Photos from the Bethesda photowalk

On 2/9 at 2 PM, Ligia and I attended the Bethesda photowalk, an event organized by Mark Anderson. It was our first group photowalk — up till now, I took photos by myself and only Ligia accompanied me. The only other similar event I ever attended was the Alexandria photowalk last year, organized by Keith McCammon. I felt much more comfortable there, mainly because there was only one other person in attendance besides Ligia and me: Keith.

I discovered, or rather remembered certain things during the Bethesda photowalk:

  • I don’t like group events. I tend to feel alone and isolated in large groups and feel the need to draw apart and be by myself.
  • I don’t like shaking hands with people when I can’t wash afterwards. This is part of my obsessive-compulsive personality. Even more so, I don’t like shaking hands with people when I’m using my camera and I can’t wash my hands because there’s no bathroom nearby. It’s because I feel their hand germs on my my hand and on the camera, and I can’t concentrate on taking photos. I know it’s odd and probably wrong, but that’s what it is and I have to cope with it.
  • Taking photos in large groups is pretty weird for me. It’s not my bag. I end up feeling like a paparazzi, and that’s not what I got into photography to do. It also breaks my concentration to have all those snapping cameras around me and I don’t end up taking good photos.

None of this has anything to do with the event itself or with the people who attended. The event was a trigger that helped me realize certain things. Everyone was nice, Mark did a great job of organizing the event and mapping out the route, and if only I could enjoy myself, there were plenty of opportunities. But, like I said, large group photowalks aren’t my bag.

Overall, I’m grateful for the photowalk. It got me out of the house and taking photos, and that’s always a good thing. Let’s call this my Week 8 submission for the 2008 Community Challenge.


4 Thoughts

  1. Well, I must say that I’m honored! Not only was my company not generally annoying or offensive, but I hadn’t noticed your penchant for (or obsession with, depending on how you like to look at it) washing your hands. This must mean one of two things:

    1) Your hand-washing may be compulsive, but is probably not recognized by most as a compulsion (unless, of course, you’ve announced as much via your web site!). Or,

    2) At first glance, I simply appear “clean” 🙂

    Now, back on topic:

    I must say that I share your preference for smaller groups. Two to four (myself included) tends to be a comfortable number for me. Many more than that and I feel like I’m herding cats.

    It’s also worth noting that, under certain circumstances, larger groups can be disruptive to the point that the group affects the behavior of subjects. That said, I may at times be every bit as disruptive on my own!

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  2. I used sanitizing gels in the past and found them marginally useful. The gunk is still on your hands after you use them, except the germs are supposedly dead, and your hands now smell like artificially-scented alcohol — a somewhat nauseating scent if you ask me.

    Besides, I found that my fingers would stick to the camera’s rubber after using those gels, so it was even more annoying. No, the best thing is real water and soap. It’s the only thing that gets my hands properly clean. But thanks for the suggestions!

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  3. Trevor beat me to it but I was going to suggest you keep a small bottle of waterless hand sanitizer in your camera bag. Then you can clean your hands after shaking, giving you the peace of mind to enjoy yourself for the rest of the outing. Here is South Africa we have a new product from Dettol being advertised on television. I bought a small bottle like the one shown on this New Zealand site. I’m sure there will be many brands available to you in the US as we are always late to get these kind of things.

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  4. There are some beautiful images there, Raoul. You know, this is interesting. I’ve learned something new and very unique about you. Very unique.

    Now, I’ll make sure to either…

    Pretend I have a cold, and wipe my nose a lot.
    or
    Bring along some sanitizing gel, for you.

    …when we meet the first time.

    He, he.

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