Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grab Your Camera, We're Going For A Walk

Last fall, I participated in my first-ever Worldwide Photo Walk in the neighbourhood of Hintonburg. It was the first time I had walked with a group of photographers, stopping every now and then along our route, which took us through the back streets, under the Transitway, through the abandoned City of Ottawa waterworks buildings, and along the Ottawa River, to snap interesting subjects.

You can see photos from all participants on the group's Flickr site.

Although the weather was less than agreeable—it rained for most of the walk—I thoroughly enjoyed myself and wanted to do another photo walk. Soon.

With no one organizing a spring walk (none that I could find, anyway) and my periodic talk about starting one through Twitter, I finally put my camera where my mouth is. And so this Sunday, June 3, I'll be hosting a spring photo walk.

Rain or shine, we're going.

Just two days ago, I took my kids to the meeting place for the walk and wandered the area, plotting a route for our trek. It took precisely two hours, allowing for the girls to play, hide, and pose for photos. I figured it best simulated what we would be faced with over the course of the photo walk.

The event starts at 2:00 at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, on Prince of Wales Drive, between Heron Road and the roundabout at the Experimental Farm and the Arboretum. There is parking at the centre, near a baseball field, but parking is limited to 90 minutes. I strongly urge people to park along Prince of Wales Drive, on the side near the cherry trees by the Experimental Farm, and walk to the Fletcher Wildlife Garden. If you're really ambitious and know the area, park near the Dow's Lake Pavilion and walk to the wildlife gardens.

I will be waiting to greet photogs just outside the wildlife gardens building. If you've never been there before, continue walking past the baseball field, past a grey building. The centre is just past where drivers are prohibited. From there, I'll greet you and direct you to the gardens, where you can start shooting.

When I feel everyone has arrived, I'll join you in the gardens, where I'll start wandering and shooting too. I plan to keep moving through the walk, at a slow pace, so just keep following me and I'll try to keep us on schedule.

The route will take us back out to Prince of Wales Drive and across the street to more gardens at the Experimental Farm. We will meander through the gardens and pathways, slowly making our way toward the roundabout, where we'll cross and work our way into the Arboretum. I plan to follow the one-way signs for the cars, so if you fall behind, that's the route we'll take.

At the Arboretum, we'll stop at the first lookout and snap away. We'll then start working our way downward, following the path, to the bottom of the hill and to the stream that leads off the canal. Last Sunday, I saw a heron, but I only had my iPhone on me. Be ready for ducks, chipmunks, and plenty of squirrels.

Our route will continue on the path that follows the Rideau Canal, working our way towards Dow's Lake. There are lots of things to see and shoot, so keep your eyes open.

The path ends at the Dow's Lake Pavilion, and that's where our walk also ends. I'm hoping that everyone will stay and go for drinks at Malone's.

If you haven't signed up for the photo walk, please do so at Eventbrite. The site will send you a ticket, but you don't need to bring it with you to attend. And if time is of the essence and you don't want to bother with Eventbrite, just show up anyway. The only issue with not using Eventbrite is that I won't be expecting you; if you arrive late, I might not be there to greet you.

If you're on Twitter, you can follow news about the event and live tweeting by following the #SpringPhotoWalkYOW hashtag.

I hope to see you there.

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