A photo walk

One if my favorite pastimes is going on a photo walk.  Alone or in a group, photo walks offer a great opportunity to enjoy what’s there, to notice and to document. A good photo walk has no goal, no agenda, no ambition at artistic achievement. To take the best advantage of a photo walk, pack light: one camera, one lens, no tripod (just a cell phone is fine); mix beginners with pros, old with young, men and women; and do not take family members who complain about your obsession with photography. The best photo outings end in a café, restaurant or a bar, excellent places for more photography, reviewing each other’s photographs on the camera’s LCD and talking about the day’s achievements. 

I used to go on lots of photo walks in a seemingly distant past, often with local meetup groups. I learned a lot from others, got to know new locations and made a few friends.  Since the pandemics hit, however, photo peeps tend to  see each other as vectors of a potentially deadly disease. Consequently, group photo outings are few and far in-between. And when group outings happen, trying to follow CDC guidelines completely ruins them for me.

The other Saturday I woke up in a mood for a photo walk and set out alone, COVID-19 style. It had rained overnight, and the air was crisp, spring fresh. I walked along a riparian preserve located not far from my home. Although the place is not very photogenic and is heavily trafficked, I always find opportunities for snapshots.  Above is what I found that day. The composition is simple, centered, and the simplicity of color is highlighted also in the square format of the frame.

Published by Alessandra Chaves

I am an entomologist by trade living in California, USA. I grew up in the awesome city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photography is my hobby.

7 thoughts on “A photo walk

  1. I love photo walks as well, though they are usually just in my neighborhood and by myself. Good advice about not taking non photographer family members. I go out to local parks with a group on the weekends, or did before Covid. I love the graffiti shots!

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    1. Howard, it’s almost time for Longwood Gardens. I used to go every mothers day with my son when I lived back East. I do not have something equivalent here for a similar distance! I think the closest is about 6 hours away in Southern California.

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  2. What made you choose a square frame? Some of the photograph look like they’ve had a painterly effect applied to them. Most non-photographers don’t have the patience to accompany a dedicated photographer.

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    1. Your are correct. A square format seemed appropriate since I centered everything in the frame and I wanted all pictures to look the same size in the gallery. The painterly effect is from Topaz Labs. I was after a “primitivist” look for the whole collection, simple, vibrant colors, photo walks for me being more about the experience of doing it than about the photography resulting from it. Yes my family now has ganged up against me taking a camera on walks.

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  3. Yes, photo walks (or just walks with the camera somewhere in the backpack) are great on so many levels.
    Had a good chuckle on the “what the heck” part.
    Well done.

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