WorldWide Photo Walk 2017

Has it really been 2 years since I attended the WorldWide Photo Walk? I guess so… I’m not sure where I was or what I was doing last year, but I probably had something better to do, but from various blog posts around that time, I don’t see anything. Maybe I just missed it, or maybe I was feeling sick of photowalks or something.

But when the announcement came out back in August, I was quick to sign up, and even though it was my third photowalk in as many weeks (Waxahachie on 9/23; Polacon Denton Walk on 10/1), I was excited and ready…

… though about 30 minutes into the walk, I was pretty much ready to go and just wanted to finish up the rolls I had in-camera and head home, and that’s precisely what I did.

We met up in Ferris Plaza Park at 10. The organizer arrived at 10:30 and we started walking at 10:40. I hate stuff that starts late like that, but I tried to stay positive.

The route had us headed up Young to Harwood, and over to the Farmer’s Market, but we first headed southwest to Union Station to shoot the trains for far too long.

I did get an OK shot of the derelict backside of the Hyatt Regency/Reunion Tower complex.

And an ok shot of the tower itself, with an ultralight or something hovering next to it.

70mm is not nearly long enough.

And this is as good a time as any to mention films and developments:

I carried 3 cameras: the Nikon FG with the 36-72mm E Series, loaded with Ilford Delta 3200 and set to expose at 1000; the Olympus XA with some hand-rolled Konica 160 in it, part of my Against the Grain “Let it Develop” 365 project,* and a new arrival: the Agfa Optima Sensor 535, with an orange filter mounted on the front, loaded with some expired Kodak Plus-X 125, and set to expose at 80.

I developed the Plus-X in Ilfotec HC 1:31 for 5 minutes with 4 gentle agitations per minute, and the Delta 3200, shot at 1000, in Rodinal 1+24 for 11 minutes. If you look at that carefully, you might notice something a bit off: Rodinal is normally mixed at 1+25, 1+50, 1+100, etc. I poured 20ml of Rodinal into a container and added water to make 500ml. That’s 1+24, not 1+25, and I wonder if that’s what gave all the grain. I expected much smoother grain, even with Delta 3200, since I shot at 1 2/3 stops over and developed normally, but who knows.

Anyway.

After that we started walking up Young. I’d never been to this part of downtown before, and a bit surprised to find the Lubben Plaza Park sculpture park. I liked this piece, Linnea Glatt’s “Harrow.” It’s meant to travel in a slow circle around a handmade track, creating patterns in the sand, but given the weeds and footprints and lack of patterns, I suspect it hasn’t been operational in some time.

On we went, past the Omni and random municipal buildings to Pioneer Plaza, another place I’d never been. This may be the shot of the day, for me, and I’ll probably upload it to the WWPW website, though I’m sure not to win anything.

I spotted this portal, part of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, and decided to a/b it with the cameras and films. The Solitar lens on that Agfa is sharp, but the Nikon has its merits; the Plus-X is smooth and crisp, but the Delta has some character to it.

One thing about the Agfa lens: it has 0 distortion. I’ve never noticed the horrid barrel distortion on the wide end of the 36-72, but wow… I could correct it, if I tried, but I mostly just left it.

After that, I backtracked a bit and wandered around the fucking Confederate War Memorial (pardon my language: I’ll have more to say on that—and a few pictures to share that really almost capture my view of these memorials, these days—in a few days, God willing) and then up past the City of Dallas, where I shot the last frame of Delta and decided it was time to go.

I wandered a bit further, then cut down Park and wandered back to the car. I made it as far as Commerce, but kept a fairly straight course, and shot randomly along the way.

So that was my WWPW 2017 experience. No panic, like the 2012 one; no fun with Ted Forbes, like the 2015 one. In fact, I got the feeling that I enjoy the community-feel of a photowalk, hanging around random people for a bit, but I don’t really get great, project-type photos on these walks.

Except that I do… looking back at my archive a couple of weeks ago, I found several groups of similar shots. I especially seem to like older, 1950s facades and street level storefronts, but it’s all so random-seeming. I don’t know. The adult human interaction part of it is good for me, and I like many of the regulars I see at the DPW walks, so I’ll keep going. This one was just a bit meh, partly down to the weather, which was cloudy for the first 2/3 of the walk, until I turned and headed back to the car in fact; partly due to the lateness of the organizer and all the standing around we did prior; and partly due to me, my personality, my hang-ups, my failings.

Look forward to a proper Delta Def Jam post in a couple of days, plus a proper user experience report/review of the Afga Optima Sensor 535 and the expired Kodak Plus-X. Loads to come, InshaAllah.


*The #atg365 is a study in patience… the idea is to shoot whatever, whenever, with whatever frequency, but to wait a year before developing. For my version of it, starting back on September 1, everything I shoot with the Olympus XA will get sealed up and frozen until September 1, 2018 (or sometime thereafter) when I’ll develop it all and enjoy the memories, maybe, or wonder what I was thinking, or whatever, like a time capsule.

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