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edmund j. kowalski | profile | all galleries >> Ground Zero Times Beach Missouri tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Ground Zero Times Beach Missouri

Times Beach, Missouri, was founded early in 20th century with building lots given away with newspaper subscriptions. Grew to a fair size, beautiful location on Meramec River. Then in 1970s a waste oil dealer was hired to spray the streets for dust control; instead the streets were sprayed with toxic dioxins retrieved from a chemical plant in another part of Missouri. The US Government bought out the entire city in the 1980s, all had to leave, the city was disincorporated and removed from all maps, all structures were destroyed and removed, the earth itself was dug out and cleaned by incineration. The site is now officially called "Route 66 State Park" (old Route 66 went right through the town).
This was a major piece of modern history, it was one of the first of the EPA SuperFund projects. For more facts and fables, go to google.com and search " times beach missouri " there are several articles, most interesting stuff.

This morning I loaded Kodak Gold 200 into my Mastra V35, started out from the Route 66 Museum, then crossed the bridge over the river on foot and walked the remnants of the streets of Times Beach. It was eerie. I felt like that Ukrainan woman, (Irena, or Elena?) who drove her motorcycle through the Chernobyl area after the meltdown, capturing images for her marvelous website photo essay. I was reluctant to set foot off the established trails.

The Mastra V35 was made in 1958 by King (makers of the Regula line of cameras) in West Germany.
Scale focus 3.3 feet to infinity.
Steinheil Munchen Cassar f:2.8 / 45mm lens in VERO B, 30, 60, 125, 250 shutter.
The camera is very elegant in looks and handles very smoothly.
Some shots show considerable softness toward the edges,
HOWEVER,
the negatives themselves show excellent corner-to-corner sharpness.
Some investigation has indicated that the problem is with my local minilab's scanner hardware, and the main tech there is now aware of the problem.
At least I know that the camera itself is capable of good sharp images, across the entire image area.
Color was a little strange, I think partly due to atmospheric conditions, a little haze in the air but also a lot of UV. Could also be a product of the lab's negative scans.
All images are 2007 E.J.Kowalski
01_museum1.jpg
01_museum1.jpg
02_museum2.jpg
02_museum2.jpg
03_museum3.jpg
03_museum3.jpg
04_museum4.jpg
04_museum4.jpg
05_museum5.jpg
05_museum5.jpg
06_museum6.jpg
06_museum6.jpg
07_bridge_into_timesbeach.jpg
07_bridge_into_timesbeach.jpg
08_Meramec_A.jpg
08_Meramec_A.jpg
09_Meramec_B.jpg
09_Meramec_B.jpg
10_Meramec_C.jpg
10_Meramec_C.jpg
11_timesbeach_resident.jpg
11_timesbeach_resident.jpg
12_streets_of_timesbeach_A.jpg
12_streets_of_timesbeach_A.jpg
13_timesbeach_flora_A.jpg
13_timesbeach_flora_A.jpg
14_timesbeach_flora_B.jpg
14_timesbeach_flora_B.jpg
15_timesbeach_flora_C.jpg
15_timesbeach_flora_C.jpg
16_streets_of_timesbeach_B.jpg
16_streets_of_timesbeach_B.jpg
17_streets_of_timesbeach_C.jpg
17_streets_of_timesbeach_C.jpg
18_streets_of_timesbeach_D.jpg
18_streets_of_timesbeach_D.jpg
19_timesbeach_flora_D.jpg
19_timesbeach_flora_D.jpg
mastra v35.jpg
mastra v35.jpg