Main Street Vintage Guitars

One thing that I’m learning to love about downtown Tupelo is the emphasis on restoring and re-using old historical buildings for shops, restaurants, bars, and offices.

Today’s image definitely has an urbex feel, but there’s a great story behind the surface.  This is the Main Street Vintage Guitar shop, located at the corner of Main and Spring streets.  This is actually the side of the building, facing Spring Street, but I just had to shoot this side because of the great Coca-Cola mural painted on the wall which has been preserved along with the building.

Main Street Vintage Guitars

I found their website that has a ton of information about the building, including pictures from its past as well as the restoration process that turned it into its modern-day incarnation as a vintage guitar shop. I found out that this building was originally the First National Bank, and it was constructed in 1890.  The store is visited by musicians from everywhere, most recently by Keith Urban when he was in Tupelo for a recent concert.  Be sure to check out for the full story.

This image is a single image taken with my Nikon D700 and 50mm 1.8 prime lens, hand-held.  This was about 3:45 PM, and the setting sun was casting some pretty good shadows on this side of the building.  I used Paintshop Photo Pro X4 and Topaz Adjust to process the image and bring out the detail in the brick and morter, as well as the mural on the wall.

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The Trunk Space

Continuing my series of images taken on Grand Avenue in Phoenix:

Ok, this shot just makes me smile, and sometimes that’s what we all need. We had just started our photowalk on Saturday and were having lunch at Mel’s Diner when we started getting tweets about the horrific shooting that took place in Tucson. Needless to say, I lost my appetite for lunch and left the diner in a pissed-off but sad mood.

My mood improved somewhat when the early news reports that indicated that Congresswoman Gifford had died were proven false, but I was still reeling as we began our stroll down Grand Avenue. So many people killed and wounded–it was heartbreaking. We both kept checking our Blackberries for the latest information.

Gradually the beautiful sunshine, the companionship of a great hubby/photo assistant, and this mural brightened my mood. I’m still sick about what happened in Tucson, but I’m heartened that the events, horrific as they are, have sparked national conversation about civility and finding ways to end violence. We’re a long way from solving our problems, but if we all get together and laugh more often, that might help, don’t you think?

The Trunk Space

The Trunk Space – for more information click here! It’s too weird for me to try and describe!

The Chocolate Factory

Continuing my series on Grand Avenue in Phoenix AZ:

Yes, this is my second post of the day, but I don’t think I’m going to have time to post anything before I have to leave for work in the morning.

The area along Grand Avenue just northwest of downtown Phoenix is experiencing a slow but steady renaissance. A lot of the old abandoned buildings are being converted into art spaces, boutiques and small cafe’s. It’s still very much a work in progress, and it was pretty much deserted when we were there on Saturday. But at least the area is getting spruced up and it looks much more interesting now.

One of the challenges I faced was trying to capture the facades of the buildings without having a true fish-eye lens. I couldn’t step back far enough from the building to capture the facade square-on without standing in the street. If I had crossed to the other side of the street and shot from there, the sun would have been right in the lens–no good. So most of the architecture shots were like this one, taken from an angle. It creates some perspective issues, but it is what it is. I don’t mind it myself, but those purists out there might have a problem with it.

So here’s The Chocolate Factory, which we thought was a candy shop but is actually a gallery. Just up the street is Smith Radiator Exchange, which we thought was a bar but is actually a garage. Things are not always what they appear on Grand Avenue:

The Chocolate Factory
HDR created from three bracketed photos (-2.0/0.0/+2.0) processed in Photomatix v4. Post-processing in Topaz Adjust / DeNoise with Paintshop Photo Pro X3.

Graffiti or Mural?

Today’s post is a colorful one. When exploring Grand Avenue in Phoenix, we found this wall surrounding a parking lot, and it was covered by a really cool mural. Now, I’m not sure where graffiti crosses the line to mural or vice-versa, but this one didn’t seem to have been created by kids on skateboards. Today’s shot reveals only a small portion of the entire scene, but I’ll post more later.

I really liked this particular section, because it seemed to have some humor to it. It was in a corner where trash and debris had collected. The mural seemed to be expressing disgust at the trash lying just below it. (This one also says a lot about how I feel about Mondays!!) 🙂


This is an HDR created from three bracketed shots (-2.0/0.0/+2.0), processed in Photomatix v4. Post-processing was done in Topaz Adjust / DeNoise, and Paintshop Photo Pro X3.