One of my favorite things to do is walk a city at dawn and shoot photographs. Each February finds me in Charleston, SC, and I make a point to get out and capture some of the rich texture so richly abundant here.
The harbor boat above is one of my favorite subjects. One could say I should find something different, and next year I probably will, but I always enjoy this shot. It isn’t the most accessible place to get a good composition, but the boat and the dawn sky are great.
Some advice for photowalks.
- Look for texture and detail.
- Scout the area beforehand if you can. Wandering around the day before can give you an idea of where you want to be and where you want to go, and save valuable time while the light is changing.
- Check your equipment the night before. Make sure you have a extra batteries and cards, format your cards and make sure to either reset your camera or go through it to make sure there aren’t any settings that will interfere with your shooting (ISO, custom white balance, etc.).
- Pack light. If you’ve been able to scout, you probably have a good idea of what lenses to take, etc. The bag can get heavy fast…
- Respect “No Trespassing” signs and private property. Not only is it polite, but failing to do so might lead to some sticky situations with the police or worse. There’s always something else to shoot.
- Trust your eye – if you see something interesting, figure out why it caught your attention and try to strip your shot down to that. Composition is one of my big struggles, but I always have fun with it.
- Look for the unexpected places. While I always like to have the photo of the landmark I took myself, try to get an unconventional perspective/composition, and always look for the things other people are missing.
Here are a few other shots from this morning (fairly quickly edited from JPEGS – I’ll play with the RAW files when I get home…):
I had a lot of fun, and found some new and interesting places my trusting my instinct to turn a corner and see what was there. If you’ve got some photowalk photos, post a link in the comment area! Constructive feedback is always welcome, too!