Colonial Williamsburg Photowalk

By Roger  (10 Oct 2013)

The sun was bright and the weather warm for the 6th Annual Kelby Worldwide Photowalk on 5 October.  Our third Colonial Williamsburg walk was well-attended, with about 24 registered walkers and a bunch of family members and friends along for the fun.   We had walkers from as far away as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The whole Williamsburg gang.

The whole Williamsburg gang.

We had the usual mix of skill levels and camera types, from absolute beginners to advanced, point-and-shoots to top to the line cameras and lenses.  All of them out for a fun day of photography talk and camaraderie.  I always enjoy these walks, and I think we should organize them more often for 2014.  Any suggestions are welcome. 

Any shade was appreciated on this hot day. 

Any shade was appreciated on this hot day. 

Our course was an easy walk of about two miles in two hours.  We left the Visitor's Center and walked to the Governor's Palace.  I think everyone took a photo or two of the colonial at the entrance to the palace gardens.  Up the palace green; down Nicholson street, to the colonial militia encampment; to the Capitol; and down Duke of Glouster Street, DoG Street to the locals.  Duke of Glouster Street has the most attractions and reconstructions of Colonial Williamsburg, so that part of the walk usually takes as long as the previous two-thirds of the walk. 

The guard at the entrance to the Governor's Palace gardens was surrounded by paparazzi.

The guard at the entrance to the Governor's Palace gardens was surrounded by paparazzi.

As walk leaders, we can't just ignore the participants and go into our own little photographer bubble world, so Mark and I just caught a scene here and there.  This year, I set out with the goal to shoot with purpose, not volume, especially topics other than people (my usual favorite).  Of course, I shot plenty of people photos, too.

"Indentured servant", taking a break from making barrels. 

"Indentured servant", taking a break from making barrels. 

Cobbler using authentic tools to make shoes.

Cobbler using authentic tools to make shoes.

Along the way, we did what photowalkers do: we took lots and lots of photographs.  You can see the pool of Worldwide Photowalk photos on Flickr (link). You'll see what photographers are displaying from the more than 1,200 photowalks in cities around the world.  Walkers with a Flickr account can join the group and add their photos to the stream.

A sign post abstract

A sign post abstract

We ended the photowalk at the DOG Street Pub (link), again, for some good food and photographer chit-chat.  The folks at the Pub made room for us, again, even though there was a big arts and crafts event in the surrounding streets.  We appreciate their fine hospitality and highly recommend them when you visit Williamsburg. 

The end of the year is quickly approaching, so make yourself a New Year's resolution to join or lead a photowalk in your area.  It is a cheap, fun way to practice your photography and meet new people who share your passion.


+++ REMINDER: If you were a registered walker and want to be part of the photo contest, don't forget you have to submit your favorite photograph to the official Worldwide Photowalk (link) by 12:00 EDT on 14 October.  We cannot enter a photograph for you. 

This is Worldwide Photowalk Week!

Hear ye, hear ye. This Saturday marks the 5th Annual Photowalk and as of yesterday there were around 28,000 photographers signed up in 1300 walks all over the globe.  Roger and I are leading one in Williamsburg VA and we still have a few spaces available.  The groups are limited to no more than 50 people.  The walkers vary in skill from beginners to professionals and they all have one thing in common…a love of photography.

Scott Kelby, who started this madness asked us to post an excerpt from his own blog of his 7 tips for participants. 

If you haven’t signed up for a Walk Yet…. It’s not too late. Here’s the link—find a city near you, and sign up to be a part of your local walk.

Seven Tips for Walkers Last year, I gave seven tips for walkers to help you make the most of your walk, and I’ve got those here for you again. If you’re going to be walking with us this weekend, take a moment to give these a quick read: I promise it’ll make a difference in your experience.

(1) Drink Plenty of Water Make sure you take plenty of water with you and stay fully hydrated during the entire walk. Two hours is a long time to be out in the sun so make sure you drink lots of water before and during the walk. (TIP: Want to be a hero? Bring an extra bottle of water or two to share with other walkers).

(2) Use Sunscreen If your walk is during daylight hours (and most are), make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen, and don’t forget to wear a hat for protection as well.

(3) Leave a Small Footprint Make sure that you have as little physical impact on the area you’re walking in as possible. If you’re walk is in nature, make sure the area looks exactly the same when you leave as when you got there. Same thing in a downtown area—-we want store owners and pedestrians to welcome events like this, so be kind to everyone you meet, and create as small a footprint on your walk route as possible. Take only pictures. Leave only footprints.

(4) Make New Friends This is a social event, and everybody is there to have fun and make new friends, so make sure you talk with other walkers in your group. Ask them ‘what kind of stuff like they to shoot,’ or ‘how they like their camera or a particular accessory,’ or ask ‘if they’ve ever been on this street or area before,’ and you’ll have a conversation up and running in no time.

(5) Let Your Leader Lead Your walk leader has put a lot of time and effort into planning the walk, organizing and publicizing the walk, and making the whole thing happen (after all; without your local Leader there might not be a walk in your city, right?), so don’t try and hijack the walk; let your Leader do the talking, and the leading, and that way you can just relax and focus on getting some great shots.

(6) Get To Your Walk Early It happens every year; some people miss the walk altogether because they couldn’t find a parking space, or they missed the train or subway, or they ran into something that delayed them from getting to the start of the walk on time. It’s really heartbreaking to get there and find that the walk is already underway and there’s nobody standing there but you, so make sure you plan extra time to get to your walk’s Starting Location, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress (and possible heartbreak) by getting there early. Plus, if you get there early, there’s extra time to make friends before the walk even starts—maybe you’ll make a “walking buddy” who’ll share the experience with you.

(7) Play it Safe The single most important thing is your safety during the Photo Walk. Don’t get distracted by what you’re shooting or seeing, and back right into the street, or into another photographer (or just a person walking down the street). Keep your wits about you, and remember than many of you will be shooting in a downtown area, on crowded sidewalks or busy streets, so just stay alert the entire walk, and look out for other walkers as well. Also, don’t wander into any areas or alleys that may look the least bit unsafe—stay with your group—there’s safety in numbers, and of course always keep a close eye on your camera gear and personal items.

Also, make sure you check out the Official World Wide Photo Walk Facebook Page (here’s the link) for more walking tips and also you can follow the official walk on Google+ (here’s the link) or on Twitter using the Hashtag #WWPW.”


Our group is meeting in the parking lot by the visitor center right by this wall at 0930.   We will be there rain or shine.  Here is the link to our walk.

Hope you can join us.

Only Two More Weeks…!

I’ve been visiting to Colonial Williamsburg for a very, very long time.  Each and every time I visit, I find something new.  Pretty good for a place that is so “old”, ok most of it has been rebuilt since the 1930’s.  This year they moved the World Wide Photowalk to October, because July was just too hot.  Fall in Williamsburg is just beautiful.  So this is your chance to stroll around the scenic corners of Duke of Gloucester Street with your camera, and a bunch of photographic friends.  It is really easy to sign up online at:

This will be my fifth annual walk. Each time I go, I am surprised to see just how photographer can each walk along the same path and yet see such different things.  Just the slightest variation in composition, aperture and shutter speed make each image unique. 

Did we mention there is literally thousands of dollars worth of prizes?  Each walker gets to submit their best image and the group leader has to select that for submission to the world wide contest.   As of today, there are only 892 walks scheduled and only 16936 other photographers who will be trying for those prizes.

If you are within a few hours of Williamsburg, come out and join us.  It will be