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.