Worldwide Photo Walk 2015 – Dongshankou

by | Sep 9, 2015 | General, News | 0 comments


n five years we have seen a lot of amazing spots nestled away inside Guangzhou. This year – for lack of a better way to express this – will be much the same, in a good way.

We’re heading into the streets of Dongzhankou!

Dongshankou is near the center of the city – easily accessible by public transportation with plenty of shops and eateries around, plus lots of activity throughout the day.

When I look for these routes, I look for good variety of subject matter – architecture and urban landscape, details, facades, people, communities, interaction, and so fourth – so as many preferences and interests in photography can be met. Dongshankou is another area of Guangzhou that gives us plenty of opportunities to meet different shooters’ likes.

So, like in years past – everything from macro, to long telephoto, to ultra-wide and fisheye lenses are suitable here.

Some people like the “One camera, one lens” motto for these walks. I’d like to refine this thinking to say “Shoot with what you bring, bring only what you’ll shoot with.”

I wrote for past walks – one camera and one or two lenses are enough for a walk like this. I think I’ll still recommend that for this walk as well for an easy-going (painless) walk.

I’ve tried my best to limit the distance of each walk to something less than a few kilometers. This route – if you can believe Runkeeper and GPS – comes in right at two kilometers. We’ll try our best to keep the pace nice and leisurely with plenty of stops to shoot along the way. That is why you’re interested in going, after all, right – to take photos.
I mapped our route to end on the front steps of McDonald’s so we’ll have a great place to get a cup of coffee or early snack lunch, cool down, and share photos and stories from the walk. The place there is pretty big so even if it’s busy we should have no trouble getting an area to ourselves.

As a backup (and just in case McD’s is jam packed) there is an excellent second floor coffee house and restaurant back along our walk. We’d have to backtrack a bit but in case one isn’t great, the other should provide. We’ll let the day decide that bit.

How to join:

If you are going to be in Guangzhou on October 3rd and you’re interested in joining us for the walk, you can register at the official Walk page by clicking the link.

Sign up here

There are 50 spots total. That’s not my rule – that number was chosen by the Kelby team back in Florida.

So once those spots are full, your name would go to the waiting list. If someone drops out of the walk then you’ll be notified that you’re a part of the walk.

More details:

Photo walk staging – 9:00 am
Group photograph – 9:30 am
Photo walk – 9:45 am (duration approximately 2.5 hours)
End of Photo walk reassembly – 12:00 pm (12:15 pm)
Post-walk coffee and socializing – 12:30 pm (12:50 pm)


Where to meet and How to get there:

We’ll stage just south of the large bus depot at the intersection of the market street on Guigang road – look for the ABC bank on the corner. From the Dongshankou metro exit E or F, walk south down Shuqian road past the large bus depot.

This is also where we will take our group photo.

(New for 2015 – if you have a remote trigger camera or camera app on your phone plus a tripod to mount the camera and you’d like to stage your camera next to the main portrait camera for the group shot, practice ensuring your remote trigger will work from roughly 10 meters away and bring it along. But please don’t expect to set the 10 second timer and run back to the stage. This will only work if you have a remote trigger that you can control the camera DISCREETLY from where we are posed.)

Public transportation: The nearest metro stop on the Guangzhou Metro is Dongshankou on line 1 – 中山路 . Use E or F exit.

Tips for a fun and successful photo walk:

There are links on this page to FAQ’s and details about what a photo walk is that will answer a lot of your questions and help you to have the best experience you can. Here are a few really important tips I’ve discovered along the way.

1. Pack light. You don’t need two camera bodies, five lenses, and studio lights with you to make a shot. Bring what you’d like, but I’ve found one camera body, one or two of your favorite lenses, and (maybe) a flash will do just fine. We’re going on a walk, so plan to ‘shoot-n-scoot’ rather than set up a make-shift studio at each scenic point. That said – HDR, Pano, Photosphere, and video shooters might want to bring a tripod for more stable shots.
2. Wear comfortable clothes for the season. Guangzhou is Hot! this time of year so don’t think you have to wear a suit to impress the ladies or your best evening dress to turn heads. Strut the comfy walking shoes and ditch the high heels. Your feet will thank you. And remember – linens and cotton are always in style!
3. Put on sunscreen (and possibly wear a wide brim hat) but unless it’s raining, leave the umbrella at home. We’ll be in and out of shade but when you’re out in the sun you’re out in the sun – so think about how to best shield yourself from the sun and still have two hands to shoot. Holding, folding, and strapping an umbrella/ parasol for two hours can really ruin your mood (and it might poke out the eye of the person next to you….bad juju for everyone).
4. Watch where you’re walking! Maybe this should be first, but I’m writing as I think of them. A lot of the way, the paths are wide stretches of pavement but we’ll also be walking next to waterways and walking on old uneven stones at times. Please remember to take the camera away from your eye from time to time. Taking a swim in the canal is not how you want to remember the walk. That last bit goes for your camera lens as well – triple check your lens mount to make sure it is secure before you lean over the rail to photograph anything in the water. A loosely mounted lens can accidentally BE the anything in the water!
5. Watch where your fellow photo walkers are walking. Hey, it happens to all of us from time to time – we get so into the photo that we forget our toes are inching over a ledge. Help each other out if you notice the person next to you is about to step off a ledge, a step, or into the drink.
6. Most important – Have a really fun time! Ask questions. Answer questions. Meet other people that enjoy photography too.

Last note:

These walks have proven to be a great way to build up your network of fellow photogs in the area. Really embrace that chance to make and keep some new friends from this experience!

Here are a few picture samples of areas we will pass along the walk:


Chad Stuart Owsley is a visual media professional: photographer, photojournalist, visual editor and director for news, some times broadcast reporter, and foreign expert lecturer on news, photography and photojournalism from the United States, working in Guangzhou, China. He’s also a geek for all things tech, travel, and the great outdoors.