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Take me there Tuesday: Detroit, MI

The Motor City! It's just one of the nicknames for the City of Detroit! Nestled in the SE corner of Michigan, and overlooking the country to our north, Canada, it is the largest city in our state, and one of the most beautiful places to visit for photography! With tons of buildings gracing the skyline, miles of walkways along the Detroit Riverfront, and incredible architecture showing the details of its history, there are endless possibilities for your camera to capture! So, jump in your virtual car that was probably produced here in Detroit and let me introduce you to my favorite things about DETROIT!!!

(Below is the amazing Detroit Central Staton, currently being renovated by Ford)

The City

Downtown Detroit is alive with some of the most amazing skyscrapers around! With a handful of them towering over 600ft in the air, the mix of modern and historic is such a sight to take in! It shows the growth of the city that often gets a bad wrap. The Renaissance Center is one of the most iconic builds that sits along the Detroit River. A total of 5 towers make up this incredible sight! It is the home of the GM Headquarters and the Detroit Marriott Hotel. At the very top in the middle, there is a restaurant that use to rotate on a motor back in its day, but now it is static, still offering amazing 360 degree view though of Detroit and the waterfront. (Building on left is Renaissance)

There are 3 iconic buildings to the right in this shot. The orange one in the middle back, is the absolutely amazing Guardian Building! Bursting with some of the best architecture I have seen anywhere, Built with a large number of Pewabic tiles incasing the interior and exterior, the bright colors and detailed inlays and statues sure are something to be admired! It soars above Detroit 40 floors high and opened its doors in 1929! The Art Deco, Mayan Revival architecture has stood the test of time and seems to get even more beautiful with each passing year. A true testament to how Detroit was made! See some shots below of this amazing building!

Next in the shot from above is One Detroit Center (Ally) building and the Penobscot Building. Both of these are beautiful office buildings along Woodward Ave. One Detroit is super iconic for the 4 points on the top of the buildings roof. It was added our skyline in 1993 with 43 floors and is the second tallest building in the state, behind the center tower of the Renaissance at 619 Feet! The other building with the ball on top of the roof is thePenobscot building, which opened in 1928. The name Penobscot means "the place where the rocks open out" named after a tribe of American Indians in New England. It is a hub for the cities wireless internet zone and fiber optic network, and the large orb on top is used as an aviation beacon, it can be seen for up to 40 miles away!

Belle Isle

Belle Isle is an amazing island in the middle of the Detroit River! If you want to get one of the coolest views of the City of Detroit, Take Jefferson down until you come to the MacArthur Bridge and the turn right onto the Island. Formerly used as a race track for formula racing, this peaceful place offers tons of look out points, including Sunset Point which is perfect for viewing the sunset and the city along with the bridge on those colorful evenings. As you take your car around the island, you will find tons of places to stop and snap your pics at, including the conservatory, an aquarium, nature center and multiple beaches and trails. If you love nature and walking trails, this is the place for you! You might even be able to see the Bald Eagle next along the road!

Ambassador and Gordy Howe Bridge

Currently Detroit is home to 2 beautiful bridges! One of them that has been standing since 1929, connecting Detroit and Windsor, ON Canada. The Ambassador Bridge is known for its blueish color spanning the Detroit River with posts on either side of the border digging deep into the water. The Gordie Howe bridge is currently being built and is an amazing engineering structure! A suspension bridge that has been connecting for the last year over the waters with hundreds of cables on either side. When it is finished, there will be a pedestrian walkway to Canada as well as for vehicles! (Click to enlarge)

Sports Venues

Maybe you're a sports photographer who loves to capture athletes in their hometown setting? Detroit is an excellent place to do that! We have 3 main stadiums, right here in the motor city. First is where the Detroit Tigers play baseball at Comerica Park! The warm sun always brings a huge crowd of people to the city, and even days when it's not so warm! Out front there is a massive tiger with a giant baseball bat, looking directly across to the Fox Theater (one of the most amazing theaters in Michigan!). With a capacity to hold 41,083 people, this gives you the opportunity for some awesome shots!

Right across the street from this is Ford Field!! Home of the Detroit Lions! What could be more perfect timing for writing this article than right now when the Lions are doing excellent this season! Dan Campbell has turned his team around and is now just 1 win away from making it to the SUPERBOWL! The last 3 games at the stadium, the energy has been incredible, breaking records for loudness, and turnout numbers. It's an excellent opportunity to get pictures of the die hard fans in their element or the Honolulu Blue jerseys as they make their way down the field for a TD! You are also safe from the elements of , since it is all indoors!

Next stop, which is across the highway but still very close is Little Caesars Arena! This brand new stadium is home to the Detroit Red Wings hockey and the Pistons basketball. There is not a bad seat in the house at this place! The environment is super cool inside during games, with a massive Jumbotron and tons of cool LED light displays that reflect off the ice and floor during games. The concourse around it has a lot of different areas to get pictures of the ice itself, or a part of history regarding one of the teams, with lots of statues and displays.

Other things to see in the city

Other than the massive city skyscrapers themselves, Detroit has tons of places that make it Detroit! We have a number of cool parks and gathering areas, such as Campus Martius, and Hart Plaza! Lots of events take place in these areas such as concerts, ice skating, and a massive tree lighting for Christmas time. The best part is everything is in very easy walking distance along Woodward ave area going through downtown. You can also see the famous Joe Louis Fist as you cross over Jefferson Ave and The Spirit of Detroit in front of the courthouse. This statue has been a symbol for the city since 1958.

Along with the many statues and parks in Detroit, there is also a massive amount of murals and cool art displays around the city. Eastern Market is a very well known area, just east of the main downtown area that has hundreds of works of art brightening up the city streets. Artists come from all over to make their very professional mark on the sides of the buildings and bring new life to what was once a blank wall. Below are a few examples of murals in the city proper.

If it happens to be cold and rainy but you still want to see some amazing works of art then you need to stop in at the DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts). This place is an artist lovers dream. There are tons of works of art that you can browse for hours at in this place. From statues, to paintings and even specialty exhibits during the year, such as a history of the automotive industry, Van Gogh, and Star Wars characters and costumes were just a few I was able to see. The grandness of this place gives you tons of opportunities for pictures!

Lastly, The Detroit Historical Museum is one of my favorite places to visit! Who doesn't love to learn the history of a city over so many important years and with so many historical events that took place there. This museum will take you through the times of the automotive era, Motown Music, classic Detroit Tigers and sports days, the founding of Detroit, war time and the Detroit Riots and so much more. In the basement level you can step into the streets of old Detroit and see what it is was like back in the 1800s! The detail and time they put into these displays, makes you feel like you were right there at that time. There are so many authentic items, you can easily spend hours in there, and then go grab some tasty food from a classic Detroit restaurant like American Coney Island or Lafayette Coney Island, or maybe Mikes Pizza or Buddy's Pizza if your feeling that avenue.

I hope you enjoyed touring Detroit with me! Coming up in July we have an amazing workshop where we will be going around Detroit and taking pictures at night! If you want to join us, you can sign up here:

As a thank you for checking out our Take Me There Tuesday article, please use discount code TAKEME10 for 10% off your booking for that workshop!

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Unknown member
Jan 23

What a great article on Detroit. You can tell it is your favorite place. I love that I find something new to photograph each time I visit.

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