Tag Archives: plants

Christmas in Black and White, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

10 Feb
A black and white scene of a Christmas tree created using poinsettias at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes while out and about in Siouxland looking at sites or exploring an area, I am torn between photographing something in color or black and white. Most times I end up doing both. Depending on the outcome both can be worth of the choice made. When I previously worked for a newspaper in the black and white film days of Tri-X, some subjects just screamed color. Fireworks, fall leaves, Christmas lights, all give a better representation of that particular subject or event in color. When looking to isolate subjects or objects and making use of a graphic look of light and shadow, black and white is better suited.

Seeing a Christmas tree created using poinsettias at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A black and white scene of a Christmas tree created using poinsettias at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An argument can be made for either genre by whomever is doing the photographing. It all depends on what the photographer wants to share with his/her viewer(s). And what, at the time of making the photograph, has the the stronger appeal to the person. Seeing the poinsettia Christmas tree in color is not seeing it in black and white, but seeing the faint shadows and design on the walls in one’s mind’s eye and thinking in black and white opens up other interpretations, no matter what that personal interpretation may be, if other than a graphic presentation of the scene. A right answer or wrong answer, it’s hard to tell. Sometimes things are not so “black and white”.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A stairwell ripples of shadows at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Christmas Memory in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE

21 Jan
Childhood memories for some people in remembering putting together model trains with their fathers seen at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Christmas time is a time of joy and a story of birth or new beginning for people. Families share the season and the one day and make memories to last a lifetime if they are lucky. One memory some folk have told me is “building” model train sets with their fathers and running the tracks around the living room making folk a little cautious so they wouldn’t step wrong and end of run over by a slow going locomotive.

The Lauritzen Gardens is a place that seems to like trains. Another exhibit they have on the grounds is a joy in itself to see. And a small train set up in an indoor garden area was a delight to see how it traveled through the area.

Slow motion emphasizes a train passing by a walkway at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A train passes by a walkway at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always like the unexpected little surprises one finds when visiting places. And I’m certain the folk their enjoy giving them as they dream up something different each year to make it special and to keep patrons and guests returning.

Christmas time is special, and these little delights add to that memory of another year in which to remember.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A train passes by a walkway at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A trolley car makes its way in a floral exhibit at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Imaginative Christmas Decorations in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha

28 Dec
A Christmas tree made of poinsettias seen at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Driving about it’s easy to find Christmas light decorating on homes that takes one’s imagination to new heights. And with technology it’s easier to sync light strobing and music and it makes for quite the display. But somehow, in my humble mind, that pales in comparison to the tight spent creating a Christmas tree out of different colored poinsettias and placing them to somewhat replicate colored ornaments hanging on a tree. I was simply amazed.

A toy train makes it way around the “Christmas Tree” at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A decorative scene at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Gardens then attended small touches still using plants and adding a toy train one easily associates with the bygone days of such a scene at the base of a tree in a family’s home. The came the “stuffed” animals on the other side of the tree, still surrounded by beds of poinsettias. It was a nice break for this different kind of Christmas season and the effort the people at the Gardens put into creating the display. Affording people a chance to safely get out of the house and enjoy something this holiday season with other various precautions in place. And everyone attending at that time were courteous of others, giving space and wearing masks. A nice day outing amid a chaotic season of sorts.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

“Stuffed” animals guard the “Christmas” tree at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Hundreds or maybe more of poinsettias at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Christmas at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Play of Light in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

13 Oct
Enjoying the light play at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On matter where in Siouxland I find myself walking about, I enjoy the play of light on objects, scenes, or whatever. It’s the interconnectedness of lights and shadows that create images. Seen in only B&W it becomes more apparent, dramatic even. But that interplay creates images that draw attention. Beyond that though there needs to be something about the image that keeps a person’s viewing attention.

Enjoying the light play at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some images work better than others and one can only continue exploring and trying and creating and working to make images he/she believes have merit.

And then continue walking about and enjoying the moments and time spent exploring.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying the light play at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summer Days in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

27 Sep

Summer days at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With Fall officially begun in Siouxland and elsewhere recently, summer days are over, even as warm summer-like weather continues to envelope the area. Cooler temps are predicted in the next couple of weeks, but until then, people will relish these last few days of summer warmth and what they will have to wait and enjoy again next year.

