Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash
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. Joe's previous books are the critically acclaimed and bestselling The Moment It Clicks and The Hot Shoe Diaires: Big Light from Small Flashes.
Following up on the great success of The Moment It Clicks and The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes, legendary magazine photographer Joe McNally takes us on another memorable ride with Sketching Light, another trip into the land of light--but this time running the gamut from small flash to big flash, and everywhere in between.
Of course, Joe includes coverage of Nikon Speedlights, but he also covers big flash, as well as "in-between" lights as the Elinchrom Quadra. The exploration of new technology, as well as the explanation of older technology. No matter what equipment Joe uses and discusses, the most important element of Joe's instruction is that it is straightforward, complete, and honest. No secrets are held back, and the principles he talks about apply generally to the shaping and quality of light, not just to an individual model or brand of flash.
He tells readers what works and what doesn't via his let's-see-what-happens approach, he shows how he sets up his shots with plentiful sketches and behind-the-scenes production shots, and he does it all with the intelligence, clarity, and wisdom that can only come from shooting in the field for 30 years for the likes of National Geographic, Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated--not to mention the wit and humor of a clearly warped (if gifted) mind.
137 of 138 people found the following review helpful
Like Sitting Down With the Reigning Master of Flash Photography,
This review is from: Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)If you are a student of light, then consider Joe McNally`s new book Sketching Light to be a must-read. Sitting down with Sketching Light is like sitting down for a beer with Joe as he talks you through his favorite pix in a photo album. The conversation will wander, stories will be spun, jokes will be told, detailed insights will be shared, advice will be given, and you'll walk away grateful for the opportunity.
Short bits to know about 'Sketching Light'...
>The book is Nikon-centric. Joe is Nikon-centric. Don't let this worry you. If you shoot Canon, or Sony, or any other brand, don't despair. Strip out all the Nikonian jargon and 'Sketching Light' remains a heavyweight when it comes to lighting. (And, if you shoot Canon, check out Speedliter's Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites -- written by... Read more
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Awesome and inspring... and an important note on Nikon vs. Canon,
This review is from: Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)Amazing book. He's a frikkin' genius writer, because he's so uninhibited and confident and smart that he gives you a brain-dump of everything in his mind. Take from it the bits you like, run with 'em, and have fun making some awesome shots.
If you haven't used a lot of flash before, you'll sometimes read over a page and have no idea what he's talking about. WTF? Not that he's overly technical... kind of the opposite, that he's so gushing and enthusiastic and dropping all the hip terms for everything ("start with a bit of a hot rim and then back it off, 'cause in a sidelight situation it's gonna blow it out by a stop... then it gets piped backed to the lens and baby, it's dark out there!"), that it's hard to bring him out of orbit and back into the land of 'OK, what button do I push?' But stick with it. Read the book, shoot, read it again, shoot some more. You'll get it.
McNally gets a lot of attention for using flashes in extraordinarily complex setups -- and... Read more
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Interested in Location Photography....get this book,
This review is from: Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)Short Review:
Just get it if you are interested in location photography.
I have read Joe's two books before namely Moment It Clicks and the The Hot Shoe Diary. To me the first was more like a commentary which made you get up and make some photos while the second was more a discussion on hotshot flashes (a bit Nikonish if that is a word) but this one goes to the proverbial 11 or perhaps 12 or 13 or may be more.
If you have ever wished to get inside the brain of Joe and understand what goes inside those "noodles" confined inside your skull then this is the book.
If you are like me who can not attend any of Joe's workshop then you simply grab this book and rest assured you know how he thinks while going about making those amazing photos. In fact I will even say that perhaps he did himself a big disfavor by writing this book because it not only talks about "which"gear he uses he also talks about the "why".....e.g. Why he used a beauty dish... Read more
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Online Sample Chapter
Table of Contents
Notes on the Book
And Now, Time for a Short, Brisk Whipping!
More Light-Shaping Tools!
• Things I Think I Know: Risking “No”
Northern (One) Light
But Then, I Just Couldn’t Take It Anymore
One Light, One Window, One Room
Of Frosted Glass and Dirty Windows
Build a Wall of Light
Make the Light Jump…and Other Lessons
Big Flash, Small Flash, Far Away
• Things I Think I Know: News Flash
Here’s Sunshine Up Your Skirt!
Set the Table with Light
The Two-Speedlight Character Portrait
• Things I Think I Know: How Do You Get Fired from LIFE?
Big Light, Small Flash
The Aesthetics of High-Speed Flash
Up Against the Wall
• Things I Think I Know: I Thought the Lights Would Be On
The Shape of Light
A Tale of One Face, Lit Two Ways
• Things I Think I Know: Mamie and Barbara, and a Lesson Learned
Lessons from the Acetate Era
Finding a Picture on the Edge of the Canyon
Sometimes, the Main Light Is in the Back
• Things I Think I Know: Don’t Mess with the Photog
Working with D
Light as an Exclamation Point
One Light, One Shadow
This Looks Hard, But It’s Not
• Things I Think I Know: Flash Frenzy
A Couple of Joes
The Lady, the Light, and Some Luck
Lighting the Wind
This Looks Hard, and It Is
This Just In
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