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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.

The Delta Windmill

Windmill outside of Delta 02-03-2013I don’t know if this is the Allen Henderson windmill I shot in the spring of 1967 on the Cape side of Delta along 25. There was another windmill missing all its blades about a tenth of a mile down the road that could have been it. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

The 1967 windmill

Allen Henderson windmill 06-06-1967

Here’s the 1967 photo. You can read more about the Allen Henderson Farm in my 2010 post.

Mother and I cruised down to check on storm damage at Dutchtown – we might have lost a piece of tin off one of the buildings – then we decided to see where the tornado touched down in Delta. The F1 tornado lifted the roof off a brick building, held it in the air over a car wash, then dropped it on a house. It missed all the normal tornado magnets – mobile homes. It could have been a lot worse.

On the way back, I saw the windmill spinning lazily and did a u-turn. There was no shoulder, so I had to park and walk about a quarter mile. The temps were in the 40s for a change, so I worked up a bit of a sweat under my coat on the way out with the wind behind me. The walk back, with a brisk wind in my face, was a bit chillier.

Not happy with the photos

Windmill outside of Delta 02-03-2013I didn’t shoot anything that I liked as well as the 1967 photo. The 18-55mm lens I use on my Nikon D3100 is great because it’s light and adequate for most things, but it wasn’t the piece of glass I needed today. My first shot was with these red berries in the foreground. They aren’t strong enough to carry the picture and the windmill is too small.

Similar shot isn’t much better

Windmill outside of Delta 02-03-2013I walked down the fenceline because I liked the tangle of weeds in the foreground, but the composition is still not quite right. If I had moved to the right just a little more, the fence post would have shifted to the left and it would have balanced the windmill better. Focus and depth of field is hard to judge with this lens, too. The focusing ring on the lens is tiny; it’s clearly designed for folks who are always going to use it on automatic.

Compositionally, the top shot is the best of the current pictures, but it would have been improved if I could have used a longer telephoto like in the original B&W photo. There are some interesting things happen with that tangle of brush around it that would be worth exploring. Oh, yes, and some cows would have helped.

Maybe I should have just kept on driving instead of doing the u-turn.


5 comments to The Delta Windmill

  • Keith Robinson

    I think the first shot would have been better taken more to your left; the buildings would have been behind the trees on the left, and the windmill would have been to the right of the hill in the background, rather than superimposed upon it.

    I just listened to what I said and recognized an amateur is trying to tell a pro what he should have done. LOL.

    • My composition options were limited. There weren’t that many breaks in vegetation along the fence that would give me a clear shot of the windmill. If I hadn’t had to walk so far in the cold wind, I probably would have bagged the shot.

  • Terry Hopkins

    The real question is…what happened to the cows?

  • Don’t be so hard on yourself, Ken. I like the berry photo, and I love it that you you rediscovered the windmill!

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