Sunday, March 9, 2014

GPP Dubai - Day 3

Day 3 of Gulf Photo Plus for me was the first day of the Gregory Heisler workshop. If you don't know who Greg Heisler is, shame on you! Go look him up. I'll make it easy for you. Here is the link. Now getting back to the story. We met in a classroom for a few hours where Greg talked about how he perceives light and uses it to get at the image he wants to make. It was a pretty brief walk through in the principles of lighting, but I think most people in the workshop were pretty familiar with the concepts.

Because he wants to pack a lot of information in just 3 days, Greg does all of the shooting. As he demonstrates he is constantly talking about what he's doing, what he is looking for, and how he is going to solve whatever problem may come up. It's very interesting to see the thought process and the flow of creativity as he plays around with camera position, light position, angles, etc... until all of a sudden this amazing image appears on the screen.

After a brief lunch, we head out to the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). I had no idea what this place was so I'm along for the ride while others in the workshop who were familiar with the DIFC were telling me how amazing this place was. When we finally get there, we get some production badges and walk out into a large courtyard. I guess this was supposed to be the amazing location because Greg walks out in front turns to his left and says: What the *%#$ is that!?

As it turns out, "that" is a huge scaffolding being used in building renovations!

But hey, just because someone put up a big scaffolding up doesn't mean you can't find a cool picture in there.

So it was off to plan B, which was "make a plan B on the fly". We walked around a little and found a very interesting covered walkway which Greg thought would make a good background for shooting portraits of our models that day.

Funny story

The model arrived and had no idea what she was in for. She took one look at Heisler who was wearing a backwards baseball cap, his signature circular glasses, and a Hawaiian shirt and immediately excused herself and walked away. She returned a minute or so later with a big excited smile on her face. We found out later that she went off to the side and googled Greg on her phone to see if this would be worth her time. I guess she decided, hey if he's good enough for 80+ Time magazine covers and countless presidents and other world leaders, he'll be fine for me!

I won't go into a play-by-play of the workshop, but the most impressive thing for me was the way that Greg sits back and figures out the shot he wants to take way before he ever puts his eye in the viewfinder. He set up his position, studied the light, added some flash heads here and there, posed the model by directing her to move inches this way and inches that way, metered the lights, and adjusted his camera settings. Once everything was set he simply pressed the button. When the image came up on the screen, everyone's jaw just dropped. One click. That's all he needed.

The second model was a young man from Kuwait who was also in awe of Greg, I guess he googled him prior to coming. Greg went on to repeat the same feat from the first model. Careful thought, meticulous setup of lights and model, and click.

It is so inspiring to watch him make these images. The thought process and his incredible attention to detail all come through in the final image. Such a great experience. Looking forward to more of Greg day 4.

Since the workshop participants don't do any shooting, I kind of grabbed what I could get. Here are some of the images I made on Day 3.