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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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