Go See Do Photography

The Photo Blog of Mowers Photography, LLC

Tag: Detroit (Page 1 of 2)

Fisher Building

Fisher BuildingThe Fisher Building, located in Detroit’s New Center district and  is known as “Detroit’s largest art object”. Right when I walked in the door, it became obvious how it received that title. This Albert Kahn (the architect who did the Guardian Building and the Belle Isle Aquarium and who is known as
The Architect of Detroit”) designed marvel is full of marble from all over the world, high, painted ceilings, and accented with brass and bronze. It features 1,800 bronze window and 641 bronze elevator doors. The ceilings in the arcade feature frescoes that were hand painted and at the time cost $20,000 (which would be about $265,000 in today’s money)!  The exterior of this masterpiece is made up of over 325,000 square feet of marble and is the largest marble structure in the world! Somehow, it took only 15 months to complete and the building opened its doors to Detroit in 1928.

In later decades when Detroiters moved to the suburbs, the Fisher building was able to keep tenants because of its dedicated 1,100 spot parking garage, the first of its kind! Over the years, the building has changed hands several times because it is not cheap to run. In 1970, The Detroit Free Press wrote that the Fisher and the neighboring New Center Building cost $3.1 million a year to operate (Historic Detroit)! The building was most recently purchased along with the nearby Albert Kahn Building (previously known as the New Center Building) in 2015 for $12.2 million (Detroit Free Press). The new owner is reportedly putting $100 million into restoring these gems to their former glory! About the Fisher Building, Developer Peter Cummings said “It is more than just a beautiful building or a landmark; it is a beacon in the heart of Detroit for all of Detroit. It is the beacon of our city, both of its past and its future,” (Crain’s Detroit)

If you are in Detroit, and I advise that everyone should be at some point, definitely make a visit to the Fisher Building. On weekends, the Pure Detroit store in the lobby runs free, historical tours that are definitely worth the time!

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Passo di Danza

Passo di Danza

Belle Isle Conservatory

Bananas We recently decided to become members of the Belle Isle Conservancy.  This was an interesting choice of membership because with a recreation passport, there is no fee to enter the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle. The reason we decided to join is because the Belle Isle Conservancy is part of the American Horticultural Society’s reciprocal admissions program. What does this mean? It means that we get free admission and free parking at botanical gardens all around the country including Windmill Island Gardens in Holland and Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. I’m hoping to find a garden to visit on our road trip this summer. Not to mention we are supporting Belle Isle and the restoration projects going on in the park. I strongly suggest photographers check out becoming a member of a local botanical garden to get the reciprocal access to gardens around the country!

This banana photo was taken in the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle. When I walked by the banana plant, I thought the one partially eaten banana was interesting. And, I wondered, what inside the greenhouse would have eaten it?

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Wordless Wednesday: Soldiers’ and Sailors

Campus Martius

Detroit Architecture

One Detroit CenterThis past weekend, we headed to The D for the first Pure Detroit Skyscraper Tour of the season. The tour starts at the Guardian Building (a view of the interior of the building can be seen below) which is an Art Deco marvel unlike anything I had ever seen before. From there the tour guide, who is a historic preservationist and urban planner, takes you around several blocks and tells you about the history of skyscrapers and architecture in Detroit. It was interesting learning about the history of the city from original 1701 Detroit settlement to the Renaissance Center, or as our tour guide like to call it, GM’s Galactic World Headquarters,. The building pictured to the left is one of the newest buildings featured on the tour, One Detroit Center, which was completed in 1993 and is the second tallest building in Michigan (second only to the Renaissance Center). The best thing about this tour? Its free! Pure Detroit offers this tour as well as tours of the Guardian Building and Fischer Building that are free and open to the public every Saturday and Sunday. Visit PureDetroit.com for times and for more information. I’m making it a goal to go back and do a tour of the Fischer Building this summer.

Guardian Promenade

The downside to doing a skyscraper tour is that is was hard to get a good shot because everything around us was so, well, tall. And, the few shots I got inside the Guardian Building didn’t really turn out because I had my aperture too wide so one point is in focus while the rest of is fuzzy and while that is great for portraiture, it doesn’t look right in architecture photography. The photo above was actually taken with my iPhone. I will have to go back to the Guardian Building and try it again with different settings.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my recently updated Gear Page.

Wordless Wednesday: Scott Fountain

Scott Fountain

Wordless Wednesday: Milliken Lighthouse

Milliken Lighthouse

Detroit Institute of Arts

Diego Rivera Mural

This past week, I enjoyed the end of my winter break with a trip to a staple of Detroit culture, the DIA. The DIA’s collection is said to be among the top in the country. The building that houses the museum is, in my opinion, is as beautiful as many of the pieces inside. The historic Detroit Institute of Arts building opened in 1927 and is often referred to as a “temple of art”. One of my favorite parts of the museum is what is known as Rivera Court, which is home to a 27 panel fresco celebrating the industry of Detroit. The 360 degree masterpiece was completed in 1933 and was considered  by Rivera to be his most successful work (DIA). I love that we have something with such rich cultural and historical value in my home state.

About the Photo:
While visiting the museum, I figured I wouldn’t be taking many photos so I decided to leave my camera behind. Luckily, with my phone, I always have a camera on me because if I couldn’t snap a picture of this mural, I would’ve been very disappointed. This was shot with the native iOS camera app, but edited in Lightroom Mobile. I wasn’t standing very centered to the mural when I took this picture, so I did a bit of cropping to make that less obvious.

Camera Gear:
iPhone 7 – iOs camera app, handheld

Date Taken:
January 4, 2017

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. To plan your visit to the DIA, visit DIA.org.

Wordless Wednesday: River Otter

River Otter

Detroit Hidden Gem

Lighthouse & Ice

When planning our Belle Isle trip, Chris did some research into other photo-worthy spots in Detroit. One spot he found was the Windmill Point Lighthouse in Mariner Park, which is right on the border of Detroit and Grosse Point Park. This area is sometimes referred to as the “Venice of Detroit” and as we drove in, I could see why. The homes are situated on canals that run to the river. Every home seemed to have a boat on a lift. I never knew anything like this existed in the city! If I’ve piqued your curiosity, check out this photo feature on Daily Detroit from a few years ago.

So, I had no idea this “Canal District” or this lighthouse existed. And it seems like no one else knows it exists either. We visited on an unseasonably warm Saturday in January and it was just us and a border patrol agent on his lunch break. If you search online for Windmill Point Lighthouse, it doesn’t seem like a lot of photographers have discovered this spot either.

Like many Michigan lighthouses, this one has an interesting history. The original lighthouse with an light-keeper’s quarters was built on this spot in 1848. In the 1920’s the Public Health Service acquired the land for a new Marine Hospital. The main tower of the light was left standing and was converted to an electric light while the keeper’s quarters were demolished to make room for the hospital. The hospital was torn down long ago and the area is now known as Mariner Park. Looking at old photos, both the lighthouse keeper’s quarters and the hospital were beautiful buildings. I wonder what they would look like today if they were still standing. (LighthouseFriends.com)

About the Photo:
When we made this trip, I really wanted to get a shot of the ice in the river (I did get this one). When we got there, I really wanted to get both the ice and the lighthouse in one shot. Well, both the fence and my lens made that kind of difficult. This was one instance where I wish I had a wider lens! This was a single RAW exposure, with basic edits done in Ligthtroom.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens handheld

Date Taken:
January 2016

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr!


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