Event by FujiFilm US, Pro Photo Supply and Victoria Wright (X photographer)
The location was beautiful Mt. Tabor park in Portland, Oregon
Having arrived a little early, I strolled down to the amphitheater where we were to meet and decided to lay down and take a short nap in the shade. A little later, I heard voices which woke me, so I got up and saw 3 people. They had cameras. Great! I introduced myself with “I see cameras, are you here for the photowalk?” to which one guy responded in the affirmative.
I noticed on Instagram later that I had been snapped while I was asleep. So I took that picture of myself and put it right here!
The second person was from Pro Photo’s Rental department – and introduced herself, gave me a flyer asking me to hashtag any photographs I take.
Victoria was the third person. We shook hands, said hello, but then suddenly she was off – turns out to get Pelican cases from a car with all the Fuji equipment that was to be loaned out.
Being a Fuji sponsored event, we were asked what gear we wanted to borrow, and as I was in-particularly interested in the 16-55 f/2.8 and the 50-140 f/2,8, I asked for those. Unfortunately they did not have a 50-140 – which sucks, as I was the 2nd person in line to borrow, and it’s a lens I think they should have brought. Anyhoo.
I opted for the 16-55 f/2.8 and actually kinda liked the feel and weight of it on my Fuji X-H1.
We had to sign a waiver – basically saying they could charge our credit cards for any damage to any of the lenses we borrowed. Required to give name, address, drivers license and card info – crazy!
Anyhow, I really wanted to try one of the lenses, so I filled in the form. I actually felt as I was checking it out and walking away to set it up that they thought I may steal it!
The first thing I did was walk over to the basketball court area where some boys were playing – time for some test shots!
The event itself was kind of a mess choreographically speaking, and we didn’t actually get off on our “photowalk” until about 30 minutes after start time. Just milling around, awkwardly chatting to other people.
Incidentally, the first guy I spoke to also had an interest in street photography – so we chatted a while.
We eventually took off like a line of ants up Mt Tabor hills. The group spaced out more and more. It soon became clear that some people already knew other people – and were sticking to those cliques. Fair enough – I probably would have too if I knew anybody. Seems the host had friends present too, which kept her sidetracked.
I digress. Most of the time was spent waiting for other people to catch up or just waiting for them to finish their conversations so the “group” could move forth.
Having tested the 16-55 f/2.8 lens, I kinda liked it – although as a prime lens shooter, it was a little awkward for me and I wasn’t entirely happy with any shots which turned out. Either I have some learning to do, or I just don’t fare well with zoom lenses.
Overall, I did not have fun at the event. The host never spoke to me after that initial hello. Nor did I find any further information about Fuji, or any info on the lens (luckily for me, I had already researched it prior to arriving).
Would I go on another photowalk? Maybe.
Have I been inspired today? Maybe not.
For those asking why I did not return the lens and leave earlier – I couldn’t mid walk, as the paperwork had to match the lens when it was handed in at the end – plus the Pelican cases and paperwork were in the car back at the visitor center.
Once it drew to an end, there was no thank yous for attending, or anything to note – my lens was checked back in to the Pelican case by a guy (unsure if he was connected to the event itself or just an assistant) and that was it. I said goodbye to a few people I spoke to along the way, but overall, left feeling as awkward as the beginning.
I drove back home down the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, and decided to veer off into Mosier for a beautiful vista. Headed home, and ate a pint of Halo Top ice cream.
Great end to a mediocre event day.
Here’s that image I took on the drive home. I’m quite pleased with it given landscapes aren’t my forte.