Tag Archives: color

Fall Slowly Makes it Way to Siouxland, Oak Grove Park, Hawarden

7 Oct

Even though officially by calendar that fall has arrived here in Siouxland and elsewhere, the colors of the season are slow in coming. Partially due to drought conditions with a lack of rain and a weird climate episode going on with a lot of smoke reaching the area from the western wildfires that are engulfing millions of acres of forest.

Colors are slowly appearing at Oak Grove Park in Sioux County near Hawarden, Iowa Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A recent trip to a park north had some nice colors developing on the trees, but the smoky, hazy atmosphere somewhat downplayed that “fall look” which a blue sky might have enhanced. Like many folk, I enjoy fall for the cooler temps and seasonal color and other aspects of this time of year.

Colors are slowly appearing at Oak Grove Park in Sioux County near Hawarden, Iowa Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Knowing full well what comes next which will be pleasant for a while, but not if winter drags on with temperatures constantly below 5 and 10 degrees with wind chills that makes it feel more like -0. No matter how much one enjoys getting out of doors, those days make me more likely to brew more coffee, grab a book and stay toasty as I count the days.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Colors are slowly appearing at Oak Grove Park in Sioux County near Hawarden, Iowa Friday, Sept. 25, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Nature in Siouxland, Color and B&W, Adams Homestead

2 Jul

Meadow area at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, June 3, 2020 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When I visit a place often in Siouxland, like the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, I wonder to myself how I can change up how I see which invariably are the same scenes, again and again. I like visiting the homestead, it’s just a nice place to take a walk. And depending on the time of year and the weather, the scenes never really look the same. Although others might argue differently.

Spring at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Monday, May 18, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Choosing to photograph one time in color, and another time in black and white helps me keep a fresh perspective as I take a walk. And then hope the weather cooperates in giving me a little something extra.

Spring at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota Monday, May 18, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It is always about the journey and not the destination, but that said, ending up with varying results from a walk about is nice as well. I might not hang all of these images on a wall, but it gives me pause as I wonder what next time I might try to create another image.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A summer’s day at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Wednesday, June 3, 2020 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Just looking in Siouxland, Sioux City

3 May

Light and shadows during a walk in downtown Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, March 12, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes simple is better. While out and about in Siouxland the obvious is almost always overlooked. Angles, shapes, light, dark, contrasts and colors. Can they all get along within a frame?

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Finding the Time and Place in Siouxland, Sioux City

3 Feb

The setting sun creates a colorful sky seen in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. 9photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

A recent two-day warm up has put a smile on a lot of folks’ faces in Siouxland recently. Inches thick ice on sidewalks and driveways has melted away and even blue sky and sweater apparel made an appearance. But some times those nice days don’t coincide with other work projects and while looking out a window towards evening the beginning of a beautiful sunset was in play. Knowing there would be no time to “get anywhere” with a nice view and interesting foreground elements, I walked into an alley near my home and made a few images. Sometimes it’s hard to just take a photograph when you know that a different place could make it a very splendid photograph. But life doesn’t always work that way, so I settled for enjoying a sunset, and wishing for more warm days to come and blue sky and some color to celebrate.

And then I realize that the month of February has not yet really begun and will try to curb my enthusiasm as I am certain more winter weather will this the area. At least the little rodent, Punxsutawney Phil did not see a shadow which predicts an early spring. One can only hope.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The setting sun creates a colorful sky seen in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. 9photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Enjoying a Little Color on a Drab Day in Siouxland, Storm Lake

8 Sep

Colorful chairs decorate and provide seating at a local ice cream shop in Storm Lake, Iowa Saturday Aug. 17, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes some images just beckon a person. And one never really knows until it’s seen, and driving around Siouxland I get that chance to encounter if somewhat ordinary but in the right frame of mind (pun intended) that ordinary can become something more.

Tiring of the Wood, Wine and Blues Fest in Storm Lake, Iowa Saturday Aug. 17, 2019, a couple large checker boards await patrons willing to give it a try. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Like bees or butterflies being drawn toward something because of its color I at least feel the need to check out a subject and see if it’s something I want to photograph. Maybe whimsical or not, the contrast of the object’s color stands in contrast to its surroundings and the rest is up to the viewer.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Outside the local historical museum a piece of art shows the simple like one or two centuries ago via a child’s tree limb swing of rope and a piece of rope, seen in Storm Lake, Iowa Saturday Aug. 17, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Color catches the eye of a passerby of this flea market shop in Storm Lake, Iowa Saturday Aug. 17, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summertime in Siouxland, Le Mars

2 Jul

Sunshine peeking in and out of clouds help certain vehicles stand out during a car show in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Crowds of people gathered at whatever spaces could be found between cars to chat at a car show in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s a safe bet that it’s summer when one can attend a few different car meet-ups. Only in decent weather will some car enthusiasts bring their beauties out into view and amazingly the crowds just appear.

