Archive for January, 2010

Kesler Tran – Lighting Workshop II….

January 26, 2010 Leave a comment
Kesler Lighting Workshop II © Marqelexsis Photography

Brita at Kesler Lighting Workshop II © Marqelexsis Photography

So, Sunday I went to another workshop hosted by Kesler Tran in downtown Los Angeles. I had been to one of Kesler’s workshops before in the past, that I discussed about in a previous blog update. This workshop was to concentrate on two light setups along with grids to show how to effect mood and balance in a photo.  This time around we would be only using one model – Brita Gartner (Print – Wilhelmina , Runway – LA Models, Commercial – NTA).

The reason I enjoyed the first meet-up and attended this second one was that Kesler’s studio really allowed you to breath in terms of spacing arrangements to allow for experimentation, that Kesler spent no time shooting himself just assisting others and that he allowed the team of photographers (4 of us) to discuss the lighting arrangements (after he explained them) then continued to take our inputs to make changes if we wanted. Overall a good creative outlet that felt to me more like a test shoot with my own personal model than a rote workshop.

I don’t want to provide all the details of each arrangement but, just provide a taste. We tried at least 4 lighting arrangements for the day all with the utilization of V-Flats (2 @ 4′ x 8′ foam core boards taped together to form a swinging hinge, we utilized 2 of these) and grids which aided in blocking and redirect light around the model / space.  One of the setups we utilized the V-Flats as fake walls offset from each other, one about a foot or two in front of the other with about a 2 foot diagonal opening for our model to walk through. This was done two fold one to block an accent light on camera left from flaring but still allowing an outline on our models left side (including the hair); the main was on camera left also gridded (we played with 10, 20, 30, 40 degree grids on both) about 15 feet from the model above her head pointed at 45 degrees.

This setup produced some dramatic effects on the V-Flats as the light fall off created deep shadows in our mock doorway but lit the models skin and hair beautifully.  In the end creating depth along with a “mood” as the light and geometric shapes of the shadows played in conflict with each other.

The other arrangements were plays using the V-Flats, Gridded Beauty Dishes and Reflectors to provide those unique contours to shadows seen in Kesler’s own style.  For the most part these weren’t the A-Typically give me catch lights in models eyes; they were darker, emotionally evocative images.  All in all I had a great time and felt that I added some further understanding of my own photography mixed with more emotional lighting arrangements; including learning that breaking photographic rules can be fun and a creative endeavor.  The shot above is one of my shots from the shoot using a 22″ – Beauty Dish and the 2 V-Cards in a horizontal fashion (laying like tents) to 1) act as reflectors and 2) act as an enclosed backdrop for our model to play in.



Efren Beltran – Photographer

January 25, 2010 Leave a comment

If you haven’t had the chance to check out the work of my buddy Efren Beltran you should as he’s a “light” fanatic and can make any photographer or model look better with just a light and reflector…. no kidding. That being said Efren is blowing up lately with assisting or second shooting, some his recent work has be…en has been with KLK Photography (Weddings / Fashion) and OC Live Magazine (Fashion Editorials). You can check out his work on MM or his website ->

Categories: Fashion, Photography Tags:

My Go-To Crew!

January 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Well I just realized in my last post that I should introduce my go to team whenever I do my personal project Fashion and Portraiture work as they are all fantastic and should be recognized.  From my last post you know about the fabulous makeup work of Angela Peralta and my other partners in crime are:

Another fabulous and equally talented MUA Donna Kuglar (who has a great photographic eye in her own right), she and Angela work together if you didn’t know so if you get this tag team you already are half way to a succesful shoot.

For hair my team is made up of one gal Carmen Thompson from The Hair Republic, with 20+ year of experience there is no hair this lady can’t do and if its ethic hair watch!

As far as Wardrobe stylist and my go to girl when my backs against the wall is my cuz – Tavi Thompson, give her rags and she’ll make you look famous or infamous!

