I've heard about photo walks before but I never knew of one in my city. By accident, I heard of the 5th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk organized by Scott Kelby taking place on October 13th. I found one taking place only minutes away from where I live. So, I went.
My reservations on going were many:
- I didn't know anyone going.
- I'm just a hobbyist photographer.
- I don't really know how to use my camera fully.
- I didn't know if I'd be with a group of people obsessed with their gadgetry and know-how, who expected me to be the same way. I'm not. I just like to take photos. I don't have a budget for a super high-end camera, several lenses, and I haven't taken classes.
I showed up despite my concerns. Yay for me and my shyness. Within minutes of starting our walk, I was encouraged by the walk leader to not use my display screen. I guess my obvious "chimping" was offensive to her. Chimping is when you look at your display after you take a photo. I personally do not care if people want to look at their photos as they take them. I can think of several things in this world I do have issues with and "chimping" is definitely not one of them. However, I did completely appreciate her tip on how to focus the viewfinder of my camera so that I could actually see out of it with my glasses. Brilliant, I had no idea I could do that. I would actually use my viewfinder more (mostly to save on battery life) but I hadn't been able to see out of it clearly. So, that little nugget of wisdom made the whole walk worthwhile for me. I kept my display off the whole walk. I figured I'd might well as embrace trying things differently and challenging myself. Plus, if I'm totally honest, I didn't feel like being judged. By the end of the walk, I was shooting everything in manual mode. It was a good feeling to know that I was figuring things out.
What I didn't enjoy were comments I overheard. To each his own, I suppose. I need thicker skin, I know. The one comment I heard was a criticism of Instagram. The people talking couldn't understand why people put their bad photos on Instagram and then think they're great. They didn't know why people would bother. I kept my thoughts to myself and if I had been bolder, maybe I should have shared my thoughts.
I am a big fan of Instagram. It really hadn't entered my thoughts that people would be offended by the quality of people's photos.
What I should have told those ladies: I take photos to communicate. I take them to show my perspective on the world; my interests; my daily life; what makes me happy. I would love if every photo was perfect. That would be great. My goal as photographer is to document my life. To show what is meaningful to me. It is a visual reference of the content of my life. I want to share that with friends, and even with strangers. To me, photography is about sharing and communicating. I don't photograph to be judged and I don't go on Instagram to critique. I enjoy the aesthetics of a good photo but that is always a bonus. I encourage anyone who wants to share a bit of their lives in a creative way. I think it is kind of sad that people put so much energy into dismissing the creative works of others, or making rules about procedure and technique. I say, do what makes you happy and enjoy the process.
So, would I go on a photo walk again? Maybe not. I did meet a couple people who were nice. One woman I hope to run into again. I think I'd rather do more photo walks with my husband and kids as they get older. Or a photo walk with scrapbookers. That'd be good too.
I didn't take many photos that I liked. Here are some of what I took:
|Tale of Two Ducks|
|Watson's Mill. I have no idea what I did to my camera settings.|
|Canadian Geese, eh?|
|Inukshuk on Main St.|
Have you been on a photo walk and blogged about it? Share a link to your blog so I can see!