Tag Archives: vermillion sd

Seeing Art in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

4 May

It’s been a few months since I had visited this part of Siouxland, traveling to Vermillion, SD. I attended a performance by a musical group that I will write about in a later post, but then went to the downtown area to eat some lunch. And it’s always a pleasant surprise to find or notice something I had not seen before. And this time it was sculpted art pieces in the downtown area. It was sweet and nice to see a community have pride to showcase something visual that adds to the ambience of the area, and to let others visiting to also enjoy.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

On display is sculpted art in downtown Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

On display is sculpted art in downtown Vermillion, SD Friday April 27, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting History in Siouxland, W. H. Over Museum, Vermillion, SD

11 Mar

As part of flyover country, Siouxland is surprising in the number of museums one can be found, like the W.H. Over Museum in Vermillion, SD. Having visited it over time, it was nice to see some newly finished displays. Unlike major metropolitan facilities small towns rely on volunteers and a smaller donation pool to make ends meet.

The W. H. Over Museum has recently finished some new displays in Vermillion, SD Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have taken a couple of my Photo Safari classes there to look at exhibits and get a better sense of history in the early Dakotas when there was only one, not North and South Dakota, during the country’s expansion west.

A story behind one diorama at the W. H. Over Museum and history of the Dakota Territory in Vermillion, SD Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A small diorama tells at the W. H. Over Museum tells history of the Dakota Territory and a turning point in the expansion West in Vermillion, SD Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And each time I return, and the same is true in visiting other museums, something new catches my eye and gives me a little better understanding of what life was like in the early Siouxland area.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

 

History of Photography in Siouxland, W H Over Museum, Vermillion, SD

25 Feb

When I am out surveying Siouxland, I am always happy with serendipitous encounters that allows me to find a unique place to visit and photograph. Such encounters can enrich one’s knowledge and makes visiting a place all the more enjoyable, such as the W.H. Over Museum in Vermillion, SD. Meeting Lynn Muller, owner of an extensive collection of Kodak cameras, which in itself is a history of photography in America.

Camera collector Lynn Muller talks about his extensive collection of Kodak cameras as well as some other brands he also collected at the W. H. Over Museum in Vermillion, SD Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

George Eastman created an empire built on encouraging people to take photographs. Muller was gracious enough to take some time to show me his collection and talk about the history of Kodak. He explained he became interested in photography during the Vietnam war. An art student, he said there wasn’t the ability to have paints, an easel or canvas, so he picked up a camera. He began his collecting in 1971 and that still continues today.

Camera collector Lynn Muller said many of the original Brownie cameras sold for only a dollar, making them accessible to many more people, especially families, as they recorded daily life which made the brand extremely popular. His extensive collection of Kodak cameras as well as some other brands are on display at the W. H. Over Museum in Vermillion, SD Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Muller’s collection includes many examples of the Brownie camera, the first product Eastman mass produced, convincing the American public that it should photograph everyday events in the lives of its family to remember those moments.

Camera collector Lynn Muller said Kodak founder George Eastman was very good at marketing which helped propel his company and cameras to the top of the the consumer wants list as he talks about his extensive collection of Kodak cameras as well as some other brands at the W. H. Over Museum in Vermillion, SD Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An early era instruction manual that came with a Kodak No. 3 folding camera that is part of Lynn Muller’s extensive collection of Kodak cameras as well as some other brands at the W. H. Over Museum in Vermillion, SD Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

He explained that Eastman also saw the opportunity of promoting this “hobby” to women, utilizing a marketing campaign to show them as independent people.

Kodak camera collector Lynn Muller said that George Eastman, founder of Kodak, was a master in marketing and targeted women in many campaigns that helped the brand become popular. Muller has an extensive collection of Kodak cameras on display at the W. H. Over Museum in Vermillion, SD Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The breadth and depth of Muller’s collection is breathtaking, and if one calls ahead to the museum, it is possible to schedule time with Muller for him to explain the history of Kodak and many other camera brands of which he also collects. Therein lies my serendipitous moment when museum personnel let me into the special section holding the collection, Mr. Muller happened to stop by. It’s amazing to see all of the cameras, but no less amazing to hear him talk about Eastman and his rise to being a leading figure in photography, inventing the use of roll film rather than glass plates for taking pictures. And creating a smaller camera body as opposed to the larger cameras used by the likes of Matthew Brady and other early photographic pioneers thus bring photography to the masses. The first cameras contained a roll film with 100 exposures and cost about $25.00. Eastman brought the photographic experience to the masses and soon everyone was taking photographs to commemorate some aspect of their life or family’s life.

