Still Alive… and Kicking!

LPW Logo

It’s coming up on two years since I last posted and I am happy to say I am still alive and kicking! Although I have taken some time off from the blog, I have been hard at work in the studio and in the field, and taking on assignments all around the country in addition to teaching photography classes in the community this past year. In the time since my last post in 2013, I am happy to announce I was awarded the Clio Award for the Washington Nationals Advertising campaign and have won a few Picture of the Year International awards!

It has always been a dream of mine to own a photography studio; and finally in 2013, I built a photo studio called Leucadia Photoworks. LPW is not only a studio but also a creative space for photographers in the San Diego area acting as a platform for our collective vision, the development of local talent, and the promotion of the photographic arts. Located just a few short blocks away from the beach in the artist and surf community of Leucadia, our fully-equipped 1,000 sq.ft. studio space, complete with a cyclorama at our disposal is also available for rental (






Leucadia Photoworks was born out of the void I saw not only for affordable studio space for photographers in North County San Diego but also a platform where local photographers could share their vision and foster new young talent. We run workshops, have monthly photography shows and other fun events here! LPW is a photo collective comprised of nine talented photographers I hand picked in the North San Diego Area: founder Donald Miralle, Kristy Walker, Greg Merino, Todd Glaser, Teresa Fae, Tim Eubanks, Matt Wright, Anna Pietrowski, and Mike Lewis. Please follow our events calendar to keep up to date with our photography workshops, member art shows, book sales and other events at our studio and follow us on our instagram handles (@leucadia_photoworks and @donaldmiralle)

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Lime Rock Motorsports Photography Workshop 2012!!!

Copyright Jackie Buys, 2010 student.

Capturing the speed and beauty of auto racing is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of sports photography. The Lime Rock Park Motorsports Photography Workshop offers you the opportunity to learn and improve your skills at the most scenic race track in North America. Legendary George Tiedemann and I are the instructors this year and  Lime Rock is offering both one-day and two-day workshops during Historic Festival 31, August 30 – September 2, 2013. To learn more about this great weekend of photography and racecars go to  to sign up now go to Spaces will fill up quickly!!!

Motorsports Photography Workshop IIII
Historic Festival 31 on Labor Day Weekend
August 30 – September 2, 2013
Lime Rock Park, Conn.

Jay’s Spirit Shines at 12th Annual Surftech Jay Race

469To read a great post-event summary from the 12th Annual Jayrace by the folks at Surftech click here. LIVE LIKE JAY!!!

Another Great Trip to Santa Cruz

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Men’s podium for overall and prone paddler finishers (L-R Anthony Vela, Roch Frey, George Plsek, Don Miralle, Aaron McKinnon)

One of the highlights of my family’s last two summers has been our annual trip up to Santa Cruz, California. We not only go up to compete in the Jay Moriarty Race, but also take in all the great sites up there including the rides on the boardwalk, train rides through 100ft redwood trees, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the miles of beautiful coastline, and see old friends and make new ones. If you ever get a chance to get up to Santa Cruz, even if you don’t want to compete or watch one of the best paddleboard races in the US, you will not regret that you made it to one of the coolest cities in NorCal.


Lauren, Luke and Micah making like Wild West Settlers in Roaring Rapids and Big Trees Train Camp.

Big thanks to all the folks from the JayRace and all the sponsors for putting on the best community-driven event for a young, quickly growing sport with all proceeds going to Santa Cruz State Junior Lifeguards. Special thanks to Duke Brouwer from Surftech, Kim Moriarty, Bob Pearson, Frosty Hesson, Denise White, Chris Hollingsworth, Brian Foss, and Aaron McKinnon for their efforts in making the 12th Annual Race the best ever! LIVE LIKE JAY!!!

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Aaron McKinnon and I battling out the race lead with the Santa Cruz Boardwalk as the backdrop.

