AUR students of the newly formed course, FAFD 106 – Photography in Rome: Studio & Still Life, recently participated in an online international photography competition via as part of their course assignment from Prof. Brian Koperski. The theme of the competition was “It’s a Setup,” which required students to create a simple (or complex) still life arrangement and take their best photograph of it. The competition was open to 100 members of the international photography community that uses on a daily basis to share their creative works, and the competition was very tough for this “challenge.” With a final number of 81 entrants in total, AUR students rocked the competition and were able to snag 2nd, 4th, 7th, 11th, 18th, 25th, 32nd, 39th, 44th, and 54th places for their works. Voting for the challenge is done by members that have entered it, or by any other member of the Dpreview community.

This is the first time that FAFD 106 has been offered. This is a program specifically designed by Prof. Koperski to introduce students to using flash photography and creating compelling still life images in Rome. The course allows students the possibility to look at the world around them, analyze it, focus on it, reduce it, and rearrange it to create more intimate scenes using locations in Rome and everyday objects from their life in Italy.  

“I’m wonderfully pleased with the results of this challenge from our students! As this was a J-Term course, submitting and voting for a challenge was going to be tricky, as well as finding the right challenge that would allow the students to apply what they learned in class for a Dpreview challenge. This is not the first time I have asked students to compete in an international challenge. Each semester my photography students use Dpreview to get feedback from the global audience of photographers, and every time has been a great experience to see how they do. It’s always fun to help students gather their images to submit, and some challenges require that the images were shot within a certain timeframe, so we’ve even had to go shoot something specific for the competition. It’s a very focused project, and one that I hope the students enjoy doing.” – Prof. Brian Koperski

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2nd Place: Tareck Hassan

4th Place: Sara Morigi

7th Place: Eran Eluasvili

11th Place: Alexis Feidler (Study Abroad)


18th Place: Karen Kawas


25th Place: Kibret Dagnew


32nd Place: Evan Verbraska (Study Abroad)


39th Place: Rocco Anelli


44th Place: Shahada Jalloud


54th Place: Bashir Elyas