An unexpected sight captured at a test photo walk.

An unexpected sight captured at a test photo walk.

Photo walk to highlight shutterbug creativity

Weekend event part of global social photography project

Crescent Beach Photography Club is offering local photographers a chance to take a walk on the wilder side of their creativity this Saturday (Oct. 1).

For two hours, from 10 a.m. to noon, photographers of all levels are invited to participate in the fourth annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk.

Following a mapped route through uptown White Rock, shutterbugs will be able to use their imaginations to capture unorthodox and unexpected visions of an urban landcsape of streets, stores, shop windows, sidewalks and back alleys – subjects that that might otherwise be ignored, or taken for granted.

“We could have planned the walk for Crescent Beach – because there are so many interesting things to take there – but we wanted to give people more of a challenge,” said co-organizer Lynne Kelman.

“We could also have ended up with a lot of pictures of ducks,” she added, with a laugh.

Participants will meet at 9:45 a.m. at Reid’s Foto Source at Central Plaza (15138 16 Ave.), and after following a route that winds around the White Rock Community Centre and upper city blocks, before descending the hill to the Five Corners/city hall area, the walk will conclude at Small Ritual Coffee Shop (1237 Johnston Rd.).

While the walk will only accommodate 50 photographers, it will produce photographs that are expected to be among more than six million images taken around the world in the same two-day period, in what is billed as the “largest global social photography event in the history of photography.”

Pictures taken on the walk will be uploaded to a dedicated Flickr online site, and leaders of the walk – which also include club members Deb Reny and Carol How – will select images to be submitted to the event’s official competition site for prizes.

The walk is named for photographer/computer and technology book author Kelby, president of the Florida-based National Association of Photoshop Professionals, and, as might be expected, the use of Photoshop is encouraged in tweaking the images.

“Images can be processed in any way, shape or form, but photographs must be taken during the two hours on Oct. 1 and must be on the designated route only,” Kelman said, noting the only other restriction is that nothing can be added that wasn’t in the original image.

She said the organizers will also have a list of retailers who have given permission to photograph inside the stores.

“We’re also working on having firemen washing a truck outside the fire station,” she said.

The Crescent Beach club’s current embrace of digital photo technology was an inevitable development, said Kelman, particularly with the increasing number of computer-savvy younger people joining the club.

“They’re coming in with a whole new attitude and new ideas – they’re light years ahead of the rest of us,” she said.

Kelman admits she was long a hold-out, clinging to the image character of traditional 35 mm film.

But she noted the last year or two has seen a definite turning point among photographers, with even the Canadian Association of Photographic Art (CAPA) endorsing digital photography.

As technology develops rapidly, the gulf between new and old media has largely evaporated, Kelman said, with digital photography offering greater accessibility, cost-effectiveness and versatility, although requiring as steep a learning curve as more traditional processes.

“It’s encouraging us to think about photography in a more outside-the-box way,” she said. “Photography has become increasingly ‘computer-altered reality.’”

But Kelman isn’t unduly alarmed by current experimentation, she said.

“In the end we’ll reach a happy medium,” she predicted. “You’re still creating, but now you’re also creating after the fact.”

For more information on the event, visit www.worldwidephotowalk.com/walk/white-rock-bc-canada/ or email Kelman at lrkelman@shaw.ca