Tag Archives: parks

Enjoying a Spring Day in Siouxland, Sioux Falls, SD

2 May

In early April I took a trip up to Sioux Falls, SD to enjoy lunch at a little eatery I found and to just enjoy a warm day in spring. Currently the weather is much cooler again with rain, and that is too be expected. But the nice day brought like-minded people out as they too came to Falls Park in Sioux Falls to enjoy sunshine, the water and just being in the moment.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Some Days are just black and white days in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

9 Feb

Winter is a season that has its cloudy grey days as well as the sunshine days. In the winter the clouds usually help keep the temps a little higher than a clear blue sky day or evening sky. Shooting during overcast days during the winter season with brown tones and grey tones is not always that appealing, and so that might be a time to shoot in B&W. The Fuji cameras I am currently using allow the option. Previously when shooting Canon I could shoot in a monochrome setting or convert my images once in Photoshop. But Fuji, ever the purveyor of film emulsions and now simulations, allows one to shoot in B&W, make some adjustments and use a “red” filter, “green” filter or a “yellow” filter. Having cut my teeth on B&W and experimented with the 25 red and 15 yellow filters, I was game. There are times even in other seasons when B&W can be appropriate.

A visit to the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in Siouxland in January was an overcast day, with a fairly decent temperature for walking about and seeing what was there. And it never hurts to either try something different, or experiment a little if its been a while. It’s just nice to be outside and enjoying nature.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Getting out of Siouxland, Falls Park, Sioux Falls, SD

28 Jul

Recently I took a day trip with a friend and visited Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It’s about an hour’s drive north of Sioux City, and probably less is one drives the now 80mph speed limit which the state allows. Fortunately for me, I was a passenger and we took a road less travelled that meandered into the back side of Sioux Falls. Sometimes it is just nice to get out of “Dodge” and it was a pleasant trip up, although the weather was still humid and warm. But after finding a nice Mexican take-out place to buy lunch, we ate a picnic at the Falls Park near the downtown area.

I hadn’t visited this park for probably a decade, maybe more. It was a nice change and always fun to see something new, even if new is just 10 years later.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Finding your way through Siouxland, Bacon Creek Fog

19 Mar

This time of year brings a continual change of weather. One day it will be sunny, blue sky, possibly windy and the next, colder temps, rain, maybe even snow, and sometimes fog. And so it was the earlier in the week that fog descended on Siouxland making it treacherous for early morning drivers getting to work, but absolutely gorgeous for those looking for a different set of images to photograph.

I opted to stay safe, and rather than driving about to find images to shoot in the fog, I went to Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa, to walk its trail. Almost like stepping back into time, a walk through a primordial space. The only chatter to hear was birds making a ruckus. And the sound carried for through the quiet woods for quite a distance. The fog seeming to amplify the sound. It was almost magical and a nice way to spend a morning.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa


Siouxland’s Ponca State Parkand approaching Winter, Ponca, NE

29 Nov

This Fall in Siouxland has been especially nice this year. A weather person with one of the local TV stations said the normal temperature for November this time of year is usually 30 degrees, and today the temp was somewhere in the 50’s. Not bad. Toward the end of summer I always get a little wistful when I start to hear that sound of the locusts, buzzing into the night, noting that soon the season will be changing and that cooler temperatures are on the way. The sound is such a simple sound, background noise really. But significant in its own way. I have heard it for years, and am glad I recorded it this year. Another passing, another season, another chance to begin again and see the world fresh with the coming blanket of white. This piece is of some scenes in Ponca State Park in Ponca, Nebraska, as the locusts serenade the viewer.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland 4th of July, Latham Park, Sioux City

7 Jul

A hidden gem in the city of Sioux City, Iowa, is Latham Park. It is an original family site of Benjamin Tuets Latham’s family. Benjamin retired from farming near Moville, Iowa, and then settled in Sioux City at 1806 S. Lemon Street. The last member of that family, Clara Latham, died in 1937, and had set up a trust to ensure the park would remain just that, a park to be enjoyed by neighbors and residents. 

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Latham Park is open at various times for people to stroll through the grounds and enjoy the surroundings and quiet of the park. Photographs of the Latham Park pancake breakfast.

Jerry Mennenga, Sioux CIty, Iowa

Creating “Holga” photography images

3 Jul

I have always liked shooting arty kinds of photographs. More than a few times friends and colleagues will ask “Why did you shoot that? or Why did you do that to the picture?” One of the arty styles I enjoy shooting is with a Holga camera. The Holga is a plastic camera with a plastic lens and a fixed aperture of  around f/8. In the world of journalism it was always remarked, “F/8 and be there!” But I don’t think the person or people saying this had the Holga camera in mind. So when using the Holga the only way to adjust your exposure was by the type of film you used, that is, 100 ASA or 400 ASA or 800 ASA celluloid film. Not digital. I still have some of my Holga film shots, both negatives and transparencies, but at this time no film scanner to be able to reproduce them to show.

The images created by the Holga camera were imperfect, hazy, ethereal, soft and not your typical landscape types of shots that are crisp and clear. The only way to adjust your focus is with a little dial that shows a single person, a 3-person group, a large group and a mountain. Very much like guestimating a point and shoot. And of course there is no autofocus.

The cool thing is that I recently came across a post somewhere that talked about the Holga company making Holga camera lenses for both Canon and Nikon. And so I bought one. These are some samples of some recent shoots I did with this lens. The affect is okay, but not quite the same as I remember from shooting with the Holga camera itself and with film. These samples were done with a Canon dslr body and the Holga lens. But it is fun and a nice way of seeing. Reprints of images can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga, Sioux City, iowa

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