My first (and long overdue) Photo-Walk : part 1: Dick Bell Park

Think of this as part of my “get out there” adventures.   Before we go any further, I guess I should first define what a photo-walk is in my little world:

Photo-walk:  When one goes out actually walking in an area with one or more friends with the goals of making photographs, sharing with one another, and enjoying the camaraderie that goes with such ventures.

Usually, when I am out making photographs, I am alone or with others who simply don’t have much interest in photography.  While this is often fine and I love the quiet times that going solo provides, I’ve been thinking about getting out and actually going out for a photo-walk for a long time now.

An old friend of mine and I have been talking about doing this for quite some time now and we finally took an opportunity to do this early Sunday morning.  We had arranged to get started at 5am so that there were as few people as possible and decided to walk around two parks which are pretty much side-by-side in Ottawa.  Dick Bell Park and Andrew Hayden Park:  They are both on the Ottawa River and we figured they would provide a good initial outing.

Checklist for the photo-walk:

  • Make tentative plan – when , where, etc
  • Get gear together (body, lenses, bags, tripods, filters)
  • Charge camera battery
  • Check with wife (Very important!  Can’t stress this enough.)
  • Confirm plan
  • Set alarm to get up in plenty of time before departure
  • Set out clothes the night before (see check with wife if you are wondering why)


Dick Bell Park

This is a nice little park which is actually a small peninsula and also serves as a shelter for the local sailing club against the river’s currents.  We arrived at around sunrise and this time I wasn’t much interested in getting any images of the sun rising, although my friend was all for getting some.  I spent the first little while looking around trying to decide on what to photograph.  I decided that perhaps getting some photos of the boats in their slips may be a good start, especially with the sun still fairly low on the horizon.  The first one was taken very early.  The second was sometime later from a different angle.  Notice the warm colours from the earlier shot.


I was fortunate in that boaters are often early risers and that I was able to capture one beautiful sailboat on the move.


Oh!  By the way, I love boats!

I also took an opportunity to take an image of my friend in action.  Notice how he really does look the part of a photographer.  He’s taken some exceptional images over the years.  While he says he doesn’t know a whole lot technically, he has an excellent eye.  I think that has much more relevance than technical know-how, by the way.


We saw a few small birds while there as well.


And a family of geese right at the water’s edge.


My next post (tomorrow) will follow up with Andrew Hayden Park, which we visited directly afterwards.