Around the holidays, we took a road trip from Chicago to Phoenix. While it was mostly vacation and landscapes, we couldn’t resist checking out a few architectural locations on the way. One of the cities we stopped in was Oklahoma City and we found two locations with great modern architecture: the Scissortail Bridge and the Myriad Botanical Gardens Bandshell. If you live close or ever visit the city, they’re worth checking out!
This pedestrian bridge by Butzer Architects and Urbanism is located just south of downtown Oklahoma City. The structure is inspired by Oklahoma’s state bird, the scissor-tailed flycatcher. As you can see it’s very angular and sharp, creating great opportunities for architectural images.
Wide shots are great from either end of the bridge, capturing the different parts of the structure.
The bridge has a lot of holes, so if you’re there on a sunny day, it’s a great place to play with sunbursts (check out our blog post about how to shoot those). Shooting from right under the main structure creates a very different look than the image above.
Finally, don’t forget to zoom in and isolate some details of the bridge. The outside metal panels can resemble feathers of a bird and reflect the light differently depending on their orientation.
Myriad Botanical Gardens Bandshell
From the bridge, head downtown to the Myriad Botanical Gardens. On the north side, you’ll find an interesting bandshell, designed by Gensler.
The pavilion is all white, so clear blue skies work really well here. Mid-range shots are great to show the features of the structure: curves, lines, and patterns all come together in the shots.
When you zoom in, you can isolate simpler shapes and patterns, making the composition more minimalistic.
Black and white works well with images that emphasize the lines and patterns of the bandshell:
Those two locations are great for both wide shots and architectural abstracts. Bring a couple of lenses and take your time, try different compositions and angles.
Let us know in the comments if you know other great locations in Oklahoma City!
Have you seen the Scissortail Bridge at night??? It’s super beautiful!!
Unfortunately, we didn't stay long enough in Oklahoma City, but from what we've seen online, it would be great to shoot!
It’s definitely a beautiful sight in person! But I bet some photographers have done right by it 😊 loved your article! Born & raised in Moore (city just south of OKC.. aka tornado city lol)
and it’s great to see when people appreciate the sights here. We have some of the most amazing sunrises & sunsets too!
We were on a roadtrip to Arizona and decided to check out interesting architecture along the way. Those were some nice finds!!