Capturing the worlds cities on foot

I proudly love walking around cities. If I can get there on foot, I will. I have thought for some time that it would be a fabulous side gig to just spend a huge chunk of time walking around a city and documenting the trip through pictures and blogging.

image of a busker in Leeds via Lydia Heard

As it turns out, someone is doing this! Her name is Lydia Heard and her blog called Citywalker is my new favorite blog. As an urban designer she has walked and studied many cities but currently resides in Seattle where she walks and documents the most. The best part is that she looks at city’s like I do, and like most of us do as designers. She discusses the details that we would find relevant and interesting in the public realm, green infrastructure, public transportion, architecture, and so much more…. She also has a jaw dropping 1826 pages of photos on flickr!

image of bench outside Peckam Library in London via Lydia Heard

On a bit of a side note, I find it really fascinating how differently people can see the same place. After traveling all around Europe with my husband, each of us with our own camera, I found that I had stumbled across an interesting little experiment that I didn’t even realize I was conducting. After looking through the photos I realized it was like looking through the eyes of person as they were seeing the world unfold around them…and how unbelievably different we saw what was in front of us. He might have snapped a photo of a great view from a lookout in Barcelona while my photo at the exact same time was of the stone construction of the wall keeping us from tumbling over the side. Or when we were in Rome and from a hill above the city, looking out towards Vatican City, my husband took a photo of the moon beginning to show just next to St. Peters Basilica while I was looking at the plaza below us that was setting up for the following days market. It’s definitely a good thing we both have a camera so there’s someone to balance out my photos of sidewalks and paving patterns when it comes to putting together photo albums for the family!

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  1. Lisa, I can totally relate. After my trip to Europe I found that more than 75% of my pictures were of details (be it planting or hardscape)…and many of which were just pictures of the ground. I now wish my travel partner had also brought a camera so I could have later seen what I missed through my own observations.

  2. Yeah, it’s a curse 😉

    I definitely take a good amount of views and context too but to me, all of my photos are relevant. I think in general I just take too many photos. And do you ever find that you’ll be working on something that requires some particular detail and then suddenly every time you see that thing out in the world you are totally fascinated by it?

    I love traveling with other la’s. Like I was with a friend of mine going through a park and as we were coming out and a ton of people were going in, we both noticed the paving pattern and immediately pulled out our cameras to take pictures of the paving with a good 40 people or so thinking we were pretty weird stopping in the middle of traffic just to stare at the ground. But at least we were total dorks together 🙂

  3. Yes, my photography goes through phases based on my projects. I Just went through a pretty long iron railing phase, and before that, I couldn’t stop getting distracted by limestone scrolls and brackets.

  4. We’re the same way with in that many of our trips cover projects related to what’s going on with our day job. It seems as designers, as Kevin mentioned, we develop tunnel-vision when we have a specific element in mind. I know when Brian and I travel together, we get a much broader view as each of us see spaces differently.


  5. Exactly, it’s so nice to have multiple views on the same place. Like I think all of my photos are relevant and then my husband will at my photos and say…”not only did you take a picture of a bench but you took 5!” And I have to say….”hey, that’s not a bench, that’s a piece of art!”

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