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« Birmingham Isn't Snobby, It's My Hometown | Main | People Watching at The Ann Arbor Art Fair »

The Photo Walk & How I Did It Wrong

On Saturday, I participated in Scott Kelby’s Second Annual Worldwide Photo Walk in Rochester, Michigan. What the heck is that, you ask? Well, a photo walk is supposed to be a social photography get together where people walk around a specific locale, take pictures, and talk about photography. This one is different because it’s happening in 900 cities around the world on the same day. At last count, over 30,000 people signed up for this photo walk. Oh, and this one has prizes!

Hood ornament on old fire truck.If you read last weeks Weekend Roundup, you could probably tell that I was apprehensive about going. I mean, I only have a Nikon point and shoot, not a fancy DSLR. So I felt a bit inadequate from the beginning. And there’s going to be people! People who want to talk about photography. I have always had an interest in photography but I’ve never had a fancy camera or taken a class.

Truth be told, I was trying to find any way to get out of this event. Or, if I couldn’t get out of it, maybe take someone with me to hold my hand. But I made a commitment. So off I went.

Or, I should say off we went. It was never my intention for my husband to come along. It just kind of happened that way. He doesn’t care about photography; he wasn’t going to enjoy himself. We drove out to Rochester and he was going to amuse himself somehow, somewhere else for the 2+ hours.

Our photo walk leader, Tim White, was giving us the low down, including not to play in traffic, and said we weren’t going to stick together. Tim was great and one of the few people I got a chance to talk to. And that’s how it happened, if the group wasn’t going to stick together, I said to my husband, does he want to walk around with me? He was fine with that.

The plan was for everyone to take pictures at the fire station first and then we would split up. Eventually we would all meet in the park and then go to the Rochester Mills Beer Company for drinks and dinner.

The husband and I had a good time walking around downtown Rochester; he was even in some shots I took. Then the rain started. To make a long story short, we never made it to the park or the brewery.

I did it wrong.

This was, as I said at the beginning, supposed to be a social gathering, a chance to meet other people and perhaps learn from them. I ventured out of my comfort zone enough to go but I could have gotten a lot more out of this. And it wasn’t my husband’s fault. I blame the rain.

I will go on other photo walks in the future. And when that happens, I’ll do it right, I’ll be social.

If you're interested in seeing some of the photo's taken by other participants check out this Flickr group. I'm still editing my pictures but I'll post some soon. The pictures in this post are a few of my pictures from the day and they haven't been edited yet. They aren't my favorites.

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Reader Comments (15)

I was on the photowalk as well. I LOVE your rainbow shot. Incredible. Can't wait to see what you upload to the group.

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

You find the most interesting things! If I had a date some of these things would be fun!

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Favreau

As I see it, you did it right!
* You got out of your comfort zone
* You met a few people
* You took some cool pictures
* You wrote about your experience

Next time, you'll do even MORE things right!

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTJ

Damn Girl! Not a bad photo in the bunch. I am impressed. All five shots here are really good.

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim

In Denver we had a couple of people with point-and-shoot cameras. I don't see anything wrong with that. It's the photographer that makes the picture, not the equipment. :) Your photos are great!

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff S.

Thanks for all the great comments!

Dominque, I wish I would have met you on the walk. One disclaimer, the rainbow shot was the only one I have played with in Lightroom. I just downloaded the program and don't really know what I'm doing. I have 5 days to figure it out, right?

Jamie, You don't need a date to do these things! I found out about it on twitter and was planning on going alone. Anyway, you were at Kid Rock that night!

Todd, you're right. I'll do more things "right" the next time!

Tim, Thanks! I'm working on it.

Jeff, There were 2 or 3 others on my walk with point-and-shoots, that made me feel better. And as an added bonus I didn't have as much to carry around!

July 20, 2009 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

Hey Becks from Rochester, MI. I think you did a great job. You got out of your comfort zone and that's great. Believe me when I tell you that the first time I went to a group shoot I felt very uncomfortable. Well it must have been raining in every Rochester that day, because it rained in Rochester, NY too (where I'm from).

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTerri P

Hi Beck!

I don't believe anyone can do the photowalk wrong. I felt the same way at last years photowalk, but I did it and had a blast. You have some great shots here and should be proud of your work! I love the rainbow pic!

See you at next years!

July 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

Looks like you did just fine to me! You have a good eye, and that is the best start. I've taken great photos with my point-and-shoot and crap photos with my good DSLR...take enough photos, though, and you'll end up with plenty of great shots--no matter what kind of camera you have.

I remember taking some photos for one of the newspapers I wrote for with one of the first mass consumer type digital cameras (one that used a 3 1/2 inch floppy instead of a memory card). It was pretty slow and the photos were pretty low-res, but it worked all right for some Web photos and for some photos printed on the crappy newsprint. I used my own camera...and the paper owned pretty much the same camera, just a slightly newer model of it. One day, one of the other reporters bemoaned how the paper had such a crap camera and told me "your camera takes much better pictures".
The moral being it's the photographer, not the camera. Learn how to work with your equipment, learn to work with its limitations, practice a lot and you can get all sorts of great shots.

Thank you. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who would find the situation uncomfortable the first time around. Sorry you had rain in Rochester, NY. We had sun, rain, and rainbows. Crazy Michigan weather!

It was nice to meet you at the photo walk and I'm glad you had a good time. I'll be at next years but I'm sure I'll see you before then. I believe we were actually at the same tweetea but never met (at Vitners cellar).

Dominique (and just to clarify, from Midwest Guest since there is another Dominique),
I remember those old digital camera's with the floppy, my parents had one. I was still shooting on film until 2005. You reminded me that I have some great pictures from a film point-and-shoot.

July 21, 2009 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

I think you did great! I love your shots, especially the rainbow. As someone said above, the photographer makes the picture, not the camera!

I wish I had known about the photo walk, it would have been such great fun!

July 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteroh, rebecca

Thanks Rebecca! I'm going to keep my eye out for future photo walks, I don't want to wait till next year.

July 23, 2009 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

I have to agree with everyone else here, you did it right! :D There is nothing wrong with a point & shoot. Heck, we've had people show up with disposables!

It's just about getting out there and having fun, and judging by the wonderful photos here that's exactly what you did.
Thanks for joining us! =)

July 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNAPP_News

Just wanted to post an update. Since last years Worldwide Photowalk, I purchased a dSLR and co-founded Photowalks Detroit.

July 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

The pictures look great. I love the detail in the wood and rusty nails photo. Also, cool idea about the Photo Walk. It seems like one of those ideas that you think of while sitting around conversing but never actually act on - kudos for acting on it! Looking forward to this year's pictures.

July 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan Fuoco

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