Following the great success of 2012 with new dates, sellout performances and exhibitions filled to the brim, the Belfast Children’s Festival by Young At Art returned in March 2013 with a brand new program packed with theatre, dance, exhibitions, workshops and more.
2013 saw both dance and theatre productions created by companies from the Netherlands, Switzerland and Belgium, offering an excellent introduction to world culture and beautifully crafted performances made for children.
A special theatre program delivered in association with Theatre for Young Audiences NI, audiences experienced a wealth of original theatre and dance created for children throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland.
A special focus was given to encouraging children to visit the city’s galleries with a range of existing exhibitions and special festival commissions and interactive workshops. Galleries involved included The MAC, Belfast Exposed, Catalyst Arts, Digital Arts Studio, Platform Arts Studio, PS2 and the Ulster Museum.
This year unlike last year i decided to keep things simple. Rather than carry every thing i own to every event during the festival i kept it light. Whilst i would carry the majority of my photography gear in my van once i got to each location i would decide what to carry in with a smaller bag.
For the open space event and festival in a day i would be able to use flash as there would be loads of people moving around with no central or single performance happening thus i would not interrupt the event as it went along.
For the performances in the spaces such as the MAC, The Lyric Theatre or The Ulster Museum i would have to leave the speed lights in the van. Thankfully having a Nikon D3s means with the right lenses i can pretty much see in the dark! Using a mix of 50mm F1.8, 24-70mm F2.8 and more often than not the 70-200mm F2.8. As all of these lenses have super wide apertures all i needed to do was to ramp up the ISO and control my shutter speed. I only ever shoot on manual and if you are not at the moment then time to take the training wheels off and release the full potential of your camera. Stop letting it make up its mind how the photos should look and take control. And when you are at it start shooting in RAW if you have not already made the leap.
Yes you need to edit RAW photographs and that takes time but unless you are a press photographer against a crazy tight deadline (were shooting in JPEG is the only viable option) the only reason you are not shooting on RAW is because you are bone idle lazy! There are loads of photographers out there who think buying the big camera is their ticket to success. They will end up shooting horrid hi-key images and post them unedited on Facebook. And that’s OK as since they are likely charging a tenner for the session that’s all they will ever do and be. Take pride in your work, shoot in RAW and give your images the best chance possible to blow your clients mind.
The Belfast Children’s Festival is back again next year on the 7th – 14th March so if you missed any of it this year be sure to get in the calender.