Downtown Nashville

Going back home after 20 years was quite the experience.  I was very disappointed in the commercialization of Brentwood and Franklin.  Gone were the 2 lane country roads and farmland replaced by malls, hotels and restaurants.

Downtown Nashville has changed drastically also but, in my opinion, for the better.  The downtown area used to be an unwelcoming place full of peep shows and dives.  Nashville has gotten smart and embraced the Country Music and transformed the downtown area into a beautiful thriving tourist attraction.

Tootsies Orchid Lounge

From Tootsies to “Crazy Arms”

Thirty years ago I spent a lot of time on Broadway (Lower Broad) in Nashville fostering my love for live music and country music. Especially at a very famous old Honky Tonk called Tootsies.

Lower Broad is much different today from when I was there in the mid-eighties. I would bravely and cautiously venture into Nashville on a Friday or Saturday night, sometimes by myself, sometimes with friends, seeking something I was never sure of. It was dirty with homeless people on the street sharing space with prostitutes and pimps and also musicians who were hoping one day to be able to get to the Grand Ole Opry.  Many buildings were vacant next to the peep shows and XXX movie houses. I recall Ernest Tubbs Record Shop and a few minor store for tourists. There were a handful of bars, none of which were good places to be after dark, but I visited them all watching the characters in the crowd and listening to the live music all the time watching my back and for errant beer bottles flying through the air. The tourists tended to stay down on 2nd Avenue or Music Row back then.

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge
Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

In the midst of the chaos and debauchery was a little bar I became fascinated with; Tootsies Orchid Lounge. Tootsies was small, less than 25’ wide and maybe 40 or 50 feet deep, if that. It had a sticky bar with grumpy bartenders, old diner tables and non-matching chairs with ripped vinyl seats. Then men’s room had a custom-made trough and I am still not sure what you did if you needed to sit down. Continue reading

After playing with PaintShop Pro.

Sope Creek – The Magic of PaintShop

I have upgraded to a Canon EOS 70D DSLR and I am also recovering from surgery.  I really wanted to get out and take some photos and the only time I could get a ride was on a dreary rainy day.

The first picture pretty much sums up the look of the day.

I had read about shooting RAW images and started doing so with this camera.  I have also been reading up on HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.  In HDR photography you generally take 3 photos, one properly exposed and then one under exposed and one over exposed.  Using PaintShop or Photshop, the images are combined into one, bringing out many details that are lost in a single picture.  Playing in PaintShop, I discovered it can take a RAW file and process the 3 different images needed to create a HDR photo.

The bottom photo was created using that process.  I also increased the vibrancy and added some local tone mapping.  I was impressed with the result.

Sope Creek as it looked on  dreary, drizzly day.
Sope Creek as it looked on dreary, drizzly day.
After playing with PaintShop Pro.
After playing with PaintShop Pro.

Photos and more…..every picture has a story….

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