Celebrating the 4th Annual Worldwide Photowalk, Garber Parl – Oakland

At this years photowalk I decided to take on the role of “walk leader”.  I’m 100% happy with that decision and had a wonderful crew of photographers make my first lead an enjoyable and productive day.  Lots of people came with all sorts of different skills and interests and it was great to talk with almost everyone personally.  Thanks crew!

Swordfern reaching out

We had 27 people sign up for the walk, while only about 20 actually showed to the event.  That’s not too bad of a ratio considering its a free event.  We had attendees all the way from Yuba City to Pinole, to Walnut Creek, Pleasanton, and North Bay.  I was truly flattered!  We did a loop hike in what I call a “backyard wilderness” – Garber Park – Oakland, CA.  

I hoped that I wouldn’t have much time to take photos, and well, I didn’t.  Everyone was inviting and open to talk so I spent much of my time just walking and talking with new photography friends.

Photowalkers enjoying the ferns

Here are my strategy “bullets” for the walk, which I will now employ on all other walks:

  • Move beyond “pretty” and think themes – make today a theme day may it be a color theme, geometric, or whatever. Create 6-10 images that bring the theme together.
  • Enjoy the opportunity to work together.  Photography can be a solitary act of meditation or religion.  It often is for me.  But here we are on a photowalk with others – use the human resource present – tap people on the shoulder and talk to them.  Talk about setting up a particular shot.  Work together to get the lighting/angle you want to expose.
  • What I find attracts me to photos is intimacy.  Find a moment that you’ve observed and photograph it to present a quiet, hidden reality or view of life.  Share those revealing moments whether its a dried leaf, a doorknob, a fellow shooter, or a banana slug.
  • And of course – have fun.
Please visit our Flickr group to see more team images.  They’re fantastic.  A few more of my images below, with thoughts.

Moss, liverworts and other friends

This one was intimate for me.  Shooting a narrow focus, pointing downwards.  Little tree bark denizens in focus.  Lots of shapes and colors.  Lots of life.
This is a grand multiarmed maple.  Survivor of many a fire and pest attack.  I just love the bend in the main bole as it divides into two.  It further bifurcates, grows, reaching toward the sun.

Garber Sky

A view straight up.  What an earthworm might see.  How’s that for intimate? 🙂

Unlocked

A door knob found by a participant.  Great oxidation in action.  Obviously out of place for Garber’s natural side.  Or is it.  I think the saying is that “Nature Bats Last”.

Nature and (wo)Man

Amazingly, I think we forget how we fit into nature regularly.  When I saw this walker posing on this tree, I saw what I was a perfect commentary on scale.  But phyiscal and temporal.  Less intimate, more a perspective on humanity and nature.
Thanks for all the good times walkers!
– Lech
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