Thursday, January 26, 2012

Downtown Indy, from high up

It isn't often that one gets to shoot pictures of a scenic area from an extreme elevated perspective. So when the chance to photograph downtown Indianapolis from the top floor of the 37-floor One America Building presented itself this past Saturday, I snapped away.

I bracketed all of my shots for later high-dynamic range (HDR) treatment so I could cull maximum detail from the shots even though it was an overcast day. HDR usually is reserved for high-contrast situations, where light in one section of the pictures is very bright, and light in another area is very dark. But I've enjoyed using HDR for days like this one, simply because it gives the image a rich texture.

These pictures include several Indiana landmarks -- Lucas Oil Stadium (above), home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts -- and the site of this year's Super Bowl XLVI; the bright blue (and new) JW Marriott Hotel; the Indiana State Capitol; the Eli Lilly and Co. campus; Monument Circle, considered the heart of Indianapolis; and the Indianapolis Artsgarden, an atrium-like facility built as part of a pedestrian walkway in the heart of downtown over Washington Street (U.S. 40), the main east-west thoroughfare in Indianapolis.

Above and next two below: The blue JW Marriott Hotel, which opened within the past year, in various perspectives and caught in the process of afixing a large image of the Lombardi Trophy on its east facade. The trophy is awarded to the winner of the Super Bowl.

Above and below: The Indiana Statehouse, from a couple perspectives.

Above: Regions Bank, with the southern origin of Massachusetts Avenue, one of Indy's six cultural district, extending diagonally to the left.

Above: Looking down toward Virginia Avenue, another diagonal thoroughfare that begins downtown. Mass Ave extends northeast; Virginia Avenue, southeast.

Above: In the distance, the expansive campus of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co.

Above: Monument Circle, a brick-covered roundabout encircling Miss Victory, a sculpture commemorating the Civil War.

Above: The Hyatt-Regency Hotel, which for the longest time until about 10 years ago or so was Indy's largest hotel. The circular section on the right is the Eagle's Nest, a revolving restaurant that offers diners a spectacular view of the downtown skyline.

Above: The Indianapolis Artsgarden extending over Washington Street (and connected to Circle Centre mall), although the street you see in the picture is actually Illinois Street, which intersects Washington at the Artsgarden.

Above: Looking northeast down diagonal Mass Ave.

Above: A good grouping of downtown Indy's largest skyscrapers, including -- in the foreground -- Indiana's largest building, the Chase Bank tower. At left is the Regions Bank Building; at right, the City-County municipal government building.

Above and next two below: Shots taken from University Park, several blocks east of the One America Building. Above, a leading lines composition; the Indiana War Memorial and Museum is the limestone structure in the background. First below, the fountain in University Park; second below, a statue in the park -- it's of Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States and the only native Hoosier to ascend to the presidency.


  1. A great tribute to our beautifully restored downtown. I remember...not all that many years ago...when you would never think of going downtown. Things sure have changed. I miss Ayres and the Ayres clock...but I hear they may be bringing it back!
    You did a great job capturing all this...the different sections. I especially liked seeing Mass Ave from that height!!!!!

  2. The Mass Ave shot that you mentioned was the most difficult to grab in this set; to get that angle, I had to work around some vignetting that was occurring on the far left end of the window (a graduated tint of some sort), which was the last point where I could grab this. So if you notice something even slightly hinkey on the left side of the image, that's what was going on. I simply was running out of clear window to shoot through.

  3. Didn't notice then, and can't tell now! I always felt the cake that looked the worst, tasted the best! a matter of fact...looking back at these pictures again, they all look even more brilliant! That JW Marriott shot is a real show-stopper!!! Did you enhance these more??? Because they seem to really "POP" tonight!!!

  4. No, I didn't go back and do anything more to these images after they were posted here. The statue in University Park (last image in the post), by the way, is of Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States. I added that to the caption info.

  5. The fountain in the next to the last picture is the “Depew Fountain”, commissioned to be erected there by Mrs. Emma Depew in memory of her late husband, Dr. Richard J. Depew, with respect to his “….long and honorable life spent in untiring service to his fellow man.” It took 3 different artists to complete: Karl Bitter designed the work but was killed in a traffic accident; then Alexander Calder completed the creation and Henry Bacon designed the fountain’s setting. It was completed in 1919. (This was all during the years the "Old Northside" was in its height of glory!!! The ONS was the first Indianapolis recognized suburb...bound by 16th St on the North, Interstate-65 on the South, Pensylvania St. on the West, and Bellefontaine St. on the East)

  6. Chase Bank Tower is now called the SalesForce Tower - 2016.
    American Fletcher National Bank, then BancOne, then Chase, then SalesForce.