Finding Architectural Subjects In Our Parks

Summer is upon us…yay! And the perfect time of year to get out and explore our many parks. While you’re there, grab your camera and look for those architectural subjects often found in these spaces. Whether it’s a great pavilion, like you see in the few parks below…

lincoln park pavilion, studio gang architects, chicago architecture

First, in my hometown of Chicago, and one of my favorite photo destinations, the Lincoln Park Pavilion designed by Studio Gang Architects. You can shoot wide, as you see above. Which provides the perfect frame for the skyline. Or you can get into some of the details.

Here, just a couple of examples, I’ll eventually share a post featuring the many ways to photograph this one space!

Myriad Gardens in Oklahoma City has a great pavilion called the Devon Lawn Band Shell and is designed by Gensler. For context…

myriad gardens, devon lawn band shell, oklahoma city, gensler

Now, for a couple of abstract takes on this beauty!

Now for a beautiful pavilion in Toronto’s Trillium Park by LANDInc. Great wooden beams under the roof + a roofline detail.

trillium park, toronto architecture, LANDInc

Another fun architectural element often found in parks are sculptures. One of my favorite things to photograph, they can often offer some great abstract perspectives or a nice layering effect within the urban space + contrasts between nature and the manmade.

One great location is Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park. Richard Serra has this incredible installation called Wake.

seattle olympic sculpture park, richard serra wake

Some simple details showing off the texture…

Another sculpture in the garden is Alexander Calder’s Eagle. A bit wider + a detail, of course.

One of my favorite geometric sculptures here in Chicago is in the Mary Bartelme Park. The Turning Square sculpture creates some great layers when shot wider and within context of the city.

mary bartelme park, turning square sculpture, chicago architecture

Plus, those shadows act as great leading lines. Or, when shot on their own make for a nice geometric abstract.

mary bartelme park, turning square sculpture, chicago architecture

Chicago’s Grant Park has at least a couple of architectural elements worth exploring. The Agora sculpture at the southwest end of the park designed by Magdalena Abakanowicz is a great foreground element to a wider cityscape type of shot.

agora, Magdalena Abakanowicz, grant park chicago

And, of course, Buckingham Fountain. Great day or night, a small detail or a wider shot.

buckingham fountain, grant park chicago
buckingham fountain, grant park chicago

One more architectural structure to be on the lookout for in our parks are interesting bridges. One of my favorites was the Skydance Pedestrian Bridge or Scissortail Bridge in Oklahoma City by Butzer Gardner Architects. Some great geometric and pattern shots available with this one!

Skydance Pedestrian Bridge or Scissortail Bridge, oklahoma city, Butzer Gardner Architects

There you have a few architectural examples to be on the lookout for as you explore your area parks this summer (or any time of year, for that matter!). Feel free to share with me on the Facebook and Instagram pages.

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