Hennepin Reflections Minneapolis Photography

Hennepin Reflections - Minneapolis Skyline Art | William Drew

The photo you see above is the most challenging photo I have ever taken. And in saying that, I do not mean the technical aspects of taking the photo, I am talking about the physical challenge of getting that shot. 

I waited for a calm summer evening in Minneapolis before going out to photograph this scene knowing that the calm evening would allow the Mississippi River to become very reflective. I then went down to Nicollet Island and DeLaSalle High School, which is right by where I found this view.

I then headed over to the riverbank of the Mississippi River and began looking for a place to photograph that reflective Mississippi River, the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, and the Minneapolis skyline. My original idea was to get right down next to the river but as I was exploring the area, I quickly found that I would have to abandon that idea. The riverbank in the area is quite steep. It was also a bit wet from a recent rain so it was also a bit slick. I saw some areas where I thought I could make it down to the river, but the challenge would then have been getting back up the river bank. 

I eventually found a spot where there was a break in the trees that gave me the clear view of the scene that you see in the photo. The only problem is it meant I'd have to find a way to stable myself while taking the photo on that steep river bank. 

I ended up sitting on the ground, with my feet bracing myself against a couple of tree trunks to keep me from sliding down the riverbank. I then set up my tripod, in a way that I have never used before and haven't used since. I had the front two legs of the tripod fully extended to its longest size, and the rear leg of the tripod at its shortest. This was the only way I could keep the tripod level on that steep slope. 

I then set up the camera and while getting the camera properly aimed and the right setting set up, I made sure to always keep one hand on the tripod to keep it from potentially sliding and tumbling down the slope into the river. 

As you can see, the shot turned out amazing. if I had made it down to the edge of the river, I would have missed out on the trees framing the shot as they did, so even though I struggled keeping myself and my camera steady on that steap slope, it was worth it as I got a better photo where I was. 

After I captured the photo, I also had to keep myself steady while I packed up the camera and tripod and tried to get back up to the top of the slope without sliding backwards down that slope. 

I hope you enjoy the photo as much as I enjoyed taking it.

You can look at the print options for Hennepin Reflections here.