10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

I frequently get asked where are the best places to photograph in Minneapolis so I decided to write this blog post, 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis.  I will include way more than 10 but heck, 10 is more than enough.  So let’s get to it!

 

National Geographic Greatest Landscapes: Stunning Photographs That Inspire and Astonish Hardcover
National Geographic Greatest Landscapes: Stunning Photographs That Inspire and Astonish Hardcover

 

In many ways an artist is exactly like a writer, especially a novelist. You have heard the saying that goes something like “the best novelists write about what they know”. Well the best photographers, painters or artists of any type concentrate their work on what they know best. For me, what that means now that I work downtown Minneapolis, is to focus my lens on either Minneapolis proper or my route to and from Minneapolis.

Well so far this spring that is exactly what I’ve been doing. This blog post will show you a bit of what I have been seeing, what has been moving me and finally what I have taken action to actually capture and attempt to make into art. Come along on the adventure with me and let’s have some fun along the way.

Spring Exploration

A few months back I started a new job at an advertising agency in downtown Minneapolis. Before I started, I took a week off and spend that time exploring Minneapolis na low stress comfortable adventurous way. I was able to explore with a few friends which allowed us to feed off each other’s creative energies. For this week I already had a list of four or five places that I knew I wanted to hit and try my best to capture those scenes.

For the first part of my spring exploration there were five places I knew I wanted to capture.

1. Lakewood Cemetery in the Springtime

I knew Lakewood Cemetery had a wonderful collection of tulips and I wanted to do my best to time my visits to capture the Tulips at their Peak.

Lakewood cemetery spring tulips 10 Best Places to Photograph MinneapolisLakewood Cemetery Minneapolis in the Springtime

Turned out some areas of the Tulip Gardens were in perfectly gorgeous full bloom while another particular if you was not quite in full bloom. In photography, timing is everything.

Lakewood cemetery spring tulips 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Lakewood Cemetery Minneapolis in the Springtime

2. Basilica of Saint Mary in the Springtime

If you follow my work at all you know I love classical fantastic architecture. Of course the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis fits that bill.

Basilica of Saint Mary Minneapolis 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Basilica of Saint Mary Minneapolis 

I could visit that place every month but for this particular out and I wanted to capture it in springtime. Again I wish the leaves head butted out just a little bit more but the Fresh Blue Sky makes for a gorgeous image.

3. Hennepin County Central Library

For some reason this modern piece of architecture has captured my attention and I like going back again and again. There are so many different views that capture my eye and the trick is to try to capture it in the interesting unique way.

Hennepin County Central Library 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Hennepin County Central Library Exterior

 

For this particular outing we were able to get permission from the guards to actually shoot inside the Library. If you remember from previous post I have been kicked out of the library multiple times, but as the saying goes if it first you don’t succeed try try again.

Hennepin County Central Library 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Hennepin County Central Library Interior

I went back in this particular set of guards actually let us shoot.

4. Bob Dylan Mural

I have been seeing some images of the new Bob Dylan mural but I haven’t actually seen it in person. I knew this was the time to go see it and do my best to capture it.

Bob Dylan Mural 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Minneapolis Bob Dylan Mural by Eduardo Kobra

This mural was painted by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and his team. Is amazing your eyes are popping up all over the world and it is remarkable for us to get one of them in Minneapolis.

5. Weisman Art Museum

I have been practicing a new style of long exposure photography where you use filters to really reduce the amount of light that comes into the camera.


 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Weisman Art Museum Fine Art Color

It changes the effect of the image to be much more Fine Art looking. I want to try this technique on the Weisman Art Museum. The results frankly blew me away!

 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Weisman Art Museum Fine Art BW

The modern architecture was perfect for this kind of style and the fact and it convinced me to be doing much more of this work in the future.

6. Prince Locations

While I was in the middle of this week long adventure, we heard the tragic news that Prince had passed away. I decided to venture over to First Avenue for a little while to just try to capture some of the sadness of the community. It was a very powerful time.

 


 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

First Avenue Minneapolis Prince Memorial

Very shortly after the news of princes passing the Star Tribune displayed a collection of images they had from concerts throughout the prince’s life and it really made for a joyful powerful collection of images.

 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Minneapolis Star Tribune Prince Exhibition

I was ecstatic to be able to see this fine collection.

Commuting to Minneapolis

There are few things I see basically every day as I come into the city or I am leaving the city. Again I focus my mind on the things that capture my attention artistic and stunning way.

7. U.S. Bank Stadium

I take the train or the light rail into downtown Minneapolis in the morning. The first stop right downtown is that the new u.s. Bank Stadium or the Minnesota Vikings football stadium.

 10 Best Places to Photograph MinneapolisUS Bank Stadium Minneapolis

Some people love this place some people hate it, all I can say is it is indeed an architectural Marvel.

 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

US Bank Stadium Minneapolis

While it is not quite finished yet you certainly get a pretty good idea of what it’s going to be like when it’s completely finished.

8. The Capella Building

I am currently working in the Capella Tower building which means as I get off the train I gotta walk over to the building and I get a fantastic view like this.

Capella Tower 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Capella Tower Minneapolis

It is one of the tallest buildings in the city and certainly one of the most interesting ones as well.

