The Weekly Walk Photo Project

Many of us only do photography when we have something to take pictures of: a birthday party, a vacation, an iconic destination, a portrait, an owl in a tree etc. We take pictures of things… we rarely make images of our ‘feelings about things’.

©Darwin Wiggett - A picture of King Penguins; this image says very little about how I ‘feel’ about penguins but is more a documentary portrait of the birds.

©Darwin Wiggett – A picture of King Penguins; this image says very little about how I ‘feel’ about penguins but is more a documentary portrait of the birds.

©Samantha Chrysanthou - A more personal and expressive image of penguins which tells us that the photographer finds penguins to be funny personalities.

©Samantha Chrysanthou – A more personal and expressive image of penguins which tells us that the photographer finds penguins to be funny personalities.

Our feelings are always trying to emerge in our photography but are often suppressed by our obsession over gear, concerns about technique, and worries about what others will think of our photos. Our egos often get in the way of expressive image making. And so the results of our photography are impersonal, predictable and clichéd.  After a while we are not even sure why we take photos and we become bored with our work.

©Darwin Wiggett - Ho-hum… another mountain peak portrait… this image says little about the motivation, the yearnings or the personality of the photographer.

©Darwin Wiggett – Ho-hum… another mountain peak portrait… this image says little about the motivation, the yearnings or the personality of the photographer.

To remedy the boredom and get back in touch with why we take photos, Samantha and I recommend doing a personal photography project. It’s best if the project is something simple and achievable. Don’t try some grand epic project or you’re bound to fail – start small and make it fun. And give yourself a deadline and an outcome: when will you finish and how are you going to collate or present your work?

For example, my personal photo project for the next six months will be a weekly photo walk. Once a week, starting with the week of January 12, I will pick up my camera and head out on a two to three hour walk and make images of things I find interesting. I might walk in my neighborhood, meander in a city park or stroll in nature.

©Darwin Wiggett - Anything can be a subject on a photo walk; there is magic in the mundane!

©Darwin Wiggett – Anything can be a subject on a photo walk; there is magic in the mundane!

Why a walk?

I chose a weekly photo walk for three reasons. First, walking is environmentally friendly. I just walk from wherever I am. No driving involved! Second, walking is healthy for body and spirit. Third, walking slows you down giving you time to look around and see; I’ll get to know an area much more intimately which is important because for the next six months Samantha and I will be house and pet sitting in different locations in Alberta. What better way to learn about a new place than by walking in it? After each walk I’ll write a short journal entry about the experience and process any images I made.

A walk around the Children’s Hospital in Calgary on Christmas Day resulted in this photo and the idea for the Weekly Walk Photo Project.

A walk around the Children’s Hospital in Calgary on Christmas Day resulted in this photo and the idea for the Weekly Walk Photo Project.

What is the outcome?

Once a month I’ll share a story or two of my walking journeys here on the blog. The final result of the weekly walks will be a hand-made, hand-bound journal of my photos and writings that will be completed by July 30.

©Darwin Wiggett - Caffeine fired creativity should yield a cool hand-made journal of the weekly walks.

©Darwin Wiggett – Caffeine fired creativity should yield a cool hand-made journal of the weekly walks.

What’s in it for you?

So… we encourage you to come up with a project that excites your creative spirit. If you like the idea of the weekly photo walk, then feel free to lace up your boots and join me on the journey. Glad to have you along!

If you have a different project in mind then we encourage you to share your idea and your deadline for the output (e.g.  a book, print show, eBook, or online gallery). Feel free to post your project idea and photo results from your project, or the weekly walk, at any time over on our oopoomoo Facebook group. There you’ll get encouragement and advice from fellow oopoomians. If you’re not on Facebook feel free to email me at darwin@oopoomoo.com and tell me about your project or just share images from your weekly walk. Samantha and I will select some of your project ideas or weekly walk results to highlight here on the oopoomoo blog, with your permission of course. As well, we may give out a prize or two just to keep things interesting, hint, hint 😉

Good luck with all your projects. We are excited to see what you come up with!

©Darwin Wiggett - Are you ready for the challenge of a weekly walk?

©Darwin Wiggett – Are you ready for the challenge of a weekly walk?

About the Author

I am a Canadian landscape and outdoor photographer who loves long hikes in the woods, yummy food, hairy dogs, good company and a good guitar jam.

7 Comments

  1. Lawrence
    January 11, 2015

    Hmmm??
    Sounds like a great idea Darwin. Will have to come up with some challenge for myself…

    Reply
  2. Jeff
    January 11, 2015

    This is right up my alley! This is about the only shooting I do anymore. I love to walk and somehow manage to make pictures at the same time.

    Reply
  3. dave belcher
    January 11, 2015

    That mountain by Cline river always intrigues me.–why are it,s layered of limestone turned on edge…along with many other questions.-.

    Reply
  4. Julie
    January 13, 2015

    You are so right and great idea to get the photographic juices flowing again especially over winter, maybe I just might join in the fun. Thank you for all your words of wisdom over the years.

    Reply
  5. Tom
    January 16, 2015

    Darwin,
    What you said, especially your first paragraph, really struck a chord with me. What you say is so simple and yet so profound. Most of all it is so true! It’s a wonderful reminder of what the art of photography is about – at least what it is about for me.
    I really like the idea of photography projects and am trying to come up with something for myself… I’ll keep you guys posted.

    Reply
    • Darwin Wiggett
      January 21, 2015

      Hey Tom,

      As soon as you get a project let us know about it… unless you want to keep it personal and for yourself. Whatever you do I am sure the results will be inspiring!

  6. Susan
    January 29, 2015

    This is a great idea. With the cold temperatures I’ve been less inclined to get out and photograph unless I have something specific in mind. But a “weekly walk project” is inspiring!

    Reply

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