Tag Archives: omaha nebraska

A Rainy Day in Siouxland and Revisiting Pioneer Courage Park, Omaha, NE

12 Jan
Detail image of one of the statues in the Pioneer Courage Park in downtown Omaha, NE Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when I am out and about and carrying a camera I will revisit a place I have previously photographed. Sometimes I can find images that are better, most times I look for images that are different. The Pioneer Courage Park is part of the “campus” of the First National Bank of Omaha. On a overcast day it takes on a different look different from the previous visit. Finding the raindrops on the faces of the statues gave them a different feel and made me think that possibly on their journey west those days it might have rained may have been a blessing depending on the territory the group was passing through. The Mormon Trail passed through some high desert country and rain storms may have been scarce certain times of the year.

And it’s a challenge to revisit someplace and look for a different image. Of course time of day, weather, time of year, all that plays into how a place might look and feel. And then one’s imagination takes over.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Detail image of one of the statues in the Pioneer Courage Park in downtown Omaha, NE Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Christmas with a Tree, Durham Museum, Omaha, NE

29 Dec
Christmas tree at the Durham Museum in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Every Christmas most every home goes out to find a Christmas tree here in Siouxland. It’s not 100% but probably close. I personally sometimes get a tree, and other times not. Over the years even my cats have enjoyed having something “new” in the house they can play with as it suits them. Occasionally at night I will here something rolling about the floor and then scampering. Sometimes I will call out, and other times I just roll over and hope that I will find only one ornament displaced and not broken.

So visiting places like the Durham Museum in Omaha, NE is pleasant, and I can experience a giant of a Christmas tree that sits inside a former Union Station, a hub of activity during the early railroad days and up through the second world war when massive troop deployment cycled through the station. Now it houses a local museum and Christmas every year displays a grand tree. One of these days I would like to make it down for the evening tree lighting when pandemic life returns to some kind of safe environment and normalcy, whatever that may be.

Christmas tree at the Durham Museum in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Christmas tree at the Durham Museum in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the museum gets lots of visitors who do the same as I. I couldn’t imagine the amount of pine needles that is cleaned up afterwards. My trees are generally small, but somehow leave behind an inordinate amount of needles to clean up. But a small price to pay to enjoy a special time of year the meanings and joy this symbol gives.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Christmas tree at the Durham Museum in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Christmas tree at the Durham Museum in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Merry and Bright in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

25 Dec
Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

During the holiday seasons I try to visit various places because of the displays that one can see at them and the work that goes into making visitors appreciate and enjoy such displays. I must say I am never disappointed with what I have seen at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE. I can only guess that planning must start one to two years out as to what supplies, plants and other accoutrements are necessary for these delightful visions to take life.

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The indoors gardens this year became a visual light play and can only be really appreciated as the sun sets and the lights seen in a darkened environment. And the fascination someone has with train sets as each year the trains that might be running out of doors at a display do shorter runs indoors the during Christmas season.

And I find it a marvel what is done with plants to create various scenes holiday or not and give visitors a chance to walk through and enjoy a small world away from the white noise that seems to be everywhere these days, if only for an hour or two. A brief respite in time to be a child again.

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And sometimes I think the staff of the gardens can not possible out do what was done the year before and then am pleasantly surprised to enjoy a new experience and see how creatively plants can be used.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating with Christmas lighting at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, December 17, 2021. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Bah, Humbug and Dance in Siouxland, Old Dominion Dance group, Omaha, NE

23 Dec
A mix of ages attend the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s always fun attending various events in and around Siouxland, whether during the holidays or not. To see like-minded folk enjoying themselves and supporting something is always good. The Old Dominion Dance group of Omaha, NE again sponsored a Fezziwg Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens. Attending this year it was nice to see a larger mix of ages, and folk “dressing” for the occasion of an 18th century period.

People dance during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A group circle dance is performed by folk attending the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A dance caller walks people through a particular dance sequence during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Having participated in a folk dance group while in college, I always find it fun and enjoyable to see people relive history through some particular form. Most times it is theatre or music, but dance as I learned in college was happening during some very important historical dates and never really gave it much though until a college professor pointed out those facts. History can be illuminating as well as fun.

