Joe McNally – Explaining Lighting Ratios

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PictureA fun screen grab from Joe’s video below.

by Skip Cohen

As much as I love being part of the photographic industry I have a frustration with something I hear all the time from artists when they talk about their technique. Too often somebody will describe themselves as a “natural light specialist”.  It’s become the catchall explanation for a bigger challenge, not understanding how to work with studio lighting.

Look, we all love natural light, but you can’t be a great artist without learning how to control and create using light, from virtually any source. These short educational videos from one of my favorite photographers and educators, Joe McNally, pack an incredible amount of information into a short amount of time. Even if you’re a seasoned veteran, Joe gives you a short refresher course with each new topic. 


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In this video, thanks to Profoto USA, in just three minutes Joe gives us a lesson in understanding lighting ratios. It’s the foundation for helping you build stronger images and create more impact with each photograph.

We all have our industry heroes. Well, Joe McNally is one of mine. He’s  one of the finest instructors in our industry and never stops working to help more photographers raise the bar on their images. 

One trademark of Joe’s is to never compromise on the effort it takes to capture outstanding images. The tab below will take you to his website and workshop schedule. If he’s doing a program near you, run don’t walk to get a seat. You’ll find him more than approachable and always willing to give back as much as his students can handle.


It’s no coincidence these incredible educational videos have been developed by Profoto USA. They never stop working to help photographers create outstanding images. In the same respect, their product development team has become legendary. Their new B1 and B2 Off-Camera Flash Systems are game-changers. They’ve added a new element to every artist’s creativity tools. If you haven’t checked out the B1 and B2, they’re just a click away.
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