This year marked the seventh anniversary of the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk and the seventh time I have hosted a walk (eight if you count the two I hosted the first year). Each year I try and find interesting locations. This year I revisited a previous location but with a twist. I had hosted a photowalk on the Mall in Washington DC a couple of years ago and decided I would go back to the same spot but this time it would be an after-dark event. As it turns out, the choice of going at night was pretty popular as my photowalk was full to capacity.
I think one of the big reasons that it was so popular is that a lot of photographers would like to shoot the city at night but the thought of going downtown at night with all that gear was against their better judgement. Shooting with a crowd of other photographers gives a much improved sense of security. The other concern that folks have is the fear of the much rumored tripod police. There are all sorts of stories about photographers with tripods being chased away from the popular photo spots in DC but, as I told my group, using tripods is all about timing, common sense, and common courtesy. The Park Police don’t want you breaking out a tripod on a monument sidewalk or popular location because they are looking out for the safety of everyone and trying to protect the monuments. By going at night, there are fewer people and by avoiding the major crowds there is no reason not to use a tripod. I think the majority of photographers on my walk had tripods and to my knowledge there was not a single incident.
I even learned a few things myself on this years photowalk. First and foremost is that, as hard as it is to wrangle 50 photographers in the day, it’s darn near impossible at night. Second thing is to always take the group shot right at the start because you are never going to get everyone back in one group again, no matter how hard you try. As you can see from my group shot, I had already lost a bunch of folks by the time we reached the World War II Memorial. Once everyone started shooting, the time and group just sort of slipped away from some folks. By the time I had reached the Lincoln Memorial I was down to shooting with just two other photographers. It’s really easy to understand how it happened because there is just so much to photograph at night and everyone was having such a great time from the start that it was easy to get lost in the viewfinder and forget about where everyone else was. Even so, I think everyone had a fantastic time and judging from the photos that I am seeing on my Flickr Group, there was some great night time photography taking place.
I would like to thank everyone who came out and joined me for another memorable photowalk. I meeting so many great folks and also getting together with some familiar faces too. It’s always one of my favorite events of the year and I am always honored to be a part of it. If you would like to see some of the images from my group, please head over to our Flickr group and have a look at some of he great images that have already been uploaded. I know I am going to have a very difficult time picking a winner this year. While you are visiting Flickr don’t forget to search for WWPW2014 or click this LINK to see more images from some of the other photowalks around the world.
Thanks Scott and KelbyOne for another great photowalking event. I can’t wait for year number 8!