Instagram and the Montreal Highlights Festival
“MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is one of the largest winter festivals in the world, an annual celebration drawing 900,000 fans to experience the joy of Montréal wintertime through a unique program combining performing arts, gastronomy, free outdoor family activities, and a full night of exquisitely original discoveries!” as described on the Montreal Highlights Festival official website. The festival also has a special night called “La Nuit Blanche” translated as… well literally the White Night but it doesn’t really work in English. Anyway it’s a night of activities that run from 6pm until 6am the following morning. I had never been before but the Montreal Instagram group asked me if I would take shots during the festival. I had planned to go anyway and so of course I accepted the offer. I received a media pass that gave me access to go anywhere. I thought I would write a post on how the event went and my Instagram experience.
The festival asked that we cover 20 different events between the 5 photographers that were issued a media pass. We separated the events between the 5 of us and then it was up to each of us to plan our itinerary. We had a unique hashtag that we used to identify the shots taken from our gang and some were picked up by The Gazette on their website. Have a look at the stream of images that used that tag here. The festival has events in a few different areas that are not within walking distance of each other. This made it more difficult to cover for my events. Thanks to the free shuttles I was able to get to where I needed to be easily. It was a cold evening so I had to dress accordingly. The Instagram group met at 7:30pm to pick up our media passes and meet some of the group. Then we were off to start working on our shot lists
I wanted to shoot the Bran Van 3000 show even if it wasn’t on my list of events. I had a hard time getting to the stage because the show was about to start and there were people everywhere. I finally made it to the front of the stage, thanks in part to my media pass :-), and was ready and two minutes later the show started. Awesome!!
So I also brought my Nikon D300 dslr with me knowing that there would be many great opportunities for some great shots. For the BV3 show I switched between the iPhone and the D300. I posted some of the D300 shots on my Flickr account if you are interested check them out here.
One of the events I had to cover was “Fabric Sculptures” at the “W Montreal” hotel – Spontaneous creations of “Haute Couture” dresses on a live model. Each performance will be created live in front of your eyes at each hour. When I got there the designer was almost finished her creation and there wasn’t a spot that I liked to get a good shot. The media pass around my neck gave me the courage to go sit right in front of the model and designer to get some shots. I wasn’t in anyones way so it was all good. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. The W is really amazing inside. Here are two shots I made there.
There was a light painting activity where people were given handheld lights and were asked to move them around to create light shapes. Their was a camera on a tripod setup and linked to two TV’s that showed everyone the results. The guests could get their creations sent to their Facebook pages. I wasn’t sure what to shoot for this event because it was so dark. I took a shot of one of the TV screens and was happy with it. In retrospect I could’ve used the Slowshutter app but didn’t think of it then, dumb dumb!
There were all kinds of art showcases. I stopped by the The Galerie Michel-Ange with its dynamic and electrifying PoP Explosif exhibition, featuring works by internationally acclaimed pop artists Boudro, Roger Katch and guest artist Norma Bessière.
I also went to Espace Verre and saw glass blowing in action. There was also an exposition of varied works by the very talented students. Espace Verre is a non-profit organization that offers education, promotion and other services to people interested in the glass arts.
There were activities everywhere, people everywhere, food and beverages everywhere, music, lights action and you guessed it cameras everywhere! I spent 7 hours on the site (from 7pm till 2am) and didn’t come close to seeing everything I wanted to see.
I’m looking forward to next year’s Highlights Festival and La Nuit Blanche 2013 !
Thanks for reading, Patrick