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Coupla Lights Up North

Jul 4

In Tours at 10:55am

Had a great crowd in Vancouver yesterday. In Calgary now, and we keeping heading back east on the One Light Two Light Tour.

Shazmin is standing under an Elinchrom Deep Octa soft box, fitted with a Quadra flash head and pack. An SB900, zoomed to 200mm, set up on SU-4 mode (manual slave operation) is pushing light through a small cucoloris, and splashing some irregular highlights and shadows on the seamless. One light, two light….more tk….

John A. says:

on July 4, 2012 at 10:57 am

Gorgeous portrait and I love how you did the background! Happy Independence Day Joe!!

Gary Bremner says:

on July 4, 2012 at 11:05 am

Great event yesterday in vancouver, well worth the trip from the Yukon!



Denise Duhamel says:

on July 4, 2012 at 11:17 am

Awesome! Keep heading east til you land in Boston. Loved The Flashbus Tour you did with Hobby and can’t wait for this one. Also looking forward to seeing you at NECCC next weekend as the keynote speaker. You rock!

Mark A. Kathurima says:

on July 4, 2012 at 11:30 am

Wow! Beautiful light. Full of dramaI love the minimalist setup.

michael anthony murphy says:

on July 4, 2012 at 11:49 am

love the cookie look on the seamless. awesome work as usual. happy fourth joe!

John Gannon says:

on July 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Attended Joe’s One Light, Two Light workshop in Vancouver. Great stuff!!! Joe was very informative as well as entertaining. Was amazed at the quality of photos produced with some small speed lights and simple modifiers. Looking forward to trying things out. The above shot of Shazmin was just one example of the quality Joe produced. Of course, having such a lovely model did not hurt either. Again, great job to everyone involved.

Ken says:

on July 4, 2012 at 2:44 pm


I got a Tech question about your post.

I have Elinchrom strobes and the wireless trigger that came with bx500ri . I have a sb900 too.

In reading your post how did you get all the strobes to fire with 2 kinds of flashes?

I have not been able too. Is it possible for me to use Nikon sb900 and the Elinchrom strobes at the same time?

Most kindly
Ken in KY

Marko says:

on July 4, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Beautiful shot. Great light fall off. But poor Shazmin seems a bit cold judging by the goosebumps on her arm 😉

David McColm says:

on July 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Awesome Vancouver show Joe (and team!) – especially for someone getting over food poisoning! Enjoy the rest of your Canadian adventure – looking forward to the next tour – ‘Three lights, more’! And … ‘no fish for you’!

Terry Wheeler says:

on July 4, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I love the mood of this shot!

David H says:

on July 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm

One Light, Two Light
Just like you Light

Big light, small light
Love them all light

Use a tri-grip, bend your flash
Clear the door in case I dash

Half my lights are on a plane
Hate to come here, always rain

Decent crowd and pretty girl,
Maybe give 3 lights a whirl?

Getting edgy, need a fix
Heat up speedlights, maybe 6?

Clamshell lighting, shoot to white
God I hope we make our flight

6 lights running, getting hot
Really hope they don’t tell Scott

Made it through, Damn! what a day
Syx and Drew pack stuff away

Call to Annie, time to go
Joe McNally… WHAT A SHOW!

Tom Hohl says:

on July 4, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Beautiful!!! Do you ever take “bad” pictures? Geez… Makes me want a Deep Octa, BAD.

Joseph W. Nienstedt says:

on July 5, 2012 at 12:27 am

Joe, I can’t wait for this tour to come a little closer down south!

BTW, I know I’m not the only one that Googled “cucolris”. For thos of you like me, here’s the Wikipedia definition: In lighting for film, theatre and still photography, a cuculoris (occasionally also spelled cucoloris, kookaloris, cookaloris or cucalorus) is a device for casting shadows or silhouettes to produce patterned illumination.

Dave Berner says:

on July 5, 2012 at 12:45 am

Great day in Calgary! Thanks for sharing your infinite amount of experience. Though I think I might have to add some gear to the collection now.

