DAVID! CHASE! HAVE YE GONE MAD!? THE ENGINES’LL NEVER TAKE IT!!!!!
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of light, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of pixels and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into…the Dubai Zone.
Dubai. This just may be the final frontier, indeed. It is 3 parts Vegas, one part planet Tatooine, and 6 parts oil money. Mix in a pantload of concrete and rebar, every luxury brand name store in the world, some very gracious people, a rampant interest in digital photography, one of the best faculties I’ve ever been honored to be associated with, and BOOM! Gulf Photo Plus springs up out of the desert heat right along with the skyscrapers.
(I realize in the first 10 sentences I’ve just mixed up together a whole bunch of sci-fi adventures.)
This is an amazing group of instructors. I mean out there. And the best part has been, even though we have been working hard, we’ve been able to hang a bit, too. You know, like hang out, like at the neighborhood bar. Except in Dubai, one of the neighborhood bars just happens to be the Skybar at the Burj Al Arab, touted as the finest hotel in the world, possessor of seven stars, and a monument to reserve and understatement. David Hobby, the wonderful, over the top genius of strobe, and Chase Jarvis, photographic visionary with an incredibly open and giving spirit, above, are just about to beam out of the bar and back to the planet earth, where presumably you don’t have to take out a second mortgage to buy a beer. (Note to Kraj Diesel…I would not buy you Johnny Walker Blue here!)
So if the Burj is so frikkin’ fancy, why’d they let us in? Thanks to Mohammed Somji, who worked a connection, they let about 15 ragtag photogs and friends in the joint. I’m sure today a memo went around banning point and shoots.