Hot Shoe Diaries, The: Big Light from Small Flashes
Product Author Bios
JOE McNALLY is an internationally acclaimed American photographer and longtime photojournalist. His most notable series is “Faces of Ground Zero—Portraits of the Heroes of September 11th,” a collection of giant Polaroid portraits. He also photographed “The Future of Flying,” the first all-digital story for National Geographic. His award-winning work has appeared in numerous magazines and, in 2008, Joe wrote the critically acclaimed and bestselling book The Moment It Clicks.
Photographers eager for flash of knowledge, usatoday.com
When it comes to photography, it’s all about the light.
After spending more than thirty years behind the lens—working for National Geographic, Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated—Joe McNally knows about light. He knows how to talk about it, shape it, color it, control it, and direct it. Most importantly, he knows how to create it...using small hot shoe flashes.
In The Hot Shoe Diaries, Joe brings you behind the scenes to candidly share his lighting solutions for a ton of great images. Using Nikon Speedlights, Joe lets you in on his uncensored thought process—often funny, sometimes serious, always fascinating—to demonstrate how he makes his pictures with these small flashes. Whether he’s photographing a gymnast on the Great Wall, an alligator in a swamp, or a fire truck careening through Times Square, Joe uses these flashes to create great light that makes his pictures sing.
Share photos on our Hot Shoe Diaries flickr group.
Photography Q&A with Joe McNally
Do you have a question for Joe McNally? Maybe you'd like to know how he captured that one great shot? Or maybe you’d like to share one of your own photos and get his expert feedback? This is your chance! Submit your question to Joe, and each week he will select a question to answer via his Peachpit.com blog. You can also post a photo or two on our flickr group.
223 of 241 people found the following review helpful
The Gateway To Understanding Flash Photography,
This review is from: The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes (Paperback)SPOILER:
'Hot Shoe Diaries' is pure McNally and the best book I've ever read on flash photography. Two words: "buy it."
Joe McNally's photo secrets were kicked out of the closet by the skeletons a long time ago. That's great news for those of us who have become infatuated (and infuriated) with the use of small flash units. Joe's latest book 'The Hot Shoe Diaries' is an exposé that tells all. There's never been a book on flash photography that covers the subject so thoroughly, so beautifully and so humorously. I'm certain that 'HSD' will reign as the undisputed champion on flash photography for a long time.
The first thing to know about 'HSD' is that even Joe has a hard time taking himself seriously. Joe repeatedly demonstrates his understanding of where he stands in the universe by filling 'HSD' with memorable photos - such as the self-portrait where he uses a chicken as a lightstand. Joe's humor is what sets 'HSD' apart from other... Read more
134 of 155 people found the following review helpful
Not for newbies,
This review is from: The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes (Paperback)Pros:
1. If you are photography junkie, the book fun to read - feels like you are having a couple of cold ones with a pro, and he is kind enough to tell you about his work.
2. If you already have a solid understanding of flash photography, the book will help you to get to the next level. [...]
3. This book is extra helpful for Nikon shooters.
1. If you are a newbie, phrases like "so I just dialed up the shutter speed to kill off the extra ambient light I didn't want in the shot" may not mean much. (not quoting here, just relaying what is sounds like)
The book does not contain many specific instructions a la Scott Kelby "the shutter speed controls the ambient light, and therefore when you reduce the shutter speed you are letting in additional ambient light which works great in certain applications for dimly lit scenes" right next to picture showing the difference. (Scott Kelby obviously sounds better than this)
Newbies want... Read more
52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes (Paperback)I have mixed feelings about this book. For anyone who has had some experience with mixed lighting, color management, etc., it is written in a very "easy to understand" sort of style, and contains great food for thought. For a newer shooter, you will drown in this technically.
My three problems with it are that it is completely Nikon centric and he advocates using TTL or some form of it in every situation. That may work for Nikon gear, but I have found Canon's flash exposures to be all over the place when left in "Auto" mode. You need to be aware that there is little to no guidance or advice other than that in this book. It is all about Nikon electronics and which buttons to push. If you are looking for advice on using speedlight flash manually, it's not here.
I actually wondered as I was reading it whether Nikon sponsored the book. Way too much emphasis on Nikon gear and specific settings. As a result, it is less about small flash and more about about Nikon small... Read more
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Praise For Hot Shoe Diaries, The: Big Light from Small Flashes
"If you are a photo teacher in collegeyeah, I am talking to you, corduroy jacket with the arm patches guy do your class a favor and make this one required reading. It is informative, comprehensive and totally relevant to how people are shooting at the highest levels.
If you don't use this one as a textbook, check the locker of the kid that is shooting circles around everyone else in the class. This book probably will be inside. They even crunched the dimensions of the book down a little to make it camera-bag portable. It's about 8x9 inches, which means camera-bag portable. Great thinking on the publisher's part, IMO."
Online Sample Chapter
Table of Contents
Part I Nuts ’n’ Bolts
What I Use…and Why and When I Use It
A Little Bit of Dis and a Little Bit of Dat
Part II One Light!
A Place to Put the Light
Up to Your Ass in Alligators
Good Bad Light
A Light in the Doorway
The Swamp, Revisited
Tune in to Station “i-TT L”
Up on the Roof
How to Light a Fence
Cheap Arena Lighting
Make the Sunrise
Light as a Feather
The “Killer Flick of Light”
How to Light an Elf
Make the Available Light Unavailable
Put Stuff in Front of Your Lights
80 Plus 20 Equals Good Light
Smoke and Windows
Hakeem the Dream
FP Means Good DOF
Flash in Real Life
Light ‘Em Dano!
It Don’t Gotta Be Human to Light It
The Lady with the Light in the Lake
One Light in the Parking Lot
One Light in the Window
One Light in the Garden
Part III Two or More
Show the Tattoo! Or, The Remarkable Rehabilitation
of the Notorious Bubbles
Quick Rigs for 30-Second Portraiture
Do You Have a Bedsheet?
Window Light Is a Beautiful Thing
When in Venice
Dancer in the Ruins
It’s Right There on Paper
Faces in the Forest
This One Goes to Eleven
Some Light Conversation
Lighting Kit for the Creepy-Guy-in-the-Alley Shot
Let There Be Light!
Part IV Lotsa Lights
How to Give Birth to a Speedlight
A Great Wall of Light
The Tree of Woe
How to Build a Backyard Studio
Don’t Light It, Light Around It
Goin’ Glam and Throwin’ Sparks
And Now for Something Completely Different
Plane, But Not Simple
Rollin’ with Pride of Midtown
Appendix: What’s This Button Do?
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