My Day with Joe
Mark Fidrych by Joe McNally
Having signed up as soon as the class was announced, THREE MONTHS ago, I painfully waited as the days counted down to Joe McNally’s Location Lighting seminar. I have long admired Joe’s work in ESPN and National Geographic and have read the Momement It Clicks and The Hotshoe Diaries more than a dozen times constantly gleaning new insights. The day finally arrived. I drove a hour and a half to the Sacramento Convention Center and expected to enter a group setting of about 75 rabid photographers…WRONG. There was Joe onstage in a room bigger than a freshman English class. With about 400 attendees, all hopes of getting my multitude of questions answered seemed slim but the East Coaster in me said, “Hey! We drove all this way and we are gonna get our questions answered!”
Seven hours later I left having learned many new things that I intend to put into practice immediately. My shopping list includes:
- Gitzo G065 13 x 15.5-Inch Monitor Platform for holding my MacBook at eye level and without fear of falling to its death
- Manfrotto Double Head Support – Black (#3153B) for supporting the above on one side and my camera on the other…VERY COOL!
- Intertape 5638 Gaffers Tape 1.87-Inches x 60-Yards, Black instead of duct tape because if I was removing the latter tape and the wall paint came with it, my day would suck no matter how good the picture
- Lastolite LL LR81243 Medium Standard Skylite Kit long overdue necessity for shooting outdoors in an area that will not see another cloud until September
- Avenger AW GS202 25lbs Cordura Sand Bag Filled with Sand because my ankle weights are too light and well…ankle weights.
These items will join what I consider my kit’s best bets…
Joe McNally and Me
- Sanyo Eneloop 8 Pack AA NiMH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries they come pre-charged, last longer and produce consistent power,
- Peak 4x Pro Focusing Magnifier Loupe with Neck Cord Looking at your LCD screen can lead you to believe a soft image is actually sharp if you can see the thing at all in bright sunlight. Looking at the screen with my Loupe is the only way I will