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Scenes from a Workshop

Apr 6

In Friends, Seminars & Workshops at 5:31am

Just returned from the Middle East. Was very honored to be invited by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage to work with regionally based photographers. What it meant for us here at the studio is that Drew and I bounced to the Middle East twice in the last month, first to GPP in Dubai, and now, Abu Dhabi. Hectic, but fun. The class was terrific. Good group of folks, and talented shooters. It is an area of the world that is endlessly fascinating, and I have always been received graciously, and I learn a great deal. Doing stuff like this re-convinces me of one thing–travel is the graduate school of life.


Amin leaps in the lobby of the Emirates Palace Hotel. Quick impromptu shot done off the cuff in the middle of the lobby of a 7 star hotel. Try this without insurance, permissions, a letter from the Governor, and a 5 month email paper trail at The Plaza in NY. Uh, that would be no.


Mariam bouncing light.


Shua frames a shot.


The off camera TTL flash gang in the desert.


Amin, a break dancer from Morocco, is inexhaustible.

Sahar shows Eva, a fashion model, how to pose.


Cool Kholloud. (aka, David Hobby plant)

_jm42659Flipping in the desert


Sheikh Numnuts and Sheikh Drew of the Desert


Shot this pre-dawn on Monday, about 6am Abu Dhabi time, in the second largest mosque in the world. Back home, it was still Easter Sunday. What an amazing world. More tk….

Jo-Hanna Ho says:

on April 6, 2010 at 7:29 am

LOVE the Sheikh pic! How are the both Sheikhs doing?

Monte Stevens says:

on April 6, 2010 at 7:30 am

Wow, I love the last shot of the mosque. It just seems to me one of your workshops would be fun. Now, if I just had the extra money.

Dario says:

on April 6, 2010 at 7:34 am

Something seems very wrong from the photos… how hard is to shoot photos wearing a burqua I ask myself… first it sadden my day but then made me happy to live in the so called “old” Europe.
Thinking and asking question after all is a good thing even when we doesn’t like what we see.
It should have been a great workshop!

FedkaTheConvict says:

on April 6, 2010 at 7:45 am

Seems like an Omni-Bounce is requisite equipment in Abu Dhabi.

Ban_D says:

on April 6, 2010 at 7:50 am

amazing shots again – especially love the last one!

Bill Van Loo says:

on April 6, 2010 at 7:52 am

The “Cool Kholloud” portrait is just stunning. Perfect light, beautiful subject.

Rolandave Bola says:

on April 6, 2010 at 7:54 am

As always, awesome shots Joe! I envy those people who got to attend and participate in your workshops. I wish I was there too. :)

Ken Toney says:

on April 6, 2010 at 7:54 am

Sheikh Numnuts, thanks for posting these photos. I was wondering if you would put up more. I bet you guys had a hilarius time!

stephen says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:09 am

amazing. period. the last shot is so killer, especially with the one walking person right in between the doorway!

Christina Wehbe says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:11 am

Hello Sheik McNally. I love the new photos. gosh I love your blog!

hfng says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:12 am

Just amazing.

Cyndy says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

Cool Kholloud portrait is absolutely beautiful! Lighting is gorgeous and what a beautiful woman.

Rob Lamping says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:17 am

Love the colors in the thirst and last picture. Simply beautifull. Looks like a great place for photography. Specially if you haven’t been there (yet)…

Sathish says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:25 am

both Sheikhs are looking very handsome in the traditional outfit! 😛

Barbara Thorbjörnsson says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:29 am

Beautiful portrait in black. Your work is moody which, to me, means it is alive.

Stephanie Wales says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:29 am

AMAZING. Hoping to shoot with you when you come to NH in the Fall 😉

Johan Sopiee says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:48 am

Ya Sheikh Numnuts and Sheikh Drew of the Desert, I just love this entry!! you guys are sooo much fun! we had lots of fun when you were here in Malaysia. come back soon!!

RobinC says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:53 am

In the off camera TTL Group shot there is a strange black halo around some of the people/flashes – is this from in-camera/post processing or just the contrast on my screen?

I loved the Sheikh Numnuts too.
(Was watching the shootout video from GPP earlier today)

David Difuntorum says:

on April 6, 2010 at 9:06 am

Dude, I’m deeply and sincerely happy for you! Good for you that you’re living a life of adventure and art. Yeah it can be challenging sometimes and adventure has a grit-in-your-teeth quality to it that you can’t really explain or get away from but it sure is worth it.

Looking forward to your seminar on Wednesday in Philly!

God bless you, man. :-)

Howard Haby says:

on April 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

As mentioned above, I too am a fan of the Sheikh Duo. Great photos, great entry. I anxiously wait for every blog entry you make. Great work, so envious of your travel adventures as of late.

