For the 2013 Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) conference, held annually in Dubai, guest instructors John Keatley, Lindsay Adler, and Zack Arias were pitted against each other in an all-out battle for the best photo. Racing against a 20-minute deadline to compose, shoot, and edit their photo, the photographers had to think on their feet and pull out all the creative stops:
Given the task of shooting a portrait of legendary photographer Gregory Heisler (who is responsible for over 80 covers for “Time Magazine”), each competitor had a 20-minute session with Heisler, which the other two photographers didn’t get to see. All three didn’t find out about the nature of the assignment until immediately before shooting, and had to work with the added pressure of a live audience.
Keatley, who went first, pulled out some props — a wig and turtleneck shirt — for a humorous take on the portrait:
“Maybe you did that assignment for ‘Rolling Stone’ and hung out with Rod Stewart for just a little too long…”
Adler took a more serious route and decided to use a composite background to give her portrait the look of being shot on location with natural light:
Arias opted for a shot with more action, having assistants throw water at Heisner (though Heisner did retaliate by dumping a glass on Arias when he wasn’t looking, much to the crowd’s delight). The contest was judged by the audience with the ever-popular “clap-o-meter” system, and Arias came out the victor, with the following shot:
Who do you think should have won?
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