The dance group always performs a portion of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” involving Ebenezer Scrooge’s fond memory of the Fezziwg dance he attended as a younger man and before life’s intervening circumstances changed his path. The actors for this evening’s portion rehearsed ahead of time although I think after year’s of practice they have their parts down cold. One of these years I will have to stay for the entire evening. But an early morning appointment for bird watching the next day didn’t allow me.

I don’t know if there was any offering of mulled wine but the dance revelers probably didn’t need it to give their spirits a lift. Although, maybe later as the temperature dropped and the prairie breeze picked up.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A gentleman gets makeup as he readies to play the ghost Marley during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A dance caller walks people through a particular dance sequence during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some people dance while others opt out until the next one during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Young people the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Young people the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People enjoy themselves while dancing during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People enjoy themselves while waiting for the next dance to start during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People enjoy themselves while dancing during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People enjoy themselves while dancing during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The “ghost” of Bob Marley watches others dance during the Old Dominion Dance Fezziwig Ball at the Lauritzen Gardens Friday, Dec. 17, 2021 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Experiencing History Up Close, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Exhibition, Omaha, NE

3 Nov
Attendees wander about looking at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition on opening night featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what history was like in a place, notwithstanding somewhere hundreds of miles away from Siouxland. Even with movie “reenactments” to help provide a clearer visual cue, I find it difficult. And then there is the issue of traveling to view historical sites, even pre-pandemic, it wasn’t always possible. And it seems some folk also thought that, after having experienced the real deal and had the wherewithal to make it possible for the masses to encounter something one has seen in books, online and museums. Of course there is a buck to be made, but considering the cost for an individual or family to travel to see a place and yes enjoy all the other accoutrements associated with visiting a place, the chance to view up close and personal the works of Michelangelo’s at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is pretty amazing.

A woman listens to audio commentary about the Prophet Isaiah fresco at the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Martin Biallas, CEO of SEE Attractions, which produced Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, gestures as he talks about the exhibit with local media now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Three women view the overhead installation of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One can sit and view the frescoes that Michelangelo created so many centuries ago. Audio devices when swiped near an icon plays recorded pieces that talk about each specific fresco and its historical meaning vis a vis the Bible. I attended during an opening photographing for a media outlet and didn’t have the chance to really sit and take in all of the amazing work to be seen. Each piece is life sized and one can sit or stand and marvel at what was created from the mind of many historians who think the artist a genius.

An attendee activates his audio device to listen to the story behind a particular fresco of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Peole view the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibit featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A couple sits in front of the Last Judgement talking about the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel on opening night now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I do plan to return to Omaha to see this exhibit on display not too far from the Old Market. Just to marvel at the work someone spent so much of a lifetime to create and to understand a bit more. While maybe I won’t get to wander about the Vatican, which probably wouldn’t happen anyway, or taste the local cuisine in Rome, it will be nice to get lost in art for a while and imagine what it must have been like or to even comprehend what was being created and to see it happening in real time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Attendees walk about viewing Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition on the opening day featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Martin Biallas, CEO of SEE Attractions, which produced Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibit featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, talks about the exhibit with local now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Musicians perform in front of The Creation of Adam one of the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition frescoes featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Performance artist Sarah Jensen creates a canvas piece using acrylic paint about the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A couple talks in front of the David and Goliath fresco of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition featuring full-sized replicas of Michelangelo’s frescos from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel now on display at the Capitol District in Omaha, NE Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Hanging out with Mom in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

25 Aug
A baby spider monkey hangs on to its mother while she walks about looking for food in its enclosure after staff recently fed the animals at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Venturing out in Siouxland has been nice even though there are still COVID concerns and one of the places I do enjoy visiting is the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE. The zoo is continually updating its facilities, which sometimes can be compared to highway construction, but it’s all good in that areas for the animals keep enlarging and to the extent possible mimicking the area of the world these creatures ancestry hails from. Learning recently that some of the creatures are rescue animals and others from already existing zoos. Plus walking about outdoors is pleasant even in the August heat and humidity that the Midwest produces.

