Tag Archives: nature

Enjoying a Day in Siouxland, Stone State Park, Sioux City

24 Sep

Some days are just to be enjoyed. A walk in a local state park, taking in the sights and natural sounds, and just enjoying the moments of solitude, beauty and contemplation.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018. (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©)

Exploring Summer in Siouxland, Lakeside Lab in Milford

11 Aug

Clouds dot the sky on a perfect summer’s day at the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One of the stone hut labs built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s at the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always enjoy stopping by the Lakeside Lab near Milford up by the lakes when I get the chance. Every season of course brings a different look to the place. Summer has its own bit of color, although in places one has to look closely.

Except for those extremely hot and humid days, hanging out near the water is a delight. As is exploring the area looking for various subjects and just seeing what is there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Boats sit stacked and waiting for use at the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A variety of plants decorate the grounds of the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flowering plants that maybe part of the study mission dot the area at the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flowering plants follow the sun at the Iowa Lakeside Lab off of Millers Bay at Lake West Okoboji near Milford, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

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©)

Getting the Flutters near Siouxland, Butterfly House in Sioux Falls, SD

30 Jul

A photographer gets more of a close-up of a butterfly than he anticipated during the Summer Photo Safari class at the Butterfly House and Marine Cove in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, July 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I had an opportunity to take some students to Sioux Falls, SD recently and visit the Butterfly House and Marine Cove. The Butterfly House can be challenging to photograph inside, where it is hot, humid (naturally) and the little creatures flutter and alight and leave within the blink of an eye. To the amusement of some and some consternation on the part of the others.

A young boy tries to convince the hitchhiking butterfly to leave his cap along while visiting the Butterfly House and Marine Cove in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, July 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The little creatures number a variety of species and flutter about oblivious to their human visitors while just feeding or drifting on the inside air currents. A bit of nature up close and personal which doesn’t seem to bother the delicate creates.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Two women enjoy their close-up encounter with a butterfly at the Butterfly House and Marine Cove in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, July 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A butterfly takes a break from flight during the Summer Photo Safari class at the Butterfly House and Marine Cove in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, July 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Moment in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

28 Jul

Sitting on a dock and soaking in a summer’s day in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, July 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Many times when I am out and about in Siouxland, most times looking for photographic opportunities, there are times when I just stop and enjoy the moment. Some one I read along the way said how can a person really enjoy photography if they don’t enjoy the view, or something to that effect. And most assuredly this person was not talking about war photography or human life crises. But nature, where it’s possible to be in one’s own zone and embrace what’s there. There is truth to another older saying that if one doesn’t stop to smell the roses at some point, the beauty and inspiration gets passed by.

Jerry L Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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©)

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