Category Archives: photo walk

2013 Top 11 Photos

It’s always a great challenge to look back on a year’s collection and to trim to a list of the best.  It’s an exercise I recommend to every photographer out there.  That said, the extra challenge is to get that list to only 10 photos.  Well, I almost made it this year – I trimmed this one to 11.  Smile

So, in no particular order, here’s my 2013 list with a bit on each addition.


This first photo is from a children’s church group singing at a convalescence home.  It was a very sweet moment with folks stepping out of their rooms to hear the children sing Christmas carols in the hall.

Best of 2013-1

Once I saw these two barns – I just wanted to figure out a way to get the photo.  This is one of those rare images where (if I remember correctly) I was thinking black and white from the onset.

Best of 2013-4

In 2013 I had the opportunity to shoot two Polar Plunge events for Oregon Special Olympics.  This next photo is from the Corvallis event.  Initially I was torn between two photos for this list: “dynamic splash” and “pink tutu’s”.  You can see which one I chose.

Best of 2013-6

This was from the 2013 Photo Walk here in Corvallis.  It’s probably safe to presume that it took me over a hundred images to get this one.

Best of 2013-7

In the very next moment, this bull fighter found himself in the air (but my very next frame only had the legs of the bullfighter visible – I was zoomed in too far on the scene to get all of him in the air).

Best of 2013-8

The Lover’s Bridge in Danshui, Taiwan.  This is one of those rare images where I actually pre-visualized the final result.  Some folks are really good at that – I’m not.

Best of 2013-10

Jiufen, Taiwan is a great little market town.  Fortunately while we were there we were treated to this epic rain.

Best of 2013-11

Street opera in Tainan, Taiwan.  I like how this image shows the proximity of the street to the opera.

Best of 2013-13

Hot air balloon festival.  Another image here on the list with strong architectural elements.

Best of 2013-15

Sheep nor shearing are typically on my list of favorite images.  But, I liked this moment along with the lighting, color, and texture.

Best of 2013-17

Mt Hood in the clouds.  It wasn’t long after this image that the mountain was completely obscured by the incoming weather.

Best of 2013-18

2013 Worldwide Photo Walk: Corvallis

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On Saturday morning, I had the opportunity to go out with a local group of photographers for Kelby’s annual Worldwide Photo Walk here in Corvallis, Oregon.

A huge thank you to Kat Sloma for leading this year’s event!

The weather in Corvallis was expected to get near 70 mid day but I was glad to see some early morning fog downtown near the river.  And by late morning it had all but burned off.

Just to be honest, I typically find it difficult to shoot in downtown Corvallis.  It’s probably because I’ve been here near 20 years and I’ve walked the streets many times with a camera (the downtown really isn’t all2013 Photowalk - low res-9 that big).  And just about every time I pull out a camera down there those “been there, done that” storm clouds start raining on me again.

That said, below are a few more from the morning in no particular order.

Earlier in the morning, I clung to the fog.  Later in the morning, it was the light shining down the east-west streets that caught my attention.

When it comes to photo walks – there’s always discussion on gear.  This year I kept it light.  Really light.  OK – maybe not as light as the mobile-photography folks.  But much, much lighter than I’ve been in years past.  This year I had just the X100s – and in a jacket pocket I had two extra batters, one extra memory card, a lens cleaning cloth, and one little dinosaur that came in a Photojojo package – just in case it got boring out there (figured I could capture him in various Corvallis locations).   Smile

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X100S: Early Morning at High ISO

x100s high iso -2My first discussion on the X100S was mostly a general overview on first impressions.

So, just for fun, I decided to get up before sunrise on Saturday and kick around the streets of Corvallis with the new camera to practice a bit in some tough low-light conditions.

Most of the morning was spent at ISO 4000 and 5000.  A few of the shots are included here.  Nothing portfolio ready but hopefully they’ll give you a good idea of how well this camera handles at the higher ISO settings.

Though these are not straight-out-of-camera (they have been slightly modified in LR4.4), I purposely did not use the Noise Reduction Slider.

And just in case you’re curious, all shots were handheld, manual mode, in-camera noise reduction off, raw (not jpg), and auto white balance (only slightly adjusted on a couple of the shots – but not dramatically).

