Folkestone Book Fest 2016 - Ben Bowles

Question. What happens when you have 10 days straight of world class literature under one roof? Yes, that's right it's the Folkestone Book Festival 2016! The fest has been going - in various guises- since 1980 with a range of speakers from the literary world being invited to inform, inspire and entertain the crowds. This year, highlights included a public speaking masterclass from David Crystal, a science and maths collision by Marcus Du Sautoy and the bitter sweet songs sung by Kristin Hersh. The festival was held at the Quarter House in Tontine Street for all 10 days. 

Crowds filtering in to the auditorium

The brief for the festival was to get a few shots at the beginning of the artist's set before moving upstairs to capture the atmosphere around the venue. In terms of the challenges, it was all about the venue lighting. The set was spread out over the whole bottom section meaning the lights were slightly darker in parts. So if the speaker was sitting in a dimmer section of the set, the ISO had to be cranked up to get a high enough shutter speed. However, once these settings were locked in, it was a case of getting a few shots from different vantage points of the venue. My personal favourite being from the balcony!

A few shots of the speakers before the audience gets annoyed with the clicking!

The great thing about being an event photographer at the festival was seeing all the amazing talent first hand. Once the shots were 'in the can', I could watch and enjoy the rest of the show. Although the topics were varied, there was a common thread of individuals high up in their chosen field talking on a subject with real passion. No matter what creative pursuit you are in, you cannot fail to feel inspired by a person that has dedicated a big portion of their life to a specific calling.

The Quarter House looking stunning after dark

I will look back on the festival with great fondness and I would urge anyone to check out next year's offering. Well, only if you enjoy expanding your mind, learning new things and being inspired. If you don't enjoy these things, give it a wide berth! Get updates and announcements on twitter @Fstonebookfest

Marcus Du Sautoy blowing everybody's brains!

Until next time comrades, see you on the flip side!


Benjamin x 

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