Tag Archives: light and shade

Seeing Shadows in Siouxland, Calliope Village in Hawarden

16 Jun

Light and shade at Calliope Village in Hawarden, Iowa Friday, May 29, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

For the most part life is pretty straight forward for most individuals, even in Siouxland, and the same could be said for photographs. What you see if what there is. But sometimes I wonder if there are exceptions in those perceptions of various individuals and how they respectively see the world compared to others witnessing the same scene.

I like working with light and shadow in photography. The dynamic between the two is pretty straight forward, utilizing one to focus a viewer’s point of view to another aspect of a photograph. But sometimes it’s not always so straight forward. When color is introduced to a photo of light and shade a viewer’s interest in in shapes is “colored” (pun intended) by whatever actual color is introduced into the image.

Light and shade at Calliope Village in Hawarden, Iowa Friday, May 29, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When B&W images are used the starkness of light and shade without color allows a viewer to see “less” and respond to only those subjects or objects within the frame, not “shaded” (again, pun intended) or influenced by another element within the photograph.

Light and shade at Calliope Village in Hawarden, Iowa Friday, May 29, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The starkness of an image simplifies it for a viewer. The individual sees only two objects as it were, competing against one another for attention. And eyes generally are drawn to the light. But both are needed to make an image, and make it compelling.

Light and shade at Calliope Village in Hawarden, Iowa Friday, May 29, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But depending on the subject matter and when more shades of grey are introduced into an image, it becomes a bit murkier, as with life, the shades of grey mute into one another at times without a stark contrast and an individual must begin discerning what about the image that is important and where along that light to dark spectrum does that person’s  interest lie and how is the individual affected in what is seen.

One could only wish images, like life, could be simple and straight forward. To some people it probably is. They like what they see or don’t like it, and already have minds made up and interpreted as to their own aesthetics. Not able to adjust or change or perceive anything else even when there are so many shades along the spectrum that to enjoy. B&W white only illuminates so much and much could be lost in the shadows when there is so little light.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shade at Calliope Village in Hawarden, Iowa Friday, May 29, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (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©)

Light and Shade in Siouxland, Omaha, NE Riverfront

10 Jul

I tell friends that when I am out shooting in Siouxland or anywhere I am terrible when it comes to clouds. I love clouds. And inevitably shoot a lot of scenes with clouds in them. But I also love light and shade photos. I shoot a lot of these as well. When traveling about and visiting places my eye travels to where the light makes an impression. It generally does so in contrast with shade.

The lagoon near Old Market in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Recently while visiting Omaha, NE I walked down to the lagoon area that eventually connects with the riverfront down there. I was meeting a friend for some dinner in Old Market and had some time to kill and decided a walk to the lagoon area would only help my appetite. I don’t generally think about shooting in themes. Well, actually, I do at times, but this day I spent most of my time at the Henry Doorly Zoo and had walked nearly three hours and my mind was a bit hazed. Then I saw the shadows.

Light and shade images at the lagoon near Old Market in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nothing stellar, but still appealing to my eye and I always find that practice makes perfect. And I had quite the appetite when I returned to the Old Market for dinner. That was a bonus.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shade images down by the lagoon near Old Market in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 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©)

Enjoying the Light in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

9 May

This particular spring seems to just be an extension of winter in Siouxland. Grey skies, blustery, rain, which is better than snow and easier to scoop. Only intermittently does it seem that the suns peeks through the clouds, and some days I just want to photograph in sunshine.

Light and shadow on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD Saturday, April 13, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It makes it much easier to record light and shade moments and to see more definition. Sunshine also helps make photos seem punchier, although for some subjects, cloudy skies are much better to photograph under because soft light renders those subjects in a more appealing manner. I just have to remind myself when summer is in full swing that I enjoy photographing light and shade and not wistfully wish for a cloudy, overcast day for photographing some subjects.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Cloud cover on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD Saturday, April 13, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Sunshine hitting the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD Saturday, April 13, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Photographing in Siouxland, Durham Museum, Omaha, NE

1 Apr

Descending stairs at the Durham Museum, formerly a Union Station, in Omaha, NE Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes as one pursues his/hers photographic interests or various endeavors, clicking the shutter can be a leap of faith. Going somewhere while making images but not really certain where that somewhere will lead them.

I enjoy creating images with light and shade. The two work hand in hand to help create an image. To me at times the images can be intriguing and ambiguous, and at other times pretty straight forward.