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 11.28.02 PMBoys pick me up after we get our hardware at the JayRace Afterparty

photo-1Beautiful Steam Train ride through Redwoods at Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad.

Studio Work for Asics


Been doing work for the Asics Running Brand through Vitro Agency in San Diego, who are a pleasure to work with and has been a great experience. I shot the LA Marathon for them which was right up my alley and also a fantastic way to see the city I grew up in. In addition been doing some studio work for them, with models and product, which I really enjoy doing. Here’s a outtake from one of the shoots, enjoy!!!

Donald Miralle/2.8 Sports Photography Workshop in Torino, Italy September 14th&15th, 2013!

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This September 14th & 15th in Torino, Italy 2.8 Quarterly Collection of Photography and MAJOR4LIFE are presenting my Sports Photography Workshop! This will be a two day hands-on workshop, with lectures and shooting in the field  in Torino Italy! More details to follow soon, but space is limited so signup or get more information at or email Hope to see you there!!!

Gallery: “Beauty and the Beasts” – Pacific Magazine Cover

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If you don’t know who Ocean Ramsey is, fire up a google search and you’ll recognize a viral video of graceful woman swimming with a 15-foot great white shark with no cage!  She’s part ocean and shark conservationist, part free-diving bad-ass, and part model/athlete. I had the great opportunity to shoot her in Oahu, Hawaii for this month’s Pacific San Diego Magazine Cover.

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I knew they were my kind of people when they pulled up in their 4X4 towing a wave runner and asked if I still felt up to free-diving with tiger sharks. Unfortunately, just like anything else in the ocean, it’s all dependent on the conditions and mother nature and the wind were not cooperating with us that week. Regardless, we dove in underwater caves, swam with dolphins, and took some great pics along the way.  It was a pleasure to meet her and her partner Juan Oliphant, whose passion for the ocean and sharks is truly inspirational. To learn more about Juan and Ocean go to and read the online article of Pacific Magazine here. Here are some of the images that made it into the mag and some outtakes, hope you enjoy and as always your feedback is appreciated!!!

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Miralle Family Meets Star in Bahamas

We had the great opportunity to visit the Bahamas last month shooting a campaign for the NFL Players Association, staying and shooting on the amazing resort Atlantis on Paradise Island. If you have a family with small children, I highly recommend Atlantis as its a gorgeous, expansive property as well as a plethora of fun activities, including one of the more amazing aquariums and water parks I have ever been to.

On one of the afternoons we wrapped shooting early, I was able to join my family (who was on vacation while I worked) to meet the amazing sea animals at the Dolphin Cay, including a newly born baby dolphin and Cassie, the blond sea lion.  Here’s a little video of our encounter with Cassie shot with a GoPro (my apologies about the water drop on lens that came off the bait fish) and the little surprise she gave us at the end. Special thanks for the amazing local stylist/scout Jenny Pinder for setting this visit up and to my assistants Brandon Magnus and Octavian Cantilli for shooting the pics and the video…enjoy!

Washington Nationals Spring Training Shoot 2013


National League Rookie of the Year, Bryce Harper standing strong with the curly W.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to fly out to Florida for a week to shoot my fourth campaign for the Washington Nationals  before their spring training began. The Nats have a great young squad, including National League Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper, and they picked up some key position players in the off season. In 2012 the Washington Nats won 98 games which is more then most expected and is a great sign of possibly an even better 2013 season. And with this being Davey Johnson’s final year as a baseball manager for the Nats, I’m sure everyone on the team is going to push themselves that much harder.

For the first couple of days we set up our lighting equipment on the open practice field like years past on the pitchers mound and on homplate, then ran through a series of shots with most of the athletes. The lighting setup consisted of two beauty dishes with diffusers over them to soften the light a bit and a light with narrow grid spot to focus the light on the face. A large scrim jim reflector was also used to cut the face shadow and add a little more detail. All of this was used with Profoto lights and 7b Profoto battery packs, synched with pocket wizard FlexTT on hypersynch to freeze the action.


