Knockout Creative Techniques

Make a splash with high-impact images like this one.

This shot took a lot of trial and error and testing, but the final result is fantastic and really effective. In this class, you’ll get a behind the scenes look at one of Karl’s most iconic images. You’ll also discover how he creates all the different layers of the shot before he comps it all together.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Gary Stasiuk

    Interesting old session. I’ve a question about how these types of unusual shots .. not exactly sure what word is best to describe them accurately, but I was wondering if tactically, for your career, had you decided to create these types of images to generate awareness or conversations about your work? I’ve seen product photographers create nonsensical product images where they openly say they did it on purpose to generate buzz. Have to say, for product photography, those style of images just don’t make sense to me but I understand the purpose of the photographers approach. In fashion, there is plenty of room for innovation, and I still see these as wonderful attention producing images. They stand out and people take that extra second to get reeled into the image. And that is always what we are trying to achieve. What was your motivation behind this series or style of image? Whim or tactical?

    1. Hi Gary, I’d say I create them because I find this style personally interesting, especially that ‘moment’. A lot of my work features it with models, liquids, object etc. For me it adds another dynamic and level of interest to the shot and if that makes it more visually interesting to the viewer too then all the better. I remember when we first did our ‘paint tins explosion’ some years ago that it created a lot of attention but that was just a byproduct of me trying something I thought would look interesting. I’ve got another crazy one coming up so that you should see around December/January.

    1. Hi, these are old flashes from about 10 years ago but I think they were about 1/1500- 1/2000th maximum

    1. That’s very kind thank you. But the reality of it is that all the top photographers I know can also apply themselves to pretty much most genres of photography if they needed to, it’s just that often good photographers get put in a certain box or know for doing a certain thing and then they end up following that more. The truth is though (which you will learn from the content in this platform) is that once you have acquired the necessary, concept, visual and lighting skills you’ll find you can also shoot pretty much anything.

  2. derrick_connell

    This is a VERY inspiring module.

    I love shooting sports, landscape, fashion and dramatic scenes. When asked “What is your style?” I have struggled to answer.

    This shot has inspired me.

    There are so many aspects that I love – the drama and movement of the model. The creation of a wonderful end shot through good planning and layering. The strong use of lighting technique. I loved this module. It is a real inspiration. I showed this to my favorite model and she is already limbering up.

    Now – how do I get enough space to replicate this. Time to talk to my wife about whether we really need a living room.


  3. Hi Karl,
    It’s indeed a great technique. I can see you’ve enjoyed the shoot.
    Could you please explain your camera setting and how you’ve achieved to keep the model on focus ?

    1. Hi Tariqur, I manually focus on the point where I know the model will jump to and keep it locked. If you have not understood the settings then please refer to the first 15 chapters in the portrait section where I describe exactly how to calculate such things and give you a full explanation on studio lighting and understanding control.

  4. I love the electronica music you have in a lot of your videos. Who is the artist/song used in the majority of this video? Thanks!

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