Tuesday, April 02, 2013

One year of photowalking

The morning of Saturday 31st of March 2012 was cold and rainy, I dragged myself out of bed at what felt like the middle of the night in order to get into the city for 6am.
This was the the first Google+ +Melbourne Photowalk, and also my very first photowalk. This one was organised on Google+ with support from +Google Australia (thanks for the breakfast guys) to promote the new(ish) social network.
What followed was a slow walk through alleyways towards Bourke St. for breakfast, then more walking up towards Vic Market and Flagstaff Gardens, and back down. I didn't quite make it to the end, not yet realising that the published times should not even be seen more as guidelines, but actually ignored altogether with the assumption that the walk will most likely continue well into the night.

This was the first of many walks, we had a night time light painting walk, we rewalked the original route shortly after, and later went off in a whole new direction to do the eastern part of the CBD. We have been to Geelong, encountered Zombies, and back to the Melbourne CBD more times than I can recall without looking it up. We set the record for the most people at a photowalk when +Trey Ratcliff joined us in January. +Nicole S. Young and +Brian Matiash (the new community manager for Google+ photos, congrats again mate) joined us in March as part of their tour of Australia. A small group even had a trip to New Zealand.

People learn from one another at these walks, the general level of skill across the entire group has risen over the year because of this.
They give photographers a chance to do what they love, without annoying the non-photographers. Being a group of photographers it is quite acceptable for us to take 45 minutes to walk down a 100m laneway, more so than with 'normal' people who are in a hurry to be somewhere.
Most importantly, they are a social event. At the Trey Ratcliff walk there were so many photographers around that it was actually very difficult to talk pictures of anything apart from other photographers.

One year after the original walk, on the 23rd of March 2013 we held the anniversary walk, in Collingwood, dubbed #CollingWalk, this time at a more reasonable hour. The core group of regulars (of which I am happy to be counted), now friends, hit the streets of Collingwood and some fantastic work was produced.

If you like photography, and are in the Melbourne area, do come along to one, it doesn't matter what your level of skill is, or what device you use to take pictures, we have all sorts, from camera phones to DSLRs, even some film users (myself included occasionally), and skill levels from newbie to professional. Sometimes some people (I'm looking at you +Trace McLean) forget to take any pictures at all and come along simply for the social aspect.

In addition to the +Melbourne Photowalk Google+ page, we also have a Google+ community and hold regular events.

Hope to see you there.
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