Each year, well-known photographer Scott Kelby organizes a worldwide photo walk. It’s the sixth year this event has been held and it has grown each year. Though I’ve known about it for a few years, last year was my first official walk. I traveled to Schenectady to hit a smaller event and it was quite a bit of fun.
This year, I chose to head to Binghamton, where a walk was being held at the Ross Park Zoo.
What is the photo walk, you may want to know? Basically, people organize photo walks around the world and register them on the site. Other photographers can search and join a walk. The groups meet at the time and spot chosen by the walk leader and then head out to take photos. When done, some will go have a bite to eat and talk some photography.
The site explains the walk as this:
It’s a social photography event where photographers get together (usually in a downtown area or trendy section of town) to walk around, shoot photos, and generally have fun with other photographers.
From there, each photographer can (if they choose) upload a photo to their walk page. The leader chooses a winning photo, which is entered into the worldwide contest. The winner of that walks away with an amazing prize pack, as do some finalists.
Each of the two events I’ve gone to have been smaller, so a little more loose. I’m not sure if I’d want to go to one of the events where it’s filled (50 people) as I think that could get crazy. But who knows, maybe it would be kind of cool.
Anyway, I had never been to Ross Park Zoo, so this was exciting. The zoo is small, but has quite a few cool things.
Especially on this day.
See, three months ago, a red panda was born in the zoo. This was going to be the first day it went outside with its mother. How cool is that?
The walk was scheduled to be about two hours long and we went about 2 1/2. It was a beautiful day out, which made it even better. Ross Park Zoo is not only loaded with many animals, but some great nature and good fall color, too.
As noted, our group was smaller. We had 11, but honestly, I only saw 6-7 of them on a consistent basis. We all walked the same way, but people went their own ways, stopped, took photos and such. After, people are invited to meet and eat and chat. Six of us ended up going to a local place for a solid meal.
This photo walk really is fun and it’s worth experiencing. I said when I did my first one that I wanted to try and go somewhere new each year and I hope to continue that trend next year. The idea is to see how different leaders do things and see different places, which is always nice.
It’s amazing, too, to see all of the photos and posts tagged on different social medias. The range of photographers and their styles and experience is excellent.
For example, the walk I was on had different people — from iPhone photographers to point-and-shoots to high-level DSLRs, there was a wide range. That’s the best part of this — there’s no experience needed. Just come, socialize and take photos.
And it doesn’t get much better than that.
I look forward to next year and really enjoyed this year. Make sure, if you are a photographer, you keep an eye on this so you can possibly join up next year!
Below are a few more of the images I took. To see them all, check out the set I posted on Flickr.
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