Archive for the ‘Links’ Category
LIFE.com announced the winners of its’ 2011 Photo Blog Awards, and this little rambling collection of thoughts ended up winning one. Very honored, especially when you look at their roll call of winners….Lens, from the New York Times, Bag News Notes, Time magazine’s Lightbox, and NPR’s Picture Show.
The blog is fun to keep up with, albeit at times a bit daunting. I find myself writing on planes, or airport lounges, or in cars on the way to location. Thank goodness for hot spots! Thank goodness, too, for this amazing adventure. Thirty five years with a camera in my hands, and still going. New Geographic assignment coming up in July, and today, for instance, into NY for an ongoing portrait series on the 10th Anniversary of 911. Stuff just keeps happening, and the blog, for me personally, has become a good way to check my pulse.
Life’s comments on Numnuts….
“The thoughts, notions, and ideas here come from thirty years in the field as a shooter,” reads the text in the upper-right hand corner of this blog, underneath a smiling stick figure and the casual, handwritten words “Meet Joe.” It’s that juxtaposition of the serious and the playful that make Joe McNally’s Blog such a treat. With bona fides from Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, and LIFE (for which he was a staff photographer), McNally tells stories and gives advice from behind the lens, pulling from his travels and his vibrant, extensive portfolio to riff on newsmakers (like the Navy SEALs, whom he once followed in training), share deeply personal memories of favorite shoots, and totally geek out on lighting technique and gear (explaining, as only he can, the best clamps, lenses, strobes, etc.). With eloquence, humor, and passion, McNally makes every post a love letter to his craft.”
That is pretty much the way I feel. Still in love with doing this. Still crazy after all these years. Very, very thankful to any and all who stop by for a bit of rambling. Many thanks, and as always, more tk….
A couple of indispensable blogs were posted this week. First, John Loengard’s guest blog on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider.
This I would suggest as a must read for photographers and picture editors alike. Tremendous economic pressures over time have fractured and adversely affected the historic and important relationship good picture editors have with the photographers they employ. This post, and John’s well reasoned and direct advocacy for the role of the photog in the world of publications, is very well taken.
The other is up on Strobist.
Greg Heisler burst onto the magazine scene around 1980 or so, and single handedly changed magazine photography. I am not overstating the case. His singular sense of light and color impacted so thoroughly that just about every picture editor out there was lining their magazine up for pictures that looked like Greg’s. He had lots of imitators (myself included) who devoured his stuff, looking at catch lights to see where he put what kind of flashes, and wondering what gel pack had produced the vibrant color palette that attended his pix. I could stand at magazine rack and look at a display of a couple hundred mags, and pick out a Heisler cover.
I have worked with Rudy, and can thoroughly corroborate what Greg breezily refers to as the “moment of truth,” on this shoot. This cover was done of Rudy at his personal zenith, and when a public figure is at such a point, their handlers are like a very effective offensive line in football, blocking all charges. The behind the scenes negotiating just to get Rudy to top of the Rock must have been intense. Then, of course, once he gets there, is gonna go up on the edge of the roof? Rudy’s actually pretty cool about that stuff once you get him to the location. Pretty down to earth, or edge of the building type of guy.
The planning of the light is very cool to listen in on. So is the lesson that could be easily glossed over. Research. A week of going to the location at the exact time of day to determine the look and feel of the light. This was an intense collaboration between an extremely talented photog, a picture editor who did and said all the right things to get the subject on board, and a magazine willing to go the extra mile to get something done right. This was the correct mix of craft, obsession, funding and preparation.
This photo is memorable, and memorable isn’t easy. You generally don’t get memorable from a $50 stock pickup. Rudy was an icon at that moment in time, and thus demanded an appropriately iconic photographer. That combination is the reason we are still looking at this picture.
Yep, Drew is the guest blogger today on Scott Kelby’s blog, which is definitely the bright lights and Broadway of the blogosphere. Very well done article, though Drew is typically modest about his accomplishments both as a shooter and here at the studio, where he is invaluable. Not only does he do the day to day grunt stuff, he’s also very forward thinking and technology oriented. For instance, the new look of our blog, website and our relationship with Livebooks is a direct result of Drew being proactive and looking down the road for the studio. Largely because of his presence, we are taking baby steps in the video direction. Real tentative right now, but learning a lot and having fun with it.
Not too long ago, he was drumming in a rock and roll band. Wisely, he’s abandoned that unstable lifestyle to adopt the lock solid, clear path security of freelance photography. We’re all the better for it here at the studio. More tk….
