A Walk in the Park


Photograph/Krithika Akkarajuby

I like to take a walk in the park. Recently I took a walk in the park with Anita, my photographer friend. That was quite a different walk in the park.

Photographers are not like the rest of us mortals when they walk in a park. They walk differently, they look at things differently, and they certainly behave differently. Being in the park with Anita, I was happy if I could walk a total of ten steps without having to stop. There is always something to shoot, especially with a digital camera with far too much memory available. Flowers, for example, are nice to shoot in a park. However, whereas most people will admire a flower from where they are standing, a photographer gets down on all four – at the very least. From there he or she will photo the flower from any possible angle that no other walking upright person would think of, namely from a deep horizontal view or even from underneath.

The only time Anita was standing upright while taking photos in the park was when she took photos of trees; it was the only time she was able to photo something from underneath without having to lie on the ground. Other people would of course take a few steps back and photo the whole tree. But photographers are different when they are let loose in the park. Of course things do not stop here. Once Anita had installed herself in the most inconvenient position under a flower, she now had to wait for the right natural light. Rest assured that the sun will disappear behind a cloud and one shall have to wait for the sun to show again before any photos can be taken. Or the other way around. Whatever.

And then, once the light is right, the photo shoot begins. Take one picture, check the result, and then realize that the photo is overexposed. This overexposure is obviously the fault of the sun and its strong light. The very same sun that Anita had been waiting for while looking like a yoga posture that somehow went wrong along the way. Then take another picture, check the result, dabble a little more with exposure, and so on. After some twenty shots, the picture is finally right. And if it isn’t, it is no longer possible to go on because the sun has disappeared behind yet another cloud.

Then it is finally possible to continue the walk in the park. For a total of eight more steps. If one is lucky, that is. Then there is another flower to shoot. This time in yellow. The first one was in red. And so the walk in the park continues in slow motion. Come to think about it, a walk in the park with a photographer is actually like walking with a small child; one has to stop every 5-10 steps because the photographer/baby is down on his or her knees – at the very least. And once down, who knows when they will get up.

Photographers, of course, would not notice any of all these rather exciting behavioural traits that they demonstrates. To them, it is just their normal walk in the park. Which might explain why they tend to – or have to – stick together in the park.

Of course, for the rest of us mortals, a photographer at work in the park taking flower photos from angles not even insects knew existed, seems in itself like a scenery that is truly worth taking pictures of.

Gabriel Fuchs is a Swiss-based IT and management consultant, as well as a keen hobby photographer. Gabriel is also a proficient writer of more or less serious industry articles, both on IT and photography. 

This article originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of Better Photography.

Tags: Gabriel Fuchs, January 2008, Photo Walk, Walk in the garden, scenery that is truly worth taking pictures of, Photographing flowers, Things photographers do