Memphis and the Mississippi River

Big River

Memphis and the Mississippi River

For most all of my life (except for about a year and a half) I have lived near Memphis, Tennessee. But I have not lived in Memphis, except for around 15 months. Still, I consider Memphis to be “home,” more or less.

That makes for some slightly strange conversations sometimes. When I am talking to people who are not from anywhere around here, it is easiest to say that I am from Memphis. Many times, people will be familiar with Memphis. Many know Memphis as the place where Elvis lived (and died). And several know Memphis as the place where Martin Luther King died. Some know it as a port on the Mississippi River. These days, some know it as the home of an NBA basketball team. And some know it as a music city, home of Sun Records or the Blues.

But if the conversation starts to get a little more specific, I have to say that while I live near Memphis, I don’t actually live in Memphis. It is an odd relationship, and a little strange at times. But that is what I have.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind telling people I am from Memphis. The city does have its faults, but then I guess most all cities do. But overall it is a pretty good place. And I am happy to be from Memphis. Sort of from Memphis, that is.

River View

The photo above was taken from South of the main part of Downtown Memphis looking north toward the city. That big body of water is the world-famous Mississippi River, in case you weren’t sure. From here, you can see the iconic Hernando de Soto Bridge, carrying traffic on I-40 between Memphis and Arkansas. You can see the Pyramid, once home to sporting teams and concerts but now home to Bass Pro. And you can see some of the buildings of downtown Memphis, too.

Memphis may not have miles and miles of tall buildings as you might find in Bangkok or other large cities. But for me at least, that is not all bad. Especially any time I have to go downtown for anything. On those times, since I am not there all that often, I am very thankful for the smaller size.

Bible Verse

Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: the ants are not a strong people, yet they store up their food in the summer; hyraxes are not a mighty people, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; locusts have no king, yet all of them march in ranks; a lizard can be caught in your hands, yet it lives in kings’ palaces. - Proverbs 30:24-28

About the photo

In case you are wondering, I was not standing in the middle of the Mississippi River for this photo. Instead, I was at about the midpoint of the Big River Crossing (more about that later). When we started on our walk, I only grabbed my camera instead of my whole camera bag. The camera had the fisheye lens mounted on it. In hindsight, a zoom lens would have been better for some things. But in other ways, I like this distant view of the city and the wide view of the river. I cropped the photo to 16:9 just cut out a little of the excess sky and river, however.

I also gave this photo a somewhat unique color look. It was an overcast day, so everything was either really gray or really muddy, with the muddy part being the river. Grays and browns are not all that exciting by themselves. Put them together, and they are even less exciting. So I adjusted the color curves a bit to come up with something a bit more interesting. Hopefully, it works.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: March 10, 2018
Location: Memphis, Tennessee

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.