I love parking garages. They are one of my favorite places to shoot. I've been to the top of most of the garages we have in Portland, and here's why:
- They are almost always publicly accessible (and free, if you are not a car).
- They provide a very unique viewpoint. You can shoot an awesome cityscape with fewer buildings in your way, or use the high vantage point to shoot down on the streets below.
- Sometimes they have cool graffiti on them, like the one in the image above. The whole barrier around the top of this particular garage had little messages written on it, here and there.
- They have a lot of stairs. Yay, exercise! Sometimes you're really sucking wind once you get to the top, but the view is definitely worth it.
- There are very few people up there. People use parking garages primarily to store their vehicles (duh). So that means that there's almost never any people up there that you have to work around, as a photographer. Cars don't move, so they are easy to deal with. Seagulls, on the other hand... That's not white paint all over the top level of the garage. Just be sure to keep your mouth closed if you decide to look up at the birds.
So next time you're strolling around Portland, I suggest you hoof it (or take the elevator, I guess) up to the top of one of the many parking garages and enjoy the view!