Photowalking Without a Camera

For the first time in a while, I’ve accumulated a backlog of blog material. I’ve had three blog-worthy experiences over the last couple of weeks and I haven’t had time to write about them yet. I’ll start with the most recent and work backward.

On Sunday I took a photowalk — or “Instawalk”, if you will — in Braamfontein with a group of Jozi Instagrammers.

Man in a window, Braamfontein.

As many of you know, Instagram is my new obsession and I’ve taken many, many Instagram shots around town over the last few weeks.  But this was the first time that I participated in a photowalk with only my iPad. I felt some anxiety when I walked out the door and left my camera bag sitting on the kitchen counter. I didn’t regret it though.

No cameras. Only phones. (And me with an iPad). Photo: @levonlock

This Instawalk was actually more a climb than a walk — to the top of the Civic Towers in Braamfontein. I never get tired of the Jozi skyline and it was nice to experience it from a new angle. It was late afternoon and raining when we got up there. We saw several lightning bolts and a hint of a rainbow.

I didn’t catch the lighting. But I did catch Instagram rock star @garethpon, doing his thing. Can you see him?

@roywrench sets up a shot with his adorable iPhone tripod. See the rainbow?

Tilt. I never used to like shooting gimmicky frames like this. But Instagram is made for gimmicks. 

And of course, there were clouds.

@alessiolr, ‘gramming the Brixton Tower and light through the clouds.

Jozi and clouds.

I loved shooting the skyline and clouds, but I enjoyed shooting the other photographers just as much. Instagramming is a very photogenic activity.


@savvysavanah. My favorite shot of the day.

@hairyknees and @unclescrooch, shooting in a nearby alley after we came down off the roof.

I really enjoy hanging out with this group. Even though I feel like a dinosaur around them (I’m about 15 years older than the average Instagrammer), they make me look at photography in a new way. Most of the Jozi Instagrammers have never shot pictures with a DSLR before. They do all of their post-production work on their phones, and they spend hours and hours editing each photo. The results are stunning — true works of digital art. Click on the different Instagram feeds that I’ve hyperlinked in this post to see what I mean.

The ‘grammers. In addition to the profiles I’ve already mentioned, check out @btherad@timvanrooyen, and @verashni

I’m still an amateur when it comes to Instagram. But thanks to @unclescrooch, who harassed me mercilessly on Sunday afternoon, I finally downloaded a photo-editing app called Snapseed. If you want to be a legit iPhonographer (iPadographer), you can’t rely on the standard Instagram filters. They just don’t cut it. So I’ve started a new learning curve.

Edited in Snapseed, as were several of the other photos in this post. I’ve got a long way to go (the graininess is intentional, okay?), but it’s a start.

I want to thank the Jozi Instagrammers for helping to open new creative pathways in my brain. I also want to thank them for promoting my upcoming photo exhibition, which will include a bunch of Instagrams. Check out this cool graphic they made for me! It deserves an exclamation point.

I think I see more photo-editing apps in my future. And there is an iPhone in my future too — the near future, in fact. Just wait.

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  • Reply Lee November 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Please not an iPhone rather look at the Samsung S3, 8mp camera and a flash. What a phone,……….

    • Reply 2summers November 22, 2012 at 10:51 am

      Haha. I know this is a controversial topic. But I have a friend who is selling his iPhone4 and accessories for a very good price, so that’s the main reason I’m going that way. Plus it seems that most of the serious phone photographers (at least according to my informal survey) prefer the iPhone. I guess we’ll see!

  • Reply Liana November 22, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I’m such a sucker for cloud shots, and you’ve got some great ones. It’s amazing what people are doing with instagram nowadays. I haven’t tried it out yet….mostly because I think I will become addicted!

    • Reply 2summers November 23, 2012 at 6:57 am

      Yes, it is very addictive. I started using it less than three months ago and now it has become a major part of my life. If you love clouds, you would love Johannesburg! I think we have the best clouds on earth here.

  • Reply Africa far and wide November 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    These photos are wonderful! And very interesting too.

    • Reply 2summers November 23, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Thanks! I really appreciate that.

  • Reply Owls November 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Love it all!

  • Reply asterisk November 23, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Oooooh. Love the “savanah” shot. Light is everything! Kim*

    • Reply 2summers November 23, 2012 at 6:54 am

      Thank you! I’m very pleased with that one too.

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