Doha Interiors Workshop with Katara.net

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In mid-June, I spent a week in Doha, Qatar, teaching interiors with a fantastic group of Qataris, as well as a handful of expats from around the world. It was my first trip to Qatar, and I have to admit I didn’t know what to expect. The picture below pretty much sums it up:

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Fabulous architecture, in every direction, outrageous food (you haven’t had hummus until you’ve had real hummus, folks), and some of the most generous, friendly, and fun people anywhere.

This event was produced by Katara,  an Arts and Culture organization that sponsors exhibits and events in a huge complex of buildings, plazas, and gardens on the waterfront. Organized by Mohammed Saad Al-Mohannadi (who worked long hours to take care of every detail), this was a three-day workshop, with 2 full days of field work.

hargis_130620_2205We shot one day at Mamig, a Turkish/Armenian restaurant, where I made the demo shot above. Then the students took over, and produced  their own compositions around the building, lighting and styling everything perfectly.

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Another long day was spent at the Ritz-Carleton, shooting an Executive Suite, along with two smaller suites:

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This was a fun day, because there was room for everybody to spread out and really do the shot they wanted.  (True story: we had to switch venues at the last minute, because the Taliban had checked into the hotel we were originally slated to shoot.)

I don’t have any of the behind-the-scenes photos from these fun days, but I know they’re out there….if you were there, and you’ve got some photos, send ’em my way, please?

Thanks VERY much to Katara for hosting me and dealing with all the myriad logistical issues that go into producing an event like this. And thanks also to Gulf Photo Plus for their support.

While I was in Qatar, I squeezed in a couple of self-assigned tall buildings, which you’ll see here in the coming weeks. But before I sign off, check out a few random photos I made (along with one video, and a studio portrait) while zooming around Doha with Mohammed:

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Mohammed, looking dapper.

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The Tornado Building (the distorted conical structure) with surrounding Fantasia architecture. The Burj Qatar is just out of sight to the right.

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Me, in my whites – the Guthra and the Thobe.

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More or less unsuccessful attempt at a group photo using the mirrored ceiling of an elevator — Ritz-Carleton, Doha.

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Arabic mint lemonade.
I first discovered this stuff last November in Dubai, and my head still explodes when I drink it. I could do a gallon of this stuff, easy.

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iPhone shot of my hotel lobby roof.

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In the souks. That’s an historic photo of Doha, with the model this man built.

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More mint lemonade…..

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At Katara Arts Center

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In the mall. If humans ever colonize Mars, this is what it will be like.

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We may not have Gondolas on Mars….but they have ’em in the Mall in Doha.

 

 

 

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Me, in my Jordanian-style Guthra. I had much to learn…..
Photo by Mohammed Saad Al-Mohannadi.

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Outside the Katara administrative offices.

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Me and Mohammed, photographed in a studio by two of the least-competent Pinay girls you can imagine. Mohammed eventually stepped in, seized the camera, set it to a proper exposure, and adjusted the lights until we got this result.

Incidentally, that’s a custom-fitted Thobe I’m wearing, as authentic as it gets. Thanks, Mohammed!

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The view from my hotel window.

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Super Moon! With Dhow, and the harbor.

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Mo, shooting the Super Moon. (Moments earlier, he was shooting me, hence the flash).

Finally, here’s a take-off video from Doha International (DOH) — gets pretty interesting around 1:20 or so.

 

 

 

4 responses to “Doha Interiors Workshop with Katara.net

  1. yildirim enes

    All I can say is I hope one of these days, I can join to your work shop,great story telling photos.

  2. Your hotel window shot looks like a shot from the future. Impressive city scape.
    Is the clothing a requirement? and act of respect? or? Just curious.

    • Gegg,
      Clothing is absolutely a requirement. 😉
      But it can be whatever you want. I was interested in the Guthra, and my hosts graciously made sure I had the real deal, and not the tourist stuff. I got a few second glances as I strolled around the shopping malls, and at least one man mistook me for a “real” Qatari as he was jogging by (it was dusk, to be honest about it) and was so excited to discover that I was actually Caucasian that he insisted on getting a photo with me.

  3. It cracks me up that the Taliban was using the rooms you wanted to shoot. Did you tell them we want to do peace talks with them. You could have been our emissary. Meanwhile, great shots as usual.