August 1, 2010

Portland, Oregon Photography Workshop With Lighting Wizard Joe McNally


Like many, I’ve been intrigued with National Geographic images since I was a kid.  But to have one of the most famous of those photographers holding a softbox light for you while shooting away is an experience I won’t soon forget, (in the first image below, Joe was holding it right above Ashley’s head and just higher than my framing).  If you’ve ever checked out a N. Geographic magazine in the last 25 years, chances are you’ve seen one of his shots and with one of his specialties being shooting quickly and efficiently with only small speedlight flashes, this was THE one workshop high on the priority list.

My main reason for wanting to attend Joe’s class is learning how to create so many diverse moods with these small flashes on the fly so to speak.  Yesterday was around 8+ hours of brain dump information with time for us to practice with some models, some of which are members of the ballet theatre in Portland.  My head hurt from processing all the info, but the pirate pub crawl in Portland that night didn’t help either….no I won’t go into explanation.  I can’t wait for today’s fun to start and will shoot out some of the more important tidbits of info I’ve learned in my next blog.  Here’s a few I shot from yesterday. 


P.S. All images below are raw, unedited…McNally style.

These next two below are of Steven from the Oregon Ballet Theatre.  Awesome guy to work with and had the most amazing vertical jump.  The first is only with ambient (more of a test shot really) but Steven’s positioning in the frame was just too cool not to show. Not too stoked about cutting off his hand though in the last shot but this class wasn’t about getting THE shot, it was really about pushing ourselves with light!  I really do look forward to working with dancers again!


I love the pic of Gabe nibbling on your neck……….. lots of great photos to chose from!

Thanks Lisa! Yea, the last time we were in NC we tried to see if that professor was around. Maybe next time.

Hey Erika, thanks for shooting that pic of Joe and I! I would’ve missed the opportunity if you hadn’t had the idea in the first place!!

Byron, Wendy’s favorite journalism teacher at UNC also shot for National Geographic. Ask her about him! Glad you are learning so much too. Love, Lisa

Fantastic shots Byron! I especially love the one of you and Joe. Great photographer! What a fun workshop!

I’m jealous beyond words! What an opportunity! Looks like you are having fun, and your images look fantastic! Can’t wait to follow the rest of your weekend!