The Santa Fe Workshop, Part 2

Well a sleepless night, coupled with a pounding headache (due to the altitude adjustment) had me worried that my first full day of the workshop would be a tough one, I was wrong. Luckily the course was structured in such a way that we spent our first day in studio, which was fine with me. Joe gave a lighting demonstration that solidified my opinion of why he is a lighting master.

Joe McNally in studio.
Joe McNally in studio

What made the workshop experience especially nice were the tools, Elinchrom Ranger packs, SkyPorts, (still not entirely sold on these), pocketwizards, and light modifiers coming out the wazoo! It also helped that a representative from Bogen Imaging was there to share their latest tools and to show us how to use them.

For a majority of his assignments, and when not using small flashes, Joe uses the Elinchrom Ranger pack, which was his weapon of choice for his demonstration. He took us through a step-by-step demonstration of how he was able to modify that light using everything from shoot-thru umbrellas, beauty dishes, softboxes and diffusion panels. I was surprised to learn that when he does shoot small flashes, he’s a big fan of TTL. I never really paid much attention to TTL but after the first day of the workshop, I can see the advantages and possibilities of this shooting method.

We were also treated to a quick demonstration on high-speed sync and the interesting effects that can be achieved when shooting outdoors.

The workshop moves outside.
The workshop moves outside

Throughout the day, Joe kept throwing out these great quotes, quotes like “Light is our language, it’s what we use to tell our story” and “90% of this business is confidence.” Those little nuggets of wisdom really make a lot of sense when you stop to think about it.

After a long day in-studio and a boatload of information, it was time to call it a night. The first full day was in the books and we were told to get some rest because the next three days were all on location and we would be running all day.

They weren’t kidding”¦

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