I had a great day today! The photomarathon was a lot of fun. It reminded me of a photo scavenger hunt that members would play on one of the photo forums I used to visit. That game gave five topics at a particular start time and you had to shoot, process and upload in one hour. This was a little longer, but it had the same feeling. (By the way, I'm thinking that five topics/one hour thing might be fun to play at Assignment: Houston in the future.)
I arrived at almost 9 am exactly and they were already starting. There were a total of 15 participants. I have no doubt the next one will have more people. I received a bag with various brochures, a lens cleaning kit from HCE, a bottle of water (thank goodness!) and mini-sunscreen (which I didn't used, but should have). We received instructions which were basically to stay in the downtown area, 4 photos per topic and to meet at Agora at 1 pm. We each received an envelope with our participant number on it and the themes inside. Once they said go, we opened the envelopes and away we went.
The themes were: Participant No (mine was 94), Opposites, Mothers and New Beginnings. My mind screamed when it saw Mothers because the literal me takes that to mean people. We could interpret the themes however we wanted. I spent the next two and half hours alternately driving, muttering to myself trying to keep track of what I had taken and what I still needed and walking, walking, walking all over downtown Houston. By 10:30 am I was literally rushing everywhere. I had started out shooting in RAW so that I could process the photos and that meant I really needed to be finished by 11:30 am to have time to do quick edits. Next time I don't know if I'll shoot RAW or not, but I'll probably still edit. My edits were very minimal, mainly a little bit of exposure correction and contrast.
Some of the photos I'm really happy with and will go onto my photoblog. Some were the same idea at different locations (new beginnings=construction=cranes). My last photo for Mothers was a totally crappy flower shot that I took on the way into the coffee shop where I worked on my photos. You can't be totally picky when you need to get that many shots.
I had time to eat a quick lunch while I processed, but that was only because I pushed myself really hard to get finished shooting by 11:30 am. I'm going to be tired tonight, but the good kind of tired. After I turned in the photos, I sat and talked to the participants for a while. As always, lovely people. It was a little strange I admit, talking to people who were completely outside of my circle (the online addicts circle). A lot of them haven't even heard of Flickr, nevermind Houston Photobloggers or Houstonist. It is funny how we get so used to our communities and groups and forget there is a whole world of people out there with different experiences.
This was a lot of fun, a unique way to spend a Sunday and I will definitely do it again. This was the first event and the organizers have lots of ideas for the future. I would definitely classify this as a success.