It’s that time of year again. We just had the sixth annual Worldwide Photowalk. Due to popular demand, we decided to have it at Boca Grande, Florida again. If you would like to see some of the photos from last years walk, check out this post: 2012 Worldwide Photowalk Photos – Boca Grande, Florida. The weather was touch and go during the week as we thought that Tropical Storm Karen might literally rain on our parade. However, as a sacrifice to the Photographer’s Gods, I offered up one of my RAW files and the weather was great. Granted it’s still in the 90’s here in Florida in October, but at least it didn’t rain. We had a great turnout; folks came from St. Petersburg, Florida to Ft. Myers, Florida to be part of the Boca Grande experience. There wasn’t any shortage of camera gear as people showed up. I have never seen so many lenses with red and gold rings in one place! I decided to travel light; I had my Nikon 18mm-200mm fitted on my Nikon D300. There is also another reason for this. Just because you own the kitchen sink doesn’t mean that you have to bring it with you all the time. This allows you to come up with creative solutions to any issues that may arise. This is a great way to keep on your toes.
On Flickr there is a companion group that has some of the photos from the other walkers, check it out here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/2013-worldwide-photowalk-boca-grande-florida/
As the start time came upon us, we covered the rules and got all of the questions answered. It was time for the group photo.
We had about 40 folks attend this year. Some were still trickling in after I took the photo. I walked around the park and talked with some of the folks. It was apparent that the sand fleas or whatever bug was out. We managed to get a few shots in between all of the swatting and creative language. It was somewhat clouded over so a few folks decided to drive into town. I parked the car where we were going to meet for dinner and started on my way.
This was a pretty cool sign that someone constructed. It has some of the old places that don’t exist anymore. Since it looked like a historical photo, I thought it should be in black and white.
As I was making my way across one of the merchant’s area, I came across this wooden model. It looked pretty rustic and had lots of character. I knew I was going to be in for a long night as I was on my knees to get this straight on. Since it was clouded over, we had nice even light to work with.
There was an inn that had a few old bikes parked out front. Something stopped me, as there had to be a photo in there somewhere. I decided to zoom in close on the bell and handlebar. It looked as if this bike and seen some miles and could tell some great stories. I used Nik’s Silver Efex Pro for my black and white conversions.
There is a central park that is located on the island. It’s a great place to take a book and read in serenity. I saw this waterfall that was actually part of a fountain. I wanted to make it look like a grand rapids since Florida is only six feet above sea level! This was going to require that I get on the ground. I set the camera on the ground and use my wallet and business card holder to prop up the lens to get the composition that I was looking for. I had my face in the ground and on the camera to make sure all was going according to plan. While I was down there, I realized that this grass smelled kind of funny. I didn’t think much of it. I set the camera’s self-timer and I had ISO 100, f/11 at 3 seconds programmed into the camera. I pressed the button and I was presented with the above photo. As I was gathering myself, it was then I found out why the grass was so strange. Two feet away from me there was a pet station, bags and wipes to clean up after your pet. So I think I had my face in an area that I would rather not think about!
In an alley way I saw this gas terminal with a rusted pad lock. I was feeling in an industrial mood so I got on my knees and braced myself against the opposite building. This had been here awhile and was distressed. This was calling to be a black and white photograph. I thought that the lock would look good off center and the round iron wheel created contrast in the shape of the lines.
I know some of you out there are bird folks so I wanted to grab this as I went by to get my bird quota in for the year. This was tricky. I wanted the saturation of the blue sky, however when I exposed for the sky the eagle went dark. This is where I employed my pop up flash. I set the flash to 1/8 power in manual mode and this filled in the eagle nicely. Flash, it’s the other white light…
Anymore when you call tech support, you get “Bob” or “Peggy” from India. I was shocked when I looked down to find a utility cover that said “India Water”. I guess the folks out in Boca Grande are drinking water from India. That must be some pipeline.
Again, I was feeling industrious and the rust that was starting to take over this gas main caught my attention. As I was composing the shot, there was a critter that was posing for me. I converted this into black and white to set off the detail in the rust.
It was really getting dark at this point, so I decided that I would head back to the restaurant. I passed this alleyway that someone had left the light on. It was the glow that caught my attention. This is one of those times that the meter in the camera lied to me. I wanted to capture the glow around the light and door, but keep the rest of the frame as dark as possible. I overrode the camera by two stops. You don’t have to stop taking photos just because the Sun went down, find some alternative light.
It was a successful Photowalk. This year I wanted something different as I have hundreds of photos of the historic lighthouse, birds, shells, docks and so on. I took the unconventional path and walked the alleyways. I was half expecting to run into the “guys in green” asking what I was doing since I looked pretty suspicious. There weren’t too many folks around so this made it really easy. If you have photographed a place before, or to death, take the unconventional road. Get dirty and stick your camera and nose where it has never been before, like contaminated grass, you’re sure to have an experience that you’ll never forget!
Until next time…
Keep Your Glass Clean