In case you missed any of the earlier episodes of the VH1’s The Shot, check out our recaps of episode 1 and episode 2.

The Left Hanging Assignment:
For their first challenge this week, The Shot’s eight remaining competitors took on Russell James’s “extreme locations” assignment. The photographers strapped in to harnesses and repelled off a 100-foot cliff in Malibu Creek State Park to photograph two very patient rock climbers. James called upon the competitors to depict the word “intensity” with their photos — no small mission when most of them were unable to control their own bodies twirling on the ropes, let alone the composition of their photo.

Many of the contestants lost their cool in the altitude and didn’t give the rock-climbing models adequate direction. Piper, for example, told her model to do some “tricks,” or to “do something else that looks pretty cool,” while John was too busy barking his concerns at the people holding his line to pay much attention to the model. In the end, only Dean and Maria captured enough intensity and emotion to win the titles of team leaders, and Piper was picked last again. Russell’s advice for shooting so high and dry? Remember to give the model explicit directions in extreme locations, and concentrate on capturing a specific idea or mood.

The Below the Surface Assignment:
For their next mission the two teams were to create an underwater photo essay showcasing evening wear with the assistance of supermodel Kristy Hinze. Unlike the last two photo essay challenges, this mission was not about storytelling but about creating images that complemented each other and made the most of the dresses. Maria’s team made the mistake of exhausting Hinze with just the first shot, keeping her in the pool for too long without a break. The team also lacked a concrete concept of the shoot, instead relying on the episode’s overused words “fluidity” and “ethereal.” By the third shot, the team had to give Hinze foot weights so she didn’t have to tread water as much, limiting what they were able to accomplish with their image.

Dean’s team produced a stronger photo essay with better control of their vision and the model. The essay perhaps even suffered from over-conceptualization when Jason dramatically described his concept to confused judges as, “I wanted this feeling of her coming through the depths and being born to the earth.” And in a Rocky-scale comeback, after two weeks on the chopping block, Piper won the best image of the shoot for her skillful use of natural light to highlight the pleats of the dress. The lesson? In water or any other difficult set-up, be careful to control the clothes and the model, and keep the emphasis on the fashion.

The Final Shot (spoiler alert):
Maria’s team’s work was a little too “free-flowing” for its own good, with no driving concept behind the work to unite the images or emphasize the clothes. Their lack of direction for the model resulted in lack of emotion in the pictures. Dean’s team did well despite his photo, which brought in too much technique and artificial light, demonstrating his misunderstanding of the fashion itself. In the end, Bree was sent packing for her lack of imagination and her inability to make a shot in a pool look like anything more than, well, a shot taken in a pool. Next week the contestants will be tested on their action shooting skills with a little beach volleyball and an assignment involving two girls, two trampolines, and 90 cameras.