Friday, January 29, 2010

Peanut Island

I'm really excited about this blog post because this is the first time I will talk about the Palm Beach Photo Walkers. It all started last July when my friends and I participated in two walks during Scott Kelby's Second Annual Worldwide Photo Walk - one in Jupiter and the other in West Palm Beach, FL. The concept of this photography event is that photographers get together, usually in a downtown area or trendy section of town, to walk around, shoot photos, and generally have fun with other photographers. The amazing thing is that on July 18, 2009, over 32,600 people walked in over 900 walks worldwide.

Anyway, during these walks (Jupiter for Sunrise pictures and West Palm Beach late afternoon), I met many super nice photographers and a few of us decided that we wanted to get together and do this more often. The following month, a very few of us got together and went to a local nature preserve called Wakodahatchee Wetlands (more about this place in a future blog). The month after that, a few more of us went somewhere else. We got a little organized and set up a Flickr group so we can all post pictures from our "walks" in one place. This worked well for a while but as more and more people showed interest in our group and wanted to join in, it became very hard to organize the meetups.

At this point I discovered Basically Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest (such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies). They enter their location and interest and the website helps them find local groups or they can easily create their own, which is what I did. The key is this site makes it VERY easy to invite users, set up meetups, collect rsvps, etc. So, the official PBC Photo Walkers was born on October 29, 2009. Three months later, we have 106 members.

We plan one meetup every month followed by a social get together (breakfast, lunch, drinks...) and the last meetup was on Peanut Island to tour the HMS Bounty, which is temporarily docked there. This ship was featured in the movie The Mutiny on the Bounty in 1960 and also Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man's Chest (yes, I walked on the same deck that Johnny Depp walked on). Peanut Island also has a LOT more to see (if interested, please visit the link above) so our group was very excited to go.

View Peanut Island in a larger map

Over 50 people had rsvped "yes" or "maybe" to this trip, which was at least double any previous meetup. Honestly, I was a little nervous about this one. Sadly, the weather was HORRIBLE. I drove there at 9am in the pouring rain while Dina checked for weather updates on her iPhone. Meanwhile, I was getting a lot of calls from group members askng what was going to happen. Well, the plan was... if you want to go hang out and wait for the weather to clear, I'll be there. An amazing 25+ people showed up, in the pouring rain! Unfortunately, the raining got harder, the doppler did not look good, and all but about 8 people left.

The good news is that it really cleared up and we had a great time:

So happy we finally made it over  Photographers  I see you Art!  Taking pictures of rope
Shooting the waterfall I think.  Hi Art!!!!!  The bunker 

It was really amazing how much photographers can see. I really look at the world in a different way than I used to, and it's incredible how much beauty is out there. We did see some wildlife which is always popular:

Manatee family  Waiting for fish  Fat Green Heron on the pier 

Well, as I said, I took a LOT of pictures that day that I really love. Rather than posting a bunch of pictures, I decided to create a tiny video using ProShow Gold:

(click to play)

My favorite picture of the HMS bounty became my Palm Beach County photo of the week on DPC:

(By the way, I decided to link this one to my Smugmug account at instead of Flickr for a change)



Yo_Spiff said...

Nice to see how well and how quickly the group has grown. Looks like some fun meetup locations you are finding.

Horse N. Buggy said...

So this is a comment from years after the post. I've been reading your blog to get an idea of where to shoot on vacation next week. You know this ship sank during Superstorm Sandy? I'd be curious to know what your thoughts were when you heard that news. I was going to say that I'd never been on a boat that later sank. But that's not true. A boat my family owned for years eventually caught fire and sank after we sold it. It makes me very sad to know that the boat I basically learned to walk on (and threw away my pacifier from) no longer floats.

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