Of course I can’t forget one of my mentors / creative director / great photographer in his own right – James Loy.  This guy has the eyes for details, if you need your shoot to look even better or  want to hand the reigns to a pro that can make your experienced crew feel like they are able to learn again he’s the man.

There are others that I’ll list as I move forward but these folks are my go to team when I am putting any personal projects together check out their pages, give them a jingle and they’ll make you creative vision come alive.

MUA Superhero….

January 18, 2010 Leave a comment

I found out to tonight that good friend and MUA (makeup artist) got a chance to work on the Golden Globes tonight. Along with her very filled calendar Angela Peralta’s work is top notch and I love working with her, she doesn’t get frazzled and get the job done. She’s part of a team of mua’s, hair and wardrobe stylist I utilize for my shoots who really can deliver on helping to bring to light your creative vision. If you have not checked some of her work outside of what is displayed on my sites then check out her pages on facebook (see link above). She really runs the gambit of skills from print, video, film to shows! If you get a chance to work with her you’ll know why she “clutch”!


Categories: Fashion, Photography Tags: , ,

Stumbled Upon Great Art….

January 18, 2010 Leave a comment
End of the World 2010 © Chris Siqeria

End of the World 2010 work by Chris Siqeria (Chris Vector)

The other day I came across the work of some vector / digital illustration artists who’s work and talent was just truly inspiring and fascinating to behold. The first is a artist that really blew me away was Chris Siqueira (aka Chris Vector) and the other was Jose Paulo Amorim Reis. Both of their work while creatively different from each other truly display a aptitude for fantasy mixed with reality. The way they worked with colors and the creation of movement and lines were wonderful, I could literally spend all day looking at their work or even see it adorning my walls or utilized it for my desktop theme. Both artist work was displayed in the latest Adobe Photoshop Magazine on newsstands now.

Photo LA 2010

January 16, 2010 Leave a comment

This was my first time to Photo LA, located at the Santa Monica Civic center, the place was packed and had lots of great works of art / photography to see on display – with most being for sale.  The floor space was divided into booth / galleries were representatives of each groups of artisit work could be shown, discussed and sold.  The following are artists work that I found attracted my attention or engaged my senses in some manner, basically forced me to stop and inspect.  This of course doesn’t cover all the work at Photo LA 2010 and is just my assessment of what drew my eye.  That being said there was some much to see it was a little bit of sensory overload…lol (please excuse the iPhone photos just wanted to show samples of each artists work):

Haley Jane Samuelson

Haley Jane Samuelson's work @ Photo LA 2010

Haley Jane Samuelson’s work really drew my eyes as I passed her display. Her photos with the start darker tones of the environments and her subject placement spoke on some level to me of simple elegance, with a dash of innocence, where you might not think to find it. For a further look at Jane’s work check out her site:

Olaf Otto Becker

Olaf Otto Becker's Work @ Photo LA 2010

The next aritist’s work that just floored me seeing it in print was Olaf Otto Becker’s work in particular his Iceberg Rodeboy, Greenland work. The clam nature of the screen the graduated tones of simple earthly colors were just lovely to see in print. To see more of Olaf’s work check out his website:

Virginia Beachan & Laura Mcphee

Virginia Beachan & Laura Mcphee's work @ Photo LA 2010

Another artist which has mastered the art of capturing water in motion, through long exposures is the work of Virginia Beachan & Laura Mcphee’s work on the RoseGallery. The series is just pure art and I loved just staring at the photos try to look into the scene for ever nuance. To see the full RoseGallery series you head over to the RoseGallery website:

Nick Brandt

Nick Brandt's Work @ Photo LA 2010

The work of Nick Brandt should be known to everyone who enjoys photography by now. I’ve seen his Africa works grace the apges of many magazines and his books but to see them life size hanging on a wall at the Photo-Eye Gallery was truly inspiring my 3 year old just loved the lions, elephants and giraffes in his photos and the treatments which looked great in magazines looked even better on hanging display. To see more of Nick’s work check out his site:

David Trautrims

David Trautrims's work @ Photo LA 2010

The work of David Trautrims Spy Frost Project 2009 – was just simply amazing. In particular to hear that this photographer used “everyday items” to create structures that he could composite into his landscapes, as larger than life objects within those scenes was fantastic to behold. All I could say is wow I could stand there all day and just go over each scene trying to understand the correlations or even trying to decipher the exact nature of the objects themselves. The seamlessness of his composite work is just beautiful to behold. Check out more of his work at his website:

Richard Barnes

Richard Barnes's work display @ Photo LA 2010

Also in the Photo-Eye Gallery booth was the work of Richard Barnes’s Murmur series. I was transfixed by this photographers eye and patience to watch “super” flocks of birds in motion, capturing them as they essentially created art across Richard’s canvas. To see more of Richard’s work including his Animal Logic series check out his website:

Camille Seaman

Camille Seaman's work displayed @ Photo LA 2010

Another artisit who seemed to love water and icebergs but beautifully worked magic is the vision of Camille Seaman. In particular the piece “Grand Pinnacle Iceberg”, Greenland caught my attention at the show. To see more of Camille’s work check it out at:

Mark Laita's work on display @ Photo LA 2010

Mark Laita's work on display @ Photo LA 2010

Another artist that seemed a huge display of his work was Mark Laita and his Created Equal series, the portraits displaying light sepia tones, weathered/ worn real life subjects in dramatic lighting set against their opposites attracted a lot of attention besides my own. It was tough to getting the area to see his work but being that they were on display in very large prints helped out. The body of work was truly inspirational to see. To see more of Mark’s work in p check out his site but, I noticed the Created Equal series wasn’t on there, it might be that it is in print so I provided two both links: &

Tony Duran

Last but not least was a set of work that really stood out on massive display, that of Tony Duran. His fashion / portraiture work with the likes of Sandra Bullock and others was just fantastic, all in black & white his working of tones within his images really gave them a great contrast and 3-Dimension look in print. I loved them, even his more shocking work (like The Porn Room 3) display in the gallery either shocked you into looking away or into taking a further inspection…. loved it. I did not take any photos of this display but you can see more of Tony’s work via his site:

KESLER – Lighting Workshop I

January 10, 2010 Leave a comment
L Laurie Mannette

Laurie Mannette @ Kesler Studios

This week I had the opportunity to work with Kesler Tran at his studio is Los Angeles, CA. Kesler has a small group of photographers together to show off simple “one light” lighting techniques. In particular how one light could be utilized to play with shadows and contrast for dramatic effect. We had two models available to work with Laurie Mannette and Christine Gabriel. Both were lovely models to work with, they had lots of versatility and with 3 lighting arrangements we worked produced some wonderful images.

Again for the gear heads we utilized Speedotron Packs and 1 light. The first couple of arrangements had us using a bare 7″ reflector on camera right, the stand was about 8 – 10′ high and about 35 feet back from the model. The models were up against a bare white wall. I utilized my PhaseOne 645 + 105-210mm lens to give me some compression. I sat most of the day at ISO 50, between F8 – F11 as the lighting was preset for the Canon shooters in the group shooting at ISO 200 @ F13, so I played with the reciprocals to give me what I wanted and maximum dynamic range for play in post. We moved the model closer to the wall to increase shadow details on the wall and further from it for separation, feathered shadows but, more contrast on the models themselves.

Christine Gabriel

Christine Gabriel @ Kesler Studios

We then changed over to utilizing softer light with a a bare 22″ beauty dish about 8-10 feet camera left – from the model to give nice smooth wrap around light, smooth skin texture and in some instances a little of a spot light effect. We started this setup on somewhat of a busy background but then changed back to the white background arrangement with a contoured table utilized as a prop. On the white wall scenario we positioned the light-stand relatively close to the model, I say about 6 – 8′ this time but, we positioned it over head and to the camera left (a la modified butterfly lighting).

All in all it was a very enjoyable experience Kesler was patient and we had a range of skills with us that day. I also had the opportunity ti meet up with my buddy Efren Beltran who was there as well. If you haven’t check out Kesler’s work here is your chance to do so.