Tag Archives: shapes

Seeing in inches or feet in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

30 Aug

Visually I can be a pretty darn opinionated individual, especially with myself. I see something and like it and then start photographing. When I worked for newspapers it became instinctual because moments changes scenes. What you saw 30 seconds or a minute or two ago is no longer there. I am trying to break that habit.

I no longer shoot for a newspaper on a daily basis. And the majority of my photographic interests are now more landscape, rural and urban, oriented. When I am concentrating on people I do just shoot and shoot when I see something. But with landscapes, I am trying to slow myself down and look and then photograph.

The campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, in Vermillion, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When I saw the image of the tower at the far end of the campus at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion on a recent visit I liked the trees and the spatiality. I liked the framing with the trees and the shadows in the foreground and the barely visible white tower peeking in the background. I shot a few frames. Then a walked maybe 10 steps and I realized maybe I  shot too soon.

The campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, in Vermillion, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I liked this framing better, the use of more shadow in the foreground forcing the eye up to the bright gleaming towers, now that one can see more than one. To me it seems a stronger photograph. I have gotten better at turning 360 though when I am out walking. See a scene behind me as well as the one I walking toward. Sometimes it is easy to miss an opportunity depending on how shadows fall and what is around you.

But I still struggle with placing my subjects, whatever they may be, within my frame. I like the various placement treatment I might give a building or person or whatever. They may all be a nice image, but that is part of the process of seeing and then defining what you see and distilling it down to what you what your viewer to see.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing Creatively in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

20 Apr

I have made a few trips to Vermillion, SD recently. It is relatively close, has some nice eateries and also some events I have attended. A University of South Dakota campus is also located there.

It’s because I have gone often that sometimes I struggle to find scenes I would like to photograph. Students who attend some of my Lifelong Learning classes are probably scratching their heads when I show them some of the photographs I have made. Being aware and open to interpretation is a helpful aspect of a photographer’s tool kit.

This particular trip was also overcast and grey. And as I walked about I saw some buildings with interesting doors. And then I stepped closer.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Just Searching in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

2 Apr

Recently on a trip to Vermillion, SD I ate lunch and walked about looking for some different images that maybe I have overlooked in the past. I have been to Vermillion numerous times and walked about the campus of the University of South Dakota there, as well as the downtown area. This day it was heavy overcast and no sunshine to speak of, but at least it was “warmish” and pleasant to walk about and be out of the house as spring begins to settle into the Siouxland area.

The prospect of finding something new I think is always a challenge when photographing a place one knows fairly well. The overcast day also presented a challenge with its flat light. No chance of using lights and shadows to create images. And then I saw it. Shapes. On a bright sunny day I might have overlooked these, but on this particular day these images just stood out. Hiding in plain sight some may say. Or just being observant and looking for images to make the day a little more successful.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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