Behind the scenes with Jordan Zimmerman…

From this setup we would move to another location nearby to shoot players gritty portraits of players in dugout as well as looking out on the field. The lighting on the majority of these shots was much more simple using a reflector and maybe one strobe with softbox. Being able to move and shoot as quickly as possible was important when moving with these athletes from location to location, because you don’t want to loose their interest or waste their time!

But having the ability to improvise is very important as a photographer. Once we realized it was going to rain on our final 3 days of the shoot we had to move our main setup to the concourse of Space Coast Stadium so we could keep everything dry. Luckily for us there was an open area for a clear shot of the sky in the background, where we could position the players ontop of large steel benches to create the illusion that we were shooting on the field with a blue sky day (when actually it was really cold and wet outside). The rain ended up being  a blessing in disguise because these shots ended up being my favorites with a very heroic feel larger-than-life players dramatically lit against a beautiful sky.


The days were long and started before sunrise and ended near sunset, but it was such a great experience getting to work with these players once again. Having the players be on first name basis and be comfortable with you, is a huge asset which really translates into the photos. This was my 4th campaign with the Nats and it has been a pleasure to see them grow, see their huge upside and the potential they have towards making it to the World Series. Big thanks to Chad Kurz, John Guagliano, Jacqueline Coleman, Dave Lundin, Meghan Garner, Lara Potter and Andrew Feffer of the Washington Nationals, my man John Trotter from 40/40, my assistants Octavian Cantilli and Brandon Magnus, and Stash & Dan and the video crew at East Pleasant. And of course the Washington Nationals Players!

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Dick’s Sporting Goods Running Shoot

Dicks Sporting Goods Logo


Panoramic view of runners on the boardwalk in the Palmetto Marsh.

Once again I had the great opportunity to do a campaign with Dick’s Sporting Goods for their upcoming 2013 Running Catalogue and commercial imagery. The assignment was in Charleston, South Carolina for about 4 days where we had the chance to shoot in some very beautiful spots which included the streets of old plantation houses, Palmetto Marsh, and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. Shooting running was similar to shooting golf, looking for the right light is key for making the picture successful.

NRM_shotT_run13-0124loresABeautiful evening for a run at Shem Creek in Charleston, SC.

The weather was all over the place, one moment it would be sunny with some scattered clouds, the next it would be dumping buckets of rain. Luckily we decided to take some pictures in the late afternoon after the 1st day of scouting and ended up with some beautiful running shots with the sun setting in the background over the marsh and some shrimping boats. On the 2nd day we had pumped out most of the shots that we needed at the marsh trails in the morning and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge before the rain started coming down hard around noon. At one point we sat in the trailer with the crew and all the models trying to wait for the rain to pass.


The crew waits out the rain in our production trailer. Thankfully we had good company and good food!

The highlights of the shoot for me were watching the sun come up over the Palmetto Marsh (and squeezing in our shots before the rain came!) and closing down the streets of downtown Charleston for our marathon shot. Here’s a funny video my assistant Brandon Magnus took of me directing traffic:

We also had one free shoot day when we decided to shoot youth soccer to fill in some content for the Dicks library. It’s always a nice change of pace when you go from shooting refined professional athletes-slash-models to young kids who just want to play sport. We couldn’t hope to direct or even contain the little monsters, so for the most part we set up game situations and had them run through it while I shot, which worked perfectly.

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General view of marathon with street closure in the streets of downtown Charleston.

This was another fantastic experience and pleasure to work with Dick’s Sporting Goods team, and I look forward to our next shoot together! Big thanks to Scott Lenz, Peter Ahi, Kim McEniry, Barry Berenson, Pat Hugg, Zach Schefer, Brandon Magnus and most of all to local photographer John Smoak who made this great shoot come together and did everything from scouting, to permits, to holding a reflector…



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