A baby spider monkey snacks as it hangs on to its mother as she moves about the enclosure at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A baby spider monkey hangs on to its mother as she moves about the enclosure at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Watching a baby spider monkey cling to its mother’s back while she moved about the island the animals are kept on was simply amazing to watch. Its own tail curled around the mother’s as she climbed, swung, moving in all directions, especially when handlers brought food to the animals for a morning meal. Observing and watching behavior is always fascinating to me. And just a chance to get out, stretch one’s legs and enjoy the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A baby spider monkey looks about as its mother moves about the enclosure at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A baby spider monkey hangs on to its mother as she moves about the enclosure at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Art in Siouxland, of Any Kind, Joslyn Museum, Omaha, NE

15 Aug
One of several vintage vehicles on display by the Meadowlark Model A Ford Club at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I enjoy viewing art in Siouxland, any kind of art. I might not always agree with what I see or “truly appreciate” it, but not everyone sees the same way, nor should they. The Joslyn Museum in Omaha recently hosted a Model A Frod car club celebrating its exhibit of an art deco show inside. Making a trip with some friends who might be car aficionados or otherwise “car nuts”, I didn’t get to see the inside exhibit, but did enjoy the car show and the beauty of these early American classics.

A man photographs his wife inside one of the vehicles on display by the Meadowlark Model A Ford Club at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
People look over some vintage cars on display by the Meadowlark Model A Ford Club at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Family photos at a car show of vintage vehicles by the Meadowlark Model A Ford Club at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the current owners care of these vehicles represent a certain aspect of America’s past both in form and function. Listening to an owner talk about the narrow tire the earlier model vehicles had was because they were driven down the same “paths” that wagon trains and other early modes of transportation used and the tires would fit in those wagon path. Later, as roads were constructed to accommodate motorized wheeled transportation the paths or roadways became wider and the tire width for the next generation of vehicles also became wider.

A woman tries to get her son interested in a selfie at a car show of vintage vehicles by the Meadowlark Model A Ford Club at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
People attend a car show of vintage vehicles by the Meadowlark Model A Ford Club at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A vintage vehicle on display by the Meadowlark Model A Ford Club at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
The Joslyn Museum hosted a car show of vintage vehicles by the Meadowlark Model A Ford Club in honor of an Art Deco exhibit now on display in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With the temperature rising once again and the humidity levels with it, maybe this next trip should be an indoor discovery of art deco and how that architectural art form was prevalent through out the American landscape.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

People attend a car show of vintage vehicles by the Meadowlark Model A Ford Club at the Joslyn Museum in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
The Joslyn Museum hosted a car show of vintage vehicles by the Meadowlark Model A Ford Club in honor of an Art Deco exhibit now on display in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Slow Day in Siouxland, Omaha, NE

11 Aug
Music fans line up and wait for a store to open to buy newly released vinyl records in Old Market in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes while visiting places in Siouxland I like to slow down, maybe show up early and enjoy what unfolds. A recent trip to Omaha, NE and the Old Market place I and some friends arrived before the shops opened and it was interesting to see the place come to life as opposed to getting there midday or even afternoon.

Not all early morning visitors looking for a snack are from out of town seen in Old Market in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Music fans line up and wait for a store to open to buy newly released vinyl records in Old Market in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing folk line up to buy “new vinyl” as I can remember from the 1970’s at a music shop and store fronts opening and tourists looking to take photographs to remind them of their visit.

Sometimes local law enforcement are called on to perform tedious tasks while on duty, not unlike the Beef Easters in England, seen in Old Market in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some shops are more memorable than others depending on what interests you. One in particular is a Christmas shop that has so many ornaments and baubles available for purchase that it’s every kid’s dream store, young and old. But being it’s early, another trip will be needed to enjoy the wares.

But I enjoy the visuals. The colors, the atmosphere and ambiance. A slow pace to watch and listen and relax.

Colorful displays are found in Old Market in Omaha, NESaturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Colorful displays are found in Old Market in Omaha, NESaturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Colorful displays are found in Old Market in Omaha, NESaturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And not being a local, it was fun to chat with some business owners. See how they fared this past year and whether life was returning to the area in a good way. Hoping that another surge of the virus may not happen, but am not holding my breath. Too many believe the naysayers about the disease and what is being said. Throwing caution to the wind, and whatever else in the hopes that some folk are wrong.

