Recommend some scenes to photograph: Chicago/Madison/Indy/Mpls.

I have recently been shooting 360-degree panoramic images of street scenes, historic buildings, natural settings, and other views. I have put some of them on a website.

I am in the process of moving from the DC suburbs to St. Paul, Minnesota. In a few days I will be driving from Northern Virginia to the Twin Cities, and want to find some scenes to photograph in the cities through which I will pass. I am planning to go through Columbus, Indianapolis, and Madison because I want to make panoramas of the state capitol buildings. Chicago is also on my route.

Can anyone recommend some scenes that would make an interesting Quicktime VR panorama? I am looking for scenes that look interesting from all directions-- so the observation deck of a tall building is not always a good choice. Indoor scenes that are publicly accessible on the weekend are good, as are street scenes where interesting buildings or parkland can be seen. On the website, you can see that I’ve done churches, museums, academic buildings, etc. Things with free admission are good, since I am in transit and can’t linger long at any one location.

I was hoping I might find an interesting building lobby or atrium in Chicago; I have done a few of those in New York. An old train station would be a good subject.

If I make any good panoramas on the trip, I’ll post them on the web site. (Once I deal with the movers, house closing, etc., that is.)

Madison, Wisconsin: If the weather were better, say May or June, I would recommend that you take a panorama shot from the back terrace of Memorial Union at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, overlooking Lake Mendota:

Night shot.
Day shot.

But right now you’ll just find a lot of snow, empty tables, and a semi-frozen lake.

In lieu of that, I suggest you position yourself somewhere on Library Mall, the pedestrian mall at the west end of State Street, where the students are coming and going all the time.

Indianapolis has a lot of panoramic places these days. However, anything outdoors is going to look pretty crappy these days. And it’s too early in the morning for my brain to process indoor spaces. I’ll try to get back to you.

The Rookery Building (209 S. LaSalle, Chicago) has a beautiful lobby. This building has landmark status.

It’s beautiful. My dad used to work there and I would love going downtown to visit him just so I could walk up that staircase.

For Chicago, A panorama of Millennium Park would be great. You could get the Frank Gehry-designed bandshell and the Cloudgate (big silver bean) sculpture.

You could also try the Thompson Center’s atrium (State of Illinois building downtown), or the main hall in the Field Museum (Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex is on display there). You could also probably find an interesting spot around the museum campus showing the 3 museums and the skyline.

There’s lots of great stuff to shoot in Madison…offhand I’d suggest:

State Street
Lake Mendota from the Memorial Union Terrace
Lake Mendota and the western shoreline from James Madison Park
the city skyline and Monona Terrace from the walking path along John Nolen Drive or from the hill at Olin Park
the Capitol and the area around the Capitol Square.
Willy Street

plus there’s a ton of scenic stuff in the area - Devil’s Lake, The House on the Rock, Blue Mounds State Park, the Mustard Museum

When are you going to be in Madison? If you want some cool concert shots I’ve got two Madison shows this coming week before we head back on the road. PM me if you want some details - the shows are this Fri and next Wed. I’ll buy ya a beer…

Not to knock Madison or Indianapolis (I’ve lived in both those places and love them), but since you’re going to be in the neighborhood anyway, why not head down to Cincinnati. It’s going to be grey and dingy now, too, but somehow that seems to suit it. The views from the bridges spanning the Ohio might be a lot of fun, plus there are several parks and a lot of green space along its banks. They also have Union Terminal, a former train station full of WPA mosaics (I think it’s a museum now, it’s been several things over the years).

Grab yourself a bowl of chili at Skyline while you’re there :wink: .

Your website is lovely, that’s quite an interesting project you’ve got going.

Chicago suggestions:

There’s a plaza in front of 401 N. Michigan that might make a good spot for a street scene. You can see a lot of iconic Chicago architecture from there, plus the river. As a bonus, there’s enough room that you wouldn’t be standing in the middle of the sidewalk.

Another thought is in front of the Drake Hotel, which is about a mile north along Michigan Ave. From there, you would be able to see the hotel with the skyline in the background on one side and the lake on the other. I think that would make an interesting contrast.

For a smaller scale, you might try the area right around Wrigley Field.

The only atrium I can think of off the top of my head is the Field Museum.

Sounds like a fun project! Enjoy your travels.

