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First Off….

Oct 18

In Thanks, Tours at 7:20am

Many, many thanks to all for the heartfelt notes, stories and condolences sent over the last few days. As was often mentioned, these little fur balls come into our lives and wrap themselves firmly around our hearts. It was wonderful and emotional to read so many stories about so many people’s pets, and their lives, and how much they loved them. Hard to say goodbye, even though we pretty much know that’s what we’ll have to do. I can only be thankful, and smile, knowing now that so many who stop by this blog have or had their own Nigel:-) They are all up there somewhere, and we’ll see them again. Blessings and thanks to all……



Shot this the other week onstage at a Kelby Lighting Tour stop in Tampa. Worked with the high flying Mick, and was able to demo this as an example of high speed sync. Shot this at 1/8000th @ f4, ISO 800. Just a couple of frames, ’cause on those tour days, we move fast, and don’t linger overmuch on any particular setup. Liked this one, though.

The lights are on sticks, either side of Mick. Essentially, it is all sidelight, no frontal illumination at all.  Could have easily overpowered this dim room in “normal” operation, and shot at, say, 1/250th @ f8 or so, but wanted to demo the sync capacity we have now, which reaches stratospheric shutter speeds.

On Nikons, hi speed is enabled in the camera menu–E1 is the custom category and number. For Canon, it is a click on the flash itself. Hi speed sync is a useful tool, but not one you might wish to trot out every day, mostly because the hi speed operation requires the flash to pulse throughout the entire exposure, robbing the flash of some of it’s power. I used 4 flashes on this, and I had some surplus f-stop, so it can easily be done with two, one per side. One thing to remember–I turn the flash heads vertically, to line up with the vertical nature of the subject. Small thing, and not completely necessary, but if feels logical to me. (But then again, logical to me, is well, uncertain territory.)


The above is the type of thing we do during our tour stops. Got some upcoming, check them out here.

Fast flash for a high flyer….more tk…..

Scott C. says:

on October 18, 2010 at 7:27 am

Great shot. Looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta in a couple of weeks.

Noli San Jose says:

on October 18, 2010 at 8:29 am

frozen in time

Tim Skipper says:

on October 18, 2010 at 9:27 am

I have a sports shoot coming up in November for a local athlete. I am dying to try some of this.

Jrdrake says:

on October 18, 2010 at 9:51 am

Amazing Shot… Beautiful Moment, great job Joe…

By the way, could you explain a little bit more, about the Hi Speed in Nikon and Canon?


kevin says:

on October 18, 2010 at 10:31 am

Hey Joe, thanks for this, but how did you trigger the flashes? With another SB-900, or perhaps one of those SU thingies?

Mike Neale says:

on October 18, 2010 at 10:32 am

Excellent comp, Joe,…(spritzing him with some sweat water might also add some drama, eh?),…stunning action capture and perfect skin tones,…well done!


William Chinn says:

on October 18, 2010 at 11:44 am

First off, I’d like to thank you for keeping Mr. Numnuts around the set and making him look important to the shoot. As for my numnuts, I’m actually seeing the diagram and can imagine the shot before seeing the picture. Have to go or I’ll be late for my psych evaluation.

apj says:

on October 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Your technical diagram is excellent. One day someone will find them and compare them to Einstein’s notes. Thanks for the continued lessons. They are appreciated.

stephen says:

on October 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I love how you always refer to yourself as “numnuts” in the drawings. :)

Wayne says:

on October 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Joe – was the black background necessary? ie did the shutter speed still allow ambient to creep in?


Kenneth says:

on October 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I gotthe D3s and two sb-900 this spring, and today i learn how god they work together!! Love your blog!

Joe McNally says:

on October 18, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Hi Wayne… actually, the black background prob. is not necessary. Most everything back there is going to go black anyway. No ambient at that shutter speed f-stop combo. It’s a good way to get control of room actually, which I should have mentioned. You can really slam dunk a background with hi speed sync….best, Joe

Girish says:

on October 18, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Great shot. Wonderful at 8000. Really. No noise at all.
Nice use of light.

taurui says:

on October 19, 2010 at 4:14 am

Wouldn’t the result be the same at the usual sync speed and, say, half or full power and the appropriate f-stop/ISO? The flash burns quickly enough to freeze the guy, and with enough light, you can decrease aperture and ISO enough to make the background go black, too.

Joe McNally says:

on October 19, 2010 at 5:12 am

Hi I mentioned in the blog, could have done this with “normal” sync, just doing a demo to show the option….Joe

Ahmad says:

on October 19, 2010 at 6:34 am

“Numnuts” just cracked me up man.
love the lighting, at first sight he looks kneeling though
thanks for the lessons, keep them coming jeo :)

Augenblick says:

on October 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Hi Joe,

how are you able to remotely use high speed sync?
thanks in advance!


Sina says:

on October 19, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I love the shadow Joe…. amazing texture of shadow…

Robert McClintock says:

on October 20, 2010 at 2:07 am

Excellent blogsite, Joe,

Do you typically use the Nikon diffusers that come with the SB-800/900s?

How about this photo, specifically?


Csaba says:

on October 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Beautiful shot. Are you planing by any chance any workshops in Europe?

All the best

John says:

on October 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm

great image, thanks for the diagram really helped getting my head around the shot

Ivan says:

on October 31, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Great shot. Hope I can join your seminar in Indonesia.

Jane says:

on November 2, 2010 at 11:15 am

Always look forward to your blog posts. They are always entertaining and I nearly always learn something to help me with my photography. Thank you!

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