Light quality is perhaps the most underrated aspect of photography. Here I definitely found it. Also underrated is our own Beale Street. I know a lot of locals like me write off Beale as an annoying tourist destination. It might be that sure but you can't beat the people watching. Good people watching = great photos.
It's rare that I ever go down to Beale Street. But with Elvis week wrapping up I wanted to go down and shoot some photos. Also I did a little video for my Slow Memphis YouTube channel. With all the people watching and a protest downtown here are some of my favorites from yesterday.
In my never-ending quest for the perfect film camera I recently came across the Ricoh GR II. Since it has the same focal length (28mm) as one of my Fuji prime lenses I decided to sell that lens and bought a used Ricoh GR II. I've been very impressed with this camera and its size & weight (it fits in your pocket) fill the need of a camera I can take with me everywhere. Here are a few shots I took while walking around downtown Memphis. So far so good!
Had the privilege to photograph the annual Blues Music Awards this year. Of all the photos I took these of Cedric Burnside are easily my favorite.
Regardless of how you feel about the Memphis vs. Nashville debate you can agree that they both look great from the air. Speaking of that debate, I'm over it. I love Memphis of course but always have fun exploring and doing new things in Nashville.
Had some free time on Monday so I took advantage of the nice weather and headed down there. Originally I had planned on just going down on Cleveland and just taking a few photos of some new murals and maybe the outside of the Crosstown Concourse. As I was walking by the Concourse I decided to poke my head in the lobby. Man was I BLOWN AWAY. I underestimated the enormity of the Crosstown project by a mile. Inside it looked like some kind of futuristic city and one of the largest construction projects I have ever seen. Photos from walking around Crosstown Arts and the Concourse itself are below. FYI I usually just post a paragraph of words here then show all the photos. This time I've written a few things about some of the photos so make sure to scroll down so you don't miss anything.
This I Love Memphis mural is hidden from the main street so I always forget this one is here. Definitely one of my favorites along with the one that is outside Memphis Made.I love the Glitter & Glamour building on Cleveland. Something about the sign and the corner location that speaks to me.This mural is by Brandon Marshall, one of my favorite artists in the city. This mural memorializes Brandon's friend and artist Ronnie "BETOR" Bobal who passed away recently.Why I always try to get in an alley or look behind a building when exploring. Usually something hidden in plain sight. Plus a nice view of the Crosstown Concourse.
I often obsess over every detail in a photo so when I saw the truck that said WE LOVE OUR JOB! coming I had to get a photo of the building and the truck.The first thing you see when you walk into the Concourse's apartment area. I just stood here for a few moments in awe. You really have to see it to appreciate the scale. To me it looked like some kind of futuristic sci-fi movie set.Atrium staircase. Again you have to see it to believe it.Set my camera on the floor and used a timer to get this one. Shooting wide and low is a great way to really get the scale of a place.
You made it to the end! Congrats. Love how the parking garage has the word YOURS on it. I went up to the top of the garage. It was huge and a pretty decent view of the building is up there.
After a week of shooting tons of great blues acts up and down Beale Street it was finally time for the finals. You could not ask for a better venue than The Orpheum for the grand finale. Lighting for photography on Beale Street clubs (and Memphis venues in general) is always a mixed bag so I was happy to finally have some good light in which to photograph. I didn't get to stay for the whole show (Dawn Tyler Watson won the whole thing) but the acts I did get to photograph were amazing. Bands photographed are (in order): The Souliz Band featuring Sugar and Spice (2nd Place Band), Al Hill (1st Place Solo/Duo), SOBO Blues Band, Wes Lee, Johnny Pink and the Intrusion, Sugar Brown
Last day of the IBC before the finals on Saturday. As always here are some favorites.
I really regretted not being at the Women's March here in Memphis a few weeks ago so I was glad to be able to take part in the Memphis We Belong Here March. The whole march was very peaceful as we walked from Clayborn Temple to the National Civil Rights Museum. It was my first march in Memphis and I am sure not the last.
Thanks to Holly at I Love Memphis I was able to pick up a photo pass for this week's IBC. The kickoff party was last night filled with some great international acts. A few of my favorites are below. Looking forward to the rest of the week.
Here are a few photos of some of my favorite things I have photographed in 2016.
This is easily one of my most viewed and favorited photos of 2016. This was taken in St. Louis while I was working for a week filming a conference. Whenever I travel for work I try to take some time and enjoy the city by getting up early. Ideally I can bring my bicycle with me and this is exactly what I did on this particular trip. Got up early and started exploring the city by bicycle. A huge fog rolled in and my path was dictated to where the fog was not. This led me down to the river by the Gateway Arch and where I found these people taking their boats out in the early morning. The photo really doesn't do it justice. The scene was amazing. Knowing that fog burns off quickly I reached into my pocket and pulled out my iPhone and took this photo. Then I reached for my Fuji for a better quality photo but the fog, and these boatmen were gone.
Another photo that I took while out of town in Phoenix, Arizona for work. Knowing that Donald Trump was in town (don't want to get too political but I loathe him) and that there was most likely a protest going on where he was speaking. Sure enough there was a small group of peaceful protestors outside doing just that. This wasn't the first Donald Trump protest I photographed (there was another I cam across in Chicago) and I'm sure it won't be the last. My favorite thing about this scene was the audio from Trump's speech was being broadcast outside and the protestors just turned all their car radios up and drowned out the awful man's words.
