Detroit street photography
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Disclaimer: On today’s post, I write about my love for Detroit street photography. I am sharing my affiliate links for the camera gear I use for your convenience, but no extra charge to you! If you make a purchase, I may make a small commission. Read my disclosure policy for more information.

One of my greatest passions is photography. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have picked up on this, as I post a lot of Detroit street photography. Last week, I posted a blog post about my urbex photography tour of the Highland Park Ford Plant. I decided to create a weekly blog series to share some of my city and street photography. Today’s post is about how I got started in photography and a few snapshots I took last weekend from my photo walk with my husband in Downtown Detroit.

I have always loved photography. In fact, my father is a lifestyle photographer. He first got into photography when he was in the Army. He told me when he was stationed in Japan, he learned how to develop film in the dark room and how to use cameras. I remember when I was young, my dad always had his camera with him. He took pictures of family and special occasions. I’m pretty sure my dad’s love for photography rubbed off on me because now I am in love with it.

My dad and Travis together at our son’s basketball game.

I always wanted to have my own camera– a really good camera. I played around with point-and-shoot cameras for years. But I never pursued photography to learn more about the art and how to use more advanced cameras. I think I let the busyness of life keep me from pursuing my passion.

Leap of Faith

Last year, I finally took a leap of faith and bought my first Nikon DSLR camera. What prompted me to get the camera was moving to a new city and state (Detroit, Michigan). It was my first time living in a different state and experiencing big city life. I was amazed at everything we were experiencing in our new city. I wanted to document it all. I remember going to a few events wishing I had a better camera to capture all that I was seeing.

Another reason why I decided to finally get a DSLR camera is the birth of my fourth baby.ย I wanted to take better photographs of our baby and family life. I remember feeling disappointed I didn’t have very many photographs of my labor and the birth of our son. Most of our family photos were on my cellphone. They were either blurred somewhat or had poor lighting. Those two big life events alone were my sign to finally invest in a new camera. And I’m so glad I did!

good life detroit
I was so happy to finally have a good camera to capture precious moments of my children.

My First DSLR Camera

I currently shoot with a Nikon D3100 and I use a 50mm lens. For editing, I use Adobe Lightroon and VSCO Film preset pack. I ordered my Nikon DSLR on Amazon, but it is discontinued now. The Nikon D3300 is a comparable to my D3100.

I love the 50mm lens! It is a Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8Gย lens with auto focus. It works great for portraits and close up shots. Later this month, I plan on purchasing a 35mm lens for wider shots. I really like using a 50mm for my Detroit street photography. I have read articles recommending a wide lens such as the 35mm and 22mm for street photography.

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street photography
My first attempt at street photography in 2015.

Detroit Street Photography

I started studying general photography on my own. I took a few workshops in Detroit and Ann Arbor. I watched a ton of YouTube videos. I checked out books from the library. And I viewed other photographers work.

A couple of months into my photography journey, I realized I was being drawn to street photography. I SO was not expecting that, but I think it makes sense. I love photographs which tell a story. You know, the kind of photographs where you find yourself staring at it for a while because you are so intrigued by the people or objects in the photo.

Silent Protest Photographs

My first set of photos for this series is from Downtown Detroit. On November 5, 2016, my husband Travis and I went out on a day date to the downtown area. We were going to grab some coffee, walk around the city, and do some street photography. We didn’t plan on a destination in downtown. We just drove down Jefferson Avenue and parked at the Cobo Center.

We walked around Hart Plaza and I found a few people wearing Guy Fawkes masks. It appeared to be a peaceful, silent protest for the Flint Water Crisis. Here are a few shots I snapped as we passed by the group.

Detroit street photography
Detroit, Michigan at Hart Plaza (11.5.16)
Guy Fawkes Detroit
Detroit, Michigan (11.5.16)
Woman Anonymous
Detroit, Michigan. (11.5.16)

I still have so much to learn about street photography. The journey has far exceeded my expectations. When I hold my camera, I feel like it is an extension of my hand. I have grown accustomed to naturally move the buttons for my exposure, f-stop, and ISO settings. Sometimes I can see a “picture moment” from a distant and I get ready to snap the shot. I am excited to see how much more I will progress with photography. Thank you for reading!

Detroit Street Photography

Do you love taking pictures or viewing photography?

Special Note: The photos in this post do not mean I accept the views of the participants in the protest. In fact, I don’t even know the people in the photos. I was just walking down the street and happen to come across this event. The photographs are art for my street photography series. Thank you for reading!
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38 thoughts on “Detroit Street Photography: New Weekly Blog Series

  1. I would really like to learn how to make better photos. We have a DSLR at home but I don’t know how to use its features, and I feel like the auto mode doesn’t make much better pics than my point & shoot, so it’s not worth carrying the larger camera around! But I’m sure being able to adjust all the settings myself would make a huge difference. I just need to find the time to learn!

    1. Hi, Lulle. Yes, it can be overwhelming and time consuming to learn how to use a DSLR. I felt so overwhelmed when I first started last year. I had to take my time with it. But now I am happy I took the time to learn. I like to shoot in Manual so I can have more control over my camera. But you know, there are some really great point and shoot cameras, too! So if you feel your point and shoot is producing the images you like, I say stick with that! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you get to learn how to use your DSLR, too!

  2. I loooove taking photos every where I go especially if a moment catches my eye. like last week when it was raining and the droplets on the balcony railing moved like they were an abacus that was fun to shoot. my first dslr was a canon and I love that camera.

  3. I’ve never been to Detroit, it looks like there’s always something going on! Also, I’m using a Nikon now (and I’m fairly new to photography!) Photographing people and photographing food are totally different! I’ve been wanting to master photographing people for a while!

  4. I bought a top of the line DSLR when my 12yo was about 2. Now with the improvement of iPhone cameras, I never use it. LOL! I find it big and cumbersome…and I get some great shots with my cell. haha

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