Photographing Motion Outdoor By Joe McNally

1 hr 17 min

Join Joe McNally for a day of on-location shooting as he demonstrates different techniques for showing the world in motion. From capturing a moving cyclist on a wooded trail to showing the motion of flowing fabric and hair to creating a complex scene with a moving ambulance, Joe steps you through the process of pulling all of the pieces together and then modifying them on the fly to meet real world conditions. Every shoot has its challenges and you get a front row seat watching a master draw on years of experience to make the adjustments needed to get the shot.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Join Joe on location at a bike trail as he introduces the class and then jumps right into demonstrating a panning technique with strobe for showing motion.
Learning from previous attempts Joe makes a few modifications to improve the shot.
For this scenario the camera is mounted on the bike and then remotely operated by Joe via radio trigger.
With the camera mounted Joe makes some additional adjustments for exposure and focus in similar conditions to when the rider is on the trail.
Time to hit the trail and take some shots in motion. Additional adjustments will need to be made based on the real conditions.
Revisiting an old location from a previous class, Joe adds elements of motion through a wind machine blowing on a model's clothing and hair.
As the shoot evolves Joe reduces the shutter speed to introduce more blur.
The final project involves a more complex shoot involving a moving ambulance that is lit via strobe on the inside while capturing motion on the outside.
The realities of the actual shoot always dictate modifications needed to make the shoot work. In this segment Joe looks for a better background with more ambient light.
After reviewing the shots so far the decision is made to introduce more external light to the hood of the vehicle to compensate for the lack of ambient light.
The shooting day has come to an end and Joe takes some time to look back at what worked, what didn't, and what was learned from the experience.
Profile photo of Joe McNally

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 York, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and Men's Journal. He has been at various times in his career a contract photog...

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Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of mike6 mike6

    On the panning shots, I was wondering why he didn’t use burst mode. To try to get a good pan with a single click is beyond tough — even Kelby says maybe you get maybe 1/10 in burst mode. I’m guessing the flashes wouldn’t have been able to keep up, but I wanted to read numbers on the jersey AND have the spokes look like a disk. To much to ask? I get the freezing using strobe idea, but don’t they also freeze the wheels?

  2. Profile photo of Robby Ticknor Robby Ticknor

    I’m curious why you did not try using rear curtain sync when shooting the bike rider in motion. Since you’re using flash, wouldn’t rear curtain sync create a sharper bike rider while still giving you the motion blur you were looking for?


    1. Profile photo of jeffrey jeffrey

      You would get this ghost like effect doing it that way

  3. Profile photo of nohuma nohuma

    This is the worst class I have ever seen here. His techniques are old and he should watch Dave Black’s videos and learn new things. I respect the man but if you don’t evolve you will stay behind (biggest lesson learned after watching these videos)

  4. Profile photo of Rich Rich

    This is why I love watching Joe’s classes – it’s not perfect world BS….it’s real world what do you do when your pants are on fire. I was not thinking of using light and slow shutter speeds as slow as Joe does in these shots…now I am pumped up to try them out. Thanks Joe!

  5. Profile photo of Mike Anatra Mike Anatra

    I am pumped. I am going to Cleveland to see Joe freakin’ McNally!

  6. Profile photo of Ivan Boden Ivan Boden

    Dealing with real world situations, Joe is a master at solving problems and coming away with great shots. Fantastic class, I learned a lot!

  7. Profile photo of petertaylor petertaylor

    This is Joe McNally at his best, a film full of useful tips, tricks and inspiration. Joe please keep these films coming they are excellent. Thanks

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