Vacation #2: Windsor Ruins, B&W

This is slightly expired Fuji Neopan shot in my wide angle Vivi Ultra W&S knock-off. I shot this combo for the first time last spring and loved it, and this is a good subject for a wide angle lens anyway.

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

This is the last batch of vacation photos, but 2016 is already shaping up to be a busy travel year. I’ve got Krewe of Muses (already booked my Airbnb accommodation for that) and the Little Rock pen show in February; back to Lynchburg for the Monacan powwow in either April or May (they won’t commit to exact dates until it’s a bit closer); and at some point during the year I hope to spend some more time on Dauphin Island. I’ll probably do the Dallas pen show again, too.

My hopefuls for 2017 are FINALLY going to Rocky Ridge Farm in Missouri, and visiting my brother in Chicago (during the Chicago pen show), if he’s still there and if his crazy boyfriend will simmer down long enough.

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Vacation #2: The Windsor Ruins, photographed with the Smena 8M

Okay yes, I’ve taken dozens of photos of these columns. But never with this particular camera! I just think they’re really pretty, and they’re really close to Natchez so whenever I go there it’s like, why wouldn’t I?

Alas, I had that boring, uniformly overcast, grayish-white sky AGAIN. Except for the first visit, it’s been overcast every time I go there, and never in an interesting way. Oh well, I shot some black and white too, maybe it will look less flat.

Windsor Ruins

Windsor Ruins

Windsor Ruins

Windsor Ruins

Windsor Ruins

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Port Gibson, Mississippi: “Too beautiful to burn”

I’ve been trying to post these photos for over a week, but I’ve been insanely busy during the day—I’ve been staying late at work and I came in for a few hours on Sunday—and almost as much so when I get home. I need a real vacation, not just a day off here and there. I’m taking 2 days off Thanksgiving week, which with the weekend and the holiday will give me 6 days in a row, but I’m going to spend them driving to Virginia and back so I don’t know how relaxing that will really be. I’ll have a few days off at Christmas, but I don’t know when I’ll be able to take anything like a real break. Maybe after the holidays I can borrow the ‘rents condo for a few days and veg out—I like the beach in winter.

Anyway, these are the photos I shot the day after Halloween in Port Gibson, a town that Grant allegedly said was “Too beautiful to burn” when it was part of the Siege of Vicksburg. Funny how all these small southern towns adopt slogans uttered by Union soldiers; the fort on Dauphin Island is forever reminding visitors that the Battle of Mobile Bay was where Admiral Faragut said the famous words “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”.

Gemiluth Chassed Synagogue

Wintergreen Cemetery

Presbyterian steeple

hollow building

chimney & bird

old building

Westside Theater

And of course I couldn’t be that close to the Windsor Ruins without stopping by.

11/01/14

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Ghost town on Halloween

So as previously mentioned, I took Halloween off because I had some PTO I needed to use up by the end of 2014, it was a Friday, and no one else in my department had taken it. I like Halloween but normally don’t do anything with it other than watch a scary movie and eat candy, but I decided this Halloween was the perfect time to re-visit the ghost town of Rodney, Mississippi. I went there about a year and a half ago with my friend Trish, but we didn’t have much time because we’d met for lunch, wanted to shoot the Windsor Ruins after Rodney, and were going home the same day. So I’ve always meant to go back, and this trip I didn’t schedule anything else that day and got a hotel room in Natchez, so if could get there around noon I’d have 3 or 4 hours. And I brought lunch with me, too.

Rodney was quite an important town for most of the 19th century and was just a few votes shy of being the capital of Mississippi Territory. Quite a lot of important people in the Natchez area were originally from Rodney, including the Nutt family, one of the sons of whom built Longwood, the famous unfinished plantation in Natchez that I toured earlier this year on a previous visit. But after the Civil War the river changed course, then there was a cotton weevil blight during the 1930s, and it was pretty empty by the end of WWII. There are still a handful of people living there today, a few new-ish houses surrounded by a town of decayed old buildings. I live in a pretty rural area and understand the appeal of peace and quiet, but this is like a whole other level. None of the roads leading into/out of the town are paved, and it’s miles from anything. Just to get a tank of gas or a carton of milk would take more than an hour.

Trish and I managed to find it last year, but I always felt like that was luck more than skill and I didn’t want to leave anything up to chance this time. The Presbyterian church is on the National Register of Historic Places in Jefferson County, MS on account of it was fired on by a Union gunboat during the war–there’s an old cannonball embedded in the front. I was able to find the GPS coordinates for it and plugged them into my Garmin. It took a more circuitous route than I remembered, I think because it was sticking to mapped/named roads–I remember looking at Trish’s Garmin (we have the same model) last time and seeing the car just kind of floating in the middle of a blank whiteness, which was a little eerie. Anyway, it got me there in the end. It looked more overgrown than I remembered, but maybe that’s just because it was the first week of March when we went last year and still pretty wintery.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Mt. Zion Baptist Church

Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Church

house parts

second floor

I shot some film too, but I haven’t gotten it back yet.

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Forgotten in a desk drawer film roll #2

This was shot during my Mississippi road trip last spring–and I’m going back at the end of the month, so that’s appropriate. I’m taking Halloween off, because I needed to schedule 7 days off during the last 3 months of the year, and all the good days around Christmas were taken but not Halloween and it’s a Friday. I’m really, really hoping I can get back to Rodney, which I had to skip last trip because it had rained so much–getting there entails driving a few miles on a completely unpaved road. (I’m also hoping Mom will let me borrow her truck.)

Most of the roll is of the Windsor Ruins; a lot of the shots are underexposed because of how overcast it was all weekend. Still, I kind of like that, because they look how it felt. It was very oppressive.

Double Eagle Coffee

Windsor Ruins

Windsor Ruins

Windsor Ruins

Water Wheel

Old Mill with Kudzu

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City Cemetery, Natchez, Mississippi

This was the last batch of photos from Mississippi and I just got around to editing them. And I still haven’t gotten the 35mm film developed. Just going through a lazy phase, I guess. Meetup was on Saturday and I only brought my Diana and my cell phone.

City Cemetery

City Cemetery

This cemetery is enormous, btw. It goes on for acres and acres.

City Cemetery

City Cemetery

City Cemetery

This is the weirdest headstone I have ever seen.

City Cemetery

This was in the Jewish section of the cemetery. Apparently that hand gesture is a Jewish priestly blessing and signifies the deceased was a Kohen (or Kohanim), a Temple Priest. It’s sort of an inherited thing, as they’re all supposed to be direct patrilineal descendants of Aaron. They perform Temple services and give blessings, but Rabbis are the big guns of the Jewish faith–they’ve studied the Torah and know Jewish law inside and out and can teach it to others.

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The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins, as I’m sure I explained last year, are all that’s left of one of the largest plantation houses in the state. It survived the Civil War but burned in 1890, supposedly when a guest left a cigar burning on a porch. Wow, that would be an awkward thank you card to write. “I had a lovely weekend. Sorry I burned your ancestral manse to the ground.”

I was here last year in March and it was still pretty wintry, so I wanted to come back later in the spring to take photos when the trees had leaves and things were in bloom. Not that I disliked the wintry look, it went very well with the subject matter, but I wanted to contrast. It didn’t really work out though, on account of it was so overcast that I wound up with yucky white skies. I tried using some effects on a few of the photos, just to make them a little less dull.

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

The Windsor Ruins

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