These hashtags like the title of this post are becoming too commonplace. I’m at a loss for words. I can’t comprehend how human beings can harness such evil. I guess what I’m trying to understand is what depths do we have to reach before we unleash such heinous acts on our brother and sisters. I would assume that answer is different for each individual. We are all born into different circumstances. Circumstances that are out of our control. We only gain control when we survive childhood with or without the tools to cope in a world that holds no promises. I apologize for sounding bleak. I know we have been killing each other since the beginning of time. I just wish I could comprehend that part of the human psyche. Well, this is a photography blog, so maybe I can lightened things up a little by sharing some photographs.
Like most, I woke up Monday morning to the news reports about the tragic shooting in Las Vegas. Listening to the recorded audio of the shooting sent chills down my spine. I could not believe what I was hearing. It sounded like audio from the movie Apocalypse Now. The death toll went from 25 when I first got into my car, then to 50 when I first got to work. It would climb to 58 later that day. I’m afraid as I write this, the toll will go higher. As I was listening to the coverage at work, it was announced that Nashville would hold a candlelight vigil for Las Vegas at the Ascend Amphitheater. I knew then where I would be heading after work.
I gathered my gear including my small travel tripod and headed to Music City. This would be my first time actually going inside the gates of the amphitheater. The security was tight. I had to remove everything from my pockets and I had to open up all the compartments of my camera bag. They even made me open up the pouch that housed by external flash. This is not a complaint, I would be glad to go through security like this any time. Once I was inside, I immediately started scoping the scene. I went to higher ground and grabbed my first shot of the evening.
When it comes to putting on a show and putting on a show at the drop of a hat, no one does it like Nashville. With a city filled with famous musical talent, it’s easy to get on the bat phone and call up a few of your friends to come help you honor and pray for those in need. I suspect that is what Mayor Barry did to put this event together. The crowd was treated to performances from Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Alison Krauss and Keith Urban with speeches from Mayor Megan Barry, actor Charles Esten and the general manager of the Grand Ole Opry, Sally Williams. It was a somber evening, but it was promising to see people come together. I would estimate that a few hundred people took the time to participate in the vigil.
I utilize all 3 lenses in my bag. I keep forgetting that I need to bring a minimum of 2 cameras to events like this. I will definitely be more prepared next time. Hopefully the next time will be under different circumstances. Journalist were everywhere. We were all jockeying for position. I’m pretty certain I’m on some local news channel’s video clip of this event.
I am always prepared for anything that catches my eye regarding street photography when I am in downtown Nashville. I made the trek across the pedestrian bridge to get to the amphitheater, so on the way back I grabbed a couple of shots of 2 young men riding some old school bikes.
In the back of my mind, I know the next tragic event is waiting to unfold. I pray that my family and friends will not be involved. I don’t think we should be terrorized into not living our lives, but at the same time, I believe we must keep a watchful eye and report anything out of the ordinary. Who knows, a simple inquiry may save your life or the lives of many others. During the vigil, I believe Charles Esten said it best when he mentioned that it didn’t matter that the wind was blowing out the candles. What mattered was that we the people are the light. Stay tuned for my next post. I promise it won’t be as bleak as this one. I practiced some nighttime street photography last Friday in downtown Nashville and the results were not too bad. Thanks for reading!
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