Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.
[Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
London, England. 2014.
Rolleiflex 2.8F Planar | Kodak Portra 400 | Richard Photo Lab
LNDNWLK is a photo walk and social gathering for photographers that takes place in London. Since the first walk in March of this year, LNDNWLK has grown into a truly unique event, with a wonderful spirit of friendship and camaraderie inclusive of all photographers regardless what medium or camera brand they shoot, or whether they are a seasoned pro or a new enthusiast.
Johnny and I have enjoyed organizing this event, along with our friends Heather and Mat from MirrorLessons, and watching it grow and develop into something truly remarkable within a very short time. For LNDNWLK 2.0, which took place on September 13th, we were privileged to have sponsorships from two awesome companies – Kodak and Richard Photo Lab. We opened the day with a free workshop taught by Johnny Patience, where he shared his knowledge of the technical foundation of shooting film along with thoughts about personal and professional development as a photographer. Kodak supplied the workshop with free Kodak Portra 400 and Tri-X 400 film for all participants, and Richard Photo Lab gave away vouchers for discounts on film development.
After the workshop we were treated to a private gallery viewing at Stephen Bartels Gallery, where Stephen introduced us to the work of several talented photographers that he represents (among them, Chris Mann, who also joined us for the day).
The 3-hour photo walk began at Stephen Bartels Gallery and followed a path along the Thames River and through the city, ending at the Hoxton Grill where we enjoyed dinner and drinks together. It was a truly awesome day and a huge shout-out goes to Johnny, Heather and Mat for all the work they invested in organizing this event, to Stephen and Minakshi Bartels of Stephen Bartels Gallery for opening their space for our workshop and for the wonderful presentation, to Kodak and RPL for their generous sponsorships, and to all the terrific photographers who shared their time with us. It was awesome to meet up with such nice and like-minded people, share thoughts and ideas and learn from each other. Thank you all so much!
For LNDNWLK 1.0 I had chosen to shoot my Leica M9-P, so at 2.0 I decided to go for film. While the Rolleiflex was probably an adventurous choice for a fast-paced event like this, it was a lot of fun to shoot. I had only had a couple of weeks with the Rollei prior to this, so I am going through the inevitable learning curve that comes with shooting a new film camera and getting results back from the lab with a few weeks’ delay. So far I’ve learned: with 6×6 you have to be extra careful with lines and how you hold or tilt the camera when you shoot. What looks super cool in the viewfinder doesn’t always come out super cool in the final result, so you need to have realistic expectations when you get your scans back (be happy if something came out great, but don’t blame anyone or anything if it’s not as great as you remember it). The Rollei is tricky to focus, and good shots require more time and concentration. Composing is key. You get a lot in the frame with 6×6; choosing what to leave in or out, how to compose what you decide to leave in, that’s not always easy. But I view all of this as a great challenge and definitely a worthwhile endeavor considering how beautifully this little camera renders. I’m happy with what the Rollei gave me so far and I’m excited to grow into it and learn all its little quirks and nuances.
If you’d like to see pictures from the many other talented photographers who attended LNDNWLK 2.0, you can use our Twitter hashtag #LNDNWLK as a quick reference or visit our website, www.lndnwlk.com.