Duluth's Canal Park


What was once a junkyard, Canal Park is now been cleaned up and serves as the heart of Duluth's tourism industry. Between photographs of the sun rises over the North Pier Lighthouse, and photographs of the Aerial Lift Bridge, it is probably also the most photographed location in Duluth.

In my younger years I have looked at the area with kind of a lukewarm enthusiasm. One one hand, it was the only place in town to go that had a reliable density of people to kind of sort of simulate what the street photographers in majors cities get to use as their subject. But on the other hand, it was mostly just a bunch of boring, easy target tourists! Thus, I'd occasionally go to the park and photograph, if mostly just as a safe zone to hone my techniques with a new piece of gear. Not really for any serious street photography.

As time went on I wisened up. Street Photography in Duluth is probably never going to look like classical street photography. Well, maybe it can if I were to time travel back to the 1960s, but that odds of that happening seems slim. But what it does look like, at least when dealing with Canal Park, is a strange amalgam of all the people's of the world, a lot of water, a giant metal structure that resembles an AT-AT walker from Star Wars, and ships the size of skyscrapers.

I guess all that makes for a unique shooting ground for street photography. Perhaps someday it will be a junkyard again and people looking at these photos will be surprised how things used to look.

Posts Tagged With Duluth's Canal Park

Raiding the Archives 10: Street Photography in Canal Park

Published December 8, 2016 in Archive Raiding

Black & White street photographs from a day of wandering around Canal Park in May 2008.


Rephotography in Duluth: Tom Arndt

Published December 18, 2010 in Photography Journal

The quest to rephotograph an image taken by Tom Arndt in 1974.