Nature Photography: See Metro Detroit Through a New Lens

By: Aaron B. Cohen | June 14, 2021

There is no better time of year to hone in on your outdoor photography skills. Whether you’re a seasoned photography pro with an expansive arsenal of gear or a smartphone novice, Metro Detroit provides ample opportunity to capture nature at its best. Here are a few prime locations to consider shooting this summer.

Belle Isle

There is no better place to witness the contrast between skyline views and the natural world than Belle Isle. Focusing in on the incredible wildlife, one would never suspect that downtown Detroit lies just beyond the close-up frame containing all sorts of plant and animal life. For spectacular animal close-ups, try the Belle Isle Aquarium. For plant life, head to the botanical garden.

Detroit Zoo

While you may never get the opportunity to witness lions, penguins and gorillas in their natural habitat, the Detroit Zoo offers the chance to experience them up close and personal. The renovated penguin exhibit is one of the world’s premier viewing locations and the butterfly house is Metro Detroit’s own little tropical paradise. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch one of the roaming peacocks showing off their immaculate plumage on the Zoo’s main walking path. Every exhibit showcases exotic animal life, providing perfect nature photography opportunities at this Metro Detroit Zoo.

Whether you're going out on a fishing trip, discovering new hiking spots, or or heading out for a weekend of camping, the All-New Trailblazer is an ideal companion for your active lifestyle.

Kensington Metropark

Located in Milford, Kensington Metropark offers a local outlet for all sorts of outdoor recreation, including photography. While the kids are off playing disc golf, take a moment to yourself as you capture the sun’s reflection over Kent Lake. With miles of paved trail, you’ll never run out of inspiration for your next photo.

Rouge Park

Rouge Park — Detroit’s largest park — is perfect for days that combine your creative passion with your love for the city. Along with trails, horse stables and a butterfly garden, you will find D-Town farms, a seven-acre organic farm growing 30+ varieties of fruits and vegetables.

Palmer Park

Along Woodward Avenue in Detroit’s northernmost neighborhood, Palmer Park presents a unique opportunity to photograph one animal species in a new way. Every year, the pond at Palmer Park holds host to a massive population of Canada geese. If you go at the right time, you will witness hundreds of birds raising their young and feeding along the water. Be sure not to get too close! The birds are highly aggressive, especially when protecting their young. As long as you respect the animal’s turf, the location provides a chance to focus on individual birds or the massive flock as a whole.