By Monica Cipnic
Thursday evening was another sold out Special Event at the Workshops@Adorama. Sponsored by Nikon, legendary photographer Joe McNally spent nearly three hours dazzling the crowd with his memorable photography and his live demonstrations that show why he's such an in-demand photographer.
Joe began the evening by good-naturedly explaining why an early career photograph--taken while he was in college-- and which he felt wasn't a technically good one, but because of the humorous human-interest angle, was widely published and gave him the impetus for his photography career. He then segued into showing and discussing how he makes his photographs happen. Many of those examples shown, appear with technical explanations in his runaway best-selling book, "The Moment It Clicks: Photography secrets from one of the world's top shooters" (published by New Riders/an imprint of Peachpit).
Photo by Brad Moore
Viewing the easily recognizable images of his many varied projects and recent globetrotting assignments, Joe's signature style always come down to his incredible use and mastery of light. From his poignant and powerful personal project of the 'Faces of Ground Zero' to the physically challenging assignments, and the downright difficult personalities he's been assigned to shoot, Joe's approach and success as a 'generalist' in the field is readily apparent. As he showed this prime selection of his work, Joe peppered the technical commentary with hilarious anecdotes and self-deprecating humor much to the delight, and the oohs and ahhs of the crowd.
Photo by Brad Moore
After a Q&A break, Joe gave entertaining demonstrations, shooting audience members with Nikon's D3 and small flashes. His ability and agility, changing settings on the fly, gave the audience insights to his way of working with multiple Nikon SB-800 AF's, SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander, and the TTL remote system of his Nikon D3. From the technical, utilizing his Nikon system, Lastolite Tri-Grips reflectors and Skylite kits, stands, clamps, and gels, to his illustrated articulated 'gems'-- 'Shoot what you love', 'Do your homework', 'Get your subjects involved' to 'Never let 'em see you sweat'--it all came together for an educational and thoroughly enjoyable evening.