Photographing Motion Indoors, with Joe McNally

This class is all about different ways of capturing motion with a still camera in an indoor setting.

Join Joe McNally for a series of on-location shoots as he demonstrates different techniques for revealing people and objects in motion. From capturing an aerial dancer on a flowing silk to showing the motion of flowing fabric and hair, Joe steps you through the process of pulling all of the pieces together and then modifying them on the fly to meet the real world conditions you will encounter. Joe uses a combination of ambient light, speedlights, continuous hot lights, and strobe to create different effects that can be used to show blur or stop all motion in its tracks.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 05:52)

Join Joe on the set of a dance studio as he introduces the class and jumps right into things by walking you through the process of a site assessment and getting ready for the shoot.

Lesson 2: Getting a Feel for the Scene (Duration 07:59)

We start off by getting a feel for the scene using ambient light, putting the camera in position, and getting a sense of the settings we might use for the shoot before bringing in the subject.

Lesson 3: Simple Portraits (Duration 08:15)

Using available light Joe starts off with a series of simple portraits to start working with the subject.

Lesson 4: Introducing Flash (Duration 07:34)

Still working with simple portraits, Joe brings in flash to start to control the light, and control how the background will appear.

Lesson 5: Introducing Motion (Duration 14:38)

Building on what we've learned from the work we've done so far we begin to introduce motion in the subject and adjust the camera and light as needed to get the desired shot.

Lesson 6: Continuous Light (Duration 07:30)

The available light was problematic for getting the desired shot, and has now been replaced with continuous light and the garage door has been closed. The speedlight has been replaced by studio strobes, and now Joe has a greater level of control over the lighting environment.

Lesson 7: Zones of Control (Duration 07:28)

As the shoot evolves we discover that each element needs to continue to be tweaked to find the sweet spot for achieving the desired shot.

Lesson 8: Coming Together (Duration 05:41)

When all the elements come together we can get a nice picture, even if it wasn't the picture we originally had in mind, which is not uncommon when you are shooting on location.

Lesson 9: New Subject (Duration 07:28)

A new subject brings a new lighting setup. Starting again with a series of simple portraits as a means to work toward the final product that includes motion.

Lesson 10: Mixing Light Sources (Duration 09:43)

You don't have to always just use flash and you don't always have to use just continuous light. You can combine light sources for a flash and blur effect.

Lesson 11: Flash Timing (Duration 08:42)

Controlling the timing of when the flash goes off is very important when trying to capture motion.

Lesson 12: Multiple Exposures (Duration 09:29)

This is a technique that involves capturing a moving subject with multiple flash exposures.

Lesson 13: Beauty Shot (Duration 06:58)

Scaling down some of the concepts of early lessons, Joe brings motion to a classic beauty shot to create something a little different.

Meet Your Instructor: Joe McNally

Joe McNally is an internationally acclaimed photographer whose career has spanned 30 years and included assignments in over 50 countries. He has shot cover stories for TIME, Newsweek, Fortune, New…


  1. I learned SO MUCH! Which was to be expected, because, as Scott would say: "It`s Joe "friggin'" McNally!". So clear in his explanations. Thank you!!!

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