Friday, February 27, 2009

Capitol Street in black and white: 3 of 3

This concludes the posts of black and white photos. You will notice that this last shot is identical to one I shot in color that was posted last week. Next week I will post a shot similar to this in sepia. Each is a powerful photo to me, so I did one of each. Let me know if you prefer one over the other.
The straight-on shot of the Bon-Ton Cafe is a good photo in black and white. It didn't do anything for me in color, just looked like an old building. But the black and white image makes the forlornness — if that is the right word — of the scene so much more real. It's a sad picture in black and white. Kind of tells what's happening to downtowns all across America.
Next week we will explore the street in sepia tones or as some would call it, "antique." To me, they are the best shots I have taken of this street and have had a hard time waiting this long to show them to you.
Grab your own camera and go exploring this weekend! An added bonus by doing so is you can postpone that yardwork or housework for one more day! Those dusty baseboards or those yucky leaves will be there next week, but I can't say the same for that sunrise, sunset, flower, critter or whatnot that is waiting to be photographed! Enjoy God's Glory while you can!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Capitol Street in black and white: 2 of 3

I love the wide-angle view of the street in black and white. I put a softening filter around the edges. Click on it to enlarge so you can see it better, if you like. The bottom photo is sunlight from the King Edward windows reflecting on the side of the building next to it. Neat effect, I though. 
If this is your first time to this blog, scroll down to see other photos of Capitol Street in black and white, plus color! Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Margaret's Grocery: Part 2

If you think the outside of Margaret's Grocery is decorated, you should visit inside! The bottom three photos were taken during a visit last year and the top two photos were taken Saturday. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

The details in this place are amazing. Every inch of the ceiling and every bit of wall space is covered in wonderful colors. The originality of each unique piece is absolutely marvelous. I love how Rev. Dennis takes mundane little objects and turns them into artwork. Remember the AOL disks you used to get in the mail? Threw yours away, didn't you! Come explore Margaret's Grocery to see how Rev. Dennis incorporated the ones sent to him into his artwork. Margaret's Grocery is one of the places where most people just see the "forest" and never take the time to look at the "trees"! Click on each photo above to see the "trees!"

I would be remiss in not mentioning Margaret. I have never met a woman with a kinder and gentler spirit and beautiful smile as this lady. She is a delight to talk to and is quick with a laugh. I have enjoyed the times I have spoken with her, the few that they are. This couple is a true Vicksburg icon and I am glad to know them and so appreciate them for who they are.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Margaret's Grocery: Part 1

Rev. H.D. Dennis

The ark of the covenant

On Saturday, three friends from the Brandon area came over for a photo tour of Vicksburg and a required stop on that tour is Margaret's Grocery on North Washington Street. This is the home of the Rev. H.D. Dennis and his wife, Margaret. We had the great fortune to be able to talk to Rev. Dennis while we were there and it was as great an experience as always. That man has a way with words. He's 94 now, but that hasn't stopped him from delivering the message he was called to pass along. One of the most original folk artists I have ever seen, he built this castle for Margaret a long time ago. The last photo is of the ark of the covenant the Lord instructed Rev. Dennis to build many years ago. 
I have probably taken more photos of this place than any place in Vicksburg. I find something new everytime I go. I'll tell you the rest of the story Wednesday...when we go inside the store!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Capitol Street in black and white: 1 of 3

I have to be in the right frame of mind to shoot black and white photos. They are so much different from color photos. You look at the lines and the contours of the objects being photographed so much more in the big, wide angle shots. In b&w closeups, details are the key. Seeing the small things makes the photo.
These photos were taken on the end of Capitol Street that seems stuck in time. I will also be featuring black and white photos on Wednesday and Friday. Scroll down to see the start of this series, three days of Capitol Street in color. Stay with me this week and the next few as more of downtown Jackson comes to the Kittrell blog! Forward this to all who might enjoy it!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Capitol Street in color: Part 3 of 3

Oops. I may need to expand this series for I still have color photos of Capitol Street I would like to show you. We'll see. The top photo of the tall buildings is shot from Capitol Street. They are not actually on Capitol Street. The other photos include St. Andrew's, the old Standard Life Building, the Federal Courthouse and Mayflower Cafe. Wonderful, wonderful details everywhere.
Wait until next week when you see some of the sights in black-and-white. It shows the street in an entirely new perspective! And only one word describes some of the older street scenes in sepia — WOW!
Keep spreading the blog, folks! 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Sprague...or what's left of it

One of the greatest preservation tragedies to ever befall Vicksburg is occurring as we speak on Washington Street. No, it's not a building. Instead, it's a Vicksburg icon, more closely linked with the city than anything I can think of. It's the remains of the Sprague. A few pieces of the grand old boat are used in the art park downtown, but the remainder of what's left of the sternwheeler is rusting away alongside Washington Street just north of downtown. I am so saddened by that. I stop every once in a while and photograph the remnants. Included in these photos are the sternwheel itself, the smokestacks and numerous gears and mechanical devices I can only guess at what they do. But each piece is precious to me. It's a part of this city's history and summer after summer I watch it get consumed by weeds and beaten by the elements, only to re-emerge in the fall a little rustier, a bit more fragile. 
However, with the demise of the American Queen, Mississippi Queen and Delta Queen, it would be prudent of us to try to recapture as much of the steamboat heritage we can claim as our own. The solution? I don't know. But I take as many people as I can to the site so they can see the smokestacks and the pieces of what was once the greatest steamboat in the world. I never saw her intact, but the photos — and the mural — harken me back to those times and I can see the ol' girl now making her way to City Front loaded with cotton and people, smoking bellowing out of her twin smokestacks. The city has forgotten her, but I haven't. Now you can remember her, too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Capitol Street in color: 2 of 3

The old part of downtown Jackson on Capitol is like stepping back in time. From the neon signage of Peoples Cafe to the tilework outside of the Bon-Ton Cafe, this at one time was THE place to shop and dine in Jackson. The stained glass windows still intact at Bourgeios Jewelers are incredible in themselves. And where else are you going to find a billboard for a collateral bank? That's what they used to call pawn shops back in the old days.

Top photo: The Cohen Bros. store features two signs, one vertical and another horizontal. I took this photo two weekends ago. I went back this past weekend and most of the horizontal Cohen Bros. sign had already been knocked out. What a pity. I am glad I took my photos when I did.

Part 1 of this series is below. Scroll down, please, if you would like to see it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Delta Queen

The Delta Queen made its way to its new home in Chattanooga last week. I was hoping it would come up the Mississippi one more time, but, alas, it went up the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway to its new destination. I still have not grasped the fact that I may never see another steamboat ply the waters of the Mighty Mississippi. I usually am an optimist, but it is hard to envision it ever happening again. I am hoping that my children's generation is not the last to see such a sight.
As far as I can discern, the top image is the last photo taken of the Delta Queen in Vicksburg. It was taken right before midnight on Nov. 3, 2008, as she was leaving Vicksburg. She had been docked here with the American Queen and the next two photos are of those two ships docked side-by-side at City Front. Look carefully and you will see a train coming across the old bridge to light it up for me at just the right time. Is that cool or what?
The bottom two photos are two of my favorites of the majestic boat.
I was also able to be along the river as the American Queen left the city on Nov. 11. The calliope was in full form as she chugged down the river. I told my son and nephew,  who were with me in the truck, to listen carefully to that sound for they may never hear it again and will one day have to describe it to their children.