Sunday, March 13, 2011

Learning From The Masters

The fast pace of digital SLR technology is almost unthinkable. As I write this I look at my old Canon 20D RIP. Something only a few years back I was so proud of sits on my desk a mere paper weight. I think of my film cameras that sit in the safe and wounder why. The hundreds of dollars of film that sits in the fridge, that are now too expensive to use. Continued education is the only way to keep up. It is amazing what my new camera does that my old one didn't. My new camera takes video, something I have yet to explore. Its amazing that you can take a picture have it float through the air and have it posted on the web a few minutes later for anyone to see. I had a chance to learn from the masters of small flash David Hobby and Joe McNally on the Flash Bus Tour. Here are a couple of snapshots of me with the guys. I was lucky to get these, South San Francisco was the biggest stop of the tour. I attended with 450 people.

Until July 2008, Hobby was a staff photojournalist with The Baltimore Sun. He runs, a popular blog devoted to photographic lighting techniques. The blog has an on-line monthly readership of over 300,000 photographers from 175 countries, and was named one of the 25 Best Blogs of 2010 by Time Magazine. I have followed it from day one.

From 1994 until 1998 Joe McNally was LIFE magazine's staff photographer, the first one in 23 years. His most well known series is the "Faces of Ground Zero — Portraits of the Heroes of September 11th", a collection of 246 giant Polaroid portraits shot in the Moby C Studio near Ground Zero in a three-week period shortly after 9/11. A large group of these life-size (9' x 4') photos were exhibited in seven cities in 2002, seen by almost a million people. The exhibit and the book, printed by LIFE, helped raise approximately $2 million for the 9/11-relief effort. Some of McNally's other photographic series include, "The Future of Flying," a 32-page cover story for National Geographic, published in December 2003, commemorating the centennial observance of the Wright Brothers' flight. Joe is a 20 year contributor to National Geographic, and this story was the first all digital shoot for the magazine. This issue was a National Magazine Award Finalist, and one of the magazine’s most popular covers. He has shot cover stories for Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, Geo, Fortune, New York, Business Week, LIFE and Men’s Journal, among others.

I was able to get my copies of The Moment It Clicks and The Hot Shoe Diaries autographed by Joe McNally. I am looking forward to his new book Sketching With Light due out in August of 2011. Joe McNally also has a blog the URL is:

I saw Joe McNally design this image from the ground up one layer of light at a time right on stage. The Paparazzi were people from the crowd. The room was a typical conference room and Joe McNally made it come to life with gels, people right out of the crowd and TTL. He litteraly took comand of the "Paparazzi" flashes right from his own camera! Here is a link to his post. He will do whatever it takes to get the photo. Here is a video to prove it!

Demonstrating the speed of light while rolling across the country at the speed of a moving bus, the world’s two leading educators and innovators in the big world of small flash, David “The Strobist” Hobby and Joe “Numnuts” McNally team up for the FLASHBUS 2011 TOUR.

Hobby and McNally kicked off this small flash fest on March 11th in Seattle, and then head down the West Coast and across the country teaching, demonstrating, lighting and debating about speed lights. Shoot manual? Check! Wanna try TTL? Gotcha covered! 29 cities, 13,000 miles, rolling, flashing, tweeting from South San Francisco to San Diego, Boston, Atlanta to LA, Memphis to Denver, and lots of stops in between.

Two different styles of lighting and two different ways of teaching combine as Hobby and McNally join forces to explore and explain good light — good light done fast and well.

Im being molded and shaped by Joe McNally ; )

I loved the illustrations for the flash Bus Tour. I knew I wanted a picture by the bus. I wish I could draw like that! The illustration was designed by Sam Spratt a 22 year old freelance artist who runs his own business from a second-floor office in a residential building near San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. If you would like to know more about him here are a couple of articles about him.!5620127/meet-our-contributing-illustrator-sam-spratt

His site info is:

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