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Experimenting with Vision in Siouxland, Le Mars

2 Nov

One of the photo sessions I like to do for my Fall Photo Safari class is have the students shoot at night. It requires a little different skill set and makes people stop and think a bit as the sun sets and night comes on. Different white balances, higher ISO’s, faster apertures if the lens allows. But I find it all part of the learning process. But it can also give them a chance to experiment and create more arty photos than strictly documenting. And it’s another way of exploring Siouxland, something I myself don’t do often enough.

Shooting at dusk during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shooting at night during a short rain for the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Throughout the evening walking about Le Mars it rained off and on. The photo of the Blue Bunny ice cream sign is nice in and of itself, but I really like the drops of rain hitting a puddle with the sign’s reflection showing. These are the kinds of opportunities I like to point out and the fact that I was using one of the florescent white balance settings that enhanced the colors a bit rather than shooting a more traditional documentary image.

Shooting at night one must be a bit patient, because opportunities will avail themselves.

Shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I also did a quick demonstration of using off-camera flash than can sometimes help enhance a subject or add a little extra.

Lori poses for a quick off-camera speed lite demonstration while shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I know I took close to a couple hundred images in the span of one and a half hours. But I like shooting and attempting various possible photographs, some which work, and others that fail miserably. But, it informs me the next time I want to try something similar or find a situation I find interesting.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Shooting at night during the Fall Photo Safari class during the evening in Le Mars, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Summer in Siouxland, Rural Cherokee County

3 Aug

During most of the summer in Siouxland the weather like in other places is swinging widely between normal and extreme. Early spring was very cold, then wet, then extremely hot for June and cool again with temperatures pushing somewhat back to normal, which for later summer is normally hot and humid. But the weather extremes can make compelling images, or at least interesting. As I have gotten older my desire to get out into the extremes grows less intense and so during the winter, I will have my second cup of coffee and remark how cold it is out. During summer during a heat, I am glad for the technology of air conditioning. But after attending a Fourth of July Festival parade in Storm Lake, I saw some weather on my way back home and thought, why not.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Storm clouds overhead in rural Cherokee County, Iowa Wednesday July 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting the Siouxland Countryside in Winter, Woodbury County

15 Feb

While out driving around in Siouxland between snow falls, I came across what I thought appropriately might be considered country art with a little help from nature and neglect from man. It is said that art is in the eye of the beholder, and seeing these round hay bales in a snow covered field gave me pause.

Round hay bales add a decorative touch to a snowy field in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Their horizontal lines intersecting with the vertical lines of the corn stalk remnants left over from fall harvest.

And then seeing an abandoned farmhouse sitting in a field. Its desolation in such a dreary setting reminding of how many of the pioneers who moved to this Siouxland region in the middle and later 1850’s must have felt like as they each began a new chapter in their life. Looking for a new start, a better life, yet enduring hardships that we today may not understand. People tend to be a sociable lot, and winter during those days may have been a long two or three months to endure. Just as sometimes today the overcast grey days makes one wish for spring and summer and to see life begin anew, again.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An abandoned house in a snowy landscape adds a bleak feel of winter in rural Woodbury County, Iowa Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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