Tag Archives: old barn

An Oddity in Siouxland, rural South Dakota

26 Mar
A tree grows out of a silo near a barn off of Highway 4 in South Dakota not far from Akron, Iowa Tuesday, February 9, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s always fun when driving around Siouxland to come across what one might think of as an oddity of nature. When driving in rural South Dakota just over the Iowa border coming across a tree growing out of a silo made me think of a very large potted plant.

A tree grows out of a silo near a barn off of Highway 4 in South Dakota not far from Akron, Iowa Tuesday, February 9, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Somehow I am doubtful that a farmer planted this tree in the silo and possibly was as surprised as his/her neighbors when it finally topped the structure. I had to admit it did put a bit of a smile on my face when I saw it from a distance and then decided to drive a bit closer to see if it was real or not. Somehow I think it would make a great decorated Christmas ornament, but won’t hold my breath to see if the owner thinks that as well. But it does make a great country scene.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A barn off of a gravel road near Highway 4 in South Dakota not far from Akron, Iowa Tuesday, February 9, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A tree grows out of a silo near a barn off of Highway 4 in South Dakota not far from Akron, Iowa Tuesday, February 9, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Simple themes in Siouxland

21 Jul

When I teach some of my photo courses at the local community college I tell students that at times, most times really, it is better to keep things simple than trying to be too complex. I “give assignments” to those taking my classes so they can concentrate on executing some simple tasks, like making photographs with leading lines or color or using thirds. I tell them that most photographs have a number of intersecting compositional techniques. But the most important thing is to make your subject matter, no difference what it is, the dominant element in your photograph so that whatever compositional technique is utilized, the viewer knows what they should be seeing or getting their attention. Less is more, or the more adroit saying, KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) which is probably not politically correct anymore.

Too many times I see a good photograph, or the possibility of one, but there are too many competing elements within the frame, so the viewer is not quite certain where their attention should be focused. That is where the dominant element should always come into play.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Exploring Siouxland’s back roads

17 Apr

With nicer weather comes the opportunity to explore some more of the backroads of the Siouxland area. During the winter months and again in early spring and sometimes summer, the weather conditions can make driving dirt and gravel roads at times almost perilous. The roads tend to shift underneath your vehicle’s wheels even if you are only driving 3o mph or less.

But it’s on the backroads where history lies for a state like Iowa. Old abandoned homesteads and equipment remain there unused. Sometimes collected, other times discarded. The history behind these places and items have their own stories that would be insightful at best and informational from a time period that no longer exists.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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