Detroit Photo Tour – Experience the Beautiful Side of Detroit

Detroit City view from Z-deck roof

Detroit gets a bad rap quite frequently, and as a long time resident of this area, I always like to showcase neat places to see in Detroit. I recently came across the Detroit Bus Company who offers a variety of tours throughout Detroit. I scheduled a Detroit Photo Tour where they take you on a 4-hour adventure through Detroit where you can photograph some fantastic venues and sights. Some of these places, I didn’t even know existed. 

Detroit Photo Tour

The Detroit Photo Tour starts at the Grand Trunk Pub downtown off of Woodward Avenue rain or shine. The tour begins at noon sharp but, if you show up early, you can have a snack in the beautiful converted 1900s-era railway station. The funny thing is that you will notice all the other participants on the tour because they are the ones hauling all of their camera gear around. This tour is for both beginner and professional photographers.

A professional photographer guides you around the town and also gives out tips, photo tricks, and answers any photography question you might have. I ended up wandering alone for most of the tour as I knew what I wanted to capture and already knew the insides and outs of my gear. I took only my camera and an extra lens where some other photographers brought their entire kit including a tripod. To me for this type of tour that was too much gear to be hauling around for 4 hours and most of the sites you can easily hand hold your camera. 

The Belt

The Belt - Detroit Photo TourThe Belt is one place I hadn’t heard of before, and now I wish I had. This alley is a photographers dream with sets and props all along the alley. All you have to do is choose what theme you want to photograph. I saw several people getting their portraits taken, and our tour group mingled in and out of their sets. It is a little crowded so, you might have to wait for a bit to get the shot without people in it. If you were planning on taking some urban graduation photos, this would be a great spot to come out on a sunny day. The Belt is located between Broadway and Library Street and links Gratiot and Grand River.  

Z Deck Garage

Z Deck Garage

This site was another area of Detroit I didn’t know about. I am continually surprised by how much I am always learning about my city. This 10-story garage has art from 27 mural artists from around the world. I have to go back and walk all the floors. I only went to the top deck, and I didn’t realize that I missed so many great murals below. The Z garage zigzags the corners of Broadway/East Grand River and Library/Gratiot.

The Heidelberg Project

The Heidelberg Project

The Heidelberg Project is a neighborhood that has been transformed by artist, Tyree Guyton, from a poverty-stricken and drug-ridden area to a massive art environment. The project has been fraught with controversy over the 30 years since it has been created. But, it continues to promote its mission to improve the lives of people and neighborhoods through art. Every time I come to see this art exhibit, it is always fun to see suburban families driving their SUVs and parking on the streets of Detroit to walk around this neighborhood of abandoned and burned out houses. For the skeptics that say don’t come to Detroit, I say come and visit. There is a lot to see here and especially at the Heidelberg Project every visit I notice something different to capture. You can find the art exhibit at 3600 Heidelberg St. in Detroit.

Eastern Market – Murals in the Market

Eastern Market Mural

Murals in the market, I was not aware that it is an annual event that updates and creates new murals throughout the Eastern Market area. Over the past four years, over 125 murals have been created and displayed for the public to enjoy. On the day that I was touring Detroit, many artists were in the middle of creating some fantastic works of art. I can’t wait to see them when they are all finished. You can even download the map of where to find all the murals. 

Fisher Building

Fisher Building

The Fisher Building is a registered national landmark. We were able to roam freely throughout the three-story barrel-vaulted lobby which is constructed with forty different kinds of marble, decorated by Hungarian artist Géza Maróti. Everywhere you look there is gold. It is on the elevators, the walls, and even the ceiling. It is an amazing building to photograph. There are even more buildings within Detroit to shoot that are just as opulent as the Fisher Building; such as the Guardian building which has been recommended to photograph as well.

Michigan Central Station

Michigan Central Station

This is one building I have been looking forward to photographing over the years. Although I would have preferred to have captured it when there were no windows. Since Ford has purchased the building, they have started to renovate it. When the train station opened in 1914, it was the tallest railroad station in the world and the fourth tallest building in Detroit. 74 years of trains coming and going through this station has left a stamp on history that can’t be erased. Michigan Central Station is an amazing architectural gem, and I am glad that they are preserving it. 

Detroit Bus Company

The history of the Detroit Bus Company is fascinating. A young guy came up with the idea to help Detroiters get around the city. He bought a bus and had a friend paint it up and started charging $5 to drive people all around Detroit. Their mission is “To get every Detroiter a ride where they need to go.” Of course, the city government started to get involve and told them they couldn’t do that without insurance and proper documentation. So, the company figured out another way to help out Detroiters by creating city tours. These tours let you see the best of Detroit and also give back to the city. With every seat you purchase on one of the experiences including the Detroit Photo Tour, they will provide a Detroit kid in need of a safe ride to school or after-school program. Ride for a ride. With this kind of dedication to the city of Detroit, scheduling a tour with the Detroit Bus Company is a fantastic thing to do and makes you feel good giving back in the process.

If you are interested in this tour go ahead and pin Detroit Photo Tour for later.

Detroit Photo Tour Pinterest Pin

Have you found other interesting and photogenic sites that should be on the Detroit Photo Tour? Where is your favorite city for seeing Street Art?

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