Tag Archives: outdoors

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©)

Winter wonderland in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserver

3 Mar

As March nears and winter, hopefully, begins receding in Siouxland, and with what little snowfall occurs, people are quick to get outside and enjoy themselves before the sunshine and warmer temps remove all the snow.

Cross country skiers getting in a morning’s workout at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City grooms its trails over the winter time for people to cross country ski and hike. Recently I tried using my snowshoes but the snow was too compacted. Great for skiing, not so much for the shoes. But the trails are nice to traverse and enjoy the winter season.

The sun would occasionally appear from behind clouds casting shadows that was a welcomed sight even as the temperature was still cold at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, SD, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Except for the small birds that nest in trees, especially if they don’t fly south for the winter. Their nest laid bare in open branches until Mother Nature signals the cycle to continue and the sun warms the earth and green once again covers the area.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A naked bird’s nest getting buffeted by winter’s whims at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, SD, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Blue Winter Skies in Siouxland, Adams Homestead Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

23 Feb

As winter inches toward spring in Siouxland, or at least it feels that way, nature occasionally teases us with what looks like a nice day. Sunshine, blue sky and only a little snow.

A wintry blue sky day with chilly temperatures at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But looks can be deceiving. And on a walk out at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve I was heartened by a flock of geese flying overhead. There appeared to be too many for it to be a local grouping. And then later I saw more. If our fine feathered friends are on the move, I can only hope that winter is as well and these trails and grasslands will be greening up and moving into that next cycle of life.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The sign of geese flying over the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, SD may be a sign that spring is nearing, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wintry blue sky day at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sun and Shade or Light and Dark in Siouxland, Rural Iowa

29 Jan

Some days when I am out driving about Siouxland I don’t always have an objective in mind for what I want to photograph, other than when I see something I like I stop and take a photograph. It isn’t until sometime later that themes, or my perception of such emerge from my images. I enjoy photographing contrasts, lights and darks. The ying and the yang competing against one another within an image.

A summer’s day driving through the Loess Hills in Harrison County, Iowa Tuesday August 29, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s helpful if there are other elements that pull the viewer into it and make the image more compelling. But sometimes you settle for what you have and call it a day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A nice image with a leading line and shapes and angles on a freezing day at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Shadows and leading lines on a freezing day at Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Shadow play off of a main downtown street in Blair, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Enjoying Fall’s Light in Siouxland, Gull Point State Park

6 Dec

I love the play of light when I am out photographing in Siouxland and elsewhere. I don’t always capture what I see, but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the effects of light and shadow play or the interaction of color say between water and foliage. And then I try to amuse myself taking a self-portrait via a reflection and getting results that might be questionable but still fun nonetheless.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Woodlands near Gull Point State Park in Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A short pier at Gull Point State Park in Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Self-portrait at Gull Point State Park in Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lights and Shadows in Siouxland plus effective composition, Omaha, NE

26 Nov

Sometimes when I am out and photographing I know I shoot too many images. It’s just easy to do with digital. In the film days I would shoot more judiciously because I didn’t want to process more than a couple rolls of film. Those days I primarily shot B&W. I would look a scene over and judge what I thought would give me the best result. Now, I shoot more liberally and decide when I look the pics on a large display monitor.

Fall color hangs on in Elmwood Park in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Do I like this crop, the tonality, the road veering away from the scene.

Fall colors hang on in Elmwood Park in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Or does this crop feel more intimate bringing the viewer into the image more quickly if at all. But then, I liked a third take.

Fall colors still appear in Elmwood Park in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

And pretty soon I have a dozen photos or more as I make slight variations.

But there are other times when I see and know what I like, especially shooting lights and shadows. I like the ying and yang of the images and their overall feel. And it’s nice to have choices when creating images.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Afternoon sun creates a shadow in Elmwood Park in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

A tree retains its fall leaves in Elmwood Park in Omaha, NE Thursday Nov. 2, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

Outdoor Research in Siouxland, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory

24 Nov

Sometimes as I travel about Siouxland I come across places that make me wonder what life may have been like had I chosen another path. Especially when I visit the Iowa Lakeside Laboratories in the Iowa Lakes Region which was created to study nature in nature as it is noted. I stopped by there this fall as the stone buildings built during the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corp sit atop a hill and gives a nice view of the surrounding area.

Iowa Lakeside Laboratory overlooking Little Miller’s Bay near Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Iowa Lakeside Laboratory overlooking Little Miller’s Bay near Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The labs are dedicated to various types of studies under the auspices of the University of Iowa and was founded or received its impetus from a former professor.

A bench dedicated to a former Iowa State University professor, Dr. Lois Tiffany, sits on the grounds at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory overlooking Little Miller’s Bay near Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The grounds are well maintained and trails leads one in and around Little Miller’s Bay which the facility sits along and is open for research from those interested from a variety of places, high school and college students as well as instructors themselves looking to further their own knowledge or research. Aside from hot and muggy days, or colder  ones, the chance to explore and learn outdoors seems tempting. Communing with nature to me seems a great way to pass the time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A bench dedicated to a former Iowa State University professor, Dr. Lois Tiffany, sits on the grounds at the Iowa Lakeside Laboratory overlooking Little Miller’s Bay near Milford, Iowa Wednesday Oct.11, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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