But unless one clicks the shutter and captures a moment to share with others, one may never know. One foot in front of the other and one click of the shutter at a time. Following the light into the darkness and vice versa. And I guess it is as some folk say, it’s not the destination, but the journey.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing Light and Shade in Siouxland, Sioux City

20 Mar

Light coming in through a window, Wednesday, February 27, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Something I do from time to time and am not always conscious of the fact is seeing light, and how it and objects interact with each other. Driving about Siouxland or visiting a particular place or destination I enjoy my surroundings but am always looking at the light. Most times it might not be exactly as I would prefer in photographing a particular subject matter, but after years of working for newspapers and making due with what one finds I can get beyond that.

Light coming in through a window, Wednesday, February 27, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

If I am in a place or revisiting a place I like to make an image to compare to an earlier version. I may be stopping by at a different time of day or time of year. The light is always changing and how it changes affects one’s subjects, even if buildings or landscapes remain the same. And it’s an exercise that I often pursue if for not other pleasure that to see if I can create a better image that previously. Some days are good, some are passable. It all comes down to how one sees and reacts to what is seen. Sometimes we can surprise ourselves and at other times feel disappointed. But at the end of the day, one should just enjoy being somewhere and appreciate the now.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light coming in through a window, Wednesday, February 27, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Just Seeing in Siouxland, Sioux City

12 Mar

A doorway leading into or out of Eppley Auditorium where a student art of Morningside College students are on display in a gallery, Thursday, February 28, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when I am out and about, I am just that. No defined destination or thought about what I might photograph. The other day I visited a student art show at a local college. Saw some nice work hanging on the walls, as well as of a permanent collection the college has. And so when I was leaving, I saw a couple things that intrigued me. Now they seem a bit obvious, but then, I guess they were thoughts manifesting into something more tangible that I could “see” and photograph. It’s just nice to be out and about even with winter hanging on. And it seems to be doing that well.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Interesting design found outside of Morningside College’s Eppley Auditorium where student art work ins on display in a gallery, Thursday, February 28, 2019 in Sioux City, Iowa (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Light and Shade in Siouxland, South Dakota and Nebraska

15 Jan

Shadows and lines in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Driving about Siouxland and parts near and farther, it’s not always the destination that I look to photograph or even the journey. Sometimes I am motivated simply because of the light, or lack thereof that draws my attention. Light and shade, it’s what makes images. Most times it’s the lighting of a subject or place or landscape a person is trying to share. But for me, it’s the interplay between the two and what transpires and the result.

Shadows and lines in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes it is not always as “clean” an image as I would like, but I still like the interplay that I see before me and try to capture and show what I saw at that moment in time.

Of course it helps to have objects that allow the interplay of light and shade to happen all around them, more easily done in urban settings, but sometimes it’s found more in nature, well, maybe where man had a hand in “shaping” nature.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shadows and lines in the Haymarket in Lincoln, NE Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light play through windows onto the floor of a former court room in the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls, SD Monday, Oct. 22 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Lights and shadows in a bird blind at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Friday Nov. 24, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Siouxland’s Tonality of Summer, Le Mars Bike Trail

17 Aug

Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don’t, to borrow a jingle from a candy bar commercial. Walking the Le Mars Bike Trail is always pleasant. More pleasant when the weather is cooler, but I like the route and depending on whether one is a nut one day or not, a person can see something numerous times and yet see it differently.

Light and shadow involving a highway bridge and supports along the Le Mars bike path in Le Mars, Iowa July 20, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have traversed this route numerous times. And I always try to see it differently. This time I looked at it through tones, as in black and white tones. My first few photographic jobs as a newspaper photographer involved shooting B&W for these various publications. And it is through the tonal variety within an image as well as the subject matter that creates the photograph which people may remember. Color does not help here. And if one looks at color when shooting B&W it may even skew results because those bright reds will be surprisingly dark shades of grey. And to differentiate a person in similar color that seems apparent in the “real” world we live in, is not in B&W. One must be a little more deliberate in the execution of creating a photograph.

Light and shade along the Le Mars bike path in Le Mars, Iowa July 20, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

You want highlights to draw a viewer’s attention and lead them merrily through your photograph to a destination that can be mysterious or in plain sight. But in black and white it still must deliver a final effort or effect which is what hopes all photographs will do.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shade along the Le Mars bike path in Le Mars, Iowa July 20, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

%d bloggers like this: