Joe McNally: The Hot Shoe Diaries

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Joe McNally: The Hot Shoe Diaries

Unread post by mvanrheenen »

Since a few months I've been interested more and more into lighting. The effects and results some photographers can achieve is simply astounding, but the world of lighting for me is a difficult one to step into. The internet is flooded with tons of information about the subject, mostly from a technical point of view and can be quite intimidating.

I'm a reader of the fantastic Strobist blog which in itself is a huge library of knowledge about lighting and read an article about books covering the subject of lighting. As my girlfriend wanted to give me a present for Christmas I asked for one of the books mentioned in the article by Joe McNally. The Hot Shoe Diaries is what Santa gave me and I can seriously recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the subject.

Although Joe is Nikon user and the technical parts of his book are heavily influenced by this, I found I could easily translate the things he explained for the kit I use. His style of shooting revolves around relying on his eyes and experience to judge a lighting situation, rather than on metering and calculating every stray bit of light. This style of shooting is what I prefer myself, not to fiddle to much with the technical side of photography, although Joe has a very in depth knowledge about the subject.

The examples he describes and depict are really helpful in understanding the lighting situation, why he wanted to modify it from an artistic and technical viewpoint and finally HOW he did it.

I'm just at 1/3rd of the book, so can't comment on the whole book just yet. The only negative comment I have is that his explanaitions and anecdotes are sometimes a bit hard to follow for someone who's a non-native English speaker. Sometimes I miss the clue of his example or joke.

All in all I can very much recommend this book to anyone who likes to learn more about lighting.

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