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The Lighting Workshop, Day Two…or, Jasmine Came Back!

Jan 21

In Seminars & Workshops at 9:52am

Back to the building. Back to the lights. Another day where Mr. Pixel meets Mr. Photon. OOOOhhhhhh nooooooo!!!!!!

Didn’t even know she was coming back today, but she had such a great time, she jumped the train and headed north, with her fellow model mate, Morgan, below. Again, way to go Aristeo. He runs Emmanuel Modeling in NY, and is just non-stop energy and ideas, trying to help build portfolios for all gorgeous folks he represents.

Jasmin in blue is shot i-TTL with an overhead Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe table topped, looking flat and straight down. Jasmine lifts her face to meet the light as only she can. Background goes blue courtesy of two blue gelled SB-800 units, about 30′ behind her, and flared out to the walls. White balance was Tungsten B4 on the D3. (Which as we all know, gives you the RCL–Really Cool Look–but for God’s sake keep that on the QT.) For Morgan, one light only, a Ranger unit overhead into a 27″ Elincrhom silver beauty dish.

We spend a bit of time every day, just sorting through studio basics and finding some sweet combos of umbrellas, reflected or shoot through, tri-grip fill boards, silver, white and gold, overhead soft boxes with fill cards, or, as we see here, with a floor skip off a silver Lastolite panel. It’s a fun game of ratios to play with the different zones of light. We got high key background here courtesy of the Lastolite HiLite backgrounder. Pretty cool thing. You stuff strobe heads in the sides of it, and radiate them against the back wall of the unit, and…PRESTO! Instant high key background. Could double on the road as a mattress if you stuffed it well.

Here’s the scene up at Dobbs….Keep telling the photo gear god, Jeff Snyder of Adorama, he’s gotta come up. He had something else to do, though, minor stuff…the Inaugural and prep for the Super Bowl. Oh well….

Another FOL (friend of Lynn’s) stopped by. Phil was super subject with a face that looks as if it should be hanging on Mt. Rushmore, fer chrissakes. He was one of those can do people who, as a photo subject, would look over and see a light being moved, and he would run over to help out moving it. A great guy, with a great profile.

Shot with D3, 70-200mm f2.8, focus cursor right on the near eye. Light is very simple. One Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe, SB-800 with dome diffuser on. Light is camera right and slightly behind Phil. Shot i-TTL in, oh, about 2 minutes.

Now when we dropped Phil into the blue hallway, ala Jasmine up top, no way I’m lighting them the same way. Phil’s got a great face, character driven, but he ain’t gonna be the cover of Vogue anytime soon, the way Jasmine can anticipate. I pulled the overhead Ezybox down from its high, table topped position and angled it more appropriate to a traditional portrait light. It was only slightly above Phil, at an angle to open his face and eyes, exposure wise. But what I did was program minus two EV into the light, making Phil very dark and moody. Almost gone. Then, we stapped a tight Honl grid to a tightly zoomed SB unit, gelled it warm, and Drew hand held that puppy, aimed right at Phil’s eyes. His face pops, and the rest becomes mood. Phil light!

Kept playing shadow games all day. This is Morgan, as action hero.

And Jasmine, as moving artwork.

Of the two above, one was shot with a Ranger unit, long throw reflector,  full cut of CTO, in the parking lot. The other was shot i-TTL, one SB-900, full cut of CTO, in the parking lot. Which one is which?

Quick note….the Bogen Tri-flash I mentioned….here it is…

The proper part number is L LLA2412 and street price will be at about $75, from what I am told. It’s so brand new, probably not represented yet in the catalogs, but it’s coming….Bogen, in combination with Elinchrom and Lastolite, has got tons of stuff in the wings, ready to cut loose.

As usual, Andrew found everything to be hugely funny, which it was. Had a great time, today, round three, working the light. Cool! More tk…..

James Arendell says:

on January 21, 2009 at 10:40 am

Good Afternoon
Just a quick work to say how immensly I enjoy following your antics during the past year.
I have just ordered your latest book through Amazon today which I think is great value (approx 20 euro´s) seems like your selling yourself too cheap Mr.McNally!!

Ryan Brenizer says:

on January 21, 2009 at 11:09 am


It was a pleasure to meet you, and a fantastic day! I’ll never tell what was changed in one of those images. 😉


John Dutt says:

on January 21, 2009 at 11:47 am

Hey Joe!

