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September 6, 2011

Looking Up

If you’re a photographer, the chances are likely that you know who Scott Kelby is. I became familiar with him by joining National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) and watching many podcasts of “The Photoshop Guys,” now called Photoshop User TV. Every year, he puts on a event called the Worldwide Photo Walk where photo groups are formed and they go out taking photos on one particular day. I participated in my first and only walk in 2009. I joined a group who would be walking in the Pearl District of downtown Portland, an area lived and went to school in for a few years. I wasn’t expecting to come out of the event with a photo that was unique to me. However, I was wrong and learned a great lesson from this walk. Walking between the buildings of the Pearl, I was looking for something colorful or had a great pattern. I was having no luck until, at some point, I looked up. The clouds were in a gorgeous formation and I knew it was “the” shot. I started snapping away. After the event, I was eager to look at the shot on the big screen. I loved it in color! With the detail of the clouds, I knew it would look great in black and white too. When I made a copy and made it black and white, it seemed like a dramatically different shot and l loved it even more.

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The walking event also included a contest where the best photo from the group was submitted to the worldwide contest, which big prizes could be won. I, of course, submitted this photo, but unfortunately I didn’t win the best photo of the group and was ok with that; I had a great portfolio piece based on my eyes. I later submitted the photo in another contest within the Columbia Council photo club, in which clubs from California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho participate in, and won honorable mentions for the photograph. I learned two valuable lessons from the photo walk- 1. You can find GREAT photographs within your local neighborhoods. 2. If your photo doesn’t do well in one contest, submit it to another; you’ll never know who’s eyes will be seeing it.

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