To be honest – I find this camera to be stunning in low light.

Hope you find these helpful.  If you have any questions or comments – just let me know.  x100s high iso -1 x100s high iso -5 x100s high iso -3 x100s high iso -4

It’s a Wrap! The 2012 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk – Corvallis, OR

Worldwide Photo Walk - October 2012-9On Saturday morning, we had about a dozen folks at the Garden of Gentle \Breeze, a newly opened Japanese garden here in Corvallis, for the 2012 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk.  This year there were over 1,300 walk locations around the world with more than 32,000 registered walkers.

After four months of essentially no measurable rain here in the Willamette Valley, the dry spell gave way to rain most of the day on Friday.  And it didn’t look all that promising for Saturday.  But, as it turned out, the weather was mild during the walk – and dare I say, it was a pleasant morning?

None of these images will likely make the medals podium – but I thought I’d share a few from the morning.

The gardens are closed now for the winter, but next spring, if you happen to be in the Willamette Valley and like strolling through gardens, put this stop on your list.

And, if you’d like to read more on the Corvallis walk – check out Kat’s post here.

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5th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk: Corvallis, Oregon

IMG_20120808_191102Hi all – Scott Kelby has just announced his 5th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk – happening on Saturday 13 October 2012.  This year, the Corvallis, OR walk will be at the new Japanese-style garden, Garden of Gentle Breeze.

The owner of the property has kindly given our group private access to the gardens during the time of the walk.

For all of the Corvallis walk details – hit the link.  If you’re looking for general Worldwide Photo Walk details (and possibly for a walk near you) –here’s the link to get you started.

The Instagram photos are from my scouting visit. IMG_20120808_191601IMG_20120809_000118IMG_20120808_190822 IMG_20120808_191913

Out and About at the Oregon Zoo

oregon zoo 2012-1Out with the family at the Oregon Zoo.  And, of course, I brought a camera…

Here are a few pics – but I’m not sure that I’ve correctly labeled each animal.  So – if you see an error – feel free to correct me in the comments below – and we can fill out our zoo animal bingo card together.  🙂

  1. Sea Otter
  2. Visayan Warty Pig
  3. Reticulated Giraffe
  4. Asian Elephant
  5. African Red-Billed Hornbill (?)
  6. Cool looking turtle…

(Is it just me or does the giraffe look like it’s playing a game of hide-and-seek with the gazelles? )

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Bag Review: Timbuk2 Messenger + Domke Insert

For my “daily” shooting bag – I’ve been using the ThinkTank Retrospective 10.  A great bag that I reviewed last summer.  However – in Uganda – I figured I was going to be out in the field for some long hours – and I was probably going to want to a bit more gear on hand.bag reviews-6

What to do?  Well – I dug around the web for some options – but nothing really struck me as the solution I wanted to haul halfway across the world.  And as it turns out – I had this almost 10 year old Timbuk2 messenger around (medium) – and a Domke insert that I’d picked up out of curiosity.

So – how did the combo work?  In a word – great!

I could carry two cameras with lenses attached, another lens, a small water bottle or two, a table top Gitzo tripod, and the other stuff often found in camera bags – comfortably all day.

That’s not to say that it felt “weightless” – but it was quite comfortable.

The insert only extends to about 2/3 the width of the bag.  That extra space in the bag (below – it’s shown on the right side) – is where I stuffed my water bottles.  I had originally thought that I wanted water bottle holders or pockets on the outside of my bag – but – once in the field – it worked to be an advantage to have room in the bag for the bottles.

Of course – that extra room is also good for a light jacket, snack, and other stuff that you might want to throw in your bag.

As for the brown color – well – 10 years later – I might have ordered a black one (or a dark gray) – but hey, it was already in my closet.  And – it definitely didn’t look like a camera bag.

If you were to build this collection from scratch – it’ll probably be about $130-$140 after you add the Timbuk2 shoulder strap pad.

Bottom line?  Highly recommended for those times when you’d like to carry a bit more gear, have it quickly accessible, not spend a bunch of cash, and like to keep a low visual profile.

