"This is my little grain of salt, my way of promoting a social experience between Tijuana and San Diego." So says Tijuana native and professional photographer Victor Balcazar, who is leading the annual Worldwide Photo Walk in Tijuana's Playas neighborhood in October.
On Saturday morning, October 11, 2014 from 10 AM to 12 noon, San Diego and Tijuana photographers and leader Balcazar will join forces with over 15,000 photographers worldwide. This year's the walk will be take place in Playas de Tijuana, where photographers will begin right next to the border wall, photograph the murals and beach life along the boardwalk for two hours and finish the tour at the Latitud 32 coffeeshop.
"I'm trying to get people to come across from San Diego and meet other photographers," says Balcazar.
"You have one common factor and that's photography. It's not about who has the bigger lens-- it's about just learning how to take better pictures, learning how to see the world with that little instrument you have in your hand."
Four years ago Balcazar learned about the annual event from Scott Kelby, international leader in online creative education and owner of KelbyOne, formerly The National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
The Worldwide Photo Walk is the world's largest global and social photography event, and it has grown rapidly popularity since the inaugural walk in 2007. Last year alone, over 30,000 photographers of all walks of life and skill levels took to the streets to explore their corner of the world through photography.
San Diego had 2-3 spots already participating annually. And so Balcazar immediately thought, "wow, it would be cool to do something with Tijuana."
Balcazar joined up and started hosting the event, leading the first three tours along the famed Avenida Revolución.
And for Balcazar, it is as much a social event as a photography tour.
"I love it when Moms bring their children, says Balcazar, "and they tell me, wow it is very exhausting. Yes, this is because you are absorbing so much. You're just taking pictures. But you take a moment, you don't just click. You take a step to the side and change your angle, and then talk about it. It is about taking pictures and meeting people."
Balcazar will begin the Tijuana tour at the lighthouse next to the border wall at the beach in Playas de Tijuana, and the group will spend the next two hours exploring the boardwalk and the sights and sounds of Tijuana's beach culture.
Each group with tour their city by day, and then post their images later that night on the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk website, creating a worldwide register of one day in the life of 1200 cities.
And this is a social experience that will link San Diego and Tijuana photographers to the world.
"Whoever signs up will be able to see what's happening all around the world on that day, explains Balcazar. "By the time we start our walk, people in Malaysia have started uploading their pictures already."
There are still more spaces available, and registration and participation is free of charge. You must register so that you can upload your photos to enter the contest. Registration is open up to the day of the event. To register, click on PHOTOWALK TIJUANA and you will be able to see all the photos from around the world.