Eva says:

on April 6, 2010 at 10:15 am

Dear Joe!

Thanx for this report. It was wonderful experience to meet you and to work with you even for those few moments.

I wish you all the best!


Siddharth Jain says:

on April 6, 2010 at 10:39 am

Mr McNally, Greetings. Your Pics Are Beautiful As Always. I Personally Liked “Mariam Bouncing Light” For Its Simplicity And The Combination Of Black Of The Burqa And The Outline Of The Equipment. Also Kholloud And The Mosque.

Girish says:

on April 6, 2010 at 10:43 am

Hi Joe,

It’s always good to read from you.
The Sheikh numnuts shots looks real fun.

It’s great to see so many people from various part of the world taking such interest in Photography. Even with the weil, like the Suha shot.

Flipping in desert shot is my favorite.

Keep it up and belated Happy Easter.

Hadi says:

on April 6, 2010 at 11:05 am

I wish I were there. The last time I attended in one of your workshop was at Jacob Jawits’, NY, 2008. I spend a couple of months in Emirates taking photographs. I’ve put some of them in my site http://www.cameraglimpse.com. I’ll be happy if you send me some comments, if you could spare some time. I’m sure you’ve taken some very nice photos in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and you will show them up sometimes in future.

Mike Neale says:

on April 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Culture diffusion at it’s best,…thank you for sharing!

Joe says:

on April 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Amazing pictures! If you’re ever bored, I’d be very, very interested in your lighting/camera setup for the “Flipping the Desert” shot.


Steve Burns says:

on April 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Sheikh Numnuts: Thanks for the post, interesting to say the least. “Mariam bouncing light.” A new form of lawn tennis?

One question, that shirt with the breeze collar you’re wearing, do you know where can they be had state side perhaps. I love’em and to date have been buying regular dress shirts and having the collar removed. Sure beats having to wear a tie. ;-}

fred says:

on April 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm

What a pity You were in my city and I did not know…. :( are you coming back next year ? could you announce it before ? would be great.

Bader Al Nomani says:

on April 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Dear Sheikh McNally

Thank you for the great work you have done for the workshop.

it was wonderful time, learning and working with you.

you are the Prince of Light.

All the best

Jay Mann says:

on April 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Joe, Definitely agree with the statement, “Travel is the graduate school of life”. Can I use the quote on my webpage? Credit to you, of course

Living overseas must be the Post Doctural. Been living it for 10 years, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, everyday is an adventure.


Kat Speyer says:

on April 6, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Love it! Gorgeous photos and looks like quite the fun crew.

Yazeed says:

on April 6, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Bravo Joe Bravo..!

when different cultures encounter for the sake of learning..

get a little bit of tan , grow a mustache Joe :)

Good Luck

GH Q says:

on April 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm

WOW just wow what a wonderful work amazing really amazing, Kholloud’s photo is gorgeous a beautiful model and talented photographer 😉 .
great work guys
Joe I WILL SEE YOU next year @ GPP

John Van Boxtel says:

on April 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Sheikh MnNally, “Prince of Light” – I love it!

Cynthia Farr-Weinfeld says:

on April 6, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Amazing photos, Joe! Great post! And I love the photo of the two Sheiks! Cindy

Wolfgang says:

on April 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Looks like you guys had a lot of fun there! Oh, and I also love the portrait, the mosque shot, and – last not least – the two Sheiks :-)

antonio mercurio says:

on April 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Really stunning works, a dream to be there !!!


Shua says:

on April 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Dear Joe,
Thanks for the great workshop. we learned a lot from you.
you were such a good teacher and its nice to meet you and learn from you

note : you spelled my name wrongly :( its Shua not Suha :(

Take Care..
Thanks again ^_^

philipp (pbv) says:

on April 6, 2010 at 6:48 pm

“Suha frames a shot” is my favorite, really a great shot! Thanks!

John Batdorff says:

on April 6, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Love the mosque shot….

Ahmed says:

on April 6, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Sheikh NumNuts, great post (as usual), stunning photos (we got used to that too :-))))
Serioulsy, you know what are you doing? you are being a human being, bypassing the nasty stereo-types about people in that great part of the world http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZDe9DCx7Wk

Man, You are bringing people together… You are a great value to humanity… seriously

omar alzaabi says:

on April 7, 2010 at 3:12 am

to see joe mcnally on the internet and meet him is totally different world

it was a great opportunity to meet and to learn from the legendary joe mcnally

thanks alot for you and for ADACH to make a dream come true

best regads
omar alzaabi

Dennis Pike says:

on April 7, 2010 at 7:14 am

HA HA HA HA HA HA Sheikh Numnuts

hasi says:

on April 7, 2010 at 7:18 am

Great shots! Wish the workshops were in a country where I would be allowed to travel. Any chance of ever having one in Israel?

