Tag Archives: sioux city iowa

Learning Light and White Balance in Siouxland, plus a test, Photo Safari

12 Nov

During the fall season in Siouxland I always look for different places to visit to keep interest in my Fall Photo Safari and to challenge those students attending. I also return to previous places because the light, season, and temperature is never the same. I have to thank students Elizabeth and Carey for being good sports and allowing me to test a newly acquired camera for its video capabilities, especially using a variable ND filter so I can control the amount of light while shooting outdoors with a 1/30 shutter speed and an f/4 aperture at 320 ISO. I didn’t have a tripod so I knew my technique was going to be off, but it gave me a chance to test out what I thought would work and be prepared to use it in a couple weeks when I attend some local Christmas functions.

During the fall I also schedule one class toward dusk and evening. This challenges some students because it screws with their knowledge of using higher ISO’s, white balance and most times a slower variable zoom kit lens. The lenses are fine, but one does need to learn to work around them.

The city recently began changing out the lighting from mercury vapor and other warm lamps to daylight LED’s.

Photo Safari class in Sioux City, Iowa, Saturday, October 31, 2015. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

We walk about the downtown area of Sioux City and as dusk falls into night, they have to think about these changes which can seem daunting. But I tell them to have fun and be creative. One way is working with the camera’s preset white balance. This scene was shot both using the tungsten setting for night and also using the Florescent 3 setting I have on my Fuji camera. I am not a fan of LED’s for night usage that are not warm because it plays with one’s sense of night and day. And we humans are geared  for warm settings come evening. But using the Florescent setting helped me give my image a warm feel.

in downtown Sioux City, Iowa Saturday Nov. 4, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

in downtown Sioux City, Iowa Saturday Nov. 4, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

The next scene I believe I was shooting daylight as there was still a little sunlight left in the sky and then switched to tungsten.

in downtown Sioux City, Iowa Saturday Nov. 4, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

in downtown Sioux City, Iowa Saturday Nov. 4, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

And as I try to explain to students, because of a “slower” kit lens sometimes one can use that to an advantage since the shutter speed is slowed down to accommodate a f/3.5 or f/4 lens. And then creatively one enters controlled motion into the image.

in downtown Sioux City, Iowa Saturday Nov. 4, 2017. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga)

And with a little practice and experimentation these tweaks become more tools in the “toolbox” as one looks at familiar images and giving them a bit of a different twist.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying the Light in Siouxland, Sioux City

13 Sep

I attended a community gathering near where I live at a place called Peters Park. When Sioux City was first established in the late 1800’s the park was an actual park with grass and trees and a place for residents to stroll. A trolley car even ran from the Morningside area to downtown Sioux City. But that was another century or two ago and for the most part forgotten history. But businesses in the vicinity of the park, now parking lot next to a city library branch, hosted a little meet.

Pinnacle bank offered a sandwich, chips and a drink to community member during a night out at Peters Park area in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday Sept. 5, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A local bank provided sandwiches and chip and drink while others provided DQ Dilly bars and soda and water and a local car club showed off some of its members’ rides. Classic cars some, others just gleaming with a great deal of care.

Classic cars had peoples’ attention during a night out at Peters Park area in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday Sept. 5, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

What I like about these events is the time of day and the light. Early evening, a strong summer light still and amazing colors of the various cars. I just find it a great combination and sometimes a challenge to really show off the subject matter in what most times might not be the most flattering light. So it puts one’s skills to the test and helps to make these beauties pop.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Trying to see in Siouxland, Bacon Creek Park

1 Sep

When I am out walking about I always take a camera with me. Most days I shoot at least a few frames. Some days not. I don’t know if I am feeling compelled and it is just habit that I photograph. On a recent walk in Bacon Creek Park I was looking for images while still just enjoying the walk. I felt when I had finished my 3-mile excursion about the water I had photographed a few things of interest, but nothing really compelling and a bit disjointed when take in totality. I sometimes look for themes depending on the day and weather, especially if it is a place I visit often. I think at some times the need to be outside and taking in fresh air as well as some moderate exercise overrides my photography. But then, that may not be a bad thing.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Learning about Siouxland History, Sioux City

24 Aug

Recently I went on a walking tour in Sioux City sponsored by the local public museum and hosted by Tom Munson, an archivist and historian with the Sioux City Public Museum. After a walk through the Peirce Mansion, a historic home in Sioux City, Munson talked about John Peirce and other early settlers and “movers and shakers” of Sioux City history. Siouxland is replete with history throughout its region having been settled in the mid-1800’s by those looking west from the East Coast for another start in life. John Peirce was one those early settlers and land speculator in the early days of Sioux City.

A portrait of John Peirce hangs in a formal sitting room as visitors explore the Peirce Mansion and talk with volunteers about restorations and the history of it in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday July 13, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Munson took his group of about 150-200 people through a walking tour of Peirce’s built home in which he never actually lived throughout the neighborhood and talks about the interconnecting lives of those early financiers who helped build Sioux City. The 2-3 block walk showed off changing styles of architecture as well as come colorful history of the city’s founder’s and those who helped propel it to success in it’s early days.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Celebrating Independence Day in Siouxland, Sioux City

24 Jul

During the July 4 holiday I attended a parade in southern Siouxland and enjoyed festivities and band music there, although that group played music from a couple centuries ago. The evening of July 4 I attended a concert at a local college, Morningside College and listened to the U.S. Air force Heartland of America band perform. Patriotic songs, big band, swing and some pop numbers were all performed with aplomb. This group could swing and belt out some tunes.

It was a fun evening and many local residents took advantage of a pleasant evening without searing heat to come out and hear the band play.

Attendees of the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band keep the late afternoon sun off with a “patriotic” umbrellas at a 4th of July celebration concert at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A large crowd enjoys the sounds of the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band as it plays a concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The men and women who serve in the various armed services perform a variety of services. Some of those are just connecting directly with the public and the Heartland of America Band, based at Offutt Air Base in Omaha, NE does a great job. Following are some songs the group performed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Members of the audience stand for the National Anthem prior to the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band guitar player MSgt Jerry Birkenmeier watches SSgt Daniel Thrower as he solos in the spotlight during a concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band brass members TSgt Carl Eitzen, SSgt Daniel Thrower and MSgt Ben Kadow play for a concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A nice crowd turned out for the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Fires works sound off over Morningside College at the conclusion of the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band’s concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band play a finale of their concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. Members of the performing band include TSgt Becky Packard, Tsgt Carl Eitzen, SSgt Daniel Thrower, MSgt Alex Serwatoski, MSgt Ben Kadow, SSgt Ed Zarsky, A1C Sierra Bailey, TSgt Michael Schmaus, MSgt Jerry Birkernmeier and TSgt Marshall Gentry. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

TSgt Becky Packard and A1C Sierra Bailey share a show tune during the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band members SSgt Ed Zaryky, YSgt Carl Eitzen, SSgt Daniel Thrower, MSgt Ben Kadow and TSgt Michael Schmaus during the concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An attendee applauds at the end of a song as the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band performs a concert for the 4th of July celebration at Morningside College’ s Buhler Outdoor Performance Center in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, July 04, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

 

Creating images in Siouxland, Sioux City

16 Jul

The other day it was a not, muggy, miserable type of midwestern summer day in July that is probably best spent indoors if possible. But this was a continuation of a few days of hot, muggy and miserable days in Iowa and I needed to get outside and breathe some fresh air even if it was a bit unbearable. I visited Bacon Creek Park and walked its three mile loop. Thankfully there was a breeze and most of the loop passes through a forested area.

Because I chose mid-day to take my walk, not a bright idea on a hot, muggy and miserable kind of midwestern summer day, the light was vary garish. And so I started looking for scenes that would best use this type of light. I tell students you can photograph any time and anywhere. It’s just a matter of being observant. That doesn’t mean mid-day photos are more successful than a nice sunset or evening shot during the golden hour, but the possibilities are still there. And if you’re taking a walk on such a day, it pretty much reflects the experience, maybe.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Siouxland Summer brings Fresh Produce, Sioux City

4 Jun

Last year I was negligent in getting to any of the Farmers Market days in Sioux City. Various projects and it seems other needed agendas kept me away. This past week I visited the market. While technically still in the spring season, the offerings will begin to grow as summer gets even closer and vendors from throughout the Siouxland region bring their items to the market, here and other area towns. And delectable treats and organic food awaits for people to enjoy the fruits of others labor.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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