A few days in Grand Rapids, Michigan

A few days in Grand Rapids, Michigan

In July, I decided to visit my friend Bryan Esler in Grand Rapids, MI, a 6-hour drive from Toronto. I’m used to visiting bigger cities, but with Bryan as my guide, we shot in some great spots and I had a blast.

Our first stop was the Grand Rapids Art Museum, a really interesting building by wHY Architecture. I would definitely love to come back and shoot it at other times of the day.

Grand Rapids Art Museum - Grand Rapids, MI


Grand Rapids Art Museum - Grand Rapids, MI

The Opening

We stopped by Calder’s sculpture, “La Grande Vitesse”.

Calder Plaza - Grand Rapids, MI

La Grande Vitesse

The advantage of shooting with a local photographer is that they bring you to places you wouldn’t have found. I’m so glad Bryan showed me the lobby of the Amway Grand Plaza hotel:

Amway Grand Plaza - Grand Rapids, MI

Amway Grand Plaza Interior (1)

Amway Grand Plaza - Grand Rapids, MI

Amway Grand Plaza Interior (2)

He also had set up shoots on two rooftops that I could not have accessed by myself, which was awesome. We did sunset/blue hour at the first one, where we spent forever trying to get the right car trails.

Monroe Avenue - Grand Rapids, MI

Evening Traffic

The second one was more in the center of Grand Rapids, with two great vantage points (see image at the top of the post too).

Monument Park - Grand Rapids, MI

A Night In Grand Rapids

You can’t shoot Grand Rapids and not shoot the Blue Bridge. We shot it during the day and at night, of course.

Blue Bridge - Grand Rapids, MI

A Blue Kind Of Day

Blue Bridge - Grand Rapids, MI

Blue Night

On my last day, we made a quick trip to Rockford, a nearby town. We shot long exposures over the Rogue River. FYI, this is a 15-minute exposure. Clouds were moving slowly, so it was the only way to get some motion in them. It did have some downsides, including hot pixels.

Rogue River - Rockford, MI

A Time In Rockford

I had a great time in Grand Rapids, thanks to Bryan. He’s an awesome guy, so check him out on social media!


  • angiemcmonigal November 18, 2016 3:54 pm

    Great images! Didn’t realize there’d be much to shoot in Grand Rapids. Really love the image titled “The Opening”. I’m sure you’re shocked 😉 The Amway reminds a tiny bit of The Palmer House here…have you shot inside there yet? If not, you really should. It’s so beautiful.

    • Michael Muraz November 20, 2016 10:40 pm

      Thanks Angie. I had a great time, mostly thanks to Bryan. Wouldn’t have been to several locations with him. I’ll check out the Palmer House next time I’m in Chicago

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