I spent my birthday which was on the 5th of February at Joe McNally’s workshop here in KL a couple of weeks back. This is of course thanks to Louis from Wedshooter as well as the Wedshooter team who made it all happen. The workshop was a hands-on as well as a full day course which grouped 15 photographers on a Friday in Shangri-La in KL to learn about lighting and get to know Joe a little better.
In case you do not know who Joe McNally is, Joe is the most amazing photographer I have met and you might have probably seen most of his work on the cover of the National Geographic magazine. He is also the author of two amazing books, “The Moment it Clicks” and the more recent “The Hot Shoe Diaries“.
When I got wind that Joe was coming to KL, I was quite excited but a little hesitant as well as I thought that the workshops were going to cost a bomb. Frankly, it was a big sum for me but it was an investment for me. The best part was that I managed to schedule the workshop on the same day as my birthday! (Joe had five 1-day workshops here spanning from the 1st of Feb till the 5th of Feb).
Joe started off the session with some quick introduction about himself as well as his assistance, Drew Gurian. He then went on to get to know each of us and asked us what are our expectations for this workshop. This was good start I felt as I managed to see who the other participants were. There were of course familiar faces in the group as well.
Friends in the photography industry such as Ian, Shen, Edwin, Hafiz and Gabriel were also attendees of the workshop. Funnily, Joe mentioned that our group was the only all guy group. I can see the testosterone levels shooting up, I guess the mix and the environment was a lot more different compared to this workshop. Look at all the female participants there!
After the rounds of introduction, Joe shared with us some of his videos as well as showed some of his latest work which was absolutely incredible and amazing. What made me smile was that he also had a couple of photos in his portfolio which was shot using available light which was what I normally do. Joe then mentioned that he himself also continued to learn by attending workshops such as the recent one where he attended Jay Maisel’s workshop in NY.
At every workshop which Joe teaches, he carries with him lots of gears. And when I mean lots, I really mean lots! Frankly I didn’t take the rest as there are way too many equipment about to capture it all. But what he had prepared for us included around 16 flashes for us to use, an array of Justin clamps and battery packs, Lastolite softboxes and many many more.
The workshop began with Joe showing us the various equipment that were about in the workshop and then teaching us on how to use them and what the effects of using these equipment would do to an image. After trying out several shots indoor using both a white and black background, we proceeded outdoors to learn more about light shaping tools there.
We also had a journalist in our midst, Jan Shim, hailing from Brunei who was covering the workshop
Then we moved indoors for another shoot again. This time it was in a service corridor where Joe showed us how to use our surroundings to create an amazing shot. Of course Ian had to pose for the shot as he would normally do.
After an intense session of learning how to use various light shaping tools as well as understand various light placements, the group adjourned for lunch.
More photos from the workshop as well as our own personal shoots coming soon!