I recently met a remarkable person who told me about an interesting way of being a tourist. All new tourism trends fascinate me. As owner of Altavista Holiday Home in Palestrina, I’m always looking for new ways to make my guests enjoy their time in Palestrina, around Rome and in Lazio as much as possible.
This revolutionary kind of tourism is especially interesting because it is suitable for professional photographers as well amateurs, even people who don’t consider themselves amateur photographers but who love to take photographs and want to have a lasting visual souvenir of all beautiful places visited.
So there are several great benefits to photowalks. The first is, like I said, anyone can do it. Obviously the intensive (=expensive) courses dedicated to one specific use of the camera or lighting are geared toward serious professionals. But I like the fact that photowalk tours are open to any and all participants in an unbiased way. And each person is free to focus on what they want to photograph. I, for example, love clouds and flowers...
Another interesting aspect is that you can do a photowalk just about anywhere. Here in Italy we are especially lucky to have incredibly beautiful artistic, architectural and archeologic treasures literally everywhere. It’s like living in the land of cultural plenty, sometimes it can be overwhelming because you don’t know where to start! Of course the photowalk guide will indicate the direction.
One of the most culturally satisfying parts of this activity is that photowalks often double as guided tours of the area being photographed. Guides who accompany each group add so much to an excursion. Any time you can listen to the story of a place being told, it adds meaning to your experience. They might not know the origin of every stone that Caesar tripped on, but it’s fascinating to hear about the past and how it relates to the present.
I’m a big fan of efficiency and of shooting two birds with one camera, so to speak. So one of the biggest reasons why I love photowalks is because you combine your desire to take better photographs with the discovery of a new place and, drum roll please, you also get to meet the other cool people who are on the photowalk with you. The Italian lunch and/or dinner afterward is a pretty good fringe benefit as well.
So don’t miss out! My not-so-subliminal message is this: The next time you’re on vacation somewhere beautiful like Italy, don’t just settle for the big cities and spend all your time cramming in as many long museum lines as possible into your day so that you only have time to eat a sad sandwich from a lousy, touristy place. There is more to life than saying you went to all the famous places. Take the time to make some original discoveries. Leave the tourist trap map in your hotel and get into a photowalk somewhere, anywhere! It will probably lead to a significantly interesting experience that is guaranteed to change the quality of your photo souvenirs.
PS. My favorite? www.phototourism.info/en