A photowalk is a networking event for photographers and people who enjoy photography to get out with their camera, meet some new people, learn some new techniques and take some cool photos at the same time. Photowalks are usually held by camera clubs and the people who show up tend to be a mixture of both professional and amateur (not that there much difference) alike which means that you get a nice mix of experience and skill sets during these events.
Photowalks can be a educational tool for photographers to learn more about different areas of photography and are also a great way for people who spend way too much of their time in front of their computer messing around in photoshop to get out shooting.
Some people think that when you go on one of these walks, that you need to have a huge SLR camera with several lenses, but it isn't really important what kind of camera you have as long as you have something that is capable of taking photos.
For myself, going on a photowalk tends to be more of a relaxing day with my camera where I worry less about the results and focus more on having fun and meeting new friends.
We used to have an active and tight-knit expat photography community here in Taiwan and we held photowalks several times throughout the year, but due to the practicalities of being an expat (people coming and going) conflicting schedules and personality conflicts, the community more or less fell apart and people moved on and went about their own business. Since that happened, I've been quite busy working and setting up this website, so it has been quite a while since I actually attended a photoshop with other foreigners.
The good thing about the expat community is that it is in a constant state of flux and while the old community that I was a part of disappeared - a new one has emerged and has taken the reigns in organizing photowalks and events for not only the expat community but one that involves anyone in Taiwan who has a love of photography.
A few months ago I noticed a few friends had joined a group on Facebook called "Photowalkers" which looked quite interesting, so I joined up as well.
I took part in my first event with the group last weekend. Billy, one of the group's leaders organized the event which would be part photoshoot and part photowalk in an eco-park in Taipei city.
I loaded up my camera bag and another small bag with light stands and some light modifiers and made my way to Taipei to first have coffee with my friend Darren before meeting up with the group.
I really didn't plan on shooting much during the photoshoot portion of the day and I guess that is quite evident with the photos I'm posting as I don't have any of the model. Instead, I spent most of my time chatting with the other photographers and trying to solve a sticky situation with my camera that resulted in a couple of blisters on my thumbs.
After the photoshoot portion of the day was over, we made our way up a small mountain which surprisingly had an amazing view of Taipei city. If it weren't for the view of the city, I probably wouldn't have shot anything that I was really happy with whole day, so I'm quite happy that we had the opportunity to shoot such a nice cityscape, which is more up my alley than shooting models.
After the photowalk, one of the walkers, Jaysun - a popular food blogger who runs the site Jaysun Eats Taipei recommended an Indian place in the city and we all made our way over to the restaurant which specialized in Punjabi cuisine. I have to give props to Jaysun, because he knows his stuff and this Indian restaurant was probably the best I've had in all my years of living in Taiwan!
Overall the experience was nice and it was great to get out again and network with other photographers. I'm going to try my best to become a regular walker with the group and get to know them all a bit better!
If you're interested in an event like this, check out the group on Facebook and come out to an event if you have time!