Greig Houghton Photography
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Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

Scott Kelby Worldwide PhotoWalk

Firstly I better explain what a photo walk is.  A photo walk  is a photography event where photographers get together to walk around, shoot photos, and generally have fun with other photographers.  This provides the opportunity to try and get some great photos but is mainly a social event where it is a chance to meet new and interesting people.  I have been on one or two of these in different guises in the last few years but the one held on Saturday is slightly different. The Scott Kelby Worldwide PhotoWalk is in it's 5th year and as the name suggests is a worldwide event.  Held on one day through the year, the photowalks are held in cities throughout the world and nearly cover every continent on the planet.  I signed up for the Dublin event which would feature a walk throughout the city of Dublin from O'Connell Street to St Stephen's Green.

A cold, but bright start to the morning commenced at the train station and I couldn't help but grab a few shots while I was waiting on the train.

 
 

The walk itself consisted of a group of around 15 people, but we soon split up into smaller groups as we headed off down O'Connell Street.  It took me a good 15 minutes to get going and get my eye back into street photography.  I didn't fire off many frames and was struggling for inspiration. It was only after walking through the Temple Bar area that I started ticking off the lists of ideas I had generated in my head on the way in on the train.  Shadows, shapes, people, colour, broken repetitive patterns.  Not one I had managed to capture so far.

It was only in Temple Bar, that I came across this blue wall and knew it had some potential.  All I had to do was to be patient and hope that the right person came along.   I was in luck as the second person past the wall was wearing a bright red coat - perfect!  I had decided early in the day to bracket my photos. With street photography you generally only get one chance to capture the moment, but with clear skies and harsh sunlight I was a little bit worried about exposures.  I chose to bracket my images by a stop in either direction to give me as much flexibility as possible with the exposure.

The only problem is, even with continuous drive, is that the camera stops shooting after the bracket is complete restricting you to three shots.  In addition, sometimes I would forget to shoot all three exposures resulting in my next shot of a different subject being under or over exposed.

For the shot against the blue wall the bracket worked to my advantage.  The base exposure (0ev) was slightly underexposedbut the main problem was that I didn't like the walking position of the women.  The over exposed shot (+1ev) capture the women in a strong position with a nice stride. However, on closer examination I found the image was not sharp and the face of the women was out of focus. Luckily, the underexposed image (-1ev) was sharp and in focus.  The more I worked with the image the more I liked the shape of the woman with the slight curve in her leg and back.

This turned out to be my favourite shot from the day. It is definitely inspired by some of Jay Maisel's work and in particular the series of 'A Day with Jay Maisel' classes at Kelby Training.  I think this following quote for Jay was somewhat of a mantra for the day.

"Color happens..."  Jay Maisell

The other Jay Maisel quote appropriate for the day being "Life keeps going while you're off chimping". Chimping being the modern day photography lexicon for the habit  of checking every photo on the LCD on the back of your camera after capture and frowned upon in street photography.  The reason being while looking down at the back of the camera you are potentially missing other photo opportunity.

The remainder of the morning was spent wandering around Dame Street and College Green without much success.  We decided to head over to St Stephen's Green to meet with the rest of the groups which would take us along the busy Grafton Street.  A mixture of shoppers and street entertainers in the pedestrian precinct provided a few opportunities to capture a few more faces of Dublin.

 
 

By the time we reached St Stephen's Green the midday sun was dominating the skyline casting it's harsh light across the gardens.  I tried some macro shots of a few unusual flowers but the light was just too harsh with deep shadows.  On the way back to the starting point I took very few photos but I did like these pumpkins on the steps of the Powercourt Centre.

And with the pumpkins my photowalk for 2012 was complete.  Unfortuantely I had to miss lunch, but the walk was enjoyable and it was great to meet and talk with a few new faces.  I'm looking forward to seeing some photos from other walkers not only from Dublin but all over the world.