will change out lenses if I think another perspective is better for the subject at hand and will give me a result which I think is better.

Practice helps and never it’s never a bad thing to get outside and look around and enjoy the day taking photographs. Even better when one decidedly creates an image that goes beyond just taking a snapshot.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A day out photographing at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A day out photographing at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the “Seasons” in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

4 Mar

A fountain and water fall flow inside a plant enclosure at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes during inclement weather or seasonal changes, one can seek refuge exploring the indoors as opposed to the outdoors. On a visit to the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE I was surprised to find “waterfalls” in various places within a green house that added to plant environment which is limited during the winter months in the Midwest. While small, the area utilized by the gardens encompasses every inch.

Space is not wasted for exhibiting plants at the the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Unexpected treasures are stashed to be seen at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And on a cold winter’s day it was a nice refuge to see something green and growing and just lending more credence to the upcoming spring season when it will be possible to walk out doors in just a sweater or light jacket and not worry about one’s ears turning red and falling off.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Waterfalls continue to flow at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Godot is Waiting for Spring in Siouxland, rural Monona County

29 Feb

Clouds pass through the area in the Loess Hills area off of the Loess Hills Scenic Byway in Monona County, Iowa Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Spring is slowly wending its way into Siouxland. Temperatures fluctuate between cold in the 20’s and 30’s and warmer, high 40’s and into the 50’s. Talking with friends it’s the latter 50’s we are all currently interested in. While driving some country roads recently I had to be careful as normally sound roads were a muddy glaze that would navigate well in a pickup truck, but not so much with other vehicles.

Clouds pass overhead near a weathered building in the Loess Hills area off of the Loess Hills Scenic Byway in Monona County, Iowa Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Clouds pass through the area in the Loess Hills area off of the Loess Hills Scenic Byway in Monona County, Iowa Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The rural landscape is still pretty dull. Browns, shades of brown populate the hills and dales of the Loess Hills region in Siouxland. No early peeking green shoots could be seen by a passing motorist. But hopefully soon. And a chance to wander again on a bright spring day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

in the Loess Hills area off of the Loess Hills Scenic Byway in Monona County, Iowa Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Finding an Image in Siouxland’s Winter Wonderland, Adams Homestead

25 Feb

Finding the right angle for photographing frost encrusted grass stems at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Wandering about in Siouxland looking for images one sometimes needs to slow down and check various angles. A few inches one direction or another can give a particular image a “different” look. Is the background appropriate to set apart the subject you are photographing. On especially cold days when the toes begin to go numb that can be challenging. Slowing down and looking for different angles.

I find photographing frost a sometimes tough proposition in that one needs a background to set the grass stems apart from the background and standout. And photographing ice particles is tough in and of itself. I do not own a macro lens and make do with a zoom lens that I have. Shooting too tight doesn’t give one sense of place and too loose the focus on the subject is somewhat lost.

Finding the right angle for photographing frost encrusted grass stems at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Finding the right angle for photographing frost encrusted grass stems at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But a person can’t photograph different subjects if the attempt is not made. But planning ahead is never a bad thing and the welcome center this particular day was open and a welcome break for feelings to return to toes and fingers and then a second round of looking for intriguing images on a sunny but particularly cold February day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Greener Pastures in Siouxland, Rural Buena Vista County

19 Feb

Cruising in rural Monona County, Iowa Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

in rural Buena Vista County, Iowa Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes while out driving in Siouxland in nicer weather I never know who I might see off the beaten path. More likely a critter of some sort. And I am glad when driving backroads I am moving slowly enough to be able to brake and then get one or two photographs made before the elusive creatures vanish.

Planted crops on a summer’s day in rural Monona County, Iowa Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Cornfields and woods near corn and soybean fields can be an ideal spot to find nature hanging out and I feel lucky when I can both enjoy and photograph the scene at the same time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Nature’s Alarm Clock in Siouxland, Adams Homestead, North Sioux City, SD

17 Feb

Geese fly over Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Ah, seeing geese aloft again in Siouxland and making their way in the opposite direction as spring gets nearer is always a relief. One actually believes that warmer weather might really, truly be on the way. A number of these birds had taken a rest stop near the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve. And while I didn’t make images to write home about, I was pleased they cooperated a bit as the cagey birds wouldn’t let me get too close.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Geese fly over Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese fly over Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese fly over Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Geese fly over Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

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