Friday, December 18, 2009

PhotoWalking Temple Square

PhotoWalk_TmpSqr09p2378, originally uploaded by preyingjaws.

Photo Walking Utah meet at the downtown library for a brief mini clinic on night exposures at 6:30. Our host, Rich Legg of, took a few minutes to explain how to capture night pictures and cover some of the common problems associated with night time photography.

As the clinic adjourned we descended upon the 7:45 TRAX train to Temple Square. The Temple Square secret service were forewarned about the army of photographers that make a photographic assault on their facilities.

Harley, one of the organizers, while at the library lost count after 130 in the meeting room, max capacity of 85. At the Square I met up with a few who did not get to the library thus adding to our numbers. About 10pm I caught up with Harley. I asked how many were still around. His guess about half or more. In years past he recalled the weather was so cold they lasted about 15 minutes the hardiest about half an hour. I was thankful for the warm night.

What makes Photo Walking so inspiring is a gaggle of photographers can be at the same spot, aiming at the same subject, and capture totally different images. Check out the photostream of the photowalkingutah group ( to see what I mean.

I will say for me I went down not to learn, not to capture 'the image,' not to get creative or tout expertise, I went in mind to socialize, to check out what others were looking at, and to have a laugh.

Laughing is good. The observation of people is a unique study to itself. At an event or venue like this people are well, funny. For instance place, a tripod, a camera, someone standing behind it then watch. People will walk around, duck, cover their faces, goof, be aloof, tense up, or relax. They'll do this whether they know the image is in process or not. Some people may even stop to ask if you're a pro even if the camera is a point and shoot.

Two tips if you're just there.
If you don't want to be in the picture at a venue like this, keep moving. Chances are the photog' is taking a long exposure and if you stop for more then 5 or so seconds then you might be in the picture, anything longer you might be semi recognizable as having been there. If you are trying to be in the picture, bring a flash light and light paint yourself.

I may not have had the inspiration to shoot 'the image.' I may not have been there to take a high quality image as many are now surfacing from last night. I did though have fun with the light. Long exposures do lead to some unique light trails and motion blurs.

I do encourage everyone of every skill level to get involved with your local Photo Walking Group ( or google photo walking). They're great for networking, learning, and in general just having fun.

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