Tag Archives: photography

Angles and Lines in Siouxland, Sioux City and Omaha, NE

18 Mar

Light and shadows during a walk in downtown Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, March 12, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It seems the sunshine has been absent in Siouxland for a while now, or at least appears in the early morning hours or late afternoon breaking through clouds as sunset draws nearer. With temperatures dropping back in the 20’s and 30’s I have not been inclined to get up and out early or stay out around sunset after the recent change with daylght savings time.

Old Glory flies high on a building in Old Market in Omaha, NE Tuesday, March 11, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But when out looking for simple images to take I often look at buildings and the hard light that hits them and then see what develops working within the frames of the viewfinder. I enjoy angles and lines within the confines of four angles and four lines making a person’s eyeballs jump around within the frame. And enjoying what sunshine there is that “fits” within my day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shadows during a walk in downtown Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, March 12, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and shadows during a walk in downtown Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, March 12, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Srping Cleaning in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

16 Mar

A swam does a little preening as it dips and rolls in the water during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

On a recent visit to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE, it was a warm February day for winter. Siouxland doesn’t always get a lot of those and so it was pleasant. And fun to see one of the zoo’s animals taking advantage and doing a little spring cleaning of its owns while the warm day lasted.

A swam does a little preening as it dips and rolls in the water during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A swam does a little preening as it dips and rolls in the water during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A swam does a little preening as it dips and rolls in the water during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

And like many other zoo visitors checking out the sites, one in particular seemed to have lunch on its mind. I am certain this guy/gal was not a resident and wondered if it enjoyed its stay and got any snacks for its trouble.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A raptor, not one of the zoo animals, watches from a tree top during an unseasonably warm day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Feb. 22, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Birding is not for the Weak in Siouxland, DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge, Correctionville

14 Mar

Recently I went with some friends to the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Siouxland near Missouri Valley. It’s a way stop for a variety of migratory birds that pass through the area during the fall and spring months. Recently bald eagles have been passing through and one couple are nesting across the Missouri River from a bird blind at the park which give people an opportunity to see them.

A bald eagle nesting in a tree along the Missouri River at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bald eagle sits atop a tree at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have not a “nature” or wildlife photographer. Although I like seeing the birds. It’s just impressive. And my poor attempt at capturing images pales severely with many wonderful photos I have seen of these birds in flight, swooping and catching fish out of a river or soaring overhead. And I can’t say I don’t have nice gear to capture such scenes, but we can’t be great in all our endeavors, but it doesn’t mean one can not enjoy being out in warmer temperatures and seeing nature and such majestic birds.

An immature bald eagle sits atop a tree at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A number of bald eagles sit atop trees across from the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge near Missouri Valley, Iowa Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But I did kind of catch the “I got to get me a better bald eagle photo” bug and went out again looking and found one along the Little Sioux River near Correctionville. It helps that the sun was shining brightly off and on and I saw the “white cap” before I actually recognized the bird. It was soaring and swooping and checking out the river looking for a meal. Above the tree line and then lost below the tree line as it skimmed the river. I also wasn’t the only spectator watching this bird do its aerial thing. Two onlookers perched on a high line wire were also watching along with some close friends and relatives nearby. They didn’t leave their perches until the eagle flew away looking for another spot along the river then they went out and did their own aerial stunts, but much closer to the tree tops, guessing they wanted to be near something to duck into in case big brother returned.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An eagle sits in a tree top overlooking the Little Sioux River looking for a meal Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An eagle soars over the Little Sioux River looking for a meal Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Two pigeons watch from a high line wire as an eagle soars over the Little Sioux River looking for a meal Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Spring run off in Siouxland, SIoux Falls Park, Sioux Falls, SD

12 Mar

A train crosses the tracks above the Big Sioux River at Sioux Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As the warmer weather descends on Siouxland and other parts north, water run off from snow melt will fill all the rivers and streams again and begin flowing south.

Last year the Siouxland region was flooded with rain in late winter hitting still frozen ground and then the snow run off and yet more rain during the spring, summer and fall. Leaving many farmers unable to plant, or planted, harvest their crops. A recent visit to the Sioux Falls Park shows the water is running pretty quick again, and the snow melt has yet to begin.

U.S. Vice President MIKE PENCE (R) center, joins Iowa Gov. KIM REYNOLDS, left, and Iowa U.S. Sen. JONI ERNST, bottom left, to talk with media about recent flooding in southwestern Iowa Friday, April 12, 2019 near Pacific Junction, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flood debris is seen washed up along a roadway Friday, April 12, 2019 near Pacific Junction, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flooded fields and roadways can be seen Friday, April 12, 2019 near Pacific Junction, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Flooded fields and roadways is seen Friday, April 12, 2019 near Pacific Junction, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s still impressive though to see the water running down the rapids at the park. And it was warm enough without a stiff breeze or wind gusts that it was quite pleasant walking about the park. But time will tell if the water display will be more or less as April and May approaches with warmer temperatures. But for now it is nice to be able to get outside and enjoy the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Big Sioux River cascades down the falls at Sioux Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nature Outside One’s Door in Siouxland, Sioux City

10 Mar

A squirrel scolds a visitor in a backyard Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s nice to know that even outside one’s door nature sometimes talks to a person in Siouxland. And expresses a local side of themselves one may not often see except when a neighborhood cat passes through, peaking the critter’s ire and it in turn sharing that with the hand that leaves it peanuts from time to time. But as it’s been said, one can choose one’s family but one can choose one’s friends. And the squirrel seemed to be expressing that.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Springing Forward in Siouxland, rural Woodbury County

8 Mar

The sun sets behind a hillside in rural Woodbury County near Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 7, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As daylight savings time kicks in here in Siouxland and elsewhere in the U.S., I will have to stay out a little later to capture a sunset, or earlier for that sunrise. Once the last of winter moves on and the temperature stays in the 50’s or higher, it will be more pleasant shooting either time of day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The sun sets behind a hillside in rural Woodbury County near Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 7, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The sun sets behind a hillside in rural Woodbury County near Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 7, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing Perspective in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Lauritzen Gardens

6 Mar

Sometimes going out in Siouxland to photograph is like going to a grocery store. So many choices to choose from depending on what one might like that day. And then there are the choices within the choices.

Perspective is everything.

A day out photographing at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A day out photographing at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I still like photographing with prime lenses, although I do own zooms and use them quite a bit as well. When talking with students I tell them they should set their zoom lens on just one focal length. 18mm, 35mm or 50mm. It helps them learn what that particular focal length produces as far as images with a specific focal length. After a while, when one sees a scene you already begin to formulate in your head the perspective you want to present the scene in. And with primes, or just using a single focal length on a zoom lens, one then needs to zoom with your feet.

With over 600 hours to build a Dodo bird Lego exhibit by Sean Kenney showcases an extinct species seen at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

With over 600 hours to build a Dodo bird Lego exhibit showcases an extinct species seen at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

The different focal lengths also create a different look of the subject matter as well, and how much information a person wants to incorporate in their image. Practice helps one build their own photographic vocabulary. And after a while a person begins seeing the world through a particular focal length. But even when shooting with primes, I still will change out lenses if I think another perspective is better for the subject at hand and will give me a result which I think is better.

Practice helps and never it’s never a bad thing to get outside and look around and enjoy the day taking photographs. Even better when one decidedly creates an image that goes beyond just taking a snapshot.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A day out photographing at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A day out photographing at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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