A Stroll Through Shelby Park | Kevin Scott Banks

A Stroll Through Shelby Park

The week of Christmas here in Nashville has brought some unseasonably warm weather. For this California boy, it’s been like Heaven on Earth.  

I’m cool with warm, sunny weather all year round. Forget “experiencing all the seasons.” Bring me the sun!

So when I realized I had nothing else to do on Christmas Eve, and the sun was beckoning me, I knew it was time to get out of the house. I called up my sis Kaylee, and we took a leisurely stroll through Shelby Park in East Nashville.

I’ve shot several portrait sessions there, but it’s been many years since I just took photos for fun. I started out by sending Scoobie (my quadcopter…yes he has a name) skyward. Fun fact: Shelby Park was the first place I ever tried aerial photography. Back then, my super high-tech friend Jason let me strap my camera to his enormous octacopter – that’s an eight-bladed helicopter people!

This time around, I marveled at how far the technology has come in just three years. Now I can easily fly my own quad, and man the mounted camera on it, all from my iPhone…incredible.

I explored a really neat-looking old building first. Kaylee said it looked like a big boat. What do you think?Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0001_151224 Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0002_151224

Next, the camera turned to the opposite side of the river. It’s a fantastic industrial area boasting several large, red cranes. Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0003_151224

The sun was already sitting pretty low in the sky. I had the idea of spinning the quad to get a view of downtown, and the result was pretty special…Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0004_151224 Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0005_151224 Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0006_151224 Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0007_151224

I’ve walked the trails at Shelby Park several times in the past. It was especially rewarding to get an aerial view of this terrain. The late-day sun was casting some really cool shadows!Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0008_151224 Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0009_151224 Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0010_151224 Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0011_151224

I pulled out my circular polarizer filter for this shot. I wanted to emphasize the dark blue color of the sky, and eliminate some of the harsh reflection on the river. I LOVE how this one turned out.Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0012_151224

You can tell I was fascinated by this bridge. My eye was drawn to the warm glow of the sunlight on the pillars of the bridge. For this image, I used a telephoto lens to draw attention to the symmetry of the pillars. I also love how the grass below and the tree above add a nice frame to the image.

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Obligatory portrait of Kaylee. Of course, just because it’s obligatory doesn’t mean it’s not awesome :). I appreciate that I can flex my creative muscles on our shoots together, and not have to worry about whether or not the shots turn out. For the record, I’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out.

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I think she gets bored while I’m flying the quad 😉


Hard to believe she’s 18 now!


A few details shots never hurt anyone.

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Ahhhhh! I love light so much! Look at the way the light shoots past these wooden posts. The contrast of light and shadow makes for such a cool image.


Later that night, I headed to my parents’ house for our traditional Christmas Eve festivities. Right as I was pulling up, I noticed a beautiful sunset forming in the background. I had just enough time to get the quad airborne and capture the fading colors. Shelby_Park_East_Nashville_0022_151224

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