Every year since 2007 this amazing event occurs. All around the world at the same day photographers gathers together to take pictures, talk, walk, socialize and have some serious fun. This year it was performed all over the world with over 20.000 photographers in nearly 1000 different places. That it’s also a competition is just a bonus.
This year I got accompanied by one of my best friends Paul, which made it even more fun. I felt happy and pretty laid back and relaxed. Much due to that I’ve earlier won the competition locally in Stockholm on Skeppsholmen in 2011. Somehow I felt that I had already proven myself, and now it was just fun to participate, meet other photographers and have a really nice saturday stroll in the sun.
If you are a photographer you know what I meen by a stroll in the sun on a saturday at mid day. Horrible light. Harsh shadows. Squinting eyes on people passing by and almost impossible colors that just don’t want to show themselves in the way you’d prefer. On situations like this you just have to trust your instincts and work with what you have got. Relax. Have fun. Make the best of the situation.
In our group we were around 30 photographers and had a walk in front of us for around 4-5 hours. Clear blue sky, lovely weather and great company. We walked, talked, talked some more and really tried our best to capture a great picture.
I felt quite miserable and wasn’t happy with anything my camera showed me on the display. I started to fiddle around with the retouch settings in the camera. And actually found a pretty neat way to produce tilt-shift images. I took some pictures of some boats passing by and a family relaxing in the sun. Nah, not good enough.
Suddenly it just stood there. On a shaded back street along the sidewalk. A really old car with perfect patina and a perfect balance between rust and shine. I walked around it, took some pictures trying to find the perfect angle and composition. I set my camera to bracketing mode to have the best options home at the computer. When I left the car I knew I had a quite decent picture to work with.
Back in front of the computer though I started to sort and look at the pictures. Bad, bad, bad. I didn’t like a single picture. Not even the picture of the old car. Maybe I was in a bad mood, but not one single picture gave me that strange fuzzing feeling you get when you see a good picture. I started to work with the car. I went for the HDR technique. Not too much. Don’t overdo it. Make it subtle, but still HDR. A couple of hours later I was done. I looked at it felt a bit, eh, ah, maybe okey, nah, but still, it’s rather good. I didn’t have any other picture good enough to participate with. Even if I wasn’t completely satisfied I felt that I still gave it my best shot. I said to myself “Don’t beat your self up about it, it’s still a good picture”.
The days passed with work and studies and the competition and the picture slowly fell into oblivion. A couple of weeks later I was reminded of the walk and felt curious whom had won the best picture in Stockholm. I logged in to the walk and scrolled down. What? “That’s my picture!”. That turned out to be a really good day. My doubts about myself slowly faded and turned my face into a great big smile. I now had won the walk locally twice! I was thrilled! But it wasn’t over yet.
The 9th of November. It was late and I was tired and a bit bored and I was sitting scrolling through the timeline on Facebook. Nothing new, same old same old. A status update from Scott Kelby read: “I just announced the ten Finalists and Grand Prize Winner from my 8th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk. – http://scottkelby.com – some wonderful images from around the world!”. Nice, great pictures are always fun and inspiring to look at. I clicked it and started to read. Scott Kelby always write briliantly and I was thrilled to see the pictures they had chosen. Scrolling, reading, scrolling reading. WHAT?!? I just gasped. There it was. My picture of the old car. I shuddered all over with a feeling of surprise and joy. Was it really true? My picture amongst the ten finalists in the whole world? I couldn’t believe it and had to scroll and read again and again. But it still was there. My picture.
That day turned out to be one of the best days of my life. Maybe it sounds a bit strange and trivial. But for me it was.
I am so greatful and overfilled with joy and love. A love for photography. Love towards all the people around me whom had complimented me. A love towards life and the world we live in.