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Where To Photograph in Downtown Knoxville

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A trip through Tennessee in late February allowed me to make two quick pitstops in downtown Knoxville. I had been through Knoxville many times throughout my lifetime, but this trip gave me the opportunity to stop downtown, and photograph the impressive World's Fair Park at dusk and just after dark, on two different evenings.

Photo of Knoxville's World's Fair Park

On the first evening, I arrived at the World's Fair Park area after 10pm on a Saturday, and immediately began shooting with the towering Sunsphere as my focal point.

I've passed through Knoxville at least a couple dozen times in my life, but never stopped to look at the city. As with most of my photo stops, I didn't have more than an hour or so each night to shoot, but I did have the location planned out well in advance.

The Sunsphere was constructed for the 1982 World's Fair. It was also home to a full service restaurant and the Observation Deck. The Sunsphere closed to the public at the Fair's end and remained vacant for most of its post-fair life until 2008 when a privately-owned businesses took up residence on the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth levels of the Sunsphere and the city opened the 4th level as an observation deck. I didn't have time to check out that deck, but I definitely will be back for that purpose.

Photo of Downtown Knoxville, Tennessee

I worked my way up Clinch Avenue to an elevated parking garage where I set up my tripod on the top floor for additional shots of the city's limited skyline. The temperatures were slowly dipping into the 30's, so after about 30 minutes and 24 images I packed up and headed to my hotel.

After continuing my trip to Johnson City, TN the next afternoon, I arrived back in Knoxville before sunset, and re-visited the same location as the night before. There was a noticeable difference with the addition of the natural light. The multiple colors from the tower, along with the natural slope of Fair Park Drive gave me an excellent setting for car light trails, along with the red and orange light just before dark.

Like most of the cities I visit, I'm looking forward to yet another opportunity to venture more into the downtown area.

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