One of my two loves is my dog Murray. If you follow me at all anywhere I'm sure you have seen photos of him ad nauseam. He is just so photogenic and I love him so much I just can't help it. This was also one of my first film shots. I started experimenting with film in 2016 and was pretty pleased with the results. But man is it harder to shoot film than digital. I believe this was Fuji Superia 400.
My other love Megan and another film shot from Fort Smith, Arkansas. Fort Smith is the home of UnexpectedFS which is a mini street art festival that takes place there. Definitely worth the trip if your interested in things like this. This was one of my first shots with medium format film and as a side note when I got this processed the local lab in Memphis did not process slide film so I had to get it cross-processed. Very pleased with the results.
Hey another film shot! This time in Philadelphia at the wonderful Reading Terminal Market. The market was right across the street from our hotel and we were there pretty much every day. The Iovine Produce Market is one of the first things I saw and was immediately drawn to the people and colors there.
So my main work comes from Freelancing on Film & Television projects here in Memphis, TN. I worked for 3 months on Million Dollar Quartet, a TV show from CMT chronicling the early lives of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. The great thing about working on things like these is every project is different. So I always carry a camera with me and try to take a photo every day. This was actually how I got interested in photography. The great thing about working on this particular show (now called Sun Records) is that it is set in the 50's so you get a lot of cool old cars and extras dressed in that period. This particular photo was taken while hiding in an alley during a take and watching the extras go by. Again shot on film so I think that combined with the period costumes and cars gives it an interesting look.
Another reason I got interested in photography was through street art and artists. Murals often get painted over or buildings get torn down, so I feel like it is very important to document these things. Once they are gone they are gone for good and I like to have something to document it. This particular shot was shot in Asheville, North Carolina at the Foundation Walls mural project.
Chicago is one of my favorite travel destinations. From Memphis flights are cheap and of course the city is wonderful. Its like a much more chill New York City. I often try to find an observation deck in a city so I can get some good aerial shots of the city. This one is taken from the observation deck of the John Hancock building, one of my favorite buildings in the city. Notably this is the first time I ever saw a rainbow from end to end. This was another instance of having to get an iPhone photo quickly due to the disappearing nature of rainbows. Sure enough when I got out my wide angle camera out of my bag the rainbow was gone.
Speaking of aerials, I bought a drone in 2016. Originally I envisioned using it for mostly video but I quickly realized that it was perfect for photography as well. While quality isn't the best it is more than enough to get good shots and prints in the air. This photo was taken about 200 feet directly above my house. A whole new world of photography awaits where you spend most of your day, you just have to look up.
Lastly this is an iPhone photo I took during sunset in our lovely backyard. We are lucky to have some great trees and lights that make the backyard at golden hour a magical place.
Took a walk with Murray around the neighborhood on Sunday and fall is definitely in full effect in my neighborhood. Here are some of my favorites. All photos taken with iPhone 7Plus.
I love trains and I love the artwork, graffiti, whatever you call it that is also displayed on the sides of trains. To me its a moving art gallery of many different styles. Styles that I will probably never see again. So whenever I see a train come by (often while I am having a beer at Wiseacre) I grab my camera and go see what is coming my way.
So I was in my car going down Broad Avenue when I was stopped by a train. This happens all the time and I actually enjoy when it happens. So instead of like most people trying to find a quick way around the train I happily pull out my camera and see what today's train brings me. There was the usual mix of gang tags, sloppily written curse words and one or two decent characters drawn on some train cars.
It was here I first noticed one of my favorite people Nosey had tagged the railway crossing blocker thingy. Then I noticed Vini's awesome Jerry Lawler sticker right next to it. So I took a shot of those with the train in the back ground with my 135mm lens. Then I thought "well it would be cool if there was something on one of the trains that would make the Jerry Lawler sticker more relevant." Sure enough about 3 boxcars down I saw some lettering that spelled "King" and presto you get the image seen above. Serendipity had struck!
So next time you are at the train tracks take a break and look at some cool artwork going by. Look closer and you might see something you might not have noticed before.
Last April I was fortunate to be part of the camera crew for Craig Brewer's short film Of Memphis. This video was to promote how awesome our Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol is. Also since he is a free agent there is hope that this will help him make up his mind. I had a little time to take some photos behind the scenes.
Wiseacre Brewing already had a very cool mural that I called Southern Devastators up for some time. Now the same artist Nosey42 has put up a new collaboration with Birdcap celebrating the storied history of Memphis wrestling. It features Jerry "The King" Lawler vs Andre The Giant. Andy Kaufman and the Mid-South Coliseum are thrown in as good measure. It is my understanding that these murals will be rotated out once a year or so so you will have plenty of time to come check it out. As always you can check out more Memphis street art at my Memphis Street Art Page on Flickr.
I first met Breezy working on a local film production in Memphis, TN. We hit it off immediately and she has become an integral part of the Memphis film community. She is one of those people you can rely on to do the job well and learn fast. Besides working for Choose 901 she is also quite a good photographer and go-to videographer. Here she was kind enough to pose for one of the first in a series of local Memphians I hope to profile on the blog.
Was doing a photo shoot in downtown Memphis last week and I noticed my favorite I Love Memphis mural was being torn down. So that its memory will live on I've included a downloadable desktop wallpaper so you can still enjoy it on your computer. I've got more wallpapers for your Mac, PC & Phone over on Gumroad for $1.99 if you are interested in more Memphis stuff.