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Some Fun Down Under!

May 10

In Tours at 5:13am

Just having a blast in Australia, meeting with and talking to bunches of folks in the Aussie photo industry. Good bunch, as they say. ( I was going to say “bunch of blokes,” but I’ve also met a lot of terrific female photogs down here, and I haven’t been here long enough to know the female version of “bloke.” If anyone can help me out with that, please chime in.) In the Gold Coast now, doing a seminar, a keynote and a workshop over the weekend, before heading to Tasmania for Tourism Australia. Any questions, thoughts or info on tour stops and where we’ll be next, just hit this link.

Had some great talent to work with in the Sydney versions of the seminar. Below is Greg, shot at min DOF with high speed sync and small flash.

He’s a great guy, though he plays a bad ass biker in an Aussie TV series. He paired up with Leslie, a wonderful model and ballerina during the seminar.

It’s fun, actually, and a bit of a challenge, shooting live onstage in front of a couple hundred people. Everything goes right to the screen, win, lose or draw, and you rarely shoot more than one or two frames of anything. I’m mostly preoccupied with working as hard as I can to present as many solutions, problems (I’m good at creating those) and work arounds as I can during the time we have together. Like, the above, for instance, was the only frame I shot of this scene. It’s done with a Tri-flash and a Lastolite 3×6 Skylite Panel. Thankfully, TTL worked!

We also did a workshop at Vaucluse House, a historic property in Sydney.

What I often do is make a photo with larger flash, and then mimic it with small flash, which gives us all a chance to see the advantages, pitfalls, strengths and weaknesses of one approach over another. (With the full acknowledgement that there is no one, “right,” approach.) It’s all a process of experimentation, and learning as we go. Which is the heart and soul of the fun of it. More tk…

Alex A. Zaramenskikh says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:15 am

I love light @ last shot :)

David Nell says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:23 am

Your workshop sounds great! Any chance of doing any in the UK or Europe any time soon?

Paul says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:25 am

Joe, the female equivalent of bloke is “sheila” – but be warned, down here it’s getting less and less use and probably moving into the politically incorrect zone. I wouldn’t use it in public anymore (but it’s not a swear word). No much help and to be avoided I think!

Foto Frenzy says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:30 am

Great to have you down under Joe! Just for your info, the female version of a Bloke is a Sheila :)
Not that too many ladies would really appreciate being called that though – just a heads up!
Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow.

Cam Attree

David Glazebrook says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:30 am

Aussie gals = ‘shelias’ but its probably a little rougher than bloke. They also get chick & bird to name a couple. BTW – Thanks so much your Sydney shows … was fabulous to meet you in person rather than via pixels or print :) I wish you good luck and happy teaching for the rest of your time in Oz. David

Michael says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:31 am

Great blog post Joe. awesome shots (as usual)
The Aussie equivalent of Bloke for a Female is Sheila :)

Dave says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:32 am

The Aussie female equivalent of a “bloke” is a “sheila”.

patrick wilken says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:35 am

‘Sheila’ would perhaps be the female equivalent, but no one would use it, and it would be a bit offensive.

Australia, unlike US/UK, has moved towards using the masculine for both fe/male descriptors (so you could say Nicole Kidman is a great actor – interesting photographer was never genderized). Unfortunately, that wouldn’t work for women.

patrick wilken says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:36 am

Sorry, missed a word: I meant unfortunately ‘bloke’ can’t be degenderized and used for women as well.

Dave Sundstrom says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:38 am

The female equivalent of bloke is sheila …

David de Groot says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:40 am

The female of Bloke in good ‘ol Aussie slang is Sheila.

Looking forward to the sessions tomorrow on the Gold Coast btw.

RP says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:42 am

Female version of ‘Blokes’…That would be ‘Sheilas’.

Irjohn says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:46 am


Alan MacRae says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:46 am

Sounds like a wonderful time, Joe. I’m sure all of your attendees are getting lot’s of great information from your “problems”. As always, thank you for your inspiration.

Safe travels,


Neil Kristiansen says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:47 am

Hi Joe, chiming in with your female version of blokes. Over here in pommy (England) land they’re known as Sheila’s. If you’re already called Sheila then your quids in ;-). Sounds like you’re having a great time. Neil

Andor says:

on May 10, 2012 at 5:50 am

Nice shots again (especially like the one w. Greg & Leslie) – wish to be there in Sydney now!

andy says:

on May 10, 2012 at 6:00 am

Think the female ‘blokes’ are called sheilas!

GlenF says:

on May 10, 2012 at 6:40 am

Hi Joe, the female blokes are called ‘Miz’, they have hairy armpits and can arm wrestle you while smoking a reefer and squeezing a tinny. It’s probably a bit politically incorrect because the city blokes have now all gone metrosexual which is a bit more Miz than the Mizzes.

Analia says:

on May 10, 2012 at 6:57 am

I’m putting my hand up as one of those Aussie Sheila’s :-) who joined in on the Sydney leg of the tour. It was a ‘fanbloodytastic’ workshop. It was then again backed up with loads of solutions, insights and inspiration during the Tue sessions.

Thanks so much Joe for making the treck down under.

I can now say that I have officially met a Lighting Jedi Master. I’m thinking Lastolite should design you a light saber next 😉

Have a safe and fabulous trip.