Can’t say enough about the folks at NAPP. They got Photoshop World coming up, and they be cranking on that, and at the same time, they launch today this cool tips and tricks show featuring Scott Kelby, and the other KMan…Matt Klowskowski. Now here’s a couple of guys who know, right? How many pages of the manual has anybody out there read? How many times do you get to a point on a job and you wish you could remember where that custom function was? Scott and Matt have read and remembered it for you. All that stuff– the bells, whistles, buttons, dials, dive planes, air horns, g-thrusters, and cloaking devices of the new digital SLRs made by Nikon are handed out in bite sized chunks of video. Gotta check it out. I did, and right away I had one of those, “I coulda had a V-8!” types of forehead slapping moments. The live view white balance deal Scott showed was very cool. As was the command dial feature Matt showed to scroll your pix on the LCD on some of the camera models. Check it out at http://www.nikondtown.com/.
I’ve been having a blast doing the Kelby Training Videos. Shot the above for a new one called One Light. Put myself in a box and could only take one light out of it. Used two lights, actually, but not together. I compared and contrasted approaches using one SB900 Speedlight, and one Elinchrom Ranger. Big light, small light, but always one light. Tried to push the envelope a bit and see what we could do with that particular limitation. Also, continued my history of tempting fate by combining expensive electronic equipment with large bodies of water by dragging a Ranger with an Octa (yep, the 74″) into Tampa Bay to shoot Bo, an unbelievably amiable, patient, terrific teenager. Hey, it was Scott’s Octa. Come to think of it, it was Scott’s Ranger, too:-)
Other news…very cool. Jeff Snyder sent me this the other day..the Bogen Tri Flash Bracket is #LSTF3PFS and will be $69 at Adorama. Considering Jeff is close with the folks at Bogen, particularly Mark “The William Holden of Flash Photography” Astmann, he should be able to get a bunch when it comes out next month. Tried it a couple times, and it rocks. First did a demo at our lighting workshops in Dobbs Ferry last month, where we had the first one in the country, and Mark shot a cell phone pic of it.
I mean, we were shooting stuff like this….
And, yep, you guessed it. I got more mail about the Tri-flash than the fashion models. Photographers, we’re strange. More tk….
So what if it rains all the time. (It actually doesn’t. We had a killer sunset last night.) Its a great town and the photo community is like strobist-style crazy. I mean enthusiasm. Creativity. Energy. And easy going to boot. Did a lecture the other night at the Planetarium (oddly appropriate, considering my style of public speaking) and had a great crowd of folks who came out to hunker down around photography on a night when they could have bought Metallica tickets.
We ended up with about 250 or so folks cramming in to see some pix and do a quick lighting demo. I think half of them were in the Vancouver Strobist Group. Its daunting you know, David? I mean, everybody, and I mean everybody, came up afterwards and asked, “Hey do you know David Hobby? Could you tell him to come here?”
Like DH said in his blog yesterday, free beers-he’s there. Think about it guys.
We did big lights and small lights.
The big lights, as you can see, are courtesy of Elinchrom, which in Canada, means they are courtesy of Ron at Vistek in Toronto. They are the Elinchrom/Lastolite suppliers to the Great North country. They stepped up big time, and made the workshop happen. Bogen USA, my good buds, stepped up too, sending the William Holden of flash photography, none other than Mark Astman, all the way from New Jersey to Van, BC. As always, he was a huge hit with the participants, explaining all things Elinchrom and Skyport, and making his usual giant tacos out of oversized Lastolite twisty, bendy, light shaping tools. I have never seen anybody wrap up a light shaping tool twice their size into a bag smaller than a Subway half foot plastic sandwich bag with the dispatch and aplomb of Mark.
In the above photo, courtesy of Marc Koegel, the instigator of all this stuff by being the creator of the Vancouver Photo Workshops, the diffuser panel is being held by Pooya Nabei, local fashion shooter and one of the most gracious assistants I have ever worked with. He brings coffee with him, fer chrissakes, in the am. He will look at me and ask if everything’s alright, and when I ask him back he will say everything’s groovy, and he really means it. As he said tonight, he simply can’t believe how lucky we are to be photographers. Even after getting sandblasted, fried, deep sixed, nailed to the wall, kicked in the ass, run out of town, stomped in the head, run through the mill, hung up wet, and generally being read the riot act for the last 35 years, I couldn’t agree more.
SPEAKING OF GRACIOUS, LOCAL AND TALENTED FOLKS…..CONGRATS TO SYX AND TARYN ON THEIR COMING BABY! They will know if its a boy or girl on Christmas day. they came today and posed for a lighting demo for my class…..
Syx is a local shooter who does a mix of commercial and intensely personal work….which is how he met Taryn.
Also worked today with Zara Durrani, a local model who poses for the workshops. Late in the day, put a red and blue gelled light out in the street and a strip light overhead, and made a few frames as a class demo.
This was pretty much the first frame…shocked the shit outta me, I tell ya. Sometimes you just fall in the right direction. Finished the night tonight having a bite with Martin Prihoda who does this workshop called Big Lights Far Away, where he artistically nukes a daylight scene with generators and big lights, basically wrestling the sun to the ground and stepping on its throat. Cool…Thanks for dinner, Martin.