Dave Berner

Andor says:

on July 5, 2012 at 1:38 am

Amazing shot again (not to mention she’s beautiful :-)) – thanks for sharing Joe!

jun says:

on July 5, 2012 at 2:12 am

awwsome,the light is so smooth

John says:

on July 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

Hey Joe,

Looking forward to your seminar this Saturday in Toronto. Your work rocks and you are an inspiration to all of us up and coming photographers.


jacques legault says:

on July 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

Looking forward to meeting you in Montreal next monday. If your work is an indication of your workshop, it will surely be worth it and thanks for coming to Montreal which is a place rarely visited by worthwile photographers.

Mario Plouffe says:

on July 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

Yahoo, he is coming to Montreal monday and i have my ticket

Save the planet, the only one with Joe Mcnally

Tim says:

on July 5, 2012 at 10:06 am

The workshop was awesome, very fun and filled with good info. Aside from meeting you in person, my favorite part was seeing how you approach and work through a shot with TTL. Most of the work I do has been Hobby style dialing in my flashes manually from the start. Now I feel more TTL enlightened. Thanks again for stopping by Vancouver!

Perry says:

on July 5, 2012 at 10:22 am


Was this taken with a D800 or D4?

KCWoods says:

on July 5, 2012 at 10:59 am

Any chance there could be a Flashbus tour in Canada?
Could be called Flash-Dog-Sled Tour

Peter Jobbins says:

on July 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Enjoyed your Calgary stop greatly, Joe. It was an honour to meet you and I so appreciate you signing my book. Now I have to get one or two (or more) SB 910s.

Kyle Jerichow says:

on July 6, 2012 at 5:27 am

Shazmin is such a wonderful model to work with, and she made my job easy…all I had to do was not screw up the picture. One of the pictures I took of her at your last Vancouver workshop is still my computer background.

Safe travels,

Analia says:

on July 6, 2012 at 5:30 am

What gorgeous light! How soft and creamy smooth.

Beritiana says:

on July 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

great. congratulations.

callmebob says:

on July 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

@ Ken – you put the SB900 into slave trigger (su-4) mode, and it will fire off the flash from the elinchromes.

Mike Campbell says:

on July 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Superb seminar in Toronto today. Joe wowed the crowd with great images and really made it look easy. ( except for the paint pole!)

ReneG says:

on July 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

He was just in Toronto.

If I counted right, there was 500 people there.

Nothing beats seeing a professional at work.

Thanks a lot for the experience and the anecdotes.

Chris Hutcheson says:

on July 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I was also at the Toronto session – terrific! Lots to see and learn, and an absolute riot to boot.

Thanks for this, Joe.

Richerd Reynolds says:

on July 11, 2012 at 8:01 am

One more attendee at the Toronto session. Outstanding. You are an amazing teacher. I learned so much, I’m still sifting through all the information four days later. It was great to see the process of achieving that final shot, from start to finish, and how you deal with things when they don’t go as planned. That paint pole fixed or replaced yet?

Thanks for coming to town Joe!

Ruediger Kern says:

on August 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm


many thanks for posting and inspiring ….
I’ve a short technical question on this: Did you gel the Quadra flash inside the Octa box? If yes, what gel did you use?

Many thanks and greetings,

Joe McNally says:

on August 5, 2012 at 7:25 pm

no gel, that’s pretty much the look of the frame out of camera….best, joe

Sebastian says:

on September 8, 2012 at 5:10 am

Hi Joe!

I have a question for you. What focusmode do you use when you shoot fashion? AF 3D tracking or normal continuously AF or manual focus?

Any one else have any tip? Feel free to answer.


Joe McNally says:

on September 10, 2012 at 7:17 am

Hi back…tough to say. I vary the modes according to situation. In portrait work, say at a studio, I use single cursor, and prioritize focus. W certain kinds of motions, I do use tracking and select the focus patterns that would seem to work for the subject matter….best, joe

Muhamed Hijaz Thotton says:

on June 10, 2013 at 12:37 am

Hi joe …..welcome to Dubai climbing the Burj khalifa the word’s Tallest Building photography..Dubai top view..Beutiful shoot. I love the mood of this shot great Congratulation ..
Thanks for coming to Dubai joe

Max says:

on January 23, 2015 at 7:50 am

Deep octa 70 or 100?

Joe McNally says:

on January 24, 2015 at 9:02 am

Deep Octa, I believe…

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