Monday, April 21, 2014

Scavenging for Light - Spring Photography Outing, Grand Rapids, MI

Scavenging for Spring this Winter! Thankfully, with the weather perfectly brisk and sunny, I enjoyed the Grand Rapids Public Photo Scavenger Hunt last Saturday (Apr 19th). Myself, I think I first heard about this project at the Downtown Grand Rapids Public Library. But maybe it was the Kent district library in East GR?  I heard a count of over 50 participants. I myself, not having an aerial perspective at near 5 feet tall, could not see past the first wall of 20. Everyone seemed to hear about the event from somewhere else - Yahoo meet-ups, Facebook. The internet makes for a small world, packed into a small parking lot.

Our fearless leader, Dianne passed out her business card to give us all a common link and explained our destiny. Armed with our own cameras, and our own backgrounds, we joined together to march along the Millennium Park walking path to find the objects listed on the scav hunt list she thenceforth passed out. Not your usual scavenger hunt. No easter bunnies. No eggs. She listed fifty items that were more like "themes" starting with shapes, and then later colors, and even things like "rhythm" for number 47. When I got to 34 "soft" I was not sure if it should BE soft, or LOOK soft. I didn't want to duplicate the theme for number 11 "smooth".

Dianne was very chirpy despite being out on the walk for nearly 2 hours, never stopping for a breath and answering all questions. She's the kind of person who answers questions with another question, so beware!

It was a photo journey that tried to absorb every step of the way, making each foot seem more like a mile! It was more introspective, than "instructive" as some of us thought an intro photo hike would be. However, with all of the energy and sheer numbers, the walk was fun, fertile with ideas, and I can't wait to see what other images others came up with.

Activity Demographics (these are guesses, since I don't have a roster):

 - Age: mostly 30 somethings to middle age. Male and female. Many married.
 - Cameras: Predominantly Canon. Varied from point and shoot to SLR. Most had zoom lenses. All digital. Some tripods. Some diffusers.
 - Fitness level: No fitness requirement
 - Experience required: None
 - Pack with you: comfy clothes, camera (with battery, film/cards), bottle of water
 - Parking: Small dirt parking lot. Main lot is not open for the season.
 - For more information on the Scavenger Hunt Photography Event, please contact Diane Carroll Burdick <>

Here are some pix of the group. If anyone feels that they are inappropriate, please write to me at

At this point, I can't keep track of how many people are with the group, and how many are trying to get away from the group!

(#3: Curves)
Believe it or not, this is all us, and we are all sticking together although we are so far apart we don't fit in the frame.

#5: Square.
Almost felt like I was in a large camera. Like a camera obscura!

#20: Large.
I'm not sure if this person was actually leaning against this mountain or just somewhere behind it. 

#15 Dark and Light
I was referring to the grass
The more people I wait to get into/out of frame, the further behind the group I get

There are some things that just attract attention.
I can't think of a single person in the group that didn't take some capture of this monstrosity.
It is so easy to use it for a number of the themes: rhythm, hard, large, old, dull, triangle.
The constructs that we try to find in our images are reflected in the products of our engineering; yet however, derived they are, they contrast with nature.

Beaver tracks. Awesome!

Just your garden variety.

#18: High
He's so tall to begin with, AND he has a tripod that is light enough
to swing overhead. How much could he possibly gain by standing on a rock 1 foot up?
Being that it would take me 3 rocks to reach his vantage point, I may never know.

#37: Still
We can be so close together, and yet so far apart.
Waiting for a moment, it may feel like the only thing keeping still, is ourself.

And here is a selection of some of my photographs from the scavenger hunt

#3: Curves

#24: Balance

#12: Texture

#25: Pattern

#8: Circle

#10: From the ground

#35 Hard

#47: Rhythm

#44: Old

#43: Young

#27: Reflection