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2 Great Lighting Tutorials with Joe McNally

Joe McNally is a name you have likely heard before. He’s a National Geographic photographer and a master of lighting. He’s also seemingly fearless, or a little bit crazy – doing things like photographing from the very tip (and I do mean TIP as in climbed up tiny ladders on a harness tip) of the worlds tallest towers, and other hair raising stunts.

I’ve seen Joe teach live and he’s as entertaining as he is informative. If you ever have a chance to go to one of his seminars, do it! He’s engaging and you’ll go away having had a lot of fun and learning a ton. I promise.

For today’s video I have two lighting tutorials by Joe. The first is on comparing sizes of the light source and how it effects the final image. He goes from a regular on camera flash direct from camera, to off-camera, to adding diffusers and softboxes.  After each step he shows the resulting image. So if you are having a hard time grasping quality of light and how it is affected by the size of the light source – watch this, it should help.

Comparing sizes – small flash

So? Did you get some clarity from that? Hope so.

The second video has Joe deconstructing a recent shot he did, explaining how it achieved it using both the ambient light from the setting sun and flash.

Combining flash and ambient light at sunset

Want more on lighting and more from Joe – check out these books:

Want more on off-camera flash techniques:

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Darlene Hildebrandt

Darlene Hildebrandt is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through free articles on her website Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Peru, Thailand, India, Cuba, Morocco, Bhutan, Vietnam and more. To help you improve and learn she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!