Where do you go for everyday shooting? Do you have some favorite places, places that seldom let you down?

The sprawling grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art used to be that place for me. It’s a few minutes’ drive from my home and offers a wonderful variety of subjects: nature, architecture, sculpture, landscape.

Kodak Pony 135 Model C, Fujicolor 200, 2013

I haven’t been there in more than a year, though, since they started charging $18 per visit, even just to walk the grounds. I wrote this screed when they announced the charge, and I’m still ticked about it.

Minolta XG-1, 45mm f/2 MD Rokkor-X, Fujicolor 200, 2013

I think it’s the shock over having to pay so much for something that formerly was free. The IMA puts a ton of effort into its grounds. I understand that they have to cover their operating costs, and they are choosing this charge as one way of doing that.

Polaroid Colorpack II, Fujifilm FP-100C, 2014

They also offer an annual pass for $55. I used to visit the IMA’s grounds a dozen or so times a year for photography, and on an annual pass that works out to $4.50 per visit. In my screed I said I thought I’d buy a pass, but I haven’t done it.

At the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Canon FT QL, 50mm f/1.8 Canon FL, Fujicolor 200, 2013

It’s because there are so many other places I can go with my camera that cost nothing. One of my favorites is Crown Hill Cemetery, on the opposite corner from the IMA. It’s enormous and lovely. I’ve featured photos from there on this blog for years.

Evening light at Oldfields *EXPLORED*
Nikon F2AS, 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor, Kodak Ektar 100, 2014

I also take a fair number of photos at Washington Park North Cemetery, as it’s within walking distance of my home. It’s not nearly as picturesque as Crown Hill, but it’s easy to reach.

The girls
Nikon F2AS, 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor, Kodak Ektar 100, 2014

I also like to walk the streets in Broad Ripple, a popular neighborhood with a lively “strip” of bars and clubs, quaint shops on the side streets, and lovely older homes for blocks around. I can get there by car in 10 minutes.

At the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Canon FT QL, 50mm f/1.8 Canon FL, Fujicolor 200, 2013

But still, I miss the IMA. I made so many wonderful photographs there. It was a great place to test a new-to-me old camera because of the variety of things available to photograph. None of my other haunts are as good.

Bridge at IMA
Olympus Stylus, Kodak Gold 200 (expired), 2013

I wish the IMA well and hope they thrive. But I also hope that someday they drop the charge to walk the grounds.

But please, do tell me in the comments about the places you visit again and again for photography.

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14 responses to “Do you have any photographic haunts?”

  1. J P Cavanaugh Avatar

    I’m not a photographer, but when my daughter took a photography class, she got some nice shots from the Fountain Square area on the near southeast side. It was her favorite location.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I like to go down there, too, for photography. It’s not just down the road like the IMA is, but it’s still a place I visit a couple times a year with a camera in my hand.

  2. Elisabet Avatar

    These are beautiful.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Why thank you!

  3. Terry Avatar

    Lexington (KY) Cemetery is my favorite photo-walk place. It is beautiful. BTW – I just discovered your blog and am inspired. I first read your Pentax ME review and stayed on to read more of your posts. It’s like a good book I can’t put down. Thank you!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Wow! I’m glad you found my blog today then!

  4. Christopher May Avatar

    Fantastic set of images, Jim. I can see why it was a favorite.

    When I lived in Denver, Union Station always managed to be a kind of “proving ground” for new gear. I always ended up there somehow. What’s fun is seeing the changes that have occurred there since I started. In the 15 years that I lived there, it went to a beautiful but kind of quiet stop for Amtrak and RTD buses to the lively hub of the large light rail project that Denver invested in.

    I haven’t really established any similar locations in Pueblo yet, but I’ve only been here since April. Hopefully I can find something because all of a sudden I seem to have stumbled onto a pile of new cameras and lenses. It’s always nice to try out gear like that in a familiar location before taking it on a “real” shoot.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I hear you: it’s good to have familiar environs to test a new-to-you old camera. I’m largely the same way.

      Sounds like fun exploring Pueblo to find some favorite places!

  5. Dan Cluley Avatar
    Dan Cluley

    These days most of my photography is more event focused I guess. I’m mostly shooting at car shows, or taking train pictures, but if I was going to wander and shoot it would probably be downtown and along the riverwalk in Lansing MI.

    My goto for testing is the courthouse in Mason MI. It is a very attractive building, but I have far more telephoto shots of the clocktower than anyone would ever need. :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Heh, I have more shots of the shed in my back yard than anyone ever needs!


      1. Dan Cluley Avatar
        Dan Cluley

        I think I like “shed again”& “locked door” the best. Although “return of the son of shed
        ” is clearly the best title.

  6. Michael McNeill Avatar

    Jim I liked your post (some great shots there) and also your response to the charges introduced at the IMA. Here in the North of Ireland we are very fortunate in that – for the most part – many of our local beauty spots are still free. But in recent years this has been slowly changing – the National Trust has acquired a few places around our way that we used to frequent in our youth. Prices are at visitor level, with no concessions for locals. So we’ve completely stopped going to some of these places and for others we bide our time and go in the off-season, when visitors are so few they don’t bother to have a representative at the gate to collect the fee. Or sometimes we get up early and sneak in before the money-collectors arrive. Seriously. We feel frozen out of places that all our lives we’ve been going to…places that feel part of our heritage. I want to like the National Trust, I really do, but they (and perhaps the IMA?) need to recognise that the local community should be treated as a friend (only resource for volunteers, school groups in the off-season, conservationists with local knowledge and so on) and not be treated as another cash cow.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I thought you all had the right to roam in the UK? Do I misunderstand what right to roam is? Either way, it’s sad that places you consider to be part of your heritage can be explored now only at a price.

      The IMA was burning through its endowment on operations, which is what led them to put this charge in place. I can’t say I blame them, but I hate how expensive it is. I can’t justify paying $18 just for a photo walk. I miss the place.

      1. Michael McNeill Avatar

        Jim as far as I know each country which makes up the UK has its own policy. There is generally a ‘right to roam’ on open access areas in England and Wales. Scotland has a similar ‘freedom to roam’ and ‘right to responsible access’. Mostly these rights relate to open access areas – heathland, mountains etc although England has many ‘Rights of way’ where the public can walk without concern. Northern Ireland does not have a ‘Right to roam’ policy – most land is privately held and therefore not generally accessible. That aside, there are plenty of forest walks and coastal walks, as well as 665 mile ‘Ulster Way’, so it’s not too much of a problem.

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