Chicago- The Michigan Avenue bridge where it crosses the Chicago river. A 360 panoramic would give you 2 shots of Michigan Avenue (one being the Maginificent Mile) a shot up the Chicago river with a lot of landmark buildings and a shot down the river to Lake Michigan.
You could probably get some good shots of lake, skyline, shoreline out on the Navy Pier.

Madison- Somewhere along State Street where you get a good shot of the Capitol at the end of the street and some interesting store/bar fronts.

Wisconsin Dells-
You’d have to get out onto the river somehow but a 360 of the river and rock formations would be cool.

Minneapolis- Walker sculpture garden that would include the famous Spoon & Cherry Bridge sculpture.

Twin Cites -
Minnehaha Falls
If you are going to be around in the fall, the State Fair could make an interesting picture.
The Como Zoo Conservatory has some interesting rooms.

Looks like you’ve got a lot of good suggestions for Madison, but if you’re going to try State Street, you should look around inside the overture center at the top of State and Dayton. There’s a lot of possiblities with atriums and such. Looking at your website I think it would fit in with other work you’ve done.

You might want to go in the Capitol Building and look at the Rotunda too.

Olbrich Gardens on the near east side has in outdoor Garden that might work really well and there is a Thai Pavilion that could offer some excellent shots. There is also a large park across the street with a nice view of the Capitol and the side of the Monona Terrace that you can’t see from down town.

If you get here before the lakes thaw, there are some great opportunities around Governor’s Island with some great bluffs.

I could go on and on. Nearby there’s Parfrey’s Glen, Devil’s Lake, Indian Lake-- which features a
small chapel at the top of a beautiful ridge overlooking some classic WI landscape-- and Aztalan.

If you want any more info on any of those places or any others, feel free to e-mail or PM me.

Millennium Park is a great place to take pictures. I snapped this one with no real planning and I like how it came out. Find your inspiration. | Flickr

Someone who knows what they’re doing could probably incorporate the gardens and architecture in a much more interesting way.

Indianapolis- Get a panoramic shot of the grandstands down the front stretch of the Speedway. The track will be 100 years old in 2009, and the front straight is 5/8 mile long. If you can manage to get one on race day that would be even better. People who have never been there cannot fathom how huge the place really is.

It would be better in the fall, but the covered bridges of Eastern Indiana might be something you would be interested in too. Parke county alone has 30 of them.

whoops-also, downtown Indy has a monument that is circled by buildings and a roundabout, you might consider that as well.

scroll down to the “sailers and soldiers monument”

Thanks for all the replies-- and sorry I haven’t been posting. With the movers, flying, house-selling, house-buying, and changing ISP’s, things have been hectic. I’m hitting the road tomorrow morning. I really have no idea when I’ll be in any given city, but now I have a great list of “targets” for my camera.

Once I arrive and do the post-processing, I’ll update this thread with a link.

For an outdoor shot in Indianapolis, I would suggest going to Crown Hill Cemetery. James Whitcomb Riley is buried at the top of Crown Hill. The view from his monument is really something. I can’t find a link to an out-looking shot, but here’s some info from the cemetery. That’s not a terribly informative link, but if you poke around you can find out more.

Union Station in Chicago, 210 South Canal. Get there at the right time of day and you could do a modern version of this shot from '43.

Union Station is great. One of my favorite places to shoot. The Michigan Avenue bridge over the Chicago River (already suggested) would probably the most comprehensive panorama of the city.

That’s got everything: Lake Michigan,Chicago River, the Wrigley Building, the Tribune Towers, a glimpse of the Hancock, the beginning of the Magnificent mile, etc… If there were only one place I could shoot a complete 3D panorama of in Chicago, that is the exact spot.

If you want something that incorporates a little more grit and texture, you could always go for a panaroma from underneath the El substructure in the Loop. The intersection of State and Lake would be the most visually appealing to me (at least going by memory). The El runs East-West there, with the eastern end ending at the Prudential building. Going south, the most obvious landmark is the Chicago Theatre (which is pretty close to the intersection). To the west you should be able to make out the weird spaceship looking Thompson center, and to the north you’ve got the river. Another good spot.

Both these locations are within a half mile of each other, so kill two birds with one stone. While you’re at it, the Millennium Park which others have suggested is also within this radius.

Let us know what you tool pictures of.

Some good opportunities on the road that follows the St. Croix River on the border of WI and MN. Nice old farm buildings, signs and river scenes. Go up as far as Osceola on the WI side, then cross the river and drive south back to the interstate on the MN side.