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Chicago Tribune Pick of the Week! Wow! Plus photos from the Light Painting Workshop!

The Chicago Tribune Arts & Entertainment “Pick of the Week” is my group show at the Illinois State Museum. “Fragile Relations: Art, Nature and Environment” runs through Feb. 1. The museum is in downtown Chicago, at 100 W. Randolph St.


Light Painting Workshop photographs!

I had a terrific time at my lighting workshop this Saturday, teaching the students how I light the Alleys & Ruins images, and teaching them how to do it themselves. The images were truly spectacular overall!

Here are just a couple: The portrait of John Coonley was shot by Michael Kucinski, while the still life of the ladder was shot by Ann Marie LeVerso. In the workshop, I try to show how a

banal and lifeless scene, like the ladder with towels on it, can be made to come alive with the proper lighting. And how a portrait can be made surreal and mysterious with my form of lighting. I already have ideas for next year’s class!

And thanks to Zak Jones for his comments:

“The workshop on lighting the alleys & ruins was amazing. Thank you for sharing some of what you do. I look forward to practicing and learning more.”

...and more awesome comments! Thanks everyone!

I attended Xavier's workshop last week. It was excellent and I came away with a lot of practical knowledge. It was a true workshop in that 3/4 of the class was hands-on where the participants got to try out the techniques Xavier explained in the first class segment. Light painting has many applications and I will now try to use my new knowledge in my niche.

I love Xavier’s art! His light painting is amazing. I have two of his pieces. I took his workshop and it’s a great experience!!

Xavier's workshop is very eye opening and fun. I'd highly recommend it for anyone remotely interested in photography, beginners and professionals alike!

Not only did we discuss technique but we had the benefit of discussing the creative elements of light painting! Great course!

Excellent course by a very creative photographer

X is an amazing artist. Check you his studio on the 4th floor, usually open on second Fridays (an art night where most studios open the doors).


And finally, I was in Paris recently for Mois de la Photo (Photography month) and Paris Photo – a fantastic time and place to see great photography!


Ok, one last thing… had to include this terrific email from John Coonley, one of the students

Hi Xavier:

I wanted to write and thank you again for the excellent workshop!

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I am an amateur photographer with pretty limited experience. As it turned out there was nothing to be worried about – the experience was totally positive!!

It was amazing how the lighting techniques and concepts that you taught were applicable to every single one of us (all the way from the super novice lady to the guy who was a professional photographer) and how it became obvious as the class went on that each student could immediately start using the techniques in their own photography. I think the fact that so much of the class involved students actually taking the photos and doing the lighting made it really easy to quickly convert concept to practice. I also really appreciated how interactive and informal the class was – a totally pleasant learning environment!

My prints arrived yesterday and they look great! Its fun to explain to my buddies the lighting techniques that were used and that I learned them directly from the guy who took the photos!

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