Recently in Le Mars a pre-cursor event to the Ice Cream Days festival where a car club had a meet-up and interested parties could show off their pride and joys. And the public and visitors were not disappointed.

The cherry red color appears to draw visitors for a second look at a fixed up truck at a car show in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Classic muscle cars and hopped up roadsters to gleaming trucks and other fare. At times it was difficult to squeeze through the the parked cars. I always worry about accidentally scratching one while passing it carrying a camera bag. Weird things happen sometimes especially when there are crowds of people. But it was a nice walk-about to see these gleaming beauties.

Can’t get started too young to appreciate a vintage car at a car show in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And sometimes it’s in the details where little surprises happen. Who would guess 8-track was still around. And then one brave soul called it as he/she saw it about their own vehicle, probably in a category of its own.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Nostalgia reigns at a car show in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

In case someone missed it, the owner’s own idea about what division his/her truck should be classified as at a car show in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Finding Subjects in Siouxland, Beresford, SD

29 Apr

Shapes and color during an outing of the Lifelong Learning Photo Safari class in Beresford, SD Saturday, April 27, 2019. (Jerry L Mennenga©)

When teaching the Lifelong Learning photography classes I have at a local community college in Siouxland I encourage those attending to look and see and photograph what captures their interest and imagination. Everyone sees differently and that is a good thing. But I also encourage people to look at and photograph objects or places and scenes that may not always appeal to them, simply because they may surprise themselves.

During a recent class outing visiting Beresford, SD, the class and I walked about the small community’s downtown area. It had its classic early 19th century buildings and other interesting architecture. But after circling the area a couple of times and having previously visited it last fall, I came upon a wall this time that struck me because of the color involved and its relative starkness. On my first visit it was just an alley. But after the winter and before spring has begun in earnest its renewal, the starkness and color along with the benches created a scene I don’t remember seeing. Many times one just needs patience and a willingness to look at scenes a second time. And it could be a pleasant surprise.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing Color in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

1 Aug

Some days during the summer it can be just a nice day to be out and seeing nature. On a recent visit to Arnolds Park I tried not to take in a broad view of places I have seen a few previous times, but looked for something photographically that appealed to me yet was something I had not really pursued. It seems easy to get caught in the same wagon train rut and ride along just trying to photograph something familiar but differently. And sometimes when relaxing and not really thinking about what it is exactly that you want to do differently, ideas appear. And the days seems all the brighter for it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Looking for color in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Looking for color in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Color or B&W in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

19 Jul

When I am out photographing in Siouxland my mind jumps back and forth between taking photos in color and B&W. People who attend my courses sometimes wonder about taking pictures in B&W and I firstly just encourage them to try it. Most cameras have a monochrome setting that allow users to take photos in B&W. This pics will not look like the black and white of yesterday, not without a bit of tweaking in a post processing software like Photoshop, Lightroom, Silver Efex Pro or Alien Skin.

I personally shoot with a Fuji X series camera that has excellent film simulation setting allowing me to shoot in a B&W setting.

Does tonality affect the result of a photograph of a scene at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday June 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Does tonality affect the result of a photograph of a scene at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday June 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The question though that a person needs to ask is when is the appropriate time for using B&W. In the above example either color or B&W works as a medium since both has contrast within the image that makes either work. But mostly it comes down to whether or not a color photo or scene will render well in B&W. One has to think tonally in making that judgment call.

Does tonality affect the result of a photograph of a scene at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday June 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Does tonality affect the result of a photograph of a scene at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday June 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The flowers on this plant stand out against the green foliage but get lost in the grey tonality of the second image. Sometimes color is a better choice. One needs to make certain the subject matter is “clean”, or able to stand out against a background. Leading lines, use of thirds and a host of other compositional techniques will also make a B&W photograph stronger just as it does in color, but one really needs to make certain the subject matter that might pop in color will stand out in B&W.

A little practice, a little perseverance and an eye detail will get a person started on the right track.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Does tonality affect the result of a photograph of a scene at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday June 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Does tonality affect the result of a photograph of a scene at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday June 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Lights and Shadows in Siouxland, Onawa

5 Mar

As spring gets nearer and the sun decides to show itself more in Siouxland  rather than hiding behind grey or overcast skies, it’s fun again to play with lights and shadows when out shooting. On a recent trip to Onawa I did a bit of a walkabout looking for something different to photograph than I have previously done. And I was happy with a couple images that I found. While not stellar maybe, I had not seen these particular angles before and satisfied, found a place for lunch I had not previously eaten at as well. So maybe a day for firsts, but just happy to see ol’ Sol beaming his big wide smile on this stretch of Siouxland.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Sunshine creates shadows in Oanawa, IowaTuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Using shadows to create an image in Oanawa, IowaTuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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