Tag Archives: cherokee iowa

Photographing the Details during a Siouxland Outing

17 Nov

A dilapidated wagon sits in a field in the Loess Hills of northwest Iowa near Moorhead, Iowa Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. T(photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When out and about driving around the Siouxland region, I enjoy the broad brushstrokes of landscapes and scenes. But sometimes one must look at the details of such a scene to also enjoy what is there and record. Seeing what is front of oneself is sometimes an acquired skill. To isolate visually in one’s mind then translate that into a visual image takes patience and practice. I have had lots of practice and am still practicing.

A detail image of wagon wheels during a Photo Safari outing in Cherokee, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But that’s the joy of wandering about and challenging oneself to really see what is in front of yourself. Sometimes one gets lucky. Other times, maybe not. But what’s a better way to spend a day that out taking photographs.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

looking for designs and details during a Photo Safari outing in Cherokee, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and Shade in Siouxland, Cherokee

28 Oct

Light and shade scene during a Photo Safari outing in Cherokee, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

During a recent class outing with a class I kept coming upon light and shade scenes in the town of Cherokee. I never tire of this particular motif. The day was warm and sunny. Lately the weather is wonky again with rain and overcast skies, making me think that fall will never arrive and winter will sneak in as much as snow and ice and do such a thing. But walking around in a short block or two these images kept popping up and I kept photographing. Even variations on a theme I never tire of them. Works for me.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shade scene during a Photo Safari outing in Cherokee, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and shade scene during a Photo Safari outing in Cherokee, Iowa Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a look in Siouxland, Cherokee

2 Oct

Colors brighten up some of the downtown area in Cherokee, Iowa Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

During the end of summer in Siouxland, August, and the beginning days of what one expects fall to be, say September, the kind of day that appears in the morning can change. Temperatures have been wavering from hot and humid to cool. On a day that was supposed to be cool I made a trip to Cherokee to just take a look and walk about after checking out some possible fall foliage opportunities for later in fall in the outlying countryside. Everyday is different and brings a new opportunity to photograph a familiar place, as I have been to Cherokee a few times over the past 2-3 years. It’s a nice community and I enjoy visiting it and seeing what I might find this time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A faded display along a walkway in Cherokee, Iowa Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A walkway between buildings creates a light and shadow show in Cherokee, Iowa Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bridge railing creates a pattern in the creek below in Cherokee, Iowa Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing tonality in Siouxland, Cherokee

1 Jul

While out and about in Siouxland recently visiting a community festival I dropped by Cherokee. With recent rains there have been many reports of small and large rivers rising and flash flood warnings. I was curious to see if a small creek running through town had reached the tops of its banks. It hadn’t.

But I liked the quality of light I was seeing that day and saw areas that intrigued me and reminded me of the days working for newspapers and shooting only in B&W, film.

Fading wall art in Cherokee, Iowa June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One had to be really conscious of tonality and contrast to make one’s image pop and help it jump off the page. Not all images taken did that, as some were more documentary in nature.

A path to adventure in Cherokee, Iowa June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A shady creek in Cherokee, Iowa June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©) 

But like shooting in color, the viewer still needs to find the path through a photograph that draws him/her into it and through it and makes the viewing a worthwhile effort.

In those days one could always shoot the film, tweak the film processing and finally adjust some of the printing to give an image more snap. Now it’s all done via software. Whether it’s successful or not is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Festival of Trees in Siouxland, Cherokee

2 Dec

Sometimes revisiting places in Siouxland leads one to pleasant little surprises. One such visit to Cherokee recently I dropped by the Sanford Museum and Planetarium and came upon its Festival of Trees.

A house from across the street is reflected in the windows of the Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee, Iowa Saturday Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Small Christmas trees decorated by a variety of groups from the area each giving their own tree a special spin and unique look.

Each of the Festival of Trees entries have unique aspects about them during the exhibit at the Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee, Iowa Saturday Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Sometimes those decorating exercise their sense of humor as well.

Playing on words for one Festival of Trees entry at the Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee, Iowa Saturday Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

So it’s fun to visit different communities this time of year to see what is going on, even though the theme of Christmas is the same. Pleasant surprises await the person willing to make the time to visit.

The museum and planetarium provides the community and surrounding area residents a place when there are art shows and history programs. A small display with the history and information about the museums’s benefactor plus a room with some items from a founding community family gives visitors a little background. Just another reason to do a bit of local travel to explore areas in Siouxland.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A decorated tree in the “Sanford” room at the Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee, Iowa Saturday Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

History about the Sanford family at the Sanford Museum and Planetarium in Cherokee, Iowa Saturday Nov. 25, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Seeing Shapes and Patterns in Siouxland, Cherokee

25 Oct

When teaching one of my photography classes at the local community college through the Lifelong Learning program I always bring up compositional techniques and how these can be instrumental in helping photographers better inform a viewer of what a photograph is about and direct that viewer’s eye as he/she looks at the photo. And I also tell them there is no right or wrong technique or vision. If not everyone likes an image, even their family, they will eventually get over it.

But a larger point I try to make is to get people to “see” It’s so easy to drive by a familiar place day after day after week after month, etc., and not really see it. While driving around Cherokee in 2015 I made a few exposures. I had looked at the images then but never got around to processing them. I looked at the again recently and saw something I liked with a few of them and those were the shapes and patterns created by objects I saw. I know I saw them at the time or I would not have take the photographs. But this time around as I did an edit the shapes and patterns gelled in my mind a bit more.

Shapes in Cherokee, Iowa, Monday, August 24, 2015.

Shapes in Cherokee, Iowa, Monday, August 24, 2015.

Repetitions and patterns and shapes exist everywhere. And it just takes time for a person to stop and see and share those images with others in hopes they will see something different that is also familiar.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Standing Sentry in Siouxland, Rural Cherokee County

17 Feb

On a drive recently to Cherokee, Iowa I passed a field that contained a grain bin, a tractor and a hay rake. It struck as another winter storm system moves into the area that seeing these staples of a farm operation made me think they are standing sentry, waiting for temperature to climb, the sunshine warming the dirt in the fields as farmers to prepare another season of planting and harvesting. Ever cyclical anyone who lives in the Midwest knows that when farmers get closer to planting their fields that winter is over and spring is here.

But that won’t happen until after Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction has come and gone.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A tractor, hay rake and a grain bin stand as silent sentries until the next planting season in rural Cherokee County, Iowa Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A tractor, hay rake and a grain bin stand as silent sentries until the next planting season in rural Cherokee County, Iowa Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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