My Photographic Journey Around America

Archive for September, 2014

Vulcan in the Sunlight

This is Vulcan, the largest cast iron sculpture in the world at 56 ft. (17 m). Created as Birmingham, Alabama’s entry in the 1904 World’s Fair, it now sits on Red Mountain overlooking the city.

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Sloss Furnace

Sloss Furnace in Birmingham, Alabama was a major producer of pig iron from 1882 to 1971. Now it is a National Historic Landmark and open for tours. I got there early in the morning and had it all to myself. It made for some pretty cool industrial landscape shots. This one was my favorite.

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Suire’s

True talk: when you find a place that looks like this, that lies at a quiet crossroads outside of some tiny town, that has been written up in the New York Times, and that famed New Orleans chef John Besh says he stops by whenever he is in the area, go there. If you are ever anywhere even close to Kaplan, Louisiana, seek out Suire’s. You’ll be glad you did.

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The Accordion Man

This is Greg Mouton of Mouton Music in Crowley, Louisiana. He hand crafts some of the finest Cajun accordions in the country. It is rare and getting more so to find a true master craftsman anywhere in this world, but here is one. I really enjoyed learning about the accordions he builds and watching him work in his workshop.

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Wreck of the Mamie S. Barrett

This is the wreck of a legendary stern wheel steamship. The Mamie S. Barrett once carried President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and is on the National Register of Historic Places. But some serious flooding moved it here, to just outside Deer Park, Louisiana. It is not so easy to find, but it is certainly worth looking. What a cool find!

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Mississippi Sunset

This sunset was amazing. This is looking out over the Mississippi River from Natchez, Mississippi.

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Red’s

Hard to believe that this is one of the best blues clubs in the world. When I first came to Red’s, I must have driven past it at least a half dozen times and not even seen it. Today, I wouldn’t miss it and will go out of my way to see any show here. One of the last true Juke Joints in the Mississippi Delta, Red’s is truly legendary.

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Hopson Plantation

The Hopson Plantation just outside Clarksdale, Mississippi was the first plantation to completely mechanize cotton production. Once the home of delta blues legend Joe “Pinetop” Perkins, today it sits in a state of arrested decay. Music can still be found in the commissary on certain nights, and the rooms are up for rent. Definitely a cool stop along the Blues Trail.

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A Shattered Dream

This is the Loraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. On April 4th, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on this balcony. It is a place for somber reflection and never stops being an emotional stop for me. I come here often and imagine what the world would have been like today had that day never happened. The quote on this plaque is the best one I can possibly imagine.

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Sun Studio

This is the world famous Sun Studio on Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee. In the music world, it is hallowed ground and the birthplace of rock and roll. The amount of talent that has walked through that door is staggering. If those walls could sing!

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Broadway Bike

This is a beautiful motorcycle and I couldn’t help trying to catch it in the glow of all of that amazing neon on Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee. I like neon and I’m getting better at photographing it. My tripod would have helped, but I used a jeep bumper instead.

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Tennessee State Capitol

This is the beautiful Tennessee State Capitol Building as the sun was going down in Nashville, Tennessee. It was really quite a beautiful view from my hotel room on the hill.

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Fat Matt’s Rib Shack

Quite simply put, this place has the best ribs I have ever eaten. Others have come close, but every time I go back to Fat Matt’s in Atlanta, Georgia I think ‘nope, still the best’. A cold beer and good music don’t hurt either.

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16th Street Baptist Church

The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama has a powerful and tragic history. During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, this church served as a major organizational headquarters and rallying point for the community. On September 15th, 1963 the church was bombed and four little girls were killed in the blast. Rebuilt and standing opposite the Civil Rights Institute, it serves as a reminder of a terrible chapter in this country’s history.

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French Quarter Colors

I used to live in the French Quarter in New Orleans, but I never had a decent camera when I lived there. It is always great to be back in this city I love, and I could walk all day and take a million photos here. This one shows some of the fantastic colors of the Quarter.

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Down On The Bayou

We really enjoyed our Swamp Tour with Cajun Jack in Patterson, Louisiana. He took us out for two hours and up into the hidden corners of the bayou. While it’s not the right season for seeing gators, we saw a ton of birds and it was just a beautiful day to be out.

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Swamp Bird

I believe this is an egret. Whatever it is, it is a beautiful bird and a nice contrast to the greens and browns of the Louisiana swamp near Patterson, Louisiana.

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Natchez Tombstone

This is a tombstone in the Natchez National Cemetery in Natchez, Mississippi. It’s a beautiful place overlooking the mighty Mississippi River. It’s a quiet place to spend an early morning or all eternity.

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The Crossroads

In old folklore, a place where two roads cross was considered evil and a place to be avoided. The story of the blues tells us that legendary guitarist and blues man Robert Johnson came here to the crossroads of highways 49 and 61 just outside of Clarksdale, Mississippi and sold his soul to the devil so that he could play the guitar the way that he did. If you’ve ever heard a blues or rock and roll song, you’ve probably heard some of Johnson’s chord progressions.

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Ground Zero Blues

I love Clarksdale Mississippi. This town tells the history of the Delta Blues and of the legendary blues men who we still know today. This place downtown, while not my favorite venue, is still a pretty cool spot.

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