In the meantime, enjoy one day at a time and see what comes.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A novelty shop with unique items for sale in Old Market in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A woman walks by a novelty shop with unique items for sale in Old Market in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A novelty shop with unique items for sale in Old Market in Omaha, NE Saturday, July 17, 2021 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Geometric Lines in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

16 Jul
Geometric shadow lines at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes when visiting places in and around Siouxland I default to shooting in B&W. It’s what I started with and used for photography, personal and professionally for many years. Even though scenes are in color, unless one is color blind, I see some scenes in black and white. And it took a while to understand the color of objects and how each color or variation there of was rendered in a shade of grey.

Light and shadows at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And depending on the subject one might also be able to utilize whatever texture is found in the scene to add one more visual element. Black and white can create a simplicity when photographing. Geometric lines and shapes, tonality, gradations. The use of Ansel Adams Zone System. Ten steps of gradation from black without detail to white without detail. At least that was how I was taught. Something though I haven’t critically thought about in a decade or two, but still aware of it and it figures into my thought process when shooting and working on black and white images.

Geometric shadow lines at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Then one can let the imagination take over and pursue visual imagery that engages oneself, focusing only on capturing what will translate the what is seen. Then photography becomes fun.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shadows at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Monday, March 8, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting the Netherworlds in Siouxland, Durham Museum, Omaha, NE

20 Jun
A visitor watches film clips of director James Cameron seen in the “Challenging the Deep” exhibit at the Durham Museum Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even though I live in Siouxland, a region that is part of what is affectionately or not affectionately known as flyover country, there are a number of museums, large and small, which one can visit and enjoy traveling exhibits, both visually and educationally stimulating.

Currently at the Durham Museum in Omaha, NE is the exhibit James Cameron — Challenging the Deep. Film director Cameron put together various crews to explore the worlds under the sea including the Titanic and the battleship Bismark allowing Cameron to share his passion and interest with the deep ocean by creating an immersive exhibit using large video screen displays to show visitors what he and others saw beneath the ocean depth, in some place 10,000 meters deep, or almost 10.5 Empire State buildings stacking on top of one another.

A visitor watches a film of deep sea exploration from film director James Cameron at the “Challenging the Deep” exhibit at the Durham Museum Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
An informative and elaborate set sets the stage for the James Cameron “Challenging the Deep” exhibit at the Durham Museum Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Costumes from the movie “Titanic” seen juxtaposed with film of the actual Titanic that director James Cameron filmed during a deep sea exploration and seen at the “Challenging the Deep” exhibit at the Durham Museum Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is a model of the Titanic as it appears underwater on display that is seen in some of the videos showing the exploration of the ship that Cameron and others recorded. The director’s fascination with the deep ocean evidently started when he was a young child and he nurtured that desire to explore as he followed his career path as a film director. Some of the problem solving in filming movies, such as the Abyss, helped Cameron realize what might be possible as he collaborated with experts in the field of under water exploration.

A mock version of the “Titanic” on display at the James Cameron “Challenging the Deep” exhibit at the Durham Museum Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Informational panels explain that director James Cameron held a long fascination since childhood about the sea and is told in the “Challenging the Deep” exhibit at the Durham Museum Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Items on display used in filming some of the deep sea exploration seen at the James Cameron “Challenging the Deep” exhibit at the Durham Museum Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Through the use of underwater recording technology and deep ocean submersible vessels Cameron and others explore the deep, and film themselves exploring the deep which gives the exhibit viewer an idea of how this was all made possible at such incredible depths, with Cameron narrating what is being seen and how it was made possible.

And the exhibit in some ways becomes more interesting by the fact that its entire area is bathed in deep blue light or blackness, resembling what the various individuals must have encountered themselves as they dove deep to explore areas of the ocean not seen by many but now accessible to all through this exhibition.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An informative and elaborate set sets the stage for the James Cameron “Challenging the Deep” exhibit at the Durham Museum Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Visitors watch film of deep sea exploration from film director James Cameron at the “Challenging the Deep” exhibit at the Durham Museum Tuesday, June 1, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
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