GPP PhotoWeekend Wrap-Up

I spent the first week of November  teaching 4 days’ worth of workshops with Gulf Photo Plus, in Dubai (or, as one person I met calls it, “Du-bizzle”). I posted some behind-the-scenes shots a few days ago.

iPhone Burj Khalifa

iPhone Burj Khalifa, near the fountains.

I had exactly one jetlag day that I spent sightseeing – otherwise it was a series of long days of location scouting, shooting, talking WAY too much, and then swapping stories with the other instructors at the bar later. (Tony Corbell’s story about the 185th World Leader wins, hands down). But seriously, hanging out with Frank, David, Brook, and Tony was a real experience!

The first two days were the “Interiors 101” workshops – we’d road-trip down the coast to Abu Dhabi where a pair of large villas awaited us on  Saadiyat Island, courtesy of The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, and Fatima (She Who Must Be Obeyed). These were perfect – we had plenty of room to spread out and experiment.

Friday and Saturday were the Interiors and Lifestyle advanced-level course. This was FUN. We spent both days in the Marina Byblos Hotel, shooting hotel rooms and then restaurants. Day one was Lighting, day two was when we started adding models….first as background, and then as foreground subjects.

I don’t often get the chance to shoot whatever I feel like, and when I saw the Tchaikovsky Russian Nightclub I knew immediately I’d found the perfect setting for a photo I’ve wanted to make for a long time. The lead photo in this post is the “beauty shot” I made of this place. Here’s the test shot I made at the end of Day One, in prep:

Yeah, that’s me, trying to look dejected. I wasn’t, though. I was having a great time!

When the time came, I set up this shot, and got our models (Ila, Harry, Ryan) in place. Happy couple, out to dinner at a swank restaurant. Yawn.

Then….things went awry (as planned!). Ila was great! I told her I wanted her to be PISSED, and it sure came through. I’m not sure what Harry was saying to her, but it worked…

I love it! We ran through this scene multiple times; here’s a little animated gif that shows the full action:

Click Me!!

I wasn’t the only one shooting. Below is a sample of student work — and well done, people! Some of you are not putting your contact info in your EXIF….if you see your photo here, email me and I’ll get the credit info added!

Photo by Anton Delsink

Photo by Catalin Marin, and a tricky little lighting setup this was!

As you can see, they kicked butt! This is but a small sample of what got done. All in all, it was a great week. Hats off to Mohamed and Hala and the entire team at GPP for putting on a first-class event. Thanks!

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