Creative Lighting for Photographers By Joe McNally

1 hr 25 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

Joe McNally takes you to, what only can be called not the prettiest of locations to teach you just how far a little creative lighting can take your shot… and tell a story. Join him as he uses a lot of different lights in a lot of different ways to tell a story with a beautifully lit, if not so beautiful, ending.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Joe has brought his people out to a dark, dusty motel for a noir-themed photo shoot
Using a bed sheet and a single light source for the initial setup
Making the shots more melancholy just by changing the level of exposure
Using the single flash through the bed sheet provides a big, diffused light source that I very versatile
Strengthening the light source casts dramatic shadows and changes the fee of the image
Working through the shoot with different positions and clothing
Changing makeup, wardrobe, and creating a new lighting setup to add some more drama to the scene
Using gels on the headlights of cars to add some colored light to the crime scene
Joe works with different lighting groups, multiple subjects, different colored gels - all to get one shot!
Shooting skateboarding action using a flash synched at high shutter speeds
Using a bank of flashes with remote triggers and fast shutter speeds
Trying to keep up with the fast moves of a skate boarding subject
Everyone is working out their best moves and trying to find the great shots among the not-so-great ones
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 410photography 410photography

    Fantastic use of creative lighting,impressed with the depth of set up during skate park

  2. Profile photo of AAbdelaziz AAbdelaziz

    You can’t get this kind of instruction in a class or in a book. You’re on location with a brilliant photographer absorbing what he does as he explains it. Priceless. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  3. Profile photo of Zenchicowboy Zenchicowboy

    With out a doubt, the most amazing instructor to date. The way he paints with light is an inspiration. As an artist and teacher the past 31 years, I am always grateful for those that share their journey. Someday I hope to take a class with Joe.My work as a photographer continues to push the edge because of these courses. Thank you ~ James —- Yes, please post my feedback

  4. Profile photo of Ron Deviney Ron Deviney

    great images and alot of hard work, this is one fantastic piece! —- Yes, please post my feedback

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