Skip Barber says:

on April 7, 2010 at 9:10 am

So Joe, do we now have to address you as “sheik, or is “your highness” still enough?

Great photos as usual.

Kent Weakley says:

on April 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm

A little different than Photoshop World :)

ancymonPL says:

on April 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm

great photos, as usual 😉 fliping in the desert is my favourite one…

Clint Bittenbinder says:

on April 7, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Your amazing. your grip and setup photos are better then my on purpose photos. thanks for the continued inspiration!

Eric Matchko says:

on April 8, 2010 at 2:47 am

LOL!! “Travel is the graduate school of life…” More true words have never been spoken! Absolutely love the Sheikh Numnuts and Sheikh Drew shot. One of the best shots I’ve seen of you two – gave me a great laugh today!! Happy travels; safe returns!!

Dwayne D.C. Tucker II says:

on April 8, 2010 at 6:38 am

Twice in the last month!!! Crazy! But I love it and I wish it was me haha!!! Great shot of you and Drew there that made me laugh amazing shots once again!

Nassau, Bahamas | Miami, Fl

Sighh Soon :(

Yooo tell Drew I am back in Bahamas for the weekend! Aunts funeral but when that’s all done I am going to get some good shots around the island.

alex says:

on April 8, 2010 at 9:39 am

Mariam bouncing light has got to be one of the most interesting photos I’ve seen all year. I know it was a behind the scenes shot, but living in the states, we never see women dress like this.

jane says:

on April 8, 2010 at 10:52 am

Love the shot in the desert. That is amazing.

Rashad says:

on April 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Dear Sheikh McNally (Prince of light)

I was so happy to be in the workshop
I proud to be one of your students and i will keep learning from you every day in my life

hope to do meet u again

All the best

sean chandler says:

on April 9, 2010 at 5:46 am

I’d love to know how you got the shot of the woman wearing glasses (close-up) without seeing a reflection of the flash in her glasses

Omar Ibrahim says:

on April 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm

It was a great pleasure to see and observe a great photographer like yourself first hand.

I you didn’t remember me, I am the guy who almost made you you missed the flight from Abu Dhabi:)

PS. I am sending you a bill for the ruined car top of my 4 wheeler you climbed on to shoot in the desert:)

Cheers to you and to Drew

Joe McNally says:

on April 10, 2010 at 4:53 am

A great pleasure back, Omar…you are a very fine photographer, and both Drew and I really appreciate the doors you opened for us. And I appreciate the roof of your car! many thanks!

Carl Licari says:

on April 10, 2010 at 5:10 am

Oh if father O’Malley could see you in that garb!

Maitha Bint Khalid says:

on April 10, 2010 at 6:56 am

I hoped to join the workshop , but I didnt have the chance.

But it was a great pleasure to attend “Learn to Light Intensive Seminar” and “portfolio review” I was really happy to meet a great photographer like you.

Thank you very much
Best regrads

Adhba almubarak says:

on April 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm

dear Joe,
it was really a great pleasure to meet u and 2 learn the concept of flash photography !!
hope will meet again

best of luck

Ludovic says:

on April 11, 2010 at 9:34 am

Amazing pictures.

Louis Pang says:

on April 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I love the two Sheikhs! I will get you some Malay outfit in your next trip to Malaysia!

Waleed Al-Abbas says:

on April 14, 2010 at 4:43 am

Dear Joe,

Thanks a lot for the workshop and the flash skills that you tout us during the workshop.

I enjoyed the workshop very much and enjoyed the fun we had! The whole group was amazing.

It ‘s my owner to be your student.
My thanks also go to Drew for his support and help.

Many Thanks and all the best.

Drew Gurian says:

on April 14, 2010 at 10:26 am

Thanks a lot Waleed, and stay in touch!

Kholloud says:

on April 16, 2010 at 5:07 am

Thaaaaaaaaaank you for everything being an amazing mentor, role model, friend and father figure … hope to see you so sOon … oh for old time sake “fist pump”

Kholloud says:

on April 16, 2010 at 5:10 am

Thaaaaaaaaaank you for everything being an amazing mentor, role model, friend and father figure … hope to see you so sOon … oh for old time sake “fist bump”

Jijan says:

on April 20, 2010 at 3:05 am

love all your work..!!! great work.

Dawn Spinella says:

on April 23, 2010 at 11:39 am

Love the jumping, action shots. You capture both strength and beauty in the same moment!

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