One of my favourite events as an improvisor and as a photographer is the annual NZ Improv Festival. This October I played onstage as the computer in an improvised radio play, and also as and with a huge bunch other characters over the week and a bit of delightful workshops and delightful shows. There was everything from clowning to musicals to Shakespeare and back again. I even tried Dungeons and Dragons for the first time in one of the (many, many) evening social events. This year a youth festival was held as part of the main one, which was especially delightful. There were workshops and shows for the under 10s, and workshops leading to shows by the older kids.
There were three photographers sharing the documenting task, as part of this I shot eight of the shows and gave some new camera gear a darn good workout. Happy to report that the Sony A7iii, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 and Sony 35mm f1.8 all worked well in some interestingly tricky lighting conditions.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: not only are improvisors wonderful people, they often have the best most bendy faces you could hope to see. These are some randomly chosen favourites, there’s a larger selection on Google photos:
The IR chrome filter seeks to recreate the effect of the olden-times kodachrome film, spares the blue and turns foliage rich reds and oranges. Intended for blue skies and such, but also a nice colour effect on blue-feathered birds, and the images don’t need the ‘colour-swap’ processing that most infrared camera images require.
Shot on a full-spectrum modified A6000
I’m not much for conferring, but practical workshops . . . yes please. This year the Photographic Society of New Zealand conference was held in Lower Hutt, a mere 40 minutes drive from where I live. Along with favourite genres like macro and nature, I took workshops in genres that are definitely off-brand for me. Specifically, fashion photography, complete with giant soft boxes and carefully posed trained models. I’m happy with what I managed to snap, and maybe I’ll try that sort of style for real. Although with faces that have a little more weathering and a lot less makeup. But having the fancy lighting, that is nice.
We are enjoying a ridiculous one month whirlwind tour of Italy, savoring the mid-winter no-tourist vibe. Weather-wise it mostly like pleasant spring weather at home. Genoa was a one-day stop on the way to Nice, but turned out to be packed with surprises, and it’s been marked as “next time and stay longer” on the imaginary travel planner.
After a busy day wandering through the quite fab aquarium and history of the sea museum my husband, ex-navy and with a marine biology degree was in high degrees of happy place (and okay, I was pretty happy too). On the way back to our accommodation we happened to pass a former palace now a museum (as you do in Italy), an hour or so before closing. The art was excellent, the galleries pleasingly empty, but just as we were about to head down stairs a guard suggested there was just time to take the lift to the roof. So, amazing unexpected views across the roofs of Genoa, at about 4.45pm.
Lesson for next time: must remember to put the pocket tripod in ones pocket, just in case.
As corny and as scenic and nearly as crowded as I had feared and hoped and feared. I can’t imagine how tourist-crushed it is at peak season, but it looked darn pretty in the wintery frost haze.
(Infrared modified camera)
Baboons, despite being the most evil of all apes, are quite photogenic, with eerily human-like eyes and looks-like-a-smile-but-it’s-not mouths. Dithering about processing this chap, to colour swap or not? Either way, I’m glad that viewing glass at the zoo is thick, even though it does make taking photographs harder!
Photographed with the IR modifed camera, and a 590nm filter
Another version of that friendly smile
So, 20-27th October, stop everything else, it’s time for the annual Improv Festival in Wellington. This year I was one of the volunteer photographers, and also ran a workshop and co-directed a show based on that workshop, took a bunch of other workshops, got on stage, and had a most excellent time catching up with improv friends old and new. I saw some of my photos from festivals past blown up super large on walls about the town, which is an oddish thing. Here’s just a sample of some pictures from a wild week.