Mike C says:

on May 10, 2012 at 7:11 am

Some Sheilas are orright & don’t mind being called ‘Sheilas’, but others…..
But if you say it, Joe, with that yankee twang and Irish smile I reckon they’ll love it:)
cu tomorrow @ the Marriot.

Joe says:

on May 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

Great post. Wish I was there for the seminar. Really love the light on the last shot.

Thomas says:

on May 10, 2012 at 10:42 am

Hi Joe

I simply don’t get it? Why do you always rely on TTL? Is it a matter of sponsorship from “Mother Nikon” or??? I always shoot everything in manual which gives total control.

Best regards from Denmark

Thomas Jessen

Richard H says:

on May 10, 2012 at 11:23 am

Having read the above responses, I guess that “blokettes” is not the correct answer.

Ewen says:

on May 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Hi Joe, I’m a bit gutted that you can’t make it across to NZ.. to make it worse I’m actually and Aussie and spent 20-odd years of my life on the Gold Coast…

Great weather in Queensland this time of year; you might even get some great light around sunrise on the beach.

Good luck; wish I was there… :)

P.S In case you had’nt picked it up; I wouldnt use the aussie slang “Shiela” for the ladies over there… goes over like a lead balloon.

alepse says:

on May 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

the lighting in the last shot is awesome… and the girl is gorgeous :)

Joe McNally says:

on May 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Hey Thomas, I shoot a ton of stuff on manual (don’t let Hobby know this) but my default, starting point is generally TTL. Been using it for years, and have it fairly well tuned to my eyes….it’s important, I feel to know both sides of the block….

Joe McNally says:

on May 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm

It was great to meet you Analia….thank you so much for coming to the Sydney events. Good luck shooting, and hope our paths cross again….Joe

Jim says:

on May 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Love it when you and other say that there is NO one right way, Photography IS constant experimentation . Thank goodness for digital

drew says:

on May 10, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Don’t, whatever you do, even think about using the word “Shiela”. Cultural cringe? Anyone? Do you, in the US, still call women “dames” or “broads”? …yeah, that. And why aren’t you coming to Adelaide? Not happy, Jan.

Rory says:

on May 11, 2012 at 1:11 am

I must admit to reading this post with very mixed emotions.
I’m still gutted that you had to cancel the New Zealand leg of the tour – I was looking forward to the full-day workshop like you wouldn’t believe!
The images in this post are awesome, but again just a reminder of what we’re missing in Auckland. Hopefully we’ll see you in this neck of the woods soon.

Have fun in Australia, I’m sure you’re being taken care of brilliantly.

Rob Hynes says:

on May 11, 2012 at 8:03 am

Hi Joe,

The female equivalent of a bloke is sheila. Glad you’re enjoying Oz and hope to get along to one of your talks in Melbourne.



Andrew Place says:

on May 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Thanks for a great session on the Gold Coast yesterday, fun, informative and great lessons on building a picture. I have blogged about the session and wish you and your great team all the best for your time here in Australia.
I hope we will see you out here again soon in the not to distant future
Andrew Place

Gordon Cahill says:

on May 12, 2012 at 2:24 am

Since you already have the answer to the bloke=? question, I just wanted to say that it was great to see you in Sydney and even better that you’ve learned to pronounce “Nikon” properly. 😉


Peter Kelly says:

on May 12, 2012 at 2:35 am

Great lighting, great the natural light from the windows in the back and the lighting for the forground with the last shot, can only think the people whoattended had a great time, and took away a lot from meeting you.

James B says:

on May 12, 2012 at 7:59 am

Joe, go with “Gals”, they’ll think your from Texas. If anybody asks, tell them I gave you an Honorary Status. Passport to follow. :-)

Sebastian says:

on May 12, 2012 at 8:24 am

Hi Joe!

Any chance of doing some workshops in Europe, or even better in Sweden? We have a stunning nature here and I think you could have had many great shots here. I think Sweden has many good photographers to offer as well.

An other question. What did you use for the last shot above? Would an umbrella worked?


Ralph says:

on May 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Considering that “Sheilas” is a bit risky, then I’d like to propose: “blockettes”. How about that ? :-)

Geoff says:

on May 15, 2012 at 1:34 am

If anyone gets the chance to do the Melbourne workshop I’d highly recommend it. Went to the Gold Coast one, and had a great couple of days sucking up Joe’s vast experience. A new way to work for me, but like he says, it’s good to know the other side of the street. Nearly makes me want to switch to Nikon 😉

Jason Smith says:

on May 17, 2012 at 4:28 am

Hi Joe,
I came down to the Ruby Lotel at Rozelle to see you the other week but had a bit of an attack of nerves and didnt come over to say hello. I hope you had a great time in our country. What I was going to say to you is that you need to tell Dave Hobby how great it is down here and how much of a following you guys have here. It would be great to see you both do an Australian Tour in the future.

matt haines says:

on May 17, 2012 at 11:49 am

I love that second to last shot, because it’s so understated. Doesn’t look lit unless you look really closely. That’s the sort of thing that separates the pros from the newbies.

(Now you’re going to tell me it wasn’t lit…)

Chris says:

on May 18, 2012 at 10:03 am

@matt… It’s Joe, of course it was lit :)

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