Thursday, July 11, 2013

Downtown Milwaukee Photowalk Review

A month or two ago, Living Social was offering a deal for a Photowalk in downtown Milwaukee.  It was relatively cheap and sounded like it might be a good way to get me out into new territory to take some photos.  It was a two for one deal.  One of my good friends recently started taking an interest in photography so I thought this would be an opportunity for us both to get out, take pictures, and spend some time together.

Here is the blurb describing the tour:

Walk through downtown Milwaukee while hearing historic commentary and learning photographic tips for taking creative pictures along the way. Wisconsin Avenue, in particular, offers a stunning then-and-now view of downtown Milwaukee and will impress locals and tourists alike with its unique architectural details and captivating history. Our tour concludes at the Milwaukee lakefront, highlighting the dramatic Milwaukee Art Museum architecture and scenic gardens.  
Whether you're a novice, a professional photographer, or just interested in history, you'll enjoy this tour!    
Family-friendly (free for children 8 and younger; discounted rate for children 9 - 15) and fun for all, this guided walking tour is focused on teaching guests to take more creative photos while learning about Milwaukee's history. Your tour guide will escort the group along the route, giving tips on photography composition and historical background on the sights along the way. Each attendee will receive a map highlighting some of our favorite photo opportunities on the route, along with recommended tips and techniques. Although we don't focus on food with this tour, we do make a stop for some chocolate along the way! 
Discover the stunning beauty of downtown Milwaukee with your camera in your hand! Photo opportunities include:  

  • Historic Third Ward
  • Milwaukee Public Market
  • Scenic RiverWalk
  • Picturesque Wisconsin Avenue
  • Milwaukee Art Museum and lakefront
  • Much more!

Tour Length – Slightly more than one mile of walking; our Milwaukee Photo Walk route is not wheelchair accessible.
Time Commitment – Approximately 2 hours, depending on the pace of the group 

Though I found the tour informative and interesting in an historic sense (I did learn a few things about the city I've lived my whole life in), I can't say it taught me anything about photography.  The guide pointed out some things to take photos of in the beginning, but I felt it was mostly an historic walking tour with time allotted to take pictures. I will admit that the map we were given went over some photography tips, but I didn't really look at that until after the tour.  I was already carrying enough and felt that some of those things should have been verbally covered. I guess I can keep it for future reference.  

I don't think it wasn't worth my time though.  It was nice to really be able to look at and inside of buildings.  So often you walk around downtown and are more concerned about where you are going than about the details of old buildings.  And I've never known what was inside some of the buildings!  It was also enjoyable to walk around with a group of people who were all interested in photography; I wasn't always the one lagging behind because I was busy taking pictures (or because I was pregnant!) and didn't draw too much attention while taking photos (I sometimes avoid photography in certain places because I worry about what people think of me, but when there is a group of 15 I look like everyone else!).  It also gave me a good excuse to enjoy lunch with my friend afterwards!  My one big gripe was that the description did not mention that it was not a round trip tour.  So, though you allot 2 hours for the tour, it takes another 15-20 minutes to walk back to your vehicle....while you stress out about possibly having a parking ticket because you were parked in a two hour parking spot (we did not!).

Here's a sampling of some of the photos I took:

We took time to notice details on buildings

Here we are shooting away!

We were able to go inside some buildings too

Spent a little time along the riverwalk

Milwaukee Public Market

Ornate buildings you hardly notice when driving or walking by


Hilton Garden Center

This is Milwaukee!

1 comment:

  1. Ha! I never even looked at my map before throwing it away! I, too, thought that it was more of an architectural/history tour than a photography tour. I suppose it gave me opportunity to take pictures, but I probably could have gotten better pictures had I had the time and space to do so on my own.