Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Worldwide Photowalk - Oldtown Frederick, MD

Frederick is known for its many church steeples.

This past Saturday I participated in the Worldwide Photowalk. I had never done anything like this before, organized, or on my own. The closest I have come is bring my camera to car races and worked seriously on making pictures at them. Sure I have carried my camera slung over my neck with me to things like carnivals, or other walk-about events, but I didn't bring it to make "serious" pictures. I guess that shouldn't matter, none of my pictures are too serious anyway.

The first thing I thought about was, what to bring? Since the purpose was for the picturing I felt a 3 lens setup (wide angle, normal, and telephoto) was ideal. However, I didn't have a bag that I could "work out of". I had a backpack. I learned quickly at the car races that a backpack is a pain in the butt in these circumstances. For other "walk-about" things I only carried the camera and a lens anyway, no bag, and of course, no other lenses to use. For the other stuff I do, I generally stay "planted" long enough that my backpack just lays on the ground, open, allowing me easy access to my stuff. I felt I really needed a bag for this. It pained me to do, but I bought a shoulder bag by Thinktank to take, and it worked out well. I picked up the Urban 35. It will see good use in the future too.

When I got there I walked out of the car garage and saw a couple who were participating in the event. Both of them were both just bringing cameras. For a brief moment I thought about going to my car and leaving everything but my camera. I panicked. I didn't want to be "That Guy" with more gear than sense. But, no, I knew downtown Frederick pretty well, and had ideas for each lens I brought. It turns out I didn't need to worry, I was about average in terms of what I carried.

Here are some of the pictures from the day. I am still working on some HDR images, one of which is my favorite. I will use it to represent my work.

These that I have posted haven't even been through my normal processing. This is straight out of the converter (tweaked in there some though).

These first few are what I call "found images". These are things that caught my eye and I looked at them through the camera until a composition clicked with me. It maybe interesting to point out I don't consciously follow any rules of composition when doing this. I just keep looking until I like it, and I have excluded everything from the frame I don't want (if possible). I only mention this because I see a lot of people become slaves to the "rule of thirds" and other guides. Use them if you need them, but learn to trust what you like in the viewfinder too!

This pipe is under the bridge at the walk's starting point. I like the curves.

This caught my eye. It was probably the red.

This didn't turn out how I had planned. I either needed a longer lens, or gotten closer.

I think all the squared shapes here caught my eye. Plus the blue in a sea of red is kinda nice.

This fish-thing is so ugly, its awesome.

How often do you see a sink-cabinet outside? I also liked the grid shadow. It was a pain to keep my own shadow out of this one.

The next few are images that I saw the potential before I put the camera to my eye. In the case of the chairs I chose one of my experiments and not the picture in my minds eye, but that doesn't change the category that I want it in!

I explored these chairs for a while, and made a number of exposures. I altered the depth of field, focal point, and how much the grate I was shooting through obscured the subjects. This one felt the best.

I initially set out on the day with a project to photograph doors. This was one of the few I made. I find it is good to have some goal in mind, even if I let it slip aside.

I like the eagle against the black, especially with the sun rimming the edges nicely.

I was attracted to the rhythm and texture of these shingles. Its kind of a boring picture, but is an indication of the things that strike me as noteworthy when I am looking at things. I guess, it still strikes me as interesting now. I just feel everyone else will think its boring!

I tried a number of ways to organize these shapes. This seems the best out of them, although its not exactly what I wanted.

I was trying to light up this lamp with the sun. Fail. But not completely so I decided to show it.

I knew from living in Frederick that downtown had a few paintings on the walls. I didn't go visit the mural, but I did pick up some shots of these paintings. The figure on the wall is pretty famous, and I have said I was going to get a picture of it for years.

This is two views of the angel painting. Yes, those shutters are painted on the wall. They also look real in person.

This also looks very real in person.

I think anyone who has been to Frederick and has seen this will remember it. I feel glad I finally have that picture I was going to make "one of these days."

This final picture I prepared for. I heard the sirens coming. For a brief terrifying moment I thought I was going to get a picture of a firetruck running over a fellow photographer, but fortunately that person got out of the road. Please keep this in mind, cameras are NOT shields! That almost warrants repeating. I stayed on the sidewalk for this one.


I know this is quite a few pictures. As always, you can see these larger if you click on them.

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