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The 2011 Worldwide Photowalk – from Corvallis, Oregon

2011 Worldwide Photowalk - Corvallis-6On Saturday morning we had about 20 photo walkers join the 2011 Worldwide Photowalk here in Corvallis.  We met first thing down at New Morning Bakery – and shortly after 8AM – we were in route to the Farmers’ Market – where I think much of the group spent most of the morning.

The weather forecast was a bit uncertain – but thankfully – the rain stayed away until long after our walk.

2011 Worldwide Photowalk - Corvallis-2 At around 10AM – the group reconvened back at New Morning Bakery for a bit of story telling and image sharing (and some of that great New Morning food!)

To be honest – I’m really looking forward to seeing the photos from folks – this was a great group with a lot of talent.

For the morning – I traveled pretty light – shooting with just the 50D while splitting my time between the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and the new Lensbaby Sweet Optic 35.  I’ll try to get a full review of that Lensababy optic posted soon – but I’ll just let you know now – it has become my favorite LB optic to date.

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If you want to read updates from two other Corvallis photo walkers – check out these posts:

  • You’ll dig this one – not only was Kat out shooting some great photos – but she was out shooting color wheel combos.  Seriously.  Triadic schemes.  Check out her post here.
  • And Helen has already posted a slideshow of colorful photos from the market on her blog  here.

And I think it’s still a bit empty – but check out the Corvallis group’s Flickr page from the 2011 Worldwide Photowalk (hopefully more photos will be added soon).

Did you join a photowalk this weekend?  If so – let us know how it went – and please leave us a link to your photos in the comments.

11 Tips for your next Photowalk

photo walk foto-1 OK – last week I shared links to 7 sites that talked all about photo walking – as part of the count down to the Worldwide Photowalk on 1 October.

So – today – I thought I’d share my top 11 tips for photowalks.

How is this list better?  Well – first – it’s not better – just a bit different – and  it’s likely a bit more specific to the Pacific NW (e.g. “in case it rains”).

And this one goes to 11!  🙂

So – in no particular order – here you go:

  1. Go light on the gear – and consider only bringing along one or two lenses.  Why?  Well – first – you’re walking.  The more gear in your pack – the more you’re carrying.   Second – the more options you have – the more you’ll keep thinking about gear choices – and less on making compelling photos.  And third – typically these sorts of walks are often only a couple of hours long.  The more you’re futzing with gear – the less you’re clicking.
  2. Leave the tripod at home.  Why?  Cuz if you have it along – you have to carry it.  Second – if you’re shooting in a crowded environment – it’s likely to get in the way.  Third – the more your futzing with gear…
  3. Safety.  It’s pretty easy to get distracted by the moment and sort of forget where you’re at when you’re walking around with your eye in the viewfinder.  Not only are there cars – but there are sidewalks that you can awkwardly step (fall) from – or even other people to bump into.  I haven’t even yet mentioned hanging plants, bicyclists, and people who don’t want their photo snapped…
  4. Water is important.  Please have a bottle in your bag.
  5. Dress in layers for the weather.  It may rain – or it may get warmer – or cooler – or the wind might pick up.
  6. For that walk that might see rain – keep shooting by having some Op Tech Rainsleeves stashed in your bag.  They’re lightweight and inexpensive – take next to no room in your bag – and some of the best photos can be found in bad weather.
  7. Comfortable shoes – cuz you’re walking.
  8. Extra batteries and extra memory cards.  It’s much easier to have extras on hand than to miss the photo.
  9. Small snack.  Lately I’ve been digging the Clif Mojo bars.  Mountain Mix.
  10. Small notebook and pen – often something will come up that you’ll want to remember later.
  11. Talk to other folks in the group.  There’s likely a wide range of talent in your group.  If you’re looking for tips and insights – often you just need to ask.  And if you’re more experienced – share your best with folks that ask.

So – there you go – 11!  Have any more that you think should be on the list?  Just add them below.


And – just in case you’re curious about the stuff in my camera bag– you can check out my list of 7 Not-so-Obvious “Necessities”.

7 Resources for Tips on Photowalks

parking meter 1a - low res This post is for all of the folks who every now and then find themselves walking around with a camera.

So – in no particular order – here are some resources to help you with your next strolling gig: