Tag Archives: plants

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

Spring’s Bounty in Siouxland, Backyard gardens

27 May

This spring has seen lots of rain. It seems more than usual, but maybe not. I don’t keep records, and only listen to the weather people when I plan to do something and am wondering if the weather will interfere or not. But the results have been blooming plants like daylilies, if I am correct. But regardless they are pretty. And a backyard buddy, a squirrel seemed interested as well as he watched me photographing the flowering plants. Summer will be here soon, but it seems all are enjoying this spring as much as we can before moving on.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland’s spring winter effect, Sioux City

22 Apr

This week temperatures in the Siouxland area have dipped into cool and downright chilly. The overnight temps are hitting the upper 20’s and will hover around the 30’s according to local meteorologists. Which doesn’t bode well for my early blooming plants along with other Siouxland residents. I have only had a couple years when tulips and daffodils I planted actually blossom and hang around a few days for me and my neighbors to enjoy. The other years the cold would zap them and they either didn’t bloom or the bloom faded quickly while the leaves sort of languished until I took pity and cut them off at ground level hoping next year will be better.

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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