I had the great pleasure of attending the Flash Bus Tour put on by none other than Joe McNally and David Hobby aka The Strobist. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to learn from these "flash" experts! The day was packed with different lighting setups and live examples.
David Hobby almost never wears long pants 🙂
David Hobby took the morning and started off by deconstructing a couple of his recent shots.
Joe McNally aka Numnuts
Joe McNally took the afternoon and showed how much POWER there is in shooting with speed lights. Drew, I think it's a little close 😉
So that's how they do that Justin Bieber look!
Amazing what you can do with 3 Nikon Speedlights and shooting in TTL.
Great Q&A at the end.
While I own 3 speedlights, I always looked at them as the lights I would use when I travel and don't have the ability to take my "big lights". However, after watching Joe and David I'm really starting to think about using my speedlights more often. As a matter of fact in a recent shoot I did, I decided to use a Nikon SB 900 to augment my natural light setup. I'm having a blast with the possibilities and want to thank Joe and David for not only putting on a great show, but also for bringing the tour to Michigan!
When Joe McNally sends me an email saying that he wants to send me his latest book, I tend to stop whatever I'm doing and respond to that email. Joe is one of my FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHERS and he inspires me. Every photographer I know has someone that they look up to and hope to be like some day. For me, Joe McNally is one of those photographers that inspires me to try to do better. Of course I like Joe's photography and lighting skills, but I'm also inspired by the way Joe works with subjects. He is masterful in getting what he wants out of the subject in front of his camera. Every time I'm with him on a shoot or in a class I say "Wow, why can't I do that?"
This really is a book about learning how to shoot like the Pros
One of the things that actually surprised me was that this book is exactly as the title describes it. Don't get me wrong I think Joe is an excellent instructor, but in his other books Joe talks about photography through his life stories and pretty pictures. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that (I DO LEARN from Joe's stories) and I'm in awe of his shots, this book jumps right in and starts teaching you stuff. Go figure 🙂 The first chapter is called "Part One: Light". It starts off with a basic explanation of how the camera processes light, Exposure and camera settings. Then Joe jumps right in with tips and how and more importantly WHEN to capture the best light. He covers it all. Shooting on a sunny day, sunsets, a beach, a snowy day, etc. etc. and that's just chapter one! Joe then goes on to talk about the lens, Design Elements (I can't wait to finish this one!), Color, Composition and some last minute tips. Wow! This puppy is PACKED with great info and I can't wait to finish it over my holiday break.
The Bottom Line
No matter where you are in your photography skills, you can probably learn something from others. If I was 1/10th as good as Joe I'd be ecstatic, so I'm glad that I can learn from him and others. This is a great read. I'm only half way through it and loving what I'm learning. Thanks Joe for the opportunity to learn from you! I'm forever grateful.
You can order The LIFE Guide to Digital Photography – Everything You Need To Shoot Like The Pros here on sale.