I went downtown to get some new photos of Memphis. I knew I wanted to get the bridge in a shot, the Main Street trolly, and maybe something on Beale. This was a Saturday night so I knew I’d be fighting hordes of tourists and locals alike, but decided to go for it anyway. First, some things I learned. Mud Island closes so you can get to the south end which is where I wanted to shoot from. No amount of coaxing would get the guard to let me through even for a few minutes. So I went to the parking area just across the bridge and tried to get some shots of the bridge. Even after making my way to the shore there simply wasn’t a shot. As I headed back to the parking lot, I turned around and saw a barge headed north. The sun was setting and the trees and people on the river were a perfect silhouette framing the entire shot. I dropped to the ground and braced the camera on my knees to capture this shot. Moments later the barge was past the trees and the shot was gone. Serendipity can happen.
Next, I headed to front street and the new Beale Street landing. Again, this all closes about sunset. I managed to get parked and headed up the large hill to get a shot of the bridge and the large paddle boat that was getting ready to sail. A guard saw me and started yelling. I knew he was saying they were closed and I couldn’t be up there, but the colors in the sky were so amazing that I knew I had to grab a shot and once again, I’d only get one chance. I set my tripod, metered, and tripped the shutter.
After a few apologies to the guard for not hearing him, I headed to Beale Street and the Peabody Place Trolley stop. The sun had set and I knew I wanted some long exposure shots. Patience can also be rewarded. With all of the crowds downtown on a warm spring night, it took more than one try to get a shot without a ton of people walking through the frame. After a little time, I captured these 2 photos that I was happy with.
The last stop of the night was Beale Street. The crowds were huge and I just didn’t see anything that was catching my eye so I decided to head back to the car. As I passed the Blues City Cafe, I saw my shot. I set the tripod up in the street and as I composed the frame, I felt a drop on my hand. A BIG drop. Once again luck was on my side as no one was in front of the cafe. I grabbed one shot and as soon as it fired, the skies opened up and a total deluge began. I managed to get under the awning at the cafe to protect my gear and get it tucked away. While my gear stayed dry, I definitely didn’t while getting back to the car. I hope you like the results of my evening downtown!