Go See Do Photography

The Photo Blog of Mowers Photography, LLC

Tag: Grand Rapids (Page 1 of 2)

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Tree

Christmas in Brazil

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

Big Red Replica

Recently, we kicked off our Holiday celebrations with a trip to Meijer Gardens for their Holidays Around the World celebration. There were Christmas Trees decorated to represent cultures around the world, an outdoor light display, and my favorite part was the train garden. Throughout one of the Victorian greenhouse, beautiful, intricate, wooden replicas of Grand Rapids landmarks were put together around a model train track. I really liked the Big Red Lighthouse perched along a river near the base of a waterfall. Also represented were Fifth Third Ballpark, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and replicas of buildings in Grand Rapids’ sister cities:  Omihachiman, Japan; Bielsko-Biała, Poland; Perugia, Italy; the Ga District, Ghana; and Zapopan, Mexico.

All in all, Meijer Gardens puts on a beautiful celebration of the holiday season. If you are in the area, Holidays Around the World runs until January 7. I would recommend you go the week before Christmas when they have extended hours to best enjoy the outdoor lights. Be sure to bundle up so that you can check out the sculpture garden in its winter glory!

Thanks for stopping by! For more information about Meijer Gardens and Holidays Around the World, visit MeijerGardens.org. 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: Garden Path

Garden Path

Wordless Wednesday: Wildflowers


Wordless Wednesday: Skier

Hockey Stop

Shooting Sports


A few weekends ago, we had the opportunity to photograph the State Games of Michigan. I’ve never photographed sports before but I wasn’t about to turn my nose up at press credentials for a sporting event. We knew we wanted to try to catch skiing so we rented some longer telephoto lenses. Chris shot with a behemoth 150-600mm lens which allowed him to see people’s nose hairs at the top of the ski hill (ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration). I shot a 18-300 mm that allowed me to reach about halfway up the hill, but I found it was better for catching the end of the runs. I really enjoyed capturing when they stopped and sent the snow flying. Photographing skiing was a lot of fun and would love to be able to do it again some time, but something tells me I’m going to have to wait until next winter.

When shooting any kind of sports, freezing motion is key, so you want a fast shutter speed. We were lucky that this was a sunny day so I was able to keep my shutter speed quicker than 1/1000 second at ISO 100.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with Nikkor 18-300 mm f/3.5-5.6, handheld

Date Taken:
February 18, 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. If you are interested in renting lenses, I highly recommend LensGiant. They have a great selection and reasonable prices. They frequently run sales too. If you are in the metro Detroit area, you are able to order from them and pick it up/drop it off at the Northville UPS store which can save a bunch of money on shipping.

The Amway Grand Plaza

Amway Grand PlazaI’ve stayed at the Amway Grand Plaza a few times for an Early Childhood conference. Each time I’ve been there, I wished I had a wide-angle lens to capture the beauty and the detail of its architecture. So, when Chris rented a wide angle lens to shoot a racquetball tournament in Grand Rapids, I agreed to go as long as we could stop at the Amway and I could take a few pictures.

Being that this was the first time I shot with a wide angle lens, it was harder than I anticipated to get the composition I wanted. I am definitely not used to the wide angle distortion (I don’t know how long I stared at this image trying to decide if it was straight or not) but overall I am very happy this shot and I think I captured the opulence that is the Amway Grand Plaza. Now I want to add this lens to my bag.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, handheld

Date Taken:
February 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.

Butterflies & Sculptures

Butterfly on Leaf

Every spring, butterflies abound at the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids! I’ve always wanted to visit during Butterflies are Blooming! In the caterpillar room, you can see caterpillars crawling and forming their chrysalides. Then, walk into the tropical greenhouse where 50 different species of butterflies soar high and stop on the flowers for a quick drink. You could see Monarchs, Golden Birdwings, and Common Morpho who is tan on the outside and bright blue on the inside. In the gardens, the flowers weren’t yet blooming, but it was a good time to explore the sculptures without the heat and the crowds.

About the Photo:
Shooting butterflies is a great learning experience for photographers. If you want to learn to shoot in manual, small, fast moving subjects are a great way to learn! A zoom lens with fast shutter speeds and high ISO are needed to freeze the motion and capture the tiniest details. This was a single RAW exposure, with basic edits done in Lightroom. This was shot at ISO 3200, which with my entry-level DSLR is quite noisy, so I did a lot of noise reduction as well.

Camera Gear:
Nikon D3100 with 55-200mm f/4-5.6 lens handheld.

Date Taken:
March 28, 2016

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

Frederick Meijer Gardens

B-Tree II 66/10
When I am in Grand Rapids, one of my favorite places to visit is Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Meijer gardens is a very unique in that it is a mixture of nature and art. As you walk the winding paths of the sculpture park, you see interesting works modern tucked behind beautiful flowering trees and gardens. This photo was taken in the sculpture park from underneath B-Tree II, a sculpture by Kenneth Snelson.

For the plant lovers, the gardens are made up of several distinct areas: the shade garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Farm Garden. The Japanese Garden is the newest addition to the park and features unique Japanese landscaping including bridges and lanterns, surrounding a central pond.

Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To plan your visit to Meijer Gardens, visit www.meijergardens.org/.

Wordless Wednesday: Grand Rapids Reflection


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