Posts tagged Festival
First XV: Wellington Jazz Festival (2009)

I started this series with a photo of a saxophone, taken at the Wellington Jazz Festival - and here we are again, seven years later!

This one's the polar opposite of that first image in a lot of ways, though; the original was blurry, slightly abstract, a little bit out of control, where this one is a clean, crisp silhouette, and, facing the opposite direction...

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First XV: Dave Douglas Quintet at the Wellington Jazz Festival (2002)

I realised recently that I had an anniversary coming up - not one of the obvious ones, but a quiet anniversary that I'd likely to be the only person to notice.

At the end of May 2002, I took the decision to give up my other work - I was doing about three different jobs at the time, working with a lighting company in theatre and events, helping the local film office, and doing a bit of consulting as a former box office manager as well - to concentrate completely on my photography career, which was starting to occupy more of my time.

Fifteen years later, I'm still at it - so to celebrate, I thought I'd look back and pick one image from each year along the way. And let's not underestimate how hard that is, to go through an entire year's work and choose just ONE image - but sometimes tough choices are needed...

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New Musica Viva & Belvoir 2017 seasons launched

It's been a week of pleasant surprises recently, with a number of arts organisations announcing their new seasons for 2017 - and a couple of them using my work to do so!

Musica Viva's season launched recently, and it was great to see a couple of my images in their Masterclasses section from the workshop with Maxim Vengerov late last year, at Sydney Conservatorium of Music...

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Photographing the arts: two sides to every story

Once, early in my career, someone gave me wise advice about photographing events: 'remember, there are two sides to every story. There's what's happening on stage, and then there's the audience's reaction to it.'

Naturally, not every event I work on has an audience in attendance - often, I'm at a dress rehearsal, with only the director & crew - but also, most of the time, the audience (deliberately) isn't lit! So the opportunity to make use of this suggestion isn't always there; but once in a while, the chance comes along, and it's great to be able to take it...

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Photographing the arts: what skills are involved?

When I was studying drama at university, I went for an interview to spend the summer at the Banff Centre For The Arts. I'd been focussing on the technical side of theatre at that point, including a bit of stage management, and thought this might be an interesting way to spend a few months between school terms.

The question was asked: did I read music? And frankly, it had never occurred to me that this might be a useful skill - our university programme was pure theatre, not even musicals, much less opera or dance; so it had never come up, and of course I didn't. So, I didn't go to Banff, and I didn't become a stage manager...

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Photographing the arts: what makes a great production image?

The work I've been doing recently with Apocalypse Theatre and Pinchgut Opera got me thinking about what I try to achieve in production stills photography; so I thought I'd have a look at a show that epitomises my favourite kind of images from this sort of work - New Theatre of Riga's production, The Sound Of Silence, which I photographed for the New Zealand International Arts Festival in 2010...

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Lost & Found #28: The Arrival, New Zealand International Arts Festival 2010

Today's Lost & Found is an image from the 2010 New Zealand International Arts Festival, and as was so often the case, was something that just happened in front of me when I found myself in exactly the right spot...

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Lost & Found #8: Diwali Festival of Lights, Wellington New Zealand 2003

Happy Diwali, everyone! This image wasn't entirely lost in my archives, in fairness - much to my surprise, it appeared on the cover of a book some years after I'd taken it, which took a little sorting out with the publisher.  But unless you own a copy of that publication (or got it from the library), you probably haven't seen this!

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Vale Willem Wassenaar, Dutch - Kiwi director

There's a lot of sadness in the New Zealand theatre community at the moment, as news goes around of Willem Wassenaar's passing in Holland on the weekend.  I met him a few times around town and at the New Zealand International Arts Festival, and photographed him at least once - leading a SchoolsFest workshop with a group of actors from The Walworth Farce in 2010.

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Today in New Zealand International Arts Festival history: Toi Mana, Tu Mahi Toi, Festival Picnic (2004), Schoolfest (2006), Frisky & Mannish (2010), Raoul and NZTrio (2012)

Last one!  It's the closing day of the New Zealand International Arts Festival in Wellington, so I'm wrapping up this series here.  Hope it's been interesting!

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Today in New Zealand International Arts Festival history: Schools Tour (2004), Parsifal (2006), La Vie & Festival Setup (2008)

Almost there - only one day left of this look back at the New Zealand Festival over the past decade or so.  Of course, the Festivals we're looking back at were winding up too, so today we've got more people than shows, as naturally there were fewer & fewer rehearsals for me to attend & photograph as the shows came to an end.

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Today in New Zealand International Arts Festival history: The Prophet (2004) & Revolt of the Mannequins (2010)

Wow, we're getting towards the end of the Festival, aren't we!  Well, there's still time for a few more shows - this one's Hone Kouka's play The Prophet from 2004, by Taki Rua Theatre; and a rare example of when I had to do an actual 'photo call' for a show, rather than being able to cover a rehearsal or show.  I always resist doing that if I can, because I don't think you get the same emotional honesty in the images by getting actors to perform a quick bite of the show just for the camera; but sometimes, it's the only option.

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Today in New Zealand International Arts Festival history: Ravi Shankar, Mark Twain & Me in Maoriland (2010) and Hohepa (2012)

It was a pleasant surprise to be asked to pop over to Ravi Shankar's sound check on the afternoon of his concert - I don't think I was really expecting to get a chance to photograph him or the show, but I tailed Festival Director Lissa Twomey over to greet him and spent a bit of time with them as he & his daughter Anoushka got things ready for that night.  It was amazing to see him, at the age of 90, settle in and just play.  Because he could really PLAY.  Amazing - wish I'd been able to come back for the show!

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