Wednesday, August 24, 2022

More Wide View in South Vicksburg (XPan 07)

In the previous two articles, we wandered around downtown Vicksburg with the panoramic Hasselblad XPan camera. This time, let's revisit the delights of the city south of Interstate 20. I have explored Hwy 61 South before, which is lined with industries and some sites worthy of an urban decay chronicler.  

The Tomato Place (30mm lens)
The Tomato Place (30mm lens)

The Tomato Place, at 3229 Hwy 61 South, is a popular lunch stop and vegetable stand. You can also buy local honey, fresh bread, cookies, and other goodies. Nice place! Mallory generously lets me photograph inside

Guard shack, Miller Street

The tracks that cross Rifle Range Road are not in the best condition. I thought they were unused until one day, a locomotive trundled up to me and I had to move my tripod. The locomotive was pushing a tank car to the Halcros Chemicals company. I followed this rail line south out of Vicksburg in a 2021 article. It once ran all the way to Port Gibson, but most of the track has been removed.

Here is the little peach-colored store/gas station on Warrenton Road. I do not recall it being open for business.

Fixer-upper truck (45mm ƒ/4 lens)

The junk yard at Rubber Way never fails to please. But it appears to be slightly cleaner than before. Possibly the owner is clearing out the wrecks? Where will I photograph junk cars when it is gone? Quelle horreur!

Thank you all for following along. These are photographs from a Hasselblad XPan camera with its superb 45mm ƒ/4 and 30mm ƒ/5.6 lenses using Kodak Portra 160 film. Northeast Photographic in Bath, Maine, developed the film and I scanned it on my Plustek 7600i film scanner. I merged the negatives with Photoshop CS6.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

The Wide View in Vicksburg in Color (XPan 06)

Kodak Portra 160 film

I had three rolls of Kodak Portra 160 film in the freezer. It was expired but had been cold stored since 2013. I thought it would be useful to try a color film in the Hasselblad XPan because of the ability to place a colorful central object as the focal point of a panoramic frame. Below are examples from semi-random trips in and around Vicksburg. Please click any frame to see details at 2400 pixels wide. All comments welcome.

Good stuff, Mt. Alban Road (30mm ƒ/5.6 lens)

Oh, no, it's the car junk yard on Mount Alban Road that I periodically impose on you. I liked the red truck this time. And the extra wide coverage shows the unending supply of tires and junk. 

Former Mercy Hospital, McCauley Drive (30mm lens)
Mercy Hospital (30mm vertical)

The Vicksburg Sisters of Mercy opened Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in 1957. At that time, it was a state-of-the art medical facility for the post-war era. In the 1950s, this was the "white" hospital. African-Americans used Kuhn Memorial (Charity) Hospital a short distance away. 

Later known as Parkview Hospital, Mercy closed permanently in February of 2002. A 2012 article in Preservation in Mississippi includs dozens of comments from former patients and employees. The building suffers from black mold, asbestos, leaks, vandalism, and myriad other issues. It will never be used again.

Mississippi still suffers from great disparities in health care and ranks last in almost every health outcome among US states.* White politicians in Jackson refusing to extend Medicaid and underfunding public health have perpetuated this disparity.

New Year clean-up, Candee Street. Where is Italy? (45mm lens)
More New Year clean-up (45mm lens).

Just after New Years is a good time to clean out furniture, toys, and posters showing maps of Italy. Good stuff.

View west from Drummond Street near Bowmar Avenue (45mm lens)
Bridge over Stouts Bayou at Letitia Street (45mm)
Asam Hotel, Washington Street (45mm lens at ƒ/11, tripod-mounted)

This and other motels once provided a view over the Mississippi River. Most became low-end temporary housing over the years. A new operator has bought or leased this unit and recently painted it. It was formerly the Dixiana Inn.
Sycamore Avenue, view south (45mm lens at ƒ/11)
Free furniture, Sycamore Avenue (30mm lens at ƒ/11)

Sycamore Avenue is one of Vicksburg's semi-hidden streets, seldom used and with only one house left on the hillside. When house lots were originally platted, innovative builders stuck houses on stilts just about anywhere where they could fit them. Over the decades many have burned, collapsed, or been torn down. I wonder when the City will abandon Sycamore Avenue? I cannot tell if it serves any purpose now.

Thank you for reading. We will see south Vicksburg next time.

  Mississippi ranks last, or close to last, in almost every leading health outcome. In Mississippi and nationwide, these health disparities are significantly worse for those who have systematically faced obstacles to health due to their socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, geographic location, and other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion.

The result is a disproportionate burden of disease and illness that is borne by racial and ethnic minority populations and the rural and urban poor. Health disparities not only affect the groups facing health inequities, but limit overall improvements in quality of care, the health status for the broader population, and results in unnecessary costs.

Monday, August 8, 2022

The Wide View in Vicksburg, Dec. 2021 (Hasselblad XPan 05)

Corner of Monroe and China Streets, Vicksburg, MS (30mm ƒ/5.6 lens, center filter, ƒ/8.0½)

Corner of Monroe and China Streets, Vicksburg, MS (30mm ƒ/5.6 lens, center filter, ƒ/8.0½)

When my friend first loaned me his gorgeous XPan panoramic camera, I took sample photographs around Vicksburg with Kodak Tri-X 400 film. 

Over the years, the standard 45mm lens was the most common one for XPan photographers. This was already pretty wide on this format. My friend also has the amazing 30mm ƒ/5.6 lens, which has proven to be a challenge. You need textures or interesting features in the lower foreground to keep the scene from being too boring. I think the first example above is effective, but the second photograph may have too much plain foreground. Click any picture to see it at 2400 pixels wide, and all comments welcome.

Good stuff junk yard, Mt. Albans Road, Vicksburg (30mm ƒ/5.6 lens)

This is the car junk yard on Mt. Albans Road east of Vicksburg. Readers may remember older pictures from here. 

Corner store, Mt. Albans Road (45mm ƒ/4 lens, Fuji Acros film)
Gorilla pawn shop, Washington Street, Vicksburg (45mm lens, med. yellow filter) 

The 45mm ƒ/4 lens has amazing resolution across the frame.  

Cherry Street at Clay, 30mm ƒ/5.6 lens, yellow filter, ƒ/11 (Fuji Acros film)

This little store at the corner of Cherry and Clay Streets housed the Wells & LaHatte appliance business for many decades. The business has moved one block away and the little wood building is for sale. The extra wide 30mm ƒ/5.6 lens is an amazing optic, but I found it works best when stopped down to ƒ/11.

Mt. Heroden Baptist Church, 1117-1119 Clay Street (30mm ƒ/5.6 lens, yellow filter)

Standby for more panoramic scenes in Vicksburg and the surrounding area. Thank you for exploring with me.