World Wide Photo Walk
Every year, on the second Saturday of October, Scott Kelby runs the World Wide Photo Walk, where photographers from all over the globe get together to take a walk and find photos. It’s free, but people contribute a few bucks to the Springs of Hope orphanage in Kenya. I’ve been wanting to do this for years, and today the stars aligned and I got my chance.
This morning, 14 of us, 7 women, 7 men, met at Camera West, the upscale camera store on South Main. They have a Leica Store, one of very few in the world factory designed to showcase the crown jewel of the camera world. The Leica is the Faberge egg of cameras, as beautiful to look at as it is perfect to shoot with. Way, way out of my price range, as well as my ability range. Nice to look at, though.
The walk was led by Richard Herzog, a longtime professional who also works for Camera West and teaches. He had mapped out a simple route around downtown Walnut Creek and off we went.
As soon as we got down to the street, people started shooting. Every flower, every brick, tree leaf, geometric pattern on a sidewalk bench. None of this interests me, but to each his own. I occupied myself shooting the shooters, imagining a newspaper article titled “Downtown invaded by doofuses with cameras”.
While everyone else was looking for architectural, botanical or geometric items to photograph, I was looking for interesting people.
There was a man standing on the sidewalk chanting/praying/raving in Arabic and English. I recognized “Allahu Akbar”, the rest could well have been gibberish. Or not.
So I walked up and said “Good day. Mind if I take your picture?”
Some people are just made to photograph; it would be a crime to ignore them.
I saw this woman walking and noticed her dress. A block later she crossed our path again, and I had to get her portrait and talk to her.
She is the Reverend Mother Josephine Hendy C Robertson, Matriarch of the Miskitu Nation. They are an indigenous native/African/Creole group in Central America fighting for independence from Nicaragua. She wasn’t looking for money, just support for her cause. You meet the most interesting people when you just talk to them.
Still walking, we met the character of the day:
A homeless guy, with a dog in a trailer behind his bicycle. And the dog has a hat and shades. Not something I could pass up.
The homeless guy had a tale of woe, which he mumbled far too fast for me to follow. The upshot of it was that he starts a job in the Petco Warehouse next week, and hopes to get his life together. I hope he does, too.
I said I don’t have any interest in the geometrics that others were so diligently shooting, but one wall piqued my interest:
This is a building just off Main Street, with steel walls that have rusted beautifully.
Then we found some trees that had been “yarn bombed” by a local knitting group. Kind of an interesting, giving, peaceful enterprise.
Still on the lookout for people, I liked the angles of a little girl dancing in place as her mom had a coffee.
Something about these two women attracted me.
We wound around to the rear of Va de Vi where they have a huge koi pond, with a magnificent collection of fish. I don’t need pictures of fish. Apparently I am alone in this.
On a beautiful Saturday, there was a good crowd enjoying lunch al fresco; that was worth reaching for the camera.
To sum up, it was a delightful day of walking around, actually seeing things I had merely looked at over the years, meeting some decidedly different and intriguing people and make a few new friends. To put the words into a picture, here are three of the walkers checking out each other’s work: