Wes Quarles a.k.a. @wesq
Wes Quarles a.k.a. @wesq
Greetings and salutations to everyone! It has been a busy and frantic couple of months for Meg and me. We launched DEDPXL here and have been going full steam ahead since. I’m currently writing to you from the airport. Meg and I are on our way to Singapore for the GPP PopUp event there. We haven’t had a day off in weeks and we are actually looking forward to spending 21 hours in coach. At least it’s time together without the kids. 🙂

Assignment #2 is over and I’ve pulled the images for the critique. We will finish and post the critique after we return from this trip and will announce the next assignment. So take a week off from lines, shapes, patterns, and rhythm and get ready to hit the next assignment the 2nd week of May.

I’m finalizing the Fuji XT1 review on this trip and will have plenty to share with you about the camera and three lenses that I am in love with. The 10-24, the 27mm pancake, and the 56 1.2. I’ve traveled to Dubai, Morocco, and Cuba with the XT1 and these lenses and have put them through the paces on two jobs and a few workshops. It’s an amazing camera and the new 10-24 and the 56 are kicking ass. More to come on that.

The image above is my good friend and fellow photographer, Wes Quarles. Wes attended my Misc. Workshop yesterday and I put him in the hot seat. The image on the left was shot with clamp lights from Home Depot. I’m working on a portrait project that only utilizes clamp lights. I love those things. I put LED bulbs in them so they don’t get very hot.

The photograph on the right was lit with three LumoPro LP180 flashes. I placed a 3′ by 4′ piece of foam core on a c-stand arm and cut a very small slit in it. I shot one LP180 set to around 16th power through that slit to light his eyes. I then placed a second LP180 flash on a short stand and pointed it toward the side of the foam core that was facing Wes. I set that 2nd flash to 128th power to add a bit of fill. The third light was in a Cheetah Stand 24″ QBox with the grid attached. I think it was around 1/8th power. It was placed on camera right to add a bit of rim light. Both images were shot with a Fuji XT1 and the 56mm 1.2 and both are straight from camera B&W jpgs. I just cropped them a bit in Photoshop.

Once we return from this trip we are home for a few months and that will be the time that I get the content rolling on DEDPXL here. We have a lot in store for you here on the blog. Sorry it has been a bit quiet. Plenty of content on the way! New Q&A’s, critiques, a dispatch from Cuba about doing a lot with nothing, a primer on shooting stitched portraits, a review of image recovery software, the new lighting and Fuji field guides, and so on.

Talk to you soon!


Zack Arias

A full time commercial and editorial photographer, Zack shoots everything from bands to CEOs to ad campaigns. A gifted teacher and communicator, he has an uncanny ability to meet and connect with all types of people.

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  1. Nuno Lapa

    Have a safe flight to Singapore. Enjoy. 🙂


  2. Fred

    Safe travels guys! … and get some rest!!

  3. Vernon Nash

    Hope you both have a great trip.

    The quality of the two images from the XT1 are amazing. Looking forward to seeing and hearing more about the project using clamp lights and the rest of the things you have in store for DEDPXL …. oh and the critique of Shapes/Rhythm.

  4. bryan lathrop

    safe travels, Señor Profesor don Arias. I know yer name ain’t Don, it’s a term of respect in español, mang : )

  5. Trevor s

    Be safe, enjoy yourself and can’t wait for the updates.


  6. Brainkite

    Beautiful portrait !! Strong and sweet a the same time.

  7. adam

    big fan of the xf 27mm. i bought one and sold my xf 35mm.

  8. Andy

    That three finger Phil – I mean, fill – really worked nicely. Yesterday was one of the best experiences I’ve had in general for quite some time, but photographically speaking you helped solidify some personal convictions and confidence as well as opened my eyes to no nonsense techniques that yield some jaw droppers.

    The L.A.R.P project will be a reality

  9. Dave Wilson

    Have a great trip and a relaxing coach journey.
    I look forward to the new content in a few months.

  10. mark owen-ward

    Will be interested to see review of those lenses. I love the 27mm despite its f2.8 max aperture. Do you use it with or without a filter?

  11. Richard Wintle

    Home Depot clamp lamps FTW! 😀

    I’ve been stuffing daylight-balanced CFLs in mine but LEDs might be better. Now I just have to hot-rod it a bit so the clamp works a bit better than it did out of the box. C-clamps and tape I think. 😉

  12. Mathias

    I like the pictures A+
    I am waiting for the XT1 review 🙂 Come to Peru Zack .

  13. Scott Collins

    Looking forward to the cornucopia of knowledge soon to come forth.

    Nice work on the two portraits. Dude’s beard deserves it.


  14. Jim Bonner

    Singapore is a fun, very orderly and expensive city. There is great wealth and energy with unique photo opportunities.

  15. voidvoidvoid

    Do you have any problems with the LEDs strobing? The ones I use in my house do terrible things to my photos.

  16. David D

    Hi Zack.

    Been waiting and waiting for your review of the XT1 because nobody reviews Fujifilm cameras like you do.

    Have you decided to subvert that writing impulse into the Fuji field guide that’s coming soon? If so, that’s cool. Can’t wait for it to hit the streets!

    Be well!