Sunday, August 10, 2014

The ruins of Windsor

How the ruins once looked
I decided to start learning about photography a few months ago.  As expected, its involved much trial and error.  Have to practice to get better, so I made a trip down to Lorman and spent an afternoon taking pictures of Windsor Ruins.  If you are going to practice, might as well shoot interesting subjects.  I used a Canon T3i with the stock lens (17-55mm). The pictures were shot at 6:30 in the afternoon in June.  I used the automatic features of the camera (I know, that is heresy. I'm learning.).  The sun was setting but there is an open field in front of the ruins facing the sun.  The pictures were edited in the Lightroom program.

Needless to say, I'm not even a novice but rather a total newb in terms of taking pictures and photo editing.  These pictures and the editing are not that good. However, I am posting them because it is an interesting subject and I'm using this posts as a measuring stick to measure my progress in later posts of a photographic nature.  If you haven't heard of it, Windsor Ruins was a plantation home that was built right before the start of the War between the States.  It was the largest plantation home in Mississippi and used as a hospital by both sides during the war.  It burned down in 1890 when a visitor dropped a cigar.  Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Mississippi's Greek ruins. Poignant and beautiful subject.

Shutterbug said...

Cool, except Windsor isn't near Lorman. Windsor might be the single most photographed venue in the state of Mississippi. I've very surprised it is not gated and guarded by now.

Shutterbug said...

Also, may I respectfully suggest that you NOT start this journey intent on photo editing. I see many good shots ruined by those who head automatically over to photoshop or some other editing program to enhance their photos.

Anonymous said...

1) Newbie or not, these are some great photo.

2) from wikipedia: "The mansion cost about $175,000 (equal to $4,593,426 today) to build and was completed in 1861. However Smith Daniell lived in the home only a few weeks before he died at the age of 34."

I hope he felt like he got his money's worth out of this :-)

Kingfish said...

You can tell where I made mistakes in the editing. There are two similar color shots. You can see where I screwed up but I still liked the shot.

I wrote Lorman because I passed the gates of ASU and only went a few minutes down the highway.

Anonymous said...

Unsolicited advice: you won't learn on the automatic setting. Keep a notebook - try different settings & jot em down, so you can look later & see what setting made what photo.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to seeing more.

Was introduced to the art of photography back in the slr film days. Can't even begin to relate to learning without paying to develop all that film.

Can't even begin to offer any advice other than keep at it.

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful...Glad to see something we can all admire on your site...😊

Anonymous said...

Very nice, and thanks for sharing. I have the same camera and must admit that I have not progressed beyond the automatic setting. However, I still get some good pictures.

Anonymous said...

Windsor ruins was built during the slave era and is therefore offensive and racist. It should be torn down, the columns sold, and the proceeds distributed to the African American community.

Anonymous said...

Windsor is thirteen miles due west of Port Gibson. The Mississippi River could easily be seen from the second floor while revelers sipped mint juleps. If you went through the town, you missed some great shots if you didn't take the winding roads out by The Shaeffer House, where the first Union Shots were fired during the advance over to Raymond.

There you'll find the banks of the cut-roads to be thirteen feet tall with all sorts of fauna and flora and wicked goblins.

Kingfish said...

Went down the trace, got off at hwy, went five miles down to ruins

Anonymous said...

Windsor Ruins is in Lorman. My grandparents live two minutes from it...they call the area Lorman.

Lorman sits in both Claiborne and Jefferson Counties. My grandmother is a native of the area. She remembered there being so much confusion about what county Lorman sat in that there had to be a vote on it.

The highway driving towards Alcorn State University, often called "The Stretch," is Jefferson County. Just before you enter Alcorn, you cross the Claiborne County line and the area pass ASU is Claiborne County.

Winsor Ruins is in the Claiborne County portion of Lorman.

Anonymous said...

not to be picky, but the lens is a 18-55, not 17-55. Nice pics KF!

Anonymous said...

MANUAL MODE, then you can open up your aperture and begin to throw the background out of focus, then use backlight on your subject to separate it from the background and boom, you are a pro photographer

Anonymous said...

