The Wat

As a tiny teaser, a few images from my recent shoot at Kru Phil Nurse’s gym, The Wat. I’ve been wanting to film at his school for years now, so when he invited me downtown I didn’t hesitate at the opportunity.
Hope you enjoy. I’ll be adding a few more this weekend as the color work becomes more developed.

These shots by the way, were done with the Contax Zeiss Planar 50mm (1.6x) f/1.7

Original LOG file from RAW DNG file:

Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-24-16)


…and with a rec709 LUT:

Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (rec709)And finally fully graded:
Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-06-07) Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-11-10) Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-15-14) Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-18-05) Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-24-23) Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-27-03)

Beauty Insanity @ Intl Beauty Show

While it wasn’t New York Fashion Week, there was a great amount of beauty in the air. Farouk Systems (you may know them from my previous work for Biosilk at the DVF 2013 show) invited me down once again for the International Beauty Show, held at the Jacob Javits Center.

The Farouk Systems team put on a crazy show on stage, getting the crowd interactive and hyped, pulling people up for hair demonstrations and having a great time with pumping music! I worked as a documentary still photographer as a change of pace, capturing as many grand and intimate moments to tell the story of the event.IntlBeautyShow.001IntlBeautyShow.002IntlBeautyShow.003IntlBeautyShow.004IntlBeautyShow.005IntlBeautyShow.006IntlBeautyShow.007IntlBeautyShow.008IntlBeautyShow.009IntlBeautyShow.010IntlBeautyShow.011IntlBeautyShow.012IntlBeautyShow.013IntlBeautyShow.014IntlBeautyShow.015IntlBeautyShow.016IntlBeautyShow.017IntlBeautyShow.018IntlBeautyShow.019IntlBeautyShow.020IntlBeautyShow.021IntlBeautyShow.022IntlBeautyShow.023IntlBeautyShow.024IntlBeautyShow.025IntlBeautyShow.026IntlBeautyShow.027IntlBeautyShow.036IntlBeautyShow.028IntlBeautyShow.029IntlBeautyShow.030IntlBeautyShow.031IntlBeautyShow.032IntlBeautyShow.033IntlBeautyShow.035IntlBeautyShow.034



These photographs of mine are from the aftermath of the explosion that was held in New York City’s East Harlem area on 116st and Park Ave. Before running out of the door, it was reported that 11 people were minorly injured with 1 additional fatality. I have not been updated since heading out.

NOTE: by the time I arrived, police have barricaded all entries to E. 116st. These were taken before news photographers arrived on the scene (whom were also barricaded from entry).

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UPDATE: Police have completely barricaded the entire 116st area, making access for all photojournalism next to impossible. Here is what the situation looks like as of now…

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Sultry Slow Burn For A Jazz Trio’s Upcoming Album

Opening Shot


This marks the very first time I’ve been able to fully create a promotional piece for a band entirely centered on Jazz. Roy Assaf had approached me months ago about this piece back when I first began working with Producer, Monique Witt on a previous project, “Split Screen”. So this was something I’ve been waiting to put together for a good while now.


Roy had given me some ideas about what type of feel he wanted for the promo. He had seen a previous project of mine for Madison Square Garden, “God Bless The Ring” and really loved the opening sequence, which was done at 60fps high speed for slow motion at 24fps.

So for this work, we wanted to stick to a lot of smooth transitions, slow motion work throughout and calm, subtle dollies and pans. More to the rhythm of the voiceovers and the lifestyle’ish photography.


Cheapo slider rears its head again. Don’t worry, she’ll be replaced soon enough…


Sticking to my current workflow, I went entirely RAW on this (hyuck hyuck) and stuck to my Magic Lantern powered 50D.

The lenses however were slightly different this time around.

Nikkor Q 135mm f2.8

Super Takumar 50mm 1.4

Zeiss C/Y 50mm 1.7

Nikkor AI-S 28mm 2.8

I wanted to use the two 50mm (1.6x on the 50D making them 80mm portrait lenses) for very different purposes.

The Takumar, from its aging and radioactive coating, gives a very yellow cast and a low contrast quality. It’s great for our purpose in the interiors, making the scene more warm toned and inviting which we used for the group shots over the piano.

The Zeiss 50mm (80mm) was used on the exteriors, but for a very dramatic quality, supplemented with a variable ND filter by Fotga. I maintained a steady ISO of 200, but adjusted my exposure entirely upon the vari-ND filter for every shot. This allowed me to maintain a wide aperture, without having to increase shutter speed or overexpose at all.

Portrait of Jake


Slow, methodical and beautiful. These were some of the key words used to describe the promotional during the pre-pro phases. So that takes into account the color, editing pace and even the music being used- all of which was kept in mind during the entire process, even after the gear was all packed away. It all had to be in sync and I believe it accomplishes this task.


