As predicted I plowed through McNally's Hot Shoe Diaries like a farm hand at dinner. All important bits highlighted, every ounce of knowledge absorbed. It was a great read, but like I said yesterday, I'm a bit disappointed that I had already read most of the chapters before the book was even printed! The vast majority of chapters were blog fodder over the last five months and not just "oh the pictures and anecdotes are the same," it was VERBATIM. I know I know...I shouldn't be that hung up on it, I just was looking forward to new material that I hadn't already read. This would be true for anyone who's not a regular reader of his blog, but I am, and therein lies the problem.
I still highly recommend it for anyone in love with photography and lighting and looking for tips, info and clues as to how to become a better photographer. Although it's not like McNally says "THIS WILL MAKE YOU A PHOTOGRAPHY GOD" anywhere in his book, it's more like: "here's some things I've learned in the school of hard knocks photography that I think will make your life easier."
It's about building a knowledge base. If you're just starting out, you don't have 30+ years of photography shoot knowledge database to pull from when you go up to a situation and the weather is crap and the light is awful and you only have three minutes to get a well lit shot. I'm a big fan of learning things from those older and wiser than you, cuz if you listen you don't have to repeat their mistakes; you already know that a+b+donkey dodo = awful photo and unhappy client.
Now thankfully I get to make use of some of this photographic knowledge/inspiration. I did notice in all of McNally's stories that he uses tungsten white balance (which turns the world blue) a lot, and I've never really found the need for this. However, on Saturday night I'm scheduled to a do a shoot that I'm entitling "Locked in the Comic Bookstore" and I think it will be the perfect place to try out some tungsten white balance and some theatrical gels ala Joe McNally.
I'm looking forward to it!
Cowboy Studio Beauty Dish
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