Tag Archives: creativity

Seeing “Outside the Box” in Siouxland, Orange City

28 Jun

Flags are displayed along a downtown street for Memorial Day in Orange City, Iowa Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

The one aspect of photography I enjoy is the creativity it allows its practitioners to pursue no matter what their subject preference to photograph. And even though subject matter is limitless, it’s what a photographer retains within the frame that makes or breaks the image and whether other individuals can relate to the image when viewing it.

I enjoy photographing in the square format. It’s a bit challenging to fill the frame with the required elements to make an image stand out. The dimensions do not always accommodate all subject matter. And since medium format film cameras are not widely used anymore, this style of photography has somewhat fallen out of view and practice.

Storefronts in Orange City, Iowa Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

I find the format helpful especially when working with lines and angles. There are already four right angles creating the square image which hopefully reinforces what is contained within.

A light post peeks out front a row of trees near a park in Orange City, Iowa Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

But maybe I am trying to hard to create something that isn’t there, but then, maybe that is the purpose. The execution of an idea is possibly a more important aspect of art, whether or not the actual art or resulting image is successful. But the feeling of something being successful helps propel the artist to continue making art and pushing boundaries (mostly their own) to experiment and create something different, new (maybe to themselves) and to keep trying. Perfecting a way of seeing and accomplishing a goal they may only vaguely understand themselves. Ah, that age old dilemma, is it the chicken or the egg that came first?

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A welcome sign to visitors on a shop downtown in Orange City, Iowa Friday May 24, 2019 (PHOTO BY JERRY L MENNENGA©)

 

Only the Shadow Knows in Siouxland, Sioux City

4 Apr

A radio program from the 1930’s, “The Shadow“, was a popular detective story about an individual heard but never really seen. And sometimes photography is like that, an image that provokes a feeling, mood or some other etherial interpretation. And sometimes “seeing” something mundane, as a shadow on a building gives fleeting thoughts to something, not really definitive, but there. And there are times when traveling about Siouxland lends itself to such an opportunity, if one only is aware.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Roofers removing old shingles cast reflections on a house next door Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Roofers removing old shingles cast reflections on a house next door Wednesday, March 28, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Creatively in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

20 Apr

I have made a few trips to Vermillion, SD recently. It is relatively close, has some nice eateries and also some events I have attended. A University of South Dakota campus is also located there.

It’s because I have gone often that sometimes I struggle to find scenes I would like to photograph. Students who attend some of my Lifelong Learning classes are probably scratching their heads when I show them some of the photographs I have made. Being aware and open to interpretation is a helpful aspect of a photographer’s tool kit.

This particular trip was also overcast and grey. And as I walked about I saw some buildings with interesting doors. And then I stepped closer.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Summer Time in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

19 Jun

I hadn’t had the chance to get up to visit the Lakes area of Siouxland in recent weeks. Some work kept me busy, but I always like to get away and explore, even if it is somewhere I have been a few times. Away from home, the senses kick in and one gets a chance to just enjoy the moment. Unfortunately it was a warm moment for that day. The area has been suffering like much of the country with high temperatures. I got to Arnolds Park early in the morning and so was able to enjoy comfortable weather and a walk until it began heating up.

I tried a couple settings on my Fuji XT-1 that I had not used before. In addition to bringing along a plastic Holga lens that I used to use with a Canon camera. I used an adapter to fit it to the Fuji in addition to using the “plastic lens” or “toy camera” setting and the “minature” setting, which is like shooting with a 35mm tilt lens. I liked the results. Shooting with the Holga lens and adding the minature lens effect created images I was really pleased with and will probably use again. It’s nice when something unexpected works out when shooting pics. And gives one faith to experiment and see where it takes you.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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