The StArt Festival is a two-night showcase for emerging artists in Halifax that happens at The Bus Stop Theatre in the dead of winter. Despite the baby-it’s-cold outside, The Bus Stop is a warm and cozy venue. I was more than happy to spend two nights with the crew as they delivered a fresh batch of Halifax talent to the crowd. This is the festival’s second year running; it was nice to see The Bus Stop packed on both nights. On the second night they even needed to add an extra row of chairs because they more than sold out the house (during a snowstorm, nonetheless) .
Shooting in a theatre reminds me of when I first got my camera in university – I spent a lot of time documenting life inside the drama department. In retrospect, a strange choice; stage lighting works well for the purposes of theatre, but is absolutely terrible to shoot in. It creates harsh lines, unflattering shadows, and a dynamic range that’s hard to capture with any sort of camera. It’s also extremely hard to change your lighting. You can’t just reach up 50 feet into the catwalks and adjust intensity – you’re reduced to praying there’s a friendly lighting-tech on hand who might be willing to bring up the house lights and dim the spot a bit so your photos don’t look completely washed out. Trial by fire, no better way to learn!