The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes

( 64 )

Overview

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 ...

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The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321580146
  • Publisher: New Riders
  • Publication date: 3/17/2009
  • Series: Voices That Matter Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 303
  • Sales rank: 162,271
  • Product dimensions: 9.06 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
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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
Da Grip
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
Father Pre-Flash
The “Killer Flick of Light”
How to Light an Elf
Make the Available Light Unavailable
Put Stuff in Front of Your Lights
Dad!
80 Plus 20 Equals Good Light
Lacey Light
Strobe Strategy
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
Gellin’
Quick Rigs for 30-Second Portraiture
Do You Have a Bedsheet?
Window Light Is a Beautiful Thing
Smooth Light
When in Venice
Dancer in the Ruins
It’s Right There on Paper
Shadow Man
Faces in the Forest
Dynamic Dancing
Gettin’ Fancy
This One Goes to Eleven
Some Light Conversation
Groups!
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
Northern 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
Beach Light
Plane, But Not Simple
Rollin’ with Pride of Midtown
Appendix: What’s This Button Do?
Index
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 64 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 65 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Source of Inspiration

    I found this book an enjoyable read. Joe McNally writes as he would speak to someone; relating the how's and why's of shooting sessions using the flash units in singular to multiples.
    Several times I found "pearls of wisdom" in the stories that provided the "Well that makes a lot of obvious sense." Those "pearls" of course were not in the forefront of my brain when I read them, and I was happy the proverbial "light" got turned on.
    This book makes for an excellent reference for the beginning photographer or a refresher for advanced shooters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    Joe McNally writes so that it is interesting to read the technical points.

    This book takes you step by step through the author's method of use for the hot shoe
    flash on camera and off. It is easy to follow and understand for a beginner as well
    as a professional. Interesting with good illustrations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wit and Wisdom in a textbook for all photographers

    This book is vibrant. I might have been a better student 40 years ago if textbooks were written with the wit and style of Joe McNally's Hot Shoe Diaries. Don't get me wrong, this is not a humor book, but there's just enough wit to to keep your interest, while at the same time, teach this old dog some new tricks. It's been decades since I bought my last college textbook and the greatest benefit I got from any of them was a good nights sleep.

    During those 40 years since my last toga party, I've used photography to earn a major part of my living, but I never called myself a photographer. I remained a student of photography. I shot everything, including countless thousands of advertising photos for the largest newspaper publisher in the world, to the creation of a small school system's newsletter. There was some agency work and In the early years, weekend moonlighting jobs generally included a Saturday wedding or sporting event. Sunday afternoons and evenings were spent in the darkroom. As the last statement indicates - all of my shooting was with film. Consequently, this "student of photography" had a fair amount of learning to do when I retired my Nikon F's and added D's and SB900's to my bag and a MacBook Pro to my office at home. Thank you Joe McNally for shortening the learning curve ... and adding a few laughs, too.
    Kozmo18

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Excellent reference on the Nikon CLS presented in a friendly, easy to read and understand way -- MUST HAVE

    I wanted a book that spoke directly to the Nikon i-TTL Creative Lighting System and after reading the various fora and watching DTownTV and seeing Joe McNally's work, I decided to give this book a try.

    Am I ever pleased!

    This is everything that I was looking for -- great descriptions of tons of scenarios, lots of excellent photo examples (including what not to do), and many many recommendations based on the way Joe gets his results.

    Flash photography is something that can be very tricky to do well and then to master. Then there is creative flash photography, for which this book provides lots of ideas -- including the use of gels.

    One downside is that I now have to go out and buy more flashes and more accessories -- starting with a set of gels!

    I would not hesitate recommending this book to any serious dSLR amateur to professional.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Truly inspiring

    I do photography as a hobby and I do love Mr. McNally's way of sharing his technique and experiences. He is very creative and is truly a genius.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    The master of the small flash

    Joe McNally, along with David Hobby, is one of the top authorities on the use of small electronic flash units to achieve creative photographic results. This book is a must-have for everyone wishing to understand or improve their flash photography.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I love this book! I even had to get it laminated and spiral bound because I use it so much.

    I must say Joe McNally rocks! He is the master of off camera flash. I love this book. I like his easy going writing style and all of his neat examples. It is an easy read, each chapter is 1 basic project and his "recipe" of how he did the actual shoot. If you are dabbling with off camera flash you will love this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This book will make you want to buy more speedlights.

    I feel inadequate as a photographer now. However it does give you great examples and show what can be done with a portable system with the right know how. I think more setup diagrams would be an improvement but only to the few people who want to actually read technical diagrams. Either way, it is a good read for all levels of photographers who shoot using portable speedlights regardless of the brands or system used.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The tell all to strobist...

    I am half way through, the book is exciting and well written it gives you a small look into a pro's life, with humor and hard hitting advice. I am a photographer, and I carry it with me all the time, also check out: The moment it clicks....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This is the book you need!

    If you have any interest in lighting or off-camera flash, this is the book. McNally is the master of strobes and this book is a fantastic reference. Full of great info, stories and how-to's. You will not be disappointed. Also, pick up "The Moment It Clicks" for more great work by Joe.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 9, 2009

    A great book for perfecting your off camera flash technique.

    If you are looking to perfect your off camera flash technique this is the book for you. Unlike half the other photography books, Joe skips the basics of photography 101 and jumps into off camera lighting. He provides the how-to and supports it with lots of great examples. Joe's a Nikon shooter so his equipment recommendations are Nikon based (which may turn off some non-Nikon shooters), but the techniques are valid for all brands of cameras. The book starts with single flash techniques and then progresses up through multi-flash set-ups. This books strongly supports the "Strobist" philosophy of off camera flash lighting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2009

    Well worth reading.

    I enjoyed the book very much. Excellent read for somebody to get a better understanding of how to work with light to improve your photos. I like Joe's writing style. It is lighthearted, informative, easy to read and comprehend. I have picked up numerous ideas and techniques to improve my hobby in photography. Joe talks in terms of Nikon equipment but the principles and techniques will work with other brands also. I personally use Canon equipment and have no problems getting similar results.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    They don't get much better!!!

    If you have ever wanted to get into the photographers head and follow his/her thinking process in making a photograph don't walk but run to purchase this book. I love Joe McNally's work and visit his blog every day (Joe update more, listen to Moose)but reading this book got me a lot closer to his thinking.
    Joe is the kind of guy that says "here's how to do it, I am not holding anything back, just go out and do it".
    I buy lots of photography books but this one I read from start to finish and never skipped a page. Will it make me a Joe McNally? NO, but it will make my photographs better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted April 14, 2009

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    Posted September 6, 2011

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    Posted March 29, 2009

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    Posted June 29, 2009

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    Posted March 27, 2009

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    Posted April 14, 2009

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