MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 14, 2012

Photo enthusiasts join worldwide walk

By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Correspondent

— Tom Twine, president of the Three Rivers Photography Club, said he has been interested in photography for the last 32 years.

“It started as a hobby, and it’s still a hobby for me now,” Twine said. “It’s something I enjoy doing in my spare time. When I started, I had a chemical darkroom in my house. Now digital photography has changed everything.”

Members of the Three Rivers Photography Club gathered at dawn on Saturday morning to participate in the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk, a social event for photographers around the world.

Marie Gassaway is a founding club member.

“This is my second year for the Worldwide Photo Walk, but last year we went to Arkansas to do it,” Gassaway said.

Fifteen to 20 members of the Three Rivers club joined together to walk 15 blocks of downtown Muskogee, taking pictures of the sunrise, trees, buildings and whatever else struck their fancy.

Gassaway said the old buildings in downtown were tailor-made for great photography opportunities.

“We like this area for the church steeples and the columns of the churches and buildings,” Gassaway said. “There are quite a few dilapidated buildings as well, but you’d be surprised how nice pictures of those turn out.”

According to the Scott Kelby website, more than 32,000 walkers participated in 1,340 walks this year. Kelby is a photographer who began the annual walk. There are prizes awarded for the best pictures taken. Participants were encouraged to come out with any type of camera, from top-of-the-line cameras to iPhone cameras.

Nancy Gassaway, Three Rivers club member, said the walk gave her a chance to meet new people and was an enjoyable experience.

“The different perspectives offered by different photographers are always unique,” Gassaway said. “You learn to see so much behind a camera. I think people take a lot of stuff for granted, but taking pictures makes you appreciate it more.”

As Three Rivers club members walked down Court Street, they stopped often to focus cameras, change settings, and take numerous pictures. First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Sixth and Court streets was of particular interest to the photographers, many of whom snapped shots of it from all angles.

Marie Gassaway said she thinks more people will turn up for next year’s walk, and they are taking steps to make sure that happens.

“The club meets once a month on the first Monday of the month,” Gassaway said. “We’re thinking about increasing that to twice a month, and each time we meet we offer a class for photographers. This month it was over aperture, and next month it will be on composition and night shooting.”