Dust Off Your Camera!
Ok, you got a camera for a present, your birthday or for that trip you took. Or – perhaps you were enticed to buy one from that great ad you saw but it spends most of the time in the case or even its original box. Maybe you haven’t read all the instructions – that is OK. With the newer cameras, you can use “automatic” settings until you get familiar with all the great things the camera can do. You have to start somewhere. Consider “automatic” as dipping your toe in the water. The rest will come with practice.
Why not try something new? Have you ever done a Photo Walk? These are great for photographers of all levels – newbie to pro. It is a good chance to explore your own neighborhood and see things you didn’t even know were there. You can do this by yourself or with a small group of friends.
Requirements: a camera, comfortable shoes, water, sunscreen and an adventurous spirit. Allow about two hours time for your leisurely walk. You can conclude with a lunch or dinner at a local restaurant if you would like.
The two best start times for a Photo Walk are – about 9 to 10 am or a couple of hours before sunset. These are the times of day that we find the best natural light. Yes, you can use flash, if needed, but nothing beats natural light.
Let me take you on a Photo Walk that I led some time ago. We started out at Sarasota Bay Front near the “Surrender” statue, walked to Main Street. We did a short loop around the lower blocks off Main and returned to the bay front, shooting scenes at Bay Front Park, concluding with lunch at O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and enjoyed discussing our photo captures.
After leaving the statue, the sidewalk is lined with Mangroves along the edge of the water. You can either walk on the sidewalk or along the dock that houses the fishing charter boats. The Mangroves will be between them. If you are quiet and it is the right time of day, you may see some of the residents of the Mangroves. All sorts of birds nest in the security of the brush. This was my first experience with the green heron. I got some great pictures of some adolescent birds, a young chick and even a male in full breeding plumage. When I saw the youngsters I had to ask one of the fishing boat captains what they were. To see larger version of pictures – click on them.
When we got to Main Street, we crossed 41 and wandered past some the scenic outdoor restaurants, unique stores and explored a few side streets. When you take lots of pictures of your surroundings, it is sometimes a surprise when you go back & look at them later and see how unique some of them are.
I took a picture of a couple of really neat motorcycles outside one of the sidewalk restaurants. I stopped to talk to the guys at the nearby table, commenting on what great bikes they were. I met the owner & found out the two bikes were custom made models. I asked if I could take his picture also. He was very accommodating and friendly. I didn’t know until later that he is a local celebrity, Brian Johnson – lead singer of AC / DC. Life is full of surprises.
After our tour of Downtown, we wandered to Bay Front Park. This is a beautiful place for photography. I could actually spend a whole day here and not run out of subjects to photograph. What a mixture of boats, trees, flowers, people, dogs, children, playground, water fountains & scenic views. I may just have to take a chair and do that one of these days. Just think, Bay Front Park from sunrise to sunset. Wow!
The abundance of subjects from just that one Photo Walk would take too long to describe but the pictures I’m posting will give you an idea what you can do if you just dust off the camera and go have some fun. Let me know if you do – I’d love to see some of your pictures.
Mo Ogilvie Sign up for our Photography BLOG
Mo2vated Media Photography Mission: “capturing the essence”