Trippy Tree and the Photo Walk

Every now and then, I like to go to a (somewhat) random class or event or something… for some new input.

My most favourite something so far was Paper Trail Tours, which was a really cool tour around the city, with writing exercises all along the way. I loved it soooo much! If they ever offer a new tour, I will jump on that like a kangaroo. (Aside: I would love to get together for some writing exercises with a friend… so if anyone is interested, let me know! I wrote down the ones from Paper Trail Tours, so I’m sure we could use those to devise new exercises.)

Anyway, my sister Liesl asked if I’d be interested in doing something touristy in our own city, and we looked at the tourist websites for ideas. Photography Night Walks seemed interesting, and it had a reasonable price of $30. I figured it would be like a shorter version of Paper Trail Tours, but for photography! I imagined we would walk to interesting parts of the city, and our guide might give us some exercises, or maybe show us interesting angles or ways of using lighting or tips on night photography.

Nooooope. We arrived at the meeting point, and couldn’t see anyone with cameras, or anyone who looked like they were leading a tour. We walked around for a while, and saw another tour group, and asked them what the tour was. Not our tour. We searched our emails for the tour guide’s contact number. Then the tour guide saw us, and told us she was still waiting on some more people. About 20 minutes later, we were off down the main city street, with the comment, “We’re headed for the water wall.”

We got there, and looked to our tour guide. She said something like, “The fountains…” (not sure) and walked off. There were about 10 people in our group, and for the rest of the evening, it seemed like everywhere you turned, someone was in front of you, and you couldn’t get the shot you wanted!

We took some photos of the fountains. Then we started taking photos of the street, and Liesl showed me how to do that trippy effect. Then I looked around, and the tour group was gone. Yep. All gone! I had been waiting for them to finish up with the fountains, and meanwhile, while I was waiting on a street bench, they all walked around the corner. Liesl was at the back of the pack, so I noticed her disappearing and ran to catch up.

(I found a few Play Me, I’m Yours street pianos along the way…)

They had moved onto a second location: a garden area with some statues. The tour guide said nothing, and everyone just… took photos. I started finding it funny. All of these people could walk around taking photos anytime, but they paid to take photos in a group? With other people in their way? With no one talking to each other?

We moved onto a third location (a building that looks amazing when it’s lit up – which it wasn’t) and then the tour guide realised that she had lost two people, and went back for them. By the time we reached our fourth location, the sky was darkening, so… on our walk back to the original meeting point, and (I think) the tour was officially over (not sure – the tour guide didn’t say much), there were some fabulous photo opportunities! So Liesl and I said goodbye, and continued on our own little photo walk.

Dirty, dirty sunset.

Water wall.

Concert hall.

The river.

Ponyfish Island (bar under the bridge).

One last piano. And my sister.


  1. Michelle says:

    Oh my goodness. I didn’t have a similar experience with a slap dash photo walk because the walk I signed up and paid for never eventuated. No reminder email, no information, no meeting point, nothing. Are photo walks the new sham? The company that offered them here in Auckland were running them in Melbs too.

    Crazy pants.

    When Chaz and I did one of the CAE courses for digital photography, we went out into the city the evenings and our classmates never got under foot or into frame; plus the tutor came to each of us (more than once) and helped us with our settings, questions, and generally being a great tutor.

    You did well though. The photos are cool. The blue on the concert hall is amazing. Isn’t it amazing how much colour is out there in the night time?

    In related news: I would have loved to hear L play the piano out there in the fresh air. Magical.

    • Fox says:

      That’s redonk! I have also signed up for a CAE digital photography course in March. I’m guessing it will be the same one. Really looking forward to it. I’m only using the automatic setting at the moment!

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