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Kelby Training Online

Jan 26

In Advice, Links, Tips & Tricks at 11:18am

Kelby Training Online

I’ve been doing these training videos on location light for my buddy Scott Kelby. They’ve been a ton of fun to do and, at first glance, I’m even mildly coherent. Click here to preview the lessons and site. If you can get past my visual appearance (hump, twitch in the left eye, constant drooling), there’s a fair amount of ground we cover about lighting both in the studio and on location, and using both large strobes and small, hot shoe flashes.


Ballerina at the BeachFirst one is up, and I take a look at light shaping tools from umbrellas (shoot through, reflected), to large and small softboxes, direction of light, methods of softening the light to achieve a good portrait look, to using a second strobe to provide fill and a bit of glamour. We chew through a bunch of stuff in the studio, some times being successful, and sometimes not, making adjustments, trying different stuff, even a quick ring light set, and then at the end of the day, real time, chasing the fading sunset, we do a seat of the pants strobe set on the beach with Jennifer Concepcion, a truly magnificent ballerina.

All in all, just another day on location, which is the whole point. The video camera is right there at my shoulder as I knock about, pursuing ideas, making points and mistakes, correcting them, finding solutions, and just pushing the envelope in much the same fashion I do when on a location portrait job, say, for Sports Illustrated. You see everything I do, real time, and are introduced to some of the voices in my head (make them stop!), the uncertainty and problem solving process of location photography, and speaking with light.

Upcoming lessons include basic hot shoe flash photography (SB-800 units) and SB-800-The Next Step, a full-blown location application of small strobes, as well as The Executive Portrait.

We have fun, too, the essence of location photography. In a later lesson I shoot Mike, a model/body builder, using one overhead SB-800 while he does his stage persona, competition bodybuilding expression. Not to be outdone, I had my assistants spray me down and put me out there in the same light. (I kept my shirt on, cause you don’t wanna intimidate the talent, know what I’m sayin’?)

BodybuilderJoe McNally Bodybuilder

So take a look. There’s a ton of great shooters and Photoshop instructors up there on the site, from Scott to Moose Peterson to Matt Kloskowski, to David Ziser.

Mentioned in this post:
Nikon SB-800

Lee Robinson says:

on February 2, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Thanks so much for the sessions on studio flash, Joe. I thoroughly enjoyed each of them. The sunset beach shoot was great, too!

Mike Clemons says:

on February 4, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Joe, I already wrote of your teaching prowess in another thread on your site, but I can’t say enough on the lessons.

I’ve watched them all twice, so far… I picked up tons on the second go through… the way you worked with the model and your assistant.. it just flowed so well.

The one thing I really noticed: Great model, hundreds an hour, great equipment, thousands of dollars. The look on Joe’s face at the begining of each lesson segment…. PRICELESS!

hana ho.. hana ho…

Mike says:

on February 4, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Joe, I watched your whole series of lessons in one sitting…You did a fabulous job!

I was captivated by your style, sense of humor, interaction with Debbie, and, most of all, the content of the lessons. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your instruction on the Kelby site, it’s a GREAT thing that you joined his team of outstanding teachers.

Thank your for sharing some of your techniques with us!

James Garland says:

on February 5, 2008 at 6:36 am


You are such a huge inspiration to me. I started really diving more into photography after seeing some of the images you produced with just the SB-800’s. Ever since, I can’t seem to get away from them. They do become an addiction once you start purchasing more than one… or two, or three, or four… LOL

Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to see what this blog blossoms into.

Charles says:

on February 8, 2008 at 3:21 pm

I hope this online course eventually makes it onto its own DVD. I’m not a fan of watching things on my computer, but would certainly buy any DVD you made!

Dennis Kielhorn says:

on February 10, 2008 at 1:16 pm

Dear Joe!

I’ve imported “The Speed of Light” to Germany for my personal use. The things you’re showing on this DVD are interesting. But you’re not explaining, _why_ you do these things.

So I’m interested in these new videos. But – there’s no spoiler, trailer or something similar to get an idear, what’s gonna happen in these videos.

Or am I blind?

Thx for answering.

Greetings from Germany

Dennis Kielhorn

PS: Sorry about my ‘rusty’ english. “If you don’t use it, you’ll loose it.” :-(

Jacob Maentz says:

on October 11, 2008 at 2:21 pm

beautiful image of the dancer. I like your pose too. haha

steve smith says:

on January 15, 2009 at 3:43 am

Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.

Arthur Hawkins says:

on February 9, 2009 at 10:18 am

Joe, I have a wedding on May 31st in NC at Sunset Beach….it’s at high noon…. see my problem. I’m using a D3, with a D700 backup…..I have one lastolite tri-grip, and 2 other lastolite reflectors gold/white, and silver/white……I also have have 3 SB-800s, and an SB-900. I know I can’t beat the sun with this, as the beach runs north- south. I plan on shooting them with the sun at their backs using it as an over the shoulder light…..How can I get enough light on the Bride and Groom during the actual wedding with out being tooo obvious/in the way.

Gerald Bartlett says:

on March 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Joe: Bought the Hands-on Guide to CL — loved it. Great help in making use of Nikon’s CLS. Question. When shooting people with glasses, the pre-flash on the D300 that sends the signal to the other lights, is causing tiny, specular, highlights on the eyeglasses and rims. No light on the glasses from the lighting array, just from the pop-up flash on the D300. When I gobo’d the pop-up with my hand, the highlights disappeared from the glasses and frames, but then if I wasn’t careful, that prevented some of the flashes from firing as well. I re-shot the same lighting set-up using PocketWizards instead, and there were NO specular highlights on the glasses or rims either. So, what’s up with shooting people with glasses using CLS triggered by on-camera pop-up? Being clear here: I broad lit so there are no highligts being caused by the lighting set-up — just the trigger flash. Thanks in advance — GB

Ismail says:

on April 8, 2009 at 8:31 pm

good good…this post merits nothing :( …lol just joking 😛 …nice post 😛

Antique Ring says:

on April 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm

I usually do not comment on blog posts but I found this quite interesting, so here goes. Thanks! Regards, P.

Tamisha Saltness says:

on April 27, 2009 at 8:53 am

Hello webmaster I like your post .

Fred says:

on July 16, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Hi Joe, I have a shoot in an old but small theatre coming up for a hair/fashion show. As you can guess the light is going to be terrible. I am allowed to use flash so I was hoping you could give me some tips on how to get the best photos I can in this situation.

I am using Canon 40D with a Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 lens.

Thanks in advance

Raymundo Guareno says:

on April 23, 2010 at 6:35 am

Hi there I’ve just posted something comparable related to Kelby Training Online | Joe McNally’s Blog on my site yesterday morning. How smaller is the web :)

rososusilo says:

on October 13, 2010 at 5:43 pm

three years of training is not enough to build muscle like

Wyposażenie sklepu odzieżowego says:

on September 27, 2011 at 1:34 am

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on July 18, 2012 at 6:10 am

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Alan Meriwether says:

on February 13, 2013 at 11:10 am

Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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