Light Shaping Tools, Part 2 By Joe McNally

1 hr 53 min

Photographer Joe McNally vocalizes his thought process as he lights and shoots a mix of indoor and outdoor locations in New Mexico.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Joe McNally is going to be shooting on location inside an abandoned New Mexico State prison
For this project, Joe is bringing in 3 models who are pretending to be part of a band that is shooting a group portrait
Looking at background, lighting, and thinking about the type of setup
Check camera settings and make sure that it is ready to shoot your new location
Setting up the beauty dish on location and maintaining access to electricity
Adjusting boom arms, choosing reflective surfaces
Bringing in the models to start snapping a few photos
Bouncing light sources off the floor and adding a backlight to the shot
Adjusting the light to give the shoot a different feel
Changing wardrobe, changing the light are some of the adjustments being made while the shoot is in progress
The versatility of the c-stand allows photographers to tailor the light hitting each their subjects
Experimenting with a Kino Flo light and a long throw reflector on the set
An outdoor shoot in New Mexico will bring a whole new set of ideas to execute and challenges to overcome
Joe goes through all of the gear he has brought out to this new location
The Octa light source a beautiful but temperamental light source. Make sure you have plenty of battery power
Adding background elements for depth and positioning a fill light
Rushing against time to get the right light for the setup
Joe walks through his thinking process as he decides how he wants to shoot inside a saloon
There is a give and go with the light sources in any photo shoot
This type of light is great for creating dramatic portraits
Creating moody jailhouse portraits
Using a baffle, or silk, to soften harsh light
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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 Joel Lahey Joel Lahey

    When I played this course, it seems to play day 2 of the course first (movie ranch), then jumps back to day one (penitentiary). Also, it only shows the individual parts of day 2, so when I had to quit and come back, I have no way of accessing any of the first day.

    Other than that, great guide!

  2. Profile photo of emilnekem emilnekem

    Love it! It’s a very honest and relaxed course. Great to see Joe like this. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  3. Profile photo of Ross Ross

    Typical Joe. An excellent tutorial filled with great data and the insight only experience brings. Worth my time for sure.

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