Wednesday, March 12, 2014

GPP Dubai - Day 5

Well, it's day 5 of Gulf Photo Plus here in Dubai. Today I really embarrassed myself. Let me explain what happened. As you may know Dubai is 9 time zones away from the eastern US. What that means is that your internal sleep clock gets severely messed up. As much as you think you were able to beat the jet catches up with you. Today I slept through two alarms and and ended up a fashionable 1 hour late for the last day of Greg Heisler's workshop. If it were not for my new friend Clare, and Heisler's super assistant Mel, I would have probably slept right through the entire last day! At Clare's request, Mel called my room at the hotel and woke me up. Fortunately the day's morning shoot was just outside the hotel lobby. Thanks again ladies for saving my day!

So as I stumble down to the lobby and out the front door, I am confronted by this:

Yes it would seem our model for the day was some kind of MMA, UFC freak! But appearances can be deceiving... This gentleman is Loy Machedo, a personal brand strategist and award winning TED speaker. A truly fascinating individual.

Heisler photographed him first by simulating a street lamp in the evening. Then simply a cool B&W rimmed shot. While Heisler was doing his thing, I couldn't help but check out all this guy's tattoos.

After Loy, we grabbed a quick lunch and headed to the home of Nadege, an artisan hat maker. A french lady, who spent some time in New York, and now lives in Dubai. So sweet and friendly, she showed us all around her home including her tiny workroom where she makes her hats. It was too small for us to shoot inside, so Heisler decided to shoot in the living room.

In her living room, we re-arranged some of her furniture, and Heisler spent the next hour or so arranging hats on the table is his usual meticulous fashion. Every hat carefully placed and it's position checked through the lens. Once he was happy with the composition, we started on the lights. He used a combination of ambient light and some strobes to just subtly accent parts of the scene. Then just as with all the other days, he called Nadege over and shot her for about 5 minutes. That was it. We were done.

He asked that we not take pictures in Nadege's house since it was her private residence, so all I managed to get was this quick frame of the end of the session.

This shoot concluded the workshop. We went back to the classroom and spent the next few hours in a question and answer session which was just priceless. Heisler answered several questions about his work, his philosophy, his future, his past, just so much valuable information it really can't be put into words.

This was truly an unforgettable experience. I think my own photography and the way I approach picture taking has been forever changed by simply watching Greg Heisler do what he does.

Thank you Greg.