October in Wellington = NZ Improv Festival!

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.

 

 

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After the festival is over . . .

Last week was a wonderful hectic roller-coaster of improv theatre. The New Zealand Improv Festival, 2015 edition.  It was sometimes stirring, startling, heart-string tugging, occasionally awkward, occasionally camera-shaking hilarious, but most of the time just a really really good time.  If you weren’t there, you missed out forever, since all the unscripted theatre happened just for those us who were there.  Of course.  There were performers from a bunch of countries, workshops run by amazing teachers, a bunch of socialising for the social people.   I was one of the volunteer photographers, snapping my way through 10 or so shows over five days.  I’m coincidentally part way through a photography diploma, and required to photograph a wedding “or the equivalent”  Combing my study with my hobby seemed the perfect plan.  And I did photograph a wedding.  An improv wedding, with a groom sourced from the audience and a just slightly drunken minister.  A wedding, a bunch of train journeys, a podcast, a prison with 50,000 prisoners, a cruise liner and many quite twisted tales.

For the assignment, I had to choose just 10 photos to tell the story of the festival.  They needed to be a mix of candid and formal images, all orientated the same way and cropped to the same dimensions, and either all colour or all black and white.   These were the 10 I chose, with the theme of “moments of connection”, but the choice, it was not easy!

I took around 2,000 photographs using two cameras, which at only 200 per show is quite restrained really.  Most were taken with a Sony 7ii and a Mitakon 50mm f/0.95 lens.  This combination which was lovely and let me take photos in light I would normally be struggling with, but with the downside of a slow and finicky focus, very shallow depth of field, and being tricky to nail just right with moving targets.  Someone near the front of the stage tilting their head a few inches and something that looks good in the viewfinder, is not so sharp full size.  Also,  using a 50mm lens and sitting in the front row meant that I could only catch part of the stage in a scene.  So, I also had my tiny and lovely RX100 iv, set to auto focus and very wide, ready for when action took off on the stage, or I wanted a wider view.

Ridiculously festive week

Improv, impro, improvisation: however you say it, spontaneous theatre reached soaring heights and delicious joyful nadirs at the 2013 New Zealand Improv Festival in Wellington.   There were lovely improvisors from around NZ and Australia and beyond, I got to be a “wonderfully wide-eyed” villainous spider demon queen in a Doctor Who adventure.  I sang in a choir that sounded magnificent despite that.   I was duty photographer for some of the shows, and at times it was hard to keep the camera steady due to laughing so much.   And, and, and . . . hope they do it all again next year.