Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk

I’ve not been out shooting (photos, not anything else) for awhile (since our northwest road trip, with travelling buddies Lew & Louise, ending in late June), mostly for personal reasons. But I never stopped thinking about it and in September determined to start again. That determination translated into action at about the same time as the scheduling of the annual Kelbyone Worldwide walk was being promoted. This is an annual event put on by the Kelbyone photography organization (used to be NAPP, acronym for Nat’l Association for Photoshop Professionals – I’m a member so I see all their announcements, their publications, etc.).

I’ve been on many of these organized photowalks over the years but honestly, they rarely turned out to be particularly satisfying for me (for a variety of reasons). I had almost decided against going this year when I saw that one was being arranged for Half Moon Bay and when I looked over the description of the specific area to be covered (around the Pillar Point neighborhood) I decided to give it a go — with one particular and personal caveat.

One of the things I found not satisfying about the walks, in general, has been that they are all held during daylight hours. There’s nothing wrong with that but I find I like to go out early (or late) not only because of the better light available at those times but also because (especially in the morning) there are few other people around to contend with in getting the shot I want. So, although this particular walk was set to begin at 9:00 AM and end at noon, I decided to arrive much earlier and see what images I could get before the walk started. In terms of the walk “rules” (having to do with the optional competition participants can be part of) none of the photos I created outside of the the walk’s time-frame would be eligible. From my perspective, that was NOT an issue.

Here are a few of the earliest photos all taken at the Pillar Point Harbor marina between 6:30 and 7 AM before actual sunrise but as the dawn is beginning to appear over the hills in the east. The marina is the home port for many working fishing boats as well as personal pleasure craft. In a one of these slideshow images, plus the photo at the top of this blog, you can see both types just going out to get some early fishing in.

As day began to brighten, I continued to search for images around the harbor, waiting for the walk to begin. Here are a couple of photos of fishermen or women looking for the day’s lunch or dinner.

I walked around the harbor (after stopping in somewhere for a cup of coffee) and took photos of whatever drew my attention. For example, I came across a sign directing users of the boat hoist to leave things as they found them. But my warped mind immediately took it in another direction asking myself who kept taking the gate and chains away. Wandering on I saw strange boat names — in one case, taken from a TV animated character’s dialog. I also saw a working boat return from their fishing run and then setup a dockside store (and signs for other stores).

[You can click on the images in the mosaic below to see them a bit larger.]

It was at about this time that I joined in the actual walk. Unlike many of the Kelby walks I’d been on in years past, this group was small at about a dozen people (these walks can have as many as 50, and often do). With that nice-sized group, everyone more-or-less stayed together most of the way out (away from the harbor and toward Pillar Point). Also, the walk leader was engaging and actually led the group encouragingly (not insistently) which made it as much a social process as a photographic one. I snapped a few more things along the way and otherwise had a nice hike and chat with others in the group.

Our walk took us along the coast but often on streets until we reached the beach which we traversed until we reached the West Shoreline Access Trail. We first took that west toward the point and later followed it back and then up a slightly steep trail to an ocean overlook. I saw an unidentified plant growing in a creek bed, a very special Doggie Lookout Station built into a fence, a strange bench (where, I guess, tall people sit at one end and short people at the other end), another fisherman (at the breakwater near the point), and (after a short but steep climb) an overlook above Ross Cove and the Pillar Point Air Force Station at the bluff above the Point.

[You can click on the images in the mosaic below to see them a bit larger.]

After all that, I hiked back with those still in the group who had gone the entire distance. We returned to the harbor and gathered at the Ketch Joanne’s Harbor Restaurant & Bar for lunch (I had Manhatten / Coney Island style clam chowder) before facing the usual October pumpkin traffic (before Halloween) at Half Moon Bay for my return home.

As usual some of the photos on this blog are also visible at CedBennett.Photography at larger sizes and higher resolution. Please feel free to comment in the section below or on the photography site.

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