Taking the Next Step with SB800 Flashes By Joe McNally

1 hr 52 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

Famed photographer Joe McNally demonstrates some more advanced techniques using flashes.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Joe introduces this new class on hot shoe flash photography and discusses some of the things you will be learning along the way
It is important to reset the levels in your camera and begin every photo shoot with a good starting point
Getting started by hot shoeing the flash and moving on to using an umbrella and remote groups
Arrange the strobes using Justin clamps and create an overhead lighting setup
Just a slight change in your subjects position can radically alter the lighting results
Harsh shadows falling on your subject can create a very dramatic effect
It is very important to communicate with your subject about what your vision for the image is
Working with strobes to create a profile or edge light effect that will outline your subject
Bring in a third C group of light and experiment to find the photo you like
A C-stand with three legs of different heights allows for more options and better organization
Using dome diffusers and screens to soften the light on your subject
Bouncing a light off of the floor is an effective way to illuminate your subject
When first coming to a new location, examine the surroundings and think through the look and feel of your shoot
You can vary the intensity of your lights if they are coming at your subject from different distances
Using a solid to gradate the light coming through the panel
You can use a cable to control your strobe commander when shooting in front of your lights
Trying to recreate a natural light by using a large panel with multiple strobes behind it
Sometimes you will need to slow your shutter speed in lower light conditions
Remember, pixels are free. When you have your subject in a good pose, shoot as many pictures as you can
You have to be creative in conditions when available light is no longer available
Using a singe light source means that your subject will have a limited range of motion
Thanks for coming along with us as we moved from the studio to location shooting
Profile photo of Joe McNally

Meet your instructor

Joe McNally

22 Courses


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...


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of Vincent Gerald Vincent Gerald

    This is an interview that every photographer should see. A fascinating, multi-faceted talent in the realm of photography, who articulates his vision, not only photographically, but also in prose in this interview. This is part of: “The Inspirational Series”. Well here is a stellar example of it.

  2. Profile photo of harbars harbars

    This is utterly awesome.

  3. Profile photo of ramblinman ramblinman

    Mia and Joe. As good as it gets!

  4. Profile photo of PMGrambo PMGrambo

    Joe McNally is my main source of inspiration, and this interview adds to my respect and admiration for him. He’s more versatile than most, he has the history providing all the cred one can have. He is a master of his craft, and he explains so beatifully well what are his intentions and thoughts behind a picture. Not only will he paint an awe inspiring picture with light, he will paint the same picture with words as well making someone like me unerstand so much more of what has taken place in the making of his pictures. More classes with Joe, Please…
    And thank you to Kelby one for providing photographers such as Joe Mcnally to the public for a quite reasonable fee.

  5. Profile photo of cloudguy cloudguy

    I have had the pleasure to meet Joe at one of his lighting seminars and at Photoshop World. He is truly an amazing photographer.

    That being said this is a very well done interview. His philosophy of light, people etc. is brought out very well by Mia and Joe himself. This truly should be seen by anyone in any type of photography and more than once at that.

  6. Profile photo of John Webb John Webb

    Open, honest and truly fascinating. Well done Mia and Joe. A must watch for all!

  7. Profile photo of DaxWagner DaxWagner

    This is an example of a lifetime work brought out in an interview; an insight into what made Joe McNally what he is today.

    Mia does a wonderful job and asked poignant questions at appropriate times which made the interview that much more enjoyable.

    This is true inspiration.

  8. Profile photo of Richie Smith Jr Richie Smith Jr

    I can’t find words to truly describe what it is like to just sit back and listen to Joe talk. I have tried to type this comment three times and I’m at a loss for words. This a must see for any photographer.. Thank you Mr.McNally… Thank you.

  9. Profile photo of glbarlow glbarlow

    We all know Joe is one of the best in the world as a photographer, what is more amazing is how truly gracious he is. In an environment where many of his far less talented peers display such incredible arrogance and narcissism, Joe stand as a shining and inspirational model of humility and talent. Joe is in it for the love of the game. Love his work. Wish I had a modicum of his creativity and looking forward to attending his workshop later this year.

    Also impressed with Mia, great interviewer who has the skill to lead without getting in the way of her interviewee.

  10. Profile photo of Jens Thorsen Jens Thorsen

    Joe is truly inspirational as always, watching this was time very well spent

  11. Profile photo of Joshua Joshua

    Thank you.

  12. Profile photo of jed best jed best

    Awesome interview with an awesome photographer. His images need no explanations and his teaching both in person and on Kelby are on the highest level.

  13. Profile photo of Katie Katie

    Joe has got to be one of the most interesting, well spoken, skilled, humble, energetic, creative people on this planet alive today. I attended all of his presentations at a PSW in 2013 and was so blown away by how honestly he presents his craft and himself that no other instructor I have ever studied with for any subject can compare. Joe has changed my life and I’ve never even spoken with him face to face.

    This interview brought tears of joy to eyes and a song of elation to my heart. Thank you, Joe. Thank you, Mia. Thank you, Kelbyone crew. I cannot say it enough.

  14. Profile photo of Ron Deviney Ron Deviney

    are you kidding me this man is a legend and a icon for every artist, I don’t want to be him but his insight and teachings wants me to be who the world has never seen… me Thanks Kelby Training!

  15. Profile photo of Wolfgang Maennel Wolfgang Maennel

    This is by far the best interview on photography that I have ever watched. Joe has such a nice way of explaining things and, by the way, he seems to have a stellar memory, too!

    Thank you very much.

  16. Profile photo of temper temper

    Joe is not only a great photographer, he is a very integer, honest and great person. This interview shows it very well. One of the best (best?) shows in the series till now. The way Joe talks about photography is inspiring and gives a lot of material to think about. For example, how to win trust of people to get the great portrait of them. How to keep up and learn from failures.
    My compliments go also for Mia, who prepared a nice set of questions, sometimes going very deep into the matter.
    Congratulations to Kelby Training! Thank you!

  17. Profile photo of Jack Jack

    Compliments to KelbyOne for providing members insight to the creative mind of legends such as Joe McNally. Mia is not to be overlooked for her exemplary skills as an interviewer keeping the questions brief and targeted. Well done Mia…
    And “Well Done Joe”! I am a 72 year old amateur photographer finding ,myself inspired by Joe’s story and dogmatic approach to capturing the concepts he initially envisioned. His description of bearing up under ‘G’ forces provides a whole new meaning to ‘bucket’ lists.
    Thank you.

Loading your account dashboard