I had the day off from work last Friday without much to do, so rather than sitting around and doing nothing, I decided I’d put together a fun little adventure for myself. I created my own scavenger hunt to do! But this was unlike most scavenger hunts, instead of having a pre-made list, I took submissions via Twitter/Facebook/comments on this blog while I was actually out doing the scavenger hunt. Since the main goal of this was the spend the day with my camera taking photos, everything submitted had to be something that could be photographed. You can read about how it all worked here.
In short, this turned out to be a lot of fun. I really enjoyed wandering about the city while trying to be on the lookout for certain things. Most of my trips into NYC are very focused, but this was much different. Having the list being generated throughout the day was pretty cool too, it kind of keeps you on your toes.
Overall, I got a couple of decent photos, but nothing really amazing. Most of the shots ended up being just okay. I’m fine with that though. The idea worked out just as I had hoped it would, I learned a bit and got put outside my element. I got some real world practice taking candid photos of people and doing street photography. I’m the kind of person that gets a bit timid in public and around strangers, I tend to just keep to myself. This adventure forced me to not worry about what people are thinking of me as I’m walking around taking photos of all kinds of stuff–much of which didn’t look like the kind of things people would normally photograph. It was kind of neat and I feel like it helped me a grow a little behind the camera.
Having other people choose what you’re photographing is definitely a bit of a different experience. You spend more time thinking about how you’re going to photograph things rather than what you’re going to photograph. You’re forced to take photos of things that you might not otherwise have even noticed.
As for the list, I think I got a pretty decent response. I was a little worried heading into the city because only a handful of people had committed to sending in ideas, but a few others popped up throughout the day and I got more than enough submissions to keep me busy. I was able to get almost half the items on the list and would have been able to get more with a little extra time. The items that were submitted varied a lot so it never felt like I was looking for the same things over and over again.
I definitely want to do this again, probably once Spring hits. However, a few tweaks need to be made to the idea. The one big issue was that I got a lot of submissions too late in the day. There just wasn’t enough time to find them. Next time I’m going to shift the time-frame for taking submissions. I think something like an hour and half before I start up until two hours before I plan to finish will work out better. That way even the late submissions have a chance of being found.
While I liked the wide range of items on the list, I think the next time needs to be a little more focused. Whether it be to a smaller area of the city or to a theme of some sort, I need to narrow it down a little more. I was a little all over the place.
Anyway, the full list that was submitted is below and the photos are below that. I included a few photos of things that weren’t on the list, but for the most part, almost every shot I took during the day was of something on the list. I tried to stay on task.
Chrysler Building cupcakes Macy’s storefront Rockefeller Center
- cat and dog together
- roll of film
- female cab driver
- something that looks like a heart, but isn’t a heart
- woman reading a newspaper
- The High Line
- box of macaroons
- Russian nesting dolls
- little kids putting on ice skates
- the face of someone stuck in a subway door
Big Apple Circus at the Lincoln Center (“the tent is up”) guy eating hot dog dog in sweater
- pack of gum with non-English packaging
Statue of Prometheus street performer traffic cop postcard rack dumplings silver bells man throwing his balls in the air chained up bike
- me sitting on Santa’s lap
- a coffee shop with everyone on their laptops
people ice skating
- someone drinking hot cocoa
- Naked Cowboy
- Times Square seating area
- misspelled sign