Great posts the last 2 days, almost (not quite) like being there! The descriptions of how the shot was put together is terrific.

My guess is that Morgan’s photo was the SB900 and Jasmine was the Ranger unit!!??

Take care.


Yanik's Photo School says:

on January 21, 2009 at 11:49 am

I just love the blue hallway shot of Phil! I’ll be gettin’ meself some Holn gear very soon! :)

Tommy Lynch says:

on January 21, 2009 at 11:53 am

Thanks to Joe and his entire crew for an awesome day in Dobbs Ferry, NY…..Joe has an incredible depth of knowledge that he let’s loose in his workshop that we ( day two dirty dozen) soak up throughout the day of shooting studio style and location shots….Joe is a true artist with unlimited creative skills, and we are fortunate to have spent a day with him and his team learning his techniques…….Not only does he teach you what he see’s, but also how to treat your crew and models with respect that they deserve….Joe is a down to earth real person that tells it like it is….and brings a sense of humor to his workshop that keeps us laughing all day……To Joe, the crew and the models…..Thanks for bringing back your Dobbs Ferry workshop….


James says:

on January 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Had a great time yesterday Joe, many thanks to you & all of your staff. Would highly recommend it to one & all.

I wish we had a grabbed a group shot.

Matthew Saville says:

on January 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm

WOW, Bogen Tri-Flash, MUST HAVE!!!


Michael Warf says:

on January 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Love that Bogen tri-flash mount, more power, less stuff to carry!.

Will Graham says:

on January 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm

I was wondering if the Lastolite HiLite backgrounder you used for the high key background would make a good light modifier if you were able to cut a small hole in the middle of it for your lens and then point the whole surface at the model? It would hopefully produce a wall of light like a huge window.

Also thank you for your posts, they always convey the balance between the technical information and passion you use to create your amazing images.

Jurgen Radier says:

on January 21, 2009 at 7:28 pm


thanks again for a wonderful blog. I have to admit something though…. I just can’t ‘unsee’ that huuuuge dustspot on the 2nd shot ;). Sorry about that!

cfimages says:

on January 21, 2009 at 7:47 pm

That Tri-flash mount looks very cool indeed.

Richard Cave says:

on January 21, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Thanks for the post so when are you coming to the UK?

Bogen tri flash, if bogen would like me to trial it in the UK please let me know.

Mark K. says:

on January 21, 2009 at 11:50 pm

*sitting in Jersey green with envy and hating work deadlines….”

Timothy Herzog says:

on January 22, 2009 at 1:09 am

Thanks again guys – it was an honor to be able to hang with Joe, Drew, Andrew and the rest of the McNally Crew.

It truly was an amazing day.


jason harry says:

on January 22, 2009 at 1:43 am

this workshop looks like fun

when i met up with joe in venice in a vsp workshop i went in advance not really wanting to get images…instead i went to watch joe work

fixing problems seeing him through the whole process of set up and dealing with things

it was the small pieces of info like b4 and tungsten and full cut cto etc etc EV -2, well if you have been on a course with this man you will know wha i am on about… h is cool and very experienced and i am sure more lucky people will be on more of his own workshops soon

way to go dude

jason harry

John Leonard says:

on January 22, 2009 at 1:50 am


I see you got the “window” light where you wanted it. The cross sections are well defined, and sharp. I’m taking it you moved those Ranger units in closer, and maybe found a clear window?

mungkey says:

on January 22, 2009 at 3:13 am

Thanks for another great blog joe. That Tri-flash mount looks really cool!

Sean says:

on January 22, 2009 at 7:22 am

Jasmine was the Ranger pack; Morgan the SB. Color balance appears a bit more neutral; light source is larger; and the light coming in was 2 stops more powerful ;).

Wish we could have been there!

Jose says:

on January 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Great stuff as always Joe. I’ve been very inspired by your work so thanks for taking the time to put up these blogs and giving us a peak into your world, as insane and warped as it is. 😀 As for the two images shot in the garage stairwell, I say the one of Jasmine was shot with the SB900.

PS – Are you coming down for Super Bowl?

Mo says:

on January 23, 2009 at 12:09 am

Hi Joe..great posts as always. I was just wondering what’s causing the new book to be delayed? Are you done with it and it is in the publishers hands now? or are you still adding stuff to it? Also, can you give us some teasers from the new book like you did with The Moment it Clicks. Thanks a lot

doccia idromassaggio says:

on October 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, good blog!

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