Open our office on the 32nd Floor we have a 360 degree view of the city. I must say some days I struggle getting any work done because I’m so entranced by what I see out the window.

Capella Tower 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

View from OutSell office 32nd Floor of Capella Tower

When I took the job I told my boss he could have offered me half as much as he did just because of the view alone. Of course that was a joke but it’ll give you some idea of the incredible beauty of the view of Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Historic Court House 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Historic Minneapolis Courthouse

As I leave my building in the evening, I come out to the scene of the Historic Minneapolis Courthouse. It’s wonderful to see it bathed in different light everyday. It’s certainly captured my attention every single day.

Being in Downtown Minneapolis

Now that I am downtown Minneapolis I basically try to get out for a walk every lunchtime. If the weather is bad I would be in the skyway and if the weather was glorious I be outside adventuring somewhere. Currently I’m a little bit stuck on about a three mile walk that goes across Hennepin Avenue / to st. Anthony Main and then I come back on the Stone Arch Bridge. I go that route almost every day because there is so much to see and I don’t think I will exhaust the possibilities of seems to capture any time soon.

9. Marquette Plaza

On Spring days at about lunch time, the Marquette Plaza or the old Federal Reserve building has this incredible ability to reflect that dry deep blue sky.

Marquette Plaza 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Marquette Plaza Minneapolis

When the sky has some interesting clouds in a it makes for a heart-stopping image. Have to stop and look every time I go buy this building.

10. Voya building

the Voya building is certainly one of them. Every time I walk by it I see something different. A week or two ago I experimented with trying to get as much of the building as possible into one shot.

 

NWNL, Voya, ING 20 S Washington Ave 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Voya, ING, NWNL Building 20S Washington Minneapolis

 

My experiment was a failure but it led to another idea. This image is what I think is a successful attempt to capture as much detail as possible in a very interesting way. Today you are seeing the results experimental photography. I hope you like it!

NWNL, Voya, ING 20 S Washington Ave 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Voya, ING, NWNL Building 20S Washington Minneapolis

BTW, this is 20 S Washington Ave. So what in the heck are all the names of this building? I can’t tell you.

NWNL, Voya, ING 20 S Washington Ave 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Voya, ING, NWNL Building 20S Washington Minneapolis

It seems to be Voya now, it had been ING and before that it was the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance. Well whatever it is called, I sure love it.

NWNL, Voya, ING 20 S Washington Ave 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Voya, ING, NWNL Building 20S Washington Minneapolis

Oh, and by the way, I shot most of these with my little Panasonic Lumix point and shoot.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS100 Camera, 20.1 Megapixels 1-inch Sensor 4K Video, WiFi, 3.0-inch LCD, Leica DC Lens 10X F2.8-5.9 Zoom (Black)

That’s a fine example of the phrase the best camera is the one you have with you. I always have the small camera with me.

11. St. Anthony Main

St Anthony is a hip happening location of the city that is perfect for summer evenings with friends or a romantic time with a loved one.

 St Anthony Main Aster Cafe 10 Best Places to Photograph MinneapolisAster Cafe St Anthony Main Minneapolis

There is plenty of great food at places like The Aster Cafe and many more spots.   It is certainly a place filled with charm.

12. Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge

The Stone Arch Bridge is a classic symbol of Minneapolis. It is a view of an era gone by, mixed with the modern.

 


 Storn Arch Bridge 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Iconic Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge

The bridge built by a great railroad baron, was used to create much of the wealth of the region being the means by which grain could come to market in the breadbasket of the country.

Storn Arch Bridge 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Sunset on the Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge

13. Mill Ruins Park

Mill Ruins Park is a park in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, standing on the west side of Saint Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River. The park interprets the history of flour milling in Minneapolis and shows the ruins of several flour mills that were abandoned.

Guthrie theater Mill Ruins Park 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Guthrie Theater and Mill Ruins Park Minneapolis

The park is the result of an archaeological study of the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. In 1983, a project was being considered to extend West River Parkway along the west side of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis. Scott Anfinson, then the municipal county highway archaeologist for the Minnesota Historical Society, developed a plan to assess archaeological sites along the riverfront. A number of test excavations along the route revealed a wide variety of sites containing items of interest. In the Bassett’s Creek area, for example, the foundations of two sawmills and the remains of a railroad roundhouse were found, while near Hennepin Avenue, the investigation found the footings of the Great Northern Railway Union Depot and the tower bases of the first and second Hennepin Avenue Bridges. In the milling district, archaeologists found clues suggesting that there were still extensive remains of the foundations of the mills and waterpower system.

wiki

14. Lakes Region

Of course there are so many more great areas around Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Lakes District 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Minneapolis, the City of Lakes

There is the Lakes Region Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun etc.

15. And More

And there’s so much more great architecture like the Mason Temple downtown Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Masonic Temple 10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

Masonic Temple Minneapolis

Conclusion

I think I will have years and years of adventuring to come and for now I just wanted to share with you some of my adventure so maybe you could spark your imagination and get you out capturing interesting scenes and architecture.

Hope you found this interesting and until next time and get out and capture the adventure!

These images and many more are available for purchase.

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10 Best Places to Photograph Minneapolis

 

 

Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website
moran.wayne@gmail.com