On location, shooting in W. Harlem, Riverside Park


You can check out the Youtube link or the Vimeo one (which is usually of higher quality) and leave your thoughts below. What are some of your experiences with slower paced projects and how did you go about getting ‘em done?



Butt nekkid, barebones setup for both cameras

Butt nekkid, barebones setup for both cameras

If anyone has been following my work within the last several months, you’ll know that I’m a strong supporter of the Magic Lantern RAW (ML RAW) platform. What these guys have done is quite revolutionary on the same level as discovering the cinematic qualities of the original 5DMKII.

That said, not everyone can afford the 5D setup and will have to opt for the smaller sensor versions (Canon APSC 1.6x crop= super 35 sensor size essentially). So this gives us some cheaper options of varying degrees. For this example, we’ll focus on two cameras with a similar sensor, but very different output capabilities: the Canon 50D and 60D.

Weapons of choice

Weapons of choice


The amazing thing about the 50D is that it was manufactured to be a higher end crop body before the 7D was created. Video features weren’t included and the sensor resolves about 4k in resolution vs the 7D’s 5k. Beyond that they’re very similar in detail, and Magic Lantern has not only unlocked the ability to record Canon-default video in the 50D, but most importantly have added the ability to record RAW DNG at up to 30fps. Considering that this body utilizes a CF card writer/reader, it can exceed writing capabilities of 65MBps. Capable of recording RAW frames at the maximum resolution for the body (1584×950 @5:3 aspect ratio).

50D setup w/ the Nikkor 28mm

50D setup w/ the Nikkor 28mm


Most micro-budget filmmakers have their money invested in the Rebel system, such as the T2i/3i/4i and many have gotten ahold of the 60D, which is the middle-ground point between the beginner bodies and the pro-body such as the 7D. I can vouch for this as I’ve owned the 60D for a while before moving on to more “professional” systems, such as the Red, Alexa, Sony F5, etc. So for those interested in the lower end of the RAW scale, this is for you as well!


60D in action w/ Samyang 14mm


For starters this was the setup for both cameras:

200ASA (HTP)
1/48 shutter (180)
50D: Nikkor AI-S 28mm f2.8
60D: Samyang 14mm f2.8
Location: top of “Museum Mile”

Metered at an f8 (shade) to f16 (sun) split

Metered at an f8 (shade) to f16 (sun) split

Each camera has a different lens primarily to create a split difference in focal length between the two. Naturally due to the major crop of the sensor for the 60D, the lenses will need to be wider to compensate. I’ll also be conducting a Part 2 of this test with a super 16 lens in the near future.

Museum Mile was chosen because of the tests in latitude for both cameras (metered at f8-f16), the bits of traffic moving around for motion observation and the resolution tests lent by the concrete, gravel, trees and other objects of various fine textures. Sure it ain’t exactly a resolution chart, but more of a real-world test that I can reference on different jobs of various backgrounds.


Since the 60D (like many others) gives off odd dead pixels on the default DNG frames, Adobe Camera Raw was used to process them (ACR w/ VisionLOG calibration> After Effects> Media Encoder). The 50D doesn’t suffer from these ailments, so normal processing via Davinci Resolve [Lite] was used instead. Resolve also processes the DNG frames much faster than Adobe’s tools, but you can’t be the options that ACR provides (minus the exposure flickering at times).

ML shows a windowed imaged of the sensor crop for the 60D

ML shows a windowed image of the sensor crop for the 60D


50D and 60D RAW comparisons from Kahleem Poole-Tejada (KahL-One) on Vimeo.


With old experience (and massive obsession of mine) of shooting on Super 16 Fuji film, the 60D’s RAW inadequacies turn into strengths here, giving a similar resolution as s16 scanned at its maximum 2k resolution. The SD card reader caps out at 20MBps, which bottlenecks any capability of shooting with the “full” sensor’s resolution. However, if combined with the limited cropping and a Super 16 lens, I suspect this may be a very different world.

I’ll provide a follow up blog on this in the near future as I’m now eyeballing a few C-mount lenses and some old Canon TV 16mm glass. So we’ll find out if this works out or ends up a total dud fairly soon.

What are some results of your tests? Leave some comments and links below and share! 🙂


Split Screen- THE MONOLOGUE from Kahleem Poole-Tejada (KahL-One) on Vimeo.

The Passive Aggressive Little Toaster from Kahleem Poole-Tejada (KahL-One) on Vimeo.

On Location: Light Fast, Light Well

SLUMMY MUMMY and FAST LOCATION SHOOTING So for anyone who has been catching up to some of my work over the last couple of years, I’ve been working on a start-up web series called, “Slummy Mummy”. It’s a comedy, starring writer/producer, Jennifer Weedon Pallazzo whom I’d met during a writers’ meet up awhile back. Flash forward to today, we’re on our 5th episode production, and all of us with some new lessons learned within our fields.

