Wednesday, October 5, 2011

World Wide Photo Walk 2011

wwpw2011_86This is the first year that I participated in Scott Kelby's World Wide Photo Walk. If you have never heard of this event, hit the link above to check out the official page, but in a nutshell: groups of up to 50 photographers get together in a town and walk around for 2 hours taking pictures of whatever they find interesting. Scott makes it even more interesting by offering prizes to the best photos.

Regardless of the prize, it's always a great time to spend a few hours with fellow photographers shooting whatever you see. The big surprise, for me at least, was that it's really not that simple of a thing to do. It sounds simple enough, but when you actually get out there, it's like P90X for your creativity. Don't get me wrong though, it was a great time and a much needed kick-start to that dusty area of my brain which houses the creative juices.

Keep reading for the fruits of my labor...

wwpw2011_4I brought along to the photo walk my charming step daughter Sarah, who I'm secretly molding into an avid Nikon shooter. For now we are simply "Nikon buddies", but pretty soon she will be hooked and unable to put that camera down without the help of some strong prescription medicine.

We got to downtown West Palm Beach, where the walk was to take place just late enough to miss the group picture! That's unfortunate, but when your 8 month old runs out of diapers, you need to take care of that first!

Sarah was my walk buddy for the 2 hours so we went off looking for cool stuff to fill our memory cards with.

Right were we started was Sloan's ice cream shop. The early light really making the colors pop. This area of west palm is full of clubs and restaurants. Lot's of great stores to shoot.

wwpw2011_6Another local favorite is this little pizza place. Although I have never had their pizza, people rave about it. I really need to get to downtown more often to try all these great places out.

Fortunately for us, on the same day as the photo walk, there was a "Walk for the cure" event going on downtown. That provided us with lots more opportunities for interesting photography. We headed to where the action was near the water - this is the Florida coast after all. Even without an interesting event going on, this area is a gorgeous location. And it has been recently renovated making it even more attractive. On our way down to the water, some interesting shadow play caught my eye (you gotta love morning light). A lone character on the swings made this shot irresistible.

Down by the water, great reflections of Downtown buildings.


Continuing on to the many docks along Flagler Dr. some interesting lighting fixtures became my target.

wwpw2011_28After a while walking around you start to get used to looking for things that would make a good photograph. It's amazing how much stuff you miss just because you are not looking for it. It's easy to see why so many great photographers come from a photojournalism or street photography background. I can see how doing this on a regular basis would develop your eye and stimulate your creativity. I will definitely be doing more of these walks even when Scott Kelby is not offering any prizes!

Just like anything else - the more you practice, the better you get at it. So let's move on...

More of the beautiful Flagler Dr.


Moving back inland, Sarah and I explored some alleys which are always interesting locations in any city


Sara had some fun posing for some action shots.

wwpw2011_93After playing in the alleyways of West Palm Beach, we headed back into the main street. As we walked past all the shops, we came across this jewelry store and when I saw Sarah's reflection in the window, I had to try this shot. She was already getting low on enthusiasm by this point, but was still a good sport in helping me out with this. She felt a little better about it after seeing the final results - and Sarah, thanks for  your patience while we tried several takes of this until we got a decent shot.

After the jewelry store we continued up and down the street. The light was still working for us even though it was now approaching 11:00am (we started at 9:00am)


The shot below was a quick grab as I saw the shadow playing with the foliage and the brick. Some really great color. I only wish I had moved the sign out of the way for the shot! Lesson learned.

When the 2 hours were up, we all met up at a restaurant for a quick bite and to share our pictures and experiences. It was a great morning, and definitely something I would like to do more often.

You can see more images on my flickr page here.

Thanks to Sarah for keeping me company and being supportive of my shot ideas even when they involved her!

Thanks to George Zocchi for organizing the West Palm Beach walk.

George, our fearless leader.