Last week I had to shoot medical training at the Vanderbilt University hospital. This was the second time in two years that I was able to travel to Nashville, Tennessee, the first was on assignment for AAA and we were allowed free access to the newly created Johnny Cash Museum, and boy was that fun! Cash is an Idol of mine and the images and video I was able to capture on that day was a once in a lifetime experience, the memory will stay with me always. Unfortunately,on this latest pass through, the only opportunity I had to film Music Row was a few hours on Friday night as we went out to dinner in preparation for our 5 a.m. call time the next morning.
I left the big cameras (Canon 1DX) in the hotel room and only took the Fuji XT1 for this sunset street session. The Fuji is a very compact camera and I had an 18 to 55 lens attached with a 32 GB card inserted, Velvia setup for the bright colors. The streets were crowded and the neon lights were lit up brilliantly as I walked from bar to bar, dodging in and around drunk tourists and clickety clacking cowboys..all whilst trying not to get run over by passing cars and pedaling bicycle bars on wheels…
I tried my best to capture the essence and flavor of the street without drawing any unwanted attention to myself! Some of the bands I heard were phenomenal with their twangy pulse, others could barely keep a beat and sounded like cats trying to claw their way out of an old Volkswagen bus.
The neon signs were mesmerizing and uniquely crafted and I decided to try to push the limits of the camera as I struggled to learn its menu and buttons. Its compact size allowed me to be free to capture many unposed moments and I admit, though short, my time as a street photographer was fun.
I was lucky enough to chat with the Elvis impersonator and a woman playing for tips on the street, as well as a BBQ food server and a police officer. On our final night, we snagged a few nosebleed tickets to the Ryman Theater at the Grand Ole Opry, and heard country legend Ronnie Milsap perform on the piano. Dude has some serious skills…..
I could spend a week on Music Row and capture thousands of Raw images if I had the time… perhaps I will return here before this Christmas and collect a few different looks and maybe take in a hockey game or tour the Country Music Hall of Fame. Either way, I know this wasnt my last adventure here!
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