Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk 2012
For the past five years Scott Kelby has run a worldwide photowalk. Having missed my chance to lead it last year, I made sure I got in early and signed up to lead the 2012 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk UK, in Brighton. Having led photowalks around Brighton for a while now, I am very aware of the hotspots and of the typical postcard-type images that people normally photograph: the pier at sunset, the seagulls, the amazing graffiti and the colourful beach huts. My intention was to help the photographers on this walk avoid all these clichés and create something interesting from the mundane.
The idea came to me when I was contemplating how to make this walk different. I was aware of William Eggleston and his concept "At war with the obvious". I used this as the framework for the Scott Kelby walk. This meant finding seemingly boring, mundane and perhaps unlikely images and making them interesting. How to do that was up to the photographers - the choice of angle, lighting, lens, juxtaposition etc.
I am pleased to say that the turnout was great - over 50 people signed up online and about 45 turned up on the day, ranging in skill level from absolute beginner to seasoned professional. The weather was sadly not on our side (contrary to the forecast), but this did not dampen the spirits of the walkers as, having detailed the agenda for the day for everyone, we headed off to trawled the back alleys, quiet streets and lesser-known areas of Brighton. I had spent quite a while sorting out the route, avoiding the busy Saturday shopping and tourist streets, and I am pleased to say it worked well as a route, although keeping such a large group together is always difficult. I had included natural stop-off points giving everyone the opportunity to explore the surrounding area and create their own images.
The challenge I set myself on this occasion was to only use a 50mm lens and to try to look for an image rather than simply shoot randomly. By the end, I had around 100 images - about 45 were OK, but only 15 made the cut, fulfilling the criteria "interesting in the mundane".
Scott Kelby's report says that 1339 organised Photowalks took place, involving over 32000 Photowalkers. Imagine that - 32000+ people all walking around, taking photographs, all over the world, at the same time! AMAZING!
Sidenote: for those who don't know, this was a great distraction for me, because today (Oct 13th) was my late brother's birthday - this and the week before Christmas, when he was killed, are always tough times for me. So it was nice to have something creative to do to stop my mind drifting, and to have support from friends around me, whether they knew or not.