Digital DNA Awards

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Continuing on the current theme of events, lets have a look at the Digital DNA Awards evening, now an annual event held in St. Annes Cathedral. Digital DNA awards celebrates a diverse range of companies and individuals from across the digital scene in Northern Ireland. All sectors are represented from E-commerce to Media and Fintech to Creative.

Belfast is where it’s at!

In Belfast, there are many local companies winning highly innovative international project. The Digital DNA Awards evening accentuates the strong message that Northern Ireland is building world leading apps, projects, tech and people.

St. Annes Cathedral, based in the aptly named Cathedral Quarter of Belfast is a somewhat unusual venue to hold an awards ceremony. Usually I am working in spaces such as Titanic Belfast, the Ulster Hall or the Waterfront building. Working in a cathedral is certainly unusal but not without its challenges.


St. Annes cathedral is a cavernous building. The interior is massive and even during the day isn’t the brightest inside. At night it’s very dark despite the internal lights being on. This I guess is its main draw; atmosphere. Lighting this space using speedlights alone is futile as they’re simply not powerful enough. All you can do is rely on the event lighting, mix your speedlights in along with that and pay close attention to your white balance.

Digital DNA Awards 2018

White balance is tricky. The interior tungsten lighting is very orange. You’ve also to contend with pure red light coming from the heat lamps. Shooting in RAW will help as you’ll be able to edit your white balance during post processing. If you don’t keep your white balance in camera down around 2/3000k you’re going to have very orange images that can’t be fixed.

Keeping to the format.

Despite the slightly unusal venue, this event like most others followed a fairly traditional format. I arrived on site ahead of the guests to set up. As they arrived and started to mingle I tried to get some images showing the buzz and how excited people were.

The next stage was photographing the hosts as they gave introductions. This was slighty tricky as the audio visual technician went a bit mad with the smoke machine. Images were coming out very hazy but I couldn’t do anything about it. I just worked through it as I couldn’t control it.

Digital DNA Awards 2018

After dinner came the main awards part of the evening. I tried to get images of the winners as they walked from their tables to the stage. This didn’t always work as the excessive smoke was playing havoc with my cameras autofocus system. I grabbed a couple of photos of the winners whilst they were on stage then moved on to the next winner.

Keep up to date with all things Digital DNA by visiting their website.

Questions? Head over to my contact page.

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