Sea Blue Lens

(Almost) Photoless Photo Walk


So I took my camera-less photo walk for Kat’s class this afternoon. And let me admit, right up front, that I cheated. Just a tiny little bit.

Sorry, I had to do it.

I did NOT take my camera with me. I saw so many wonderful photo opportunities that, weather permitting, I’m going back tomorrow, with camera. But this sky was so strange! I knew it wouldn’t keep, so I grabbed it with my cell phone while I had the chance. Please forgive me — I couldn’t help myself.

Let me back up and start from the beginning. It was gray most of the day today. I didn’t want to drive anywhere. There’s a river walk that starts off pretty near my home. I’d heard that a local trails organization had done some work on the path, and I’ve been wanting to check it out. So I headed out this afternoon, thinking it would be a good opportunity to explore without getting sidetracked by stopping to take pictures every few steps.

I wasn’t expecting that much, honestly, because I’ve covered the area pretty thoroughly in the past. But the improvements to the trail were great! It used to be a scary scramble down a steep dirt path and over rocks, where it petered out a short distance later on a granite outcrop by the river. Now there are safe steps and handrails, lookout points, and the path continues on to join another farther up the road.

Some of the things I saw:

  • At the beginning of the trail is a small hydroelectric dam that I’d like to try to shoot. There’s also a wall there absolutely covered in graffiti that might make for some interesting photos.
  • A flash of vivid red leaves — just a few — caught my eye in a clump of otherwise drab foliage.
  • Berries of many varieties and colors, from pale yellow to orange to fiery red to navy blue and black.
  • A few remaining wildflowers.
  • Some nice views of the town on the other side of the river.
  • A boatyard with a number of vessels already shrink-wrapped and stored for the season.
  • A variety of grasses and seed heads waving in the breeze.
  • One beautiful golden mushroom. I regretted not having my camera for that, because I doubt it will look the same tomorrow.
  • Remnants of old granite slab walls on the riverbank.
  • A cormorant perched on a buoy, silhouetted against the sunstruck ripples of the river.

The path then left the river’s edge and joined a road that parallels the water. A sign informed me that it was a dead-end street, but much to my delight, though the street ended, the path continued. And that’s where it started to get really good!

I came upon a small, covered observation deck with a bench, where I sat for a time. The shrubs and trees were filled with the flittings and chirpings of small birds, something warbler-like. My son-in-law could have identified them, I’m sure, but all I know is that they were entrancing and made me smile.

And the view! I can’t wait to go back and try to capture and keep it. I already have it saved in my mind and heart, but I want to be able to share it.

On my way home, I stopped in my favorite local deli/wine shop on Main Street and picked up some homemade turkey stew for my dinner. While I was waiting, I looked around and thought that would be a great place to take some photographs, too. I plan to go back and ask if they’d mind if I try.

Overall, I have to say this was a much more satisfying experience than I expected it to be. I don’t think I’d have gotten as far or seen as much if I’d had my camera with me. And now I have the pleasure of having discovered new territory just a pleasant walk away from my front door, and the happy anticipation of exploring it all over again with camera in hand. That’s a win-win, for sure.


15 thoughts on “(Almost) Photoless Photo Walk

  1. I’m laughing to myself about your cell phone photo…which is lovely by the way. I had my phone in my pocket on my walk and it was SOOOO hard not to use it to get a shot or two.

    Won’t it be fun to go back to get those photos?

  2. Lee,
    Definitely a win-win – you have discovered new photographic possibilities and now have the excitement of the return visit to look forward to. And I look forward to seeing visually what you have so eloquently described.

    And you are forgiven for cheating – that sky is completely weird.

  3. You’ve brought your photo walk to life, I feel like I was right there with you. I’m glad you cheated because that sky is awesome! Can’t wait to see the images you take when you go back with your camera.

  4. The sky is beautiful. I too am glad that you were able to capture it and shared it with us. How nice that now you can go back and see and enjoy it all again but this time with your camera. It definitely sounds like a day to look forward to.

  5. Oh, how wonderful! I’m glad you cheated too. πŸ™‚ We know skies are never the same, sometimes you have to capture them. You saw SO MUCH on this walk! Would you have found the delightful golden mushroom if you hadn’t had your camera? I wonder if you would have been stopped earlier, and missed it. I love how you described this exercise as a win-win. It’s hard not to have our camera with us, since as photographers we often process the world around us through our images, but this is a good reminder that it’s not the camera that is the key, it’s how we see.

  6. Neato! Hey, let’s see those cool cloud photos you took the other day, while you’re at it! You know the ones I mean! πŸ™‚

  7. It was nice going on the walk with you…I felt as if I was there!

  8. Your walk was so lovely and I enjoyed going with you! I’m with the others, so glad you took the cloud photo!! It’s so stunning! I was amazed at how much I saw as I walked. I thought I was looking prett close when I had my camera, but I guess not!! I like the way you listed what you saw and can’t wait for you to share some more photos!

  9. I love the idea that part of photography is sharing. That we have our memories sealed but it allows us to share them in a limited way of course with others. Seems obvious but I never thought of it like that.

  10. Yes we must shoot photos together!
    I know exactly where you were walking. I have taken photos of that graffiti wall several times. I love graffiti. I don’t think I followed the path as far as you did.
    Isn’t it amazing how much you notice when you really look? I find some days I see so much and the next I don’t see much of anything. Hardly makes sense at all. I’ll email or call soon. have to check my weekend work schedule.

  11. I agree – it’s definitely win-win. My camera-less walk was on a bright, sunny day, and it was also hard not to actually pull out my camera phone and take a few snapshots. However, I was not as brave as you. πŸ˜‰
    That is a gorgeous sky, and I wouldn’t have passed that up, either. What a great walk!

  12. That sky is incredible..mesmerizing. And, your post – I especially love the part where you find the bench…”And the view! I can’t wait to go back and try to capture and keep it. I already have it saved in my mind and heart, but I want to be able to share it.” How beautiful.

  13. I too am glad that you “cheated” and were able to snap a shot of that sky. Amazing! Plus, it is nice to get a feel, in a tiny way, of what you experienced during your walk.

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