Tag Archives: jerry l mennenga photographer

Nature Outside One’s Door in Siouxland, Sioux City

10 Mar

A squirrel scolds a visitor in a backyard Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s nice to know that even outside one’s door nature sometimes talks to a person in Siouxland. And expresses a local side of themselves one may not often see except when a neighborhood cat passes through, peaking the critter’s ire and it in turn sharing that with the hand that leaves it peanuts from time to time. But as it’s been said, one can choose one’s family but one can choose one’s friends. And the squirrel seemed to be expressing that.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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©)

Enjoying some sunshine and warmth in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

2 Mar

A cheetah takes a nap in the sunshine in its outdoor enclosure during an unseasonably warm day where temperatures almost reached 60 degrees at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It seems everyone is waiting for an early spring, and enjoying those days that bring a little extra warmth in February and sunshine to the area. All creatures like to enjoy a peaceful moment and take in the surroundings.

A cheetah suns itself on a rock in its outdoor enclosure during an unseasonably warm day where temperatures almost reached 60 degrees at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A cheetah rolls in the grass during an unseasonably warm day where temperatures almost reached 60 degrees at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While recently visiting the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE not many animals were outside their indoor enclosures. But the few who did venture out wasted no time in enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperatures. According the rodent, Phil, spring should be arriving soon. Early March maybe, but in Siouxland as elsewhere, there are always those sudden spring snow storms that might delight school children but only illicit groans from adults. Patience is a virtue, but sometimes that is in short supply.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Visitors watch a sealion sun itself on a rock in its enclosure during an unseasonably warm day where temperatures almost reached 60 degrees at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A white rhino stands outside its enclosure during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 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©)

Celebrating Film in Siouxland, Prairie Grass Film Challenge, Dordt University

27 Feb

Attendees watch one of the entries in a screening room prior to the awards ceremony for the Prairie Grass Film Challenge 2020 at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In today’s world, there is a proliferation of media. Video and stills. Everywhere. As a photographer, I somewhat thrive on seeing images and for the most part enjoy them. People’s tastes runs the gamut. Depending on one’s point of view there is “good” and “bad” art, video and photography. Individuals pursue what interests them and where their tastes lie.

Every year in Siouxland at Dordt Universtiy there has been a 48-hour film challenge, the Prairie Grass Film Challenge. Individuals and teams come up with and create a film within the specified time period and then compete at this private Christian college in northwest Iowa. The films need to be family friendly but do push the boundary as each, as people are, have an individual opinion of what is friendly. And winners for this year’s competition just recently were announced.

One film crew entry pose on “The Red Carpet” prior to the awards ceremony for the Prairie Grass Film Challenge 2020 at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The films are produced by high school, college and post college individuals. All maybe reflecting a generational outlook through their individual films, and most certainly have a point of view and moral component to the pieces. Attending the awards ceremony (which is also live streamed to competing teams from around the country) held at the small university one can feel the excitement for these folk as much as directors, producers and actors attending the Oscars and receiving awards and recognition for their work.

Teammates for a film entry react after winning first place in their division during the awards ceremony at the Prairie Grass Film Challenge 2020 at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Presenters react as they watch one attendee show off his Superman shirt under his street clothes mimicking a recurring theme for this year’s entries which involved superheroes during the awards ceremony at the Prairie Grass Film Challenge 2020 at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Twenty-five teams made the final cut of the competition that were judged and then four films were selected for best of in three categories with a fourth winner judged best of show. It’s fun to watch these folk enthusiasm and see their creativity put to the test, or not. Prior to the awards ceremony the film are screened in rooms around campus for people to view a few of them before finding out the winner. It’s a fun night, except for the cold weather and sometimes snowy conditions, and a chance for people to begin an adventure in film that may continue or compete in a venue their find worthy of their own involvement with similar values. As with everything, you get out of the experience what you put into it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Dordt University jazz band performs prior to the start of the awards ceremony for the Prairie Grass Film Challenge 2020 at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of a film crew ham it up on “The Red Carpet” prior to the awards ceremony at the Prairie Grass Film Challenge 2020 at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An audience member dressed up as a bee patiently waits for the awards ceremony for the Prairie Grass Film Challenge 2020 at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Mark Volkers, left, and Bob Pollema, right, emcee at the Prairie Grass Film Challenge 2020 awards ceremony at Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

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