Summer days at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Summer days at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lauritzen Gardens was ablaze in colorful flowers late summer. Visitors could feast in the summer bouquets walking through the landscape. Light play made the the plants dazzle and come alive in a light breeze, dancing one final jig or waltz, knowing their blooms will fade. As will the light quality that a summer sun washes across the landscape, it’s brightness enhancing shapes and objects it touches and lingers into the final hours of a day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Summer days at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Summer days at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Summer days at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Summer’s Day in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

9 Sep

A summer’s day at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As summer days dwindle here in Siouxland and elsewhere, people try to enjoy its last few days of sunshine and heat. I myself look forward to fall as I enjoy cooler temperatures the change in light as well as nature’s colors. Labor Day is a marker of the change to come as schools generally are back into full swing, all things considered this year.

A summer’s day at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Lauritzen Gardens is a nice place to spend the time. Seeing the changing blooms from spring into summer. Because of travel time I can never arrive early enough to see the gardens in morning light. Not a fan of rising before the sun and driving distances just to make it happen. So I content myself with what I am able to do and the time of day I can do it in.

Enjoying a summer’s day at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And while we humans can relax and appreciate the bounty before us, other guests seem to like the place as well, although shy, they come popping around at times and stroll the gardens area too.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A turkey enjoys a summer’s day as well at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Light and Shadow in Siouxland, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

1 Sep

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Because of the current virus pandemic sometimes it seems that options for getting out and enjoying nature can be limiting in Siouxland and nearby. But that also means it is just a photographic challenge looking for images when returning to the same venue. The Laurtitzen Gardens in Omaha, NE now has timed entries so the flow of people is controlled and it doesn’t get overly crowded and people are asked to be careful and distance themselves when outside and mask up when inside.

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The garden is all about plants, flora and fauna, green ones and pretty blooming ones. A variety that spans the seasons coming to fruition as those seasons change. However, the settings in which the gardens are placed have their own unique look depending on who is looking.

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The challenge of seeing beyond all the color and greenery can seem daunting. A strong summer sun helps to create those shadows underneath a canopy of green. And maybe taking a little time to enjoy the light play that comes with photographing a stark or near stark image breaks the monotonous of shooting color which can bring its own joy.

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A nice change of pace even for a photographer can be a good thing, learning to “see” differently and creating different results than one might normally obtain. A little variety in life can be good. On hot days, moving slowly and just looking can be rewarding and help reduce some sweat.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Light and shadow at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Backyard Beauty in Siouxland, Sioux City

8 Jun

Iris plant blooming Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Siouxland region already feels like its plunged into summer with soaring temperatures already in the 90’s and humidity to match. And however late spring seemed to be or not arrive at all, it’s delightful to find some backyard beauties making mornings a bit more pleasant.

Iris plant blooming Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Not one for a green thumb or fingers, the few hardy plants that survive this yard welcome the summer season for a day or two with the reminder that time moves forward never backward, even though some seem to perpetually dwell in an era that hopefully never returns.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A columbine plant blooming Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying a Summer Moment during Siouxland’s Winter, Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha, NE

13 Feb

A blooming plant at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes “getting away” from the cold and thought of winter is an easy fix around Siouxland. The Laurtizen Gardens in Omaha, NE can give visitors a little break from the winter weather, although it can be challenging for a photographer.

Condensation on a window in a plant room during winter at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Walking only a few meters within a plant enclosure looking Lego exhibits the camera lens would condense and it would take a few more minutes to wait for it to clear while visiting the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Cod days outside can mean an enjoyable time indoors but one must take a bit of time if you want to capture any memories during a visit. During a recent visit to the gardens the temperature within the “greenhouse” changed in matter of meters which was interesting. Or if standing by a door leaving the room the change in temperature was immediate as was the condensation that followed. But still, such a small sacrifice to pay for seeing a “little bit o’ the green” and a chance to forget about the outdoors and think of what’s coming.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A steamy room keeps plants healthy in the winter months seen during a Lego Exhibit at the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, NE Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, 2020. (photo by jerry L Mennenga©)

Learning to see in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

14 Sep

When I teach an introductory photography course to people I try to gently suggest they experiment and learn to open they eyes and see the world they know in different ways. And more importantly, to record what they see in different ways. On a recent trip to Yankton, SD I walked around the town and saw a plant that would look good photographed either in color or in black and white. Some subjects work well in one medium or the other. And sometimes in both. It depends on what you the photographer wants his/her viewer to see.

And that is what I try to impart on people taking my Lifelong Learning photo course. You the photographer are sharing what you see and witness at that moment in time, and so what is it that you want your viewers to see. And the scene you photograph may change over time, and you as an individual and as a photographer may see differently over time. But it doesn’t mean what you see and what you share is of any less significance.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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