Can your next project be the McDaniel/Tyner ruins? You can just follow them around this week and take pictures. Call the project "Tears of Unfathomable Sadness."

General Lee said...

LOL. I don't care where Lorman is, The Ruins of Windsor is (yes, IS) in Claiborne County, due west of Port Gibson. Take the road straight out of town, heading west. Gulleys, cut roads, civil war stations, cemeteries, and....wham, Windsor.

If you're on the Trace, take the PG exit, go straight past the very artsy pink trailer with flamingos painted on side (Pink Palace), head on past the chicken store and through town. Don't forget to take a photo of the cinema downtown. Great sign out front.

Anonymous said...

Hey, 5:05 -- I know you were just funning around. But, along those lines, the steps at the chapel at Alcorn are the steps that were once at Windsor. So, we have the iron steps from a house financed by slavery now sitting at the focal point of a historically black college. That counts for something. :)

Anonymous said...

You probably used the 18-55. The 17-55 wouldn't be a stock lens. It's about $1,000 by itself. Still, cool shots!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't KF just rename this website "McDaniel Macaroni". It would be more accurate.

Kingfish said...

10:10, you are correct. I have the Canon 1.8 50 mm as well. Got the numbers mixed up in my head.

NMissC said...

My family's cemetery is about 150 yards from Windsor; the wife of the builder (who is buried in the cemetery) was my great-great-great grandfather's neice. There is a church between Windsor and Alcorn called Bethel that was built by Thomas Freeland (the builder's father-in-law) and August Freeland (my great-great-great grandfather). That whole area was called Westside at least until sixties and seventies; I am pretty sure old families would say it isn't Lorman, it's near Lorman.

The cast iron steps of Windsor are at the chapel at Alcorn. Whoever said that the Shaeffer house is worth seeking out is very much correct, both to see the roads where the Battle of Port Gibson occurred and the house itself.

Here's an interview with Sam McGruder, a cousin (which has a passing reference to my grandfather).

To whoever said it should be demolished: Wiping out historical memory is the opposite of what should be done. The story should be told honestly, and the artifacts that relate to that history are an important part of it.

Anonymous said...

Great starter pics! It just takes practice and you can really help yourself out by reading photography magazines. They have a lot of tidbits that when applied to your photography, make all the difference!

Anonymous said...


Spoken like a true white devil.

Anonymous said...

One of the best books that helped me understand the basics of photography was "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. It'll have you shooting in Manual mode in no time.

Kingfish said...

got that one. thanks.

Shutterbug said...

Kingfish: Please DO NOT follow this advice that was posted above: "MANUAL MODE, then you can open up your aperture and begin to throw the background out of focus, then use backlight on your subject to separate it from the background and boom, you are a pro photographer."

None of us should 'go manual' before becoming thoroughly acquainted with the camera, it's feel, it's elementary features, composition, straight horizons....and not before shooting a hundred or so basic shots on auto.

Leave it on auto until you're comfortable with the camera, it's weight, how you hold or don't hold it, the lenses and other basics. And, as you have time, read the book, a little at a time.

You have plenty of time to move into manual and engage such dynamics as aperture settings, resolution and panoramic viewing.

As the traveling revival preacher asked the congregation on the Mayberry episode...WHAT'S your HURRY???

Anonymous said...

We are from Georgia and were at Windsor Ruins in April 2015 and totally missed the cemetery...oh well. Also, WHERE was this pond/lake showing the reflection of columns? Missed that too! L-O-N-G drive back, but not out if the worth it! I too am just learning digital photography after coming out of a long time SLR film career in freelance and studio. We went to the ruins to and other marvelous sights photographing my senior granddaughter for a commemorative album. Out of 50+ shots, I got maybe 4 awesomes! So wonderful to preview and delete without all that expense and waiting for developing Editing actually doubled my AWESOME #...YAY. I am only now encouraged by these posts to venture into that Manuel mode. Again, where is that pond and how did I miss it?

Kingfish said...

I think the river changed course since that picture was taken. Go look at the ruins on Google Earth.

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