Thursday, April 29, 2010


This past weekend I participated in an interesting activity called a Photo Walk. Recently I've taken up photography as a new hobby - well, let's be honest, it's just taking snapshots basically, but I'm having a lot of fun with this and wanted to find a way to learn more about photography in general. I have a new camera and a keen sense of wanting to photograph stuff, so off I went in search of some new friends with the same sorts of interest.

The Art Museum is best known these days for it's new-fangled addition - I prefer the interest of the original building and the details it holds.

Through a mutual friend I stumbled across the Photo Walk. This is a global network of photographers (pro and amateur) that gather in a specific location and then wander the area to take pictures. The local group's second walk was Saturday here in Akron. We all started out together at Lock 3 park and then scattered to all parts of downtown seeking things of visual interest.

The alleyway next to my work building blooms beautifully in spring.

At the end of two hours, we all met up for dinner at Lockview and compared our days work. It was absolutely astounding what some of these folks came back with. Many of them have an eye for the obscure and an ability to look at an everyday item and see the beauty or uniqueness in it. To you and me a batch of wet paving stones just looks like wet sidewalk - but to one lady it turned into a rainbow of colors reflected in the wet surface. A pair of bike stands turned into a Peace symbol when looked at from about knee level.

Quaker Square back entrance is vivid with a bright splash of red

Each of us seemed to have a different field of interest, one woman had an uncanny ability to get birds to stand still for her, I like buildings and architecture, one guy seemed fascinated by structures such as steps and fencing. They all were valid, all different and all fun. Steps become a bit of artwork when adding color Considering that we all began and ended at the same location, we each set out in different directions and saw many, many different things. By the end of half an hour, I'd totally lost touch with any of my fellow walkers (and there were 30 of us wandering around). I managed to connect with my friend at one point and then next thing I knew, she'd disappeared again around another corner not to be seen again until we met up for dinner an hour later. As we all were comparing shots over dinner and we kept saying "where were you, I didn't see THAT?". For some of my fellow walkers, this was their second time in Akron for the same event and still they all managed to find new things to see.

Unless you use the walkways downtown you would never see this lovely bit of sculpture crossing from Cascade Plaza to the Akron City Center mall.

I think that's one of the things I love about our area - there is a lot to see. Big things and little things. If we keep our eyes open we can discover something new every day. For me, standing behind a camera gives me a chance to focus in on the small details that most of us just fly by. For other times, it's a great way to chronicle what I've been doing for future reference. Heaven knows my memory isn't what it was!

How many people notice the lovely artwork on our buildings downtown? This eagle rests over the Cascade entrance of the First Merit building.

No one says our pictures are either good nor bad - they are simply what we saw. Some of us saw deeper than others and have far more imagination, all of which makes this so much fun.

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