Thursday, March 13, 2014

GPP Dubai - Day 7

This is day 7 at Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai. It's not a typo, it is day 7. I skipped day 6 because I had the day off and did nothing - except attend the lecture of RC on printing, which was really interesting and informative, but not really relevant to this series. So we are at day 7, the first day of the Joe McNally "Bodies in Flight" workshop.

As the name suggests, it's all about shooting action. We started with a very quick demonstration on using a combination of flash and continuous light to both freeze and blur the image as your imagination requires. We then went out in the sun with two models and Joe demonstrated how to fight the bright sun with small flashes and try to freeze motion.

After the demo, we broke up into groups and each group got an athlete to shoot. My group got Miguel, as chance would have it, from Portugal. We hit it off right away thanks to the language thing, so things went pretty smoothly.

Miguel was a beach volleyball player and triathlete. I decided to shoot him against the sun leaping over me. A challenge in timing and for the flash for sure, but the results can be very rewarding.

We had to shoot quickly as we were informed that security would have problems with Miguel's beach volleyball attire - or lack there of. Fortunately I don't think security could see past the scores of female onlookers that gathered to see our impressive photographic skills at work.

Since Miguel also ran track, we did some of that.

And while another team member set up for his shot, I grabbed this simple natural light shot of Miguel walking around. Security was scarce in this particular area...

Once our time was up with Miguel we switched models with another group and went off again. We got Ania (not sure if that was really her name), who was a dancer and martial artist. I went for a blur + freeze type shot for her since by now we had very limited time left. I was able to grab one good shot.

At the end we were all exhausted. Shooting with such limited time really takes a lot out of you. The athletes also got a good workout as each member had them jumping and kicking over and over again.

A fantastic start to the Joe McNally workshop. We got some good practice, but most importantly very relevant practice, where we took the models and equipment to the limits to get the results.

On day 8 we have been promised demonstrations of very advanced techniques of long exposure and stroboscopic flash in a studio setting with dancers.

I can't wait.