Sunday, 1 August 2010

Festivals 2010: what I did first

As someone who compulsively points a camera at things, not to mention a lifelong Festivals addict, I'm here to show you little bits of how I see this most creative and sleep-deprived time of year.

By way of a disclaimer: anyone with a passion for sharp, well-lit portraiture who might start to twitch at the grainy images I often take should know that half my time is spent in dim places where it's close to impossible to get any pictures without resorting to flash - so be pleased that they exist at all!

Since we're now a week into August, I'll try to catch up with pre-Fringe stuff first.


I've met Al Cook a few times but mostly know him through Twitter. Being aware of what I do, he asked if I could take some pictures at the opening of his exhibition, part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.



Next up was the opening of an exhibition in the Queen's Hall. Carlene Edwards, who has notably worked with Peep Show and Shameless, has a selection of prints on display (and for sale, of course) and was also showing some bespoke dresses made by Dresar Studio using cloth prints of her work.



As part of the opening weekend of the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Clandemonium took over the High Street for about an hour without making it very clear what it was going to do. Part flash mob, part drum/dance/kazoo lesson, part street performance (and I find it hard to see the link to Jazz and/or Blues...), whatever it was seemed to be a success. Not being a videographer, but wanting to capture more than just stills, there's a rough idea of what the performance finally looked like here.



Not being a fan of the Jazz/Blues arena, I hesitated to follow the Clandemoniards down to the Grassmarket for the further celebrations. I'm rather glad I did because, amidst the people on stages, I found an enchanting and satisfying bunch playing proper, tatty-looking instruments and 'making it real'.



I then had to put considerations of fun aside, as there was work to be done. There's been a small group of people working on documenting Bread Street and its myriad venues and premises (the imaginatively titled  'Bread Street Photo Project'), which was to climax with an exhibition in the Tea Tree Tea cafe on said street during August. Four hours of arguing, sticking, hanging and re-hanging later, it's up and the people seem to be quite happy with it.



Someone invited me, quite at random, to an event at St John's Church on Monday night. I was finishing work a bit early and so popped along. Will Pickvance and Friends is a 'candle-lit carnival' where Will and his, er, Friends perform. They were all excellent musicians and were clearly enjoying themselves - even those forced to attempt Helium Karaoke.



I'll leave you with an oddity. This is the sort of thing which really makes me love August. Just don't ask me what it's for.



Next up: The Fringe!




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