Slummy Mummy BTS

The shoulder rig. Some gack, but all gear needed for production

LIGHT FAST, LIGHT WELL If there’s anything that I’ve absorbed from studying Law And Order, or watching shows such as The Following and Homeland, it’s that with this era of technology a Cinematographer has great tools at his/her disposal, capable of high quality at a fraction of the cost. Meaning that today’s digital cameras are capable of so much, but that doesn’t take away from the DP’s responsibility to lighting. In fact, it emphasizes it that much further.

For this shoot I used a Magic Lantern powered Canon DSLR and rated the camera as such:

INTERIORS: 3800k, 640 ASA

EXTERIORS: 5600k, 200 ASA

Slummy Mummy BTS

Magic Lantern HUD. A more professional setup if you’re familiar with Alexa, Red or Sony camera UIs

Both of which use the highlight tone priority (HTP) option, but the noise was counteracted by ML’s custom ISO adjustments. Which gives me the smoother highlight roll off normally associated with higher end digital cinema cameras, but without the chroma noise drawbacks of the default HTP option. I rated the camera in two different fashions similar to using two different film stocks. So my light meter would give consistent readings throughout each setup without too much fuss. Usually I leave it at ONE ASA reading, but considering the speed of things, some exterior (ext.) scenes required filtration, while others did not.

Slummy Mummy BTS

In action in the bitter Brooklyn cold w/ only the Small HD DP4 to warm my face

We focused on a simple, single-light setup with a 1k Tungsten Fresnel as our primary source. I didn’t want to detract from the normal look of the Supermarket, but at the same time, wanted to add just a lil’ sumthin’ to the overall image. This was then diffused using a full silk flag positioned in front of the source, giving a smooth soft light on our actors but without detracting too much from the overall scene. I usually don’t prefer for scenes to look like “lighted sets”, so the more “natural” this blends, the better. Using a single artificial light source keeps things moving quickly and with using a single-camera production, rotating the light setup 180-degrees was swift. Oh, and then of course there was the fact that we had about 4hrs to work with. LIGHTING SETUP Wanting decent power that can move fast, I chose my 1000w (1k) Tungsten Fresnel fixtures. For a small sectioned off areas like the checkout aisles, it was perfect to setup, move and strip down. For diffusion, we used a 24×36” full silk flag from the Digital Juice Flag Kit Pro set. We brought two of the 1k’s just as a back up. I’ve been on several micro budget sets where supplies were limited and once a light blows without a back up, it can either cripple the production or delay it until the gear gets replaced. So to prevent this on my own sets, back ups are essential. You mind as well work naked without one, really.

FRAME GRAB from finale episode. Using a color setup for final processing.

FRAME GRAB from finale episode. Using this setup as a basis for the final.

ND filter .9 SMALL

Cavision ND.9 filtration, gives -3 stops of exposure. Meter first to calculate how much you want to use w/ neutral density glass

For each shot at the checkout line (640 ASA), we stuck to the 1k source which gave a reading of about f4 up to around the entrance of the conveyer belt. The last interior shots were done with natural and available light. The natural sunlight came in from the supermarket’s door opening, for which I stopped down to about f5.6 and for the overhead fluorescent fixtures, back to f4. Slummy Mummy BTS The exterior shots (200 ASA) were quickly executed (thanks to the bitter cold weather provided by Brooklyn Heights) with overcast light. For these I used some ND .9 filtration, giving me -3 stops to work with and for the shots without filtration, I stuck to F8 on the lens. Slummy Mummy BTS Slummy Mummy BTS SPECIAL THANKS I want to extend [another] personal thank you to Jennifer for continuing to believe in my work for this latest episode. Additionally, thank you to Valisa Tate and Brigid Turner for allowing me to work alongside you guys again.

Slummy Mummy BTS

The star and Producer goofin’ off on set!

Slummy Mummy BTS

Posing with friend and colleague, Brigid Turner

Slummy Mummy BTS

Jenn and Valisa refer to the script, planning the next shot

Last but definitely not least, a special thank you to both my camera crew guys, Jeron Grayson and Tai Chan. Both guys exhibited grace and speed under pressure, especially early in their careers in filmmaking. Additionally, Tai for donating not only his time, but his eye as the production photographer. All of the BTS photos here on this blog today, he is responsible for.


Jeron, Tai and myself getting photo bombed by our prop-baby


Super Bowl Weekend at UFC 169 Insanity!!

So over the course of 2014’s Super Bowl Weekend, myself and MMA partner/nerd-geek buddy, Phoenix Carnevale had the opportunity to head on over to UFC 169 event, which was held in Newark’s Prudential Center.

We focused on some behind the scenes action that only our team at Everything Martial Arts can bring, which includes us nerding out, speaking with coaches Phil Nurse, Firas Zahabi and Matt Serra. Also we were able to catch some action at the weigh ins, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Jon Jones and more.

So check out our latest episode and for a recap, check out Episodes 1 and 2 right after.



EPISODES 1 and 2: