Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

[2011: If you’re looking for the Toronto Trails photo walk, the info is here … but you’re too late! Maybe next time!]

  1. What is Toronto Photo Walks?

    There’s a separate “About TOPW” page that gives an explanation and a little history, but basically we’re an informal group of people who like to explore Toronto, taking photographs and learning from each other as we walk the parks and streets.

  2. What is a photo walk?

    On one level, it’s self-explanatory: it’s a walk during which people take photographs. But it’s more than that: it’s an opportunity to meet other photographers, to discuss tools and techniques, places to shoot, etc.

    TOPW is also a very social group: we try to have at least one pub stop on each photo walk, where you’ll find people chimping (looking through what they’ve just shot) and chatting. Aside from our regular schedule, people often suggest meeting up for other events and walks.

  3. What do I need to bring?

    Normally we say the only thing people need in order to join one of our photo walks is a camera, but we’ve had people join walks without one – they just came for the stroll! We have a wide range of experience and equipment (anything from “point and shoot” cameras to some expensive digital SLRs, and even the odd antique film camera too!), so whatever camera you have is probably fine.

    It’s quite a slow walk (we average 1.5km/hr) as there’s usually lots to see and shoot, but wearing comfortable walking shoes is recommended as you’ll be on your feet for a few hours.

  4. Can I bring my dog?

    Sorry but some of the group have phobias/allergies, so please don’t bring your dog (or any other pet) with you.

  5. When are the photo walks?

    The aim is to walk every other Saturday, with the odd exception for long weekends etc. As of January 2014, the schedule is the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. Dates for the next few walks are listed at the foot of the “Walks past, present and future” page and in the calendar on the website.

    The scheduled start is normally at 10am; there’s a lunch stop (usually at a pub) where we often meet up with people who can only come for the afternoon, and then we usually finish up in a pub about sunset/5pm, whichever comes first. (So maybe some money is the only thing you need to bring, beside your camera!)

    But don’t feel that you have to commit for the whole day – people arrive late / leave early, whatever fits their schedule. We try to remember to take a group shot around lunchtime, when most people are together.

  6. What’s the group like?

    There’s usually about 20-25 people at any time during the walk but people come and go during the day depending on their schedule. (We post the walk leader’s cell phone number in the details of each walk so people can track us down.) Because it’s a fairly large group we like to get an idea of numbers ahead of the walk in order to make reservations for lunch & the post-walk drink/dinner.

  7. How do I join? How do you publicise future walks?

    It’s free to join the group and the photo walks. Become a member of the Flickr and/or Facebook groups and you’ll see information about upcoming events.

    We aim to keep all the sites updated and in sync, as some people only use one tool or another; you’re welcome to follow any or all of them – there will obviously be some repetition but there’s also different discussions on them sometimes too. There are new people joining each month so don’t be afraid to jump in and introduce yourself.

  8. What’s the “hashtag” that’s mentioned in the walk details?

    It’s a handy way for people to identify the photos taken on a particular walk; we also use it to add a slideshow to the walk’s post, like this.

    Technically it’s not a hashtag (that’s the Twitter term) – Flickr just calls them tags. You can use any text as a tag, and you can have any number of tags per photo … but the real benefit is being able to search them, within a given user’s photos or across all of Flickr (like this).

  9. Do you still walk if it’s raining?

    Rain is nothing to us – we’ve been out in much worse! 🙂 We’ll be out there regardless of the weather; we’ll find shelter if it rains too hard. In extreme cases we can cut a walk short because of the weather (it’s happened a couple of times) but even then we tend to find a pub and shoot each other 🙂

  10. What do we do with the photos?

    We have a TOPW Flickr group, so please tag your photos (explained above) and share the best ones with the group. If you don’t use Flickr then you can post them (the actual photos or a link to where to find them) on our Facebook group or in the post-walk discussion thread on Flickr.

  11. How can I contact you?

    There’s a contact form on the website.

Hope to see you on the next walk!