A Visit to Downtown Indy

Recently I found myself in downtown Indianapolis with my camera and I decided to brush up my architectural photography portfolio. In the center of downtown, the soldiers and sailors monument honors Hoosiers who were veterans of the Civil War, Revolutionary War, and various other wars. If you enter the monument from the Southside, you can climb up the steps to the observation deck. If you don’t think you can handle the 330 steps, you can pay a small fee to ride the small elevator.

Once at the top, the views are pretty spectacular.

Looking West toward the Statehouse

It is amazing how you can compose a photo, check the exposure, get all the settings right, level the composition, double check the settings and then miss seeing a really cool effect that you have no control over. I didn’t notice the reflection in the J.W. Mariott Building until I was processing these photos. Notice how the reflection of the horizon is almost perfectly in line with the the horizon beyond the building in the above photo.


Speaking of reflections, I took this photo of the windows on the Chase Building. It looks like several photos in one because of all the different reflections. You can also see several different textures; people, water, trees, statuary.


I wandered around town and eventually found myself in the Arts Garden. The Arts Garden is a atrium that sits above the intersection of Washington and Illinois Streets. It is accessible from the Circle Center Mall and various hotels. This photo is looking East on Washington Street.


Later I found myself on the West side of the Indiana Statehouse. There is a mall area in between all of the government buildings know as Bicentennial Plaza. Technically, this photo is of the back of the Statehouse, but photos from this side are easier since a similar photo taken from the other side would put the photographer in the middle of Market Street.

I snapped a few more photos. On this early summer day, the bright sunlight made the shadows a challenge. In order to compensate, in processing, I used the shadows slider in Lightroom to take out some of the contrast. I still think some of these would look better if they were shot in the evening or on a cloudy day.


Often, I find that my favorite images are taken at the end of my excursion. I was on my way back to my parking space walking by the Depew Memorial Fountain at the corner of Meridian and New York, when I spotted these Ginkgo Biloba trees. The above photo is looking north toward the Indiana War Memorial.


I love the unique leaf shapes on these huge stately trees. I also like the contrast between the natural leaf shapes and the very deliberate man made building shapes in the background.

Downtown Indy is rich in culture and rife with sights and sounds. You can have a pretty nice time just with a camera and a couple of hours to spare.

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