Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Photo Walk 2012

Now celebrating its 5th year, PhotoWalk is a day where people all over the world meet in groups to take pictures. Each person is invited to share their favorite picture of the day with their group. The group leader, in our case Alina Blianch of Alina B Studios in West Windsor, NJ, then selects the top photo from the group to participate in a larger contest.
I didn't know any of that when my friend, Sharon, invited me to participate with her. Our 1/5 to 2 mile walk through Mercer County Park included a dozen photographers, plus the coordinator. Ashley was one of the photographers as it was either join me or go with Don to a class at Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS). She wisely chose us, and had a great time. I still need to upload her pictures and have her tell me which one is her favorite from the day.

Before we headed out, one gentleman mentioned he sets his camera on aperture priority. Someone else was discussion ISO settings. Yet another person talked about improving their picture in PhotoShop later. 

Yup, even with my "big camera" (Panasonic FZ100) I was in over my head. I tend to shoot in the auto setting. My biggest debate is often flash vs. no flash. On this walk I learned how to change my ISO setting, and also learned that it was set to default at ISO 200. I'll have to play around with the higher settings for taking pictures in a dark theater at Ashley's next play.

I did try changing the ISO setting that day. Even though my photo software will tell me what settings I used, I really should take notes and compare each photo at home and learn what I like. 

Instead that afternoon I focused on taking several pictures of the same location, but with slightly different angles -- portrait vs. landscape, frame it with a tree branch or not, changing where the horizon appears, zoom in, zoom out, etc. 

Here are three pictures of basically the same spot. I like the middle one best.

I also took a lot of pictures with my macro setting -- something I do not tend to do very often. Of those pictures, my favorite one is of these berries. Sharon often posts pictures taken with her macro lens. After seeing how this picture turned out, I think I will start taking more pictures like this one.
I almost always only edit photographs through scrapbooking -- I mean using real scissors and not computer generated cropping tools. After hearing my fellow photographers rave about using photo editing tools, I decided to give it a try. It is a small step, but I felt with the old rusted tank adding a sepia tone would give it a timeless look and feel.

Some statistics from Alina:

There were 32,138 walkers registered worldwide who participated in this event today. There were 1339 walks taking place worldwide today. This was a social event for people who have a common interest to meet, make friends and have fun. 

I actually find it kind of incredible to think that we just took part in such a great event going on worldwide in places like India, Argentina, Italy, France, etc. It really amazes me to think how this was all planned and coordinated via social media. Really an incredible effort. 

Thank you, Alina, for coordinating a great event.

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