And it was fun to learn this history in Siouxland, without having to travel to New York state and visiting the museum in Rochester. Although that would be a nice trip for any photography buff. And as much as I like serendipity when I photograph, I don’t mind it at all when it happens in life as well.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Exploring with a “toy camera” in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

17 Oct

With the Fuji X series cameras that I use to photograph with I enjoy sometimes “playing” with some of the special features. Especially the “toy camera” feature. It is reminiscent to me of using a Holga plastic camera when I previously shot film. This setting augments reality and with some subjects add a little something to the image. At least I think so.

Pigeons take flight around a grain elevator in Vermillion, SD Saturday Sept. 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It creates a bit of a vignette and softens the image and sometimes adds a bit of color saturation. Walking around Vermillion where I have been numerous times I enjoy changing up the types of images I might capture. And sometimes I believe it depends on the type of day and weather with how this effect interacts with the subject in creating the image. I think one should always continue exploring how one sees and within limits and a budget limit if one needs too, how to photograph subjects and they sharing that different view with others.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing Nature in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

29 Sep

On a recent visit to Vermillion, SD, I came upon a walking trail of which I wasn’t aware in Cotton Park inside the community. It follows the course of the Vermillion River, is paved and so is an easy walk to enjoy nature and get away from any immediate surroundings of the town itself.

A small river running alongside a walking trail in Vermillion, SD Saturday Sept. 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was pleasant hearing songbirds along the trail and I even noticed some early signs of fall, changing leaf colors, although sadly, I think the leaves belonged to a poison ivy plant, and a wooly caterpillar. I can never remember the old farmer’s tale whether seeing such a critter means an early winter or a colder one.

Nature along a walking trail in Vermillion, SD Saturday Sept. 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A wooly caterpillar predicting winter on a walking trail in Vermillion, SD Saturday Sept. 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Finding solitude in a city setting is always a plus in my book, even in smaller communities. Sometimes a getaway shouldn’t involve traveling miles, just maybe a few steps outside of one’s doorway. When I emerged back into the more “civilized” part of the town I saw a coniferous tree that with a little imagination would be perfect for tinsel and Christmas balls, as well as an industrious bee working to harvest some remaining nourishment for the months ahead.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Add some tinsel and colored balls and Christmas is just around the corner in Vermillion, SD Saturday Sept. 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Bees still working even in September preparing for winter in Vermillion, SD Saturday Sept. 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

 

 

Revisiting Places in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

21 May

As I travel about the Siouxland area I am constantly returning to places that I have previously visited. And when I do so with classes it becomes a challenge to not see the same things either physically or visually. Although it’s hard not too. Vermillion, SD is a small college community. Its college buildings on the University of South Dakota campus there were built in the late 1800’s and then more recently in the 1950’s as it expanded. There are also newer buildings, but sometimes they are not as interesting as the older ones. The same is true in the town itself.

I took my class to a section of town I had been to maybe a month or more previously. The light was different on my return visit with my class. Sunny, a little cool, but pleasant. So I tried to shoot a little differently. I was aiming for darker images than I got. Even after a couple of years working with my Fuji mirrorless cameras I am still trying to get some images I see or “pre-see”. But I was happy with the results. And I saw opportunity in a building shot I did on the university’s campus that I will need to return and explore, probably earlier so I have more of the directional light to work with. Familiarity can help inform one’s shooting and give you a perspective when trying a different approach. Plus, every day is a new day photographically.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Chilled at USD, Dressing warm in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

13 Feb

While visiting the University of South Dakota campus at Vermillion, SD recently I was struck by how much has not changed when it comes to youth. The morning started out at 10 degrees, above zero. I can remember when I was in college and walking to my classes in winter I must have looked like the Michelin tire guy hidden within the parka I owned. Most students appeared not to worry about the cold.

Maybe speculating it was a short walk from the dorm room to a class or the cafeteria. I only saw a few people dressed like the weather was cold. But saw quite a few dressed like spring had already arrived with temps in the 60’s. Maybe my aged bones just don’t like the cold as much or can do without it, but I will give credit to those “red” looking individuals who certainly looked cold crossing campus. Maybe they just wanted a natural way to support their sports team, the Yotes, as red is the college’s color, their exposed skin certainly took on an unusual hue of red. Ah youth.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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