Sketching Light

Sketching Light

An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash

Book - 2011
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Legendary magazine photographer Joe McNally takes students 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. He 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 students 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.
Publisher: Berkeley, Calif. : New Riders ©2011.
ISBN: 9780321700902
Branch Call Number: 771 McNally
Characteristics: xiv, 471 p. :,ill., col. & b&w. ;,23 cm.
Additional Contributors: New Riders Publishing


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Dec 25, 2013

Author Joe McNally is a renowned professional photographer who has worked for National Geographic as well as having his own studio in his 30 year career. His prose style for this book, however is very difficult to follow. He likes to use metaphor repeatedly using colorful language and slang to describe his experience with lighting while exploring his craft. While I did learn some things from this book, it really took considerable effort to glean that learning from the text. Having seen examples of McNally's work, here in this book and elsewhere I would say he is a gifted artist. That coupled with his broad experience have made him something of a celebrity in the photographic world. But the prose style he used to write this book leaves much to be desired. Given his talent I would guess he has something to say about the craft of photography and in this particular example, about light. But it is simply too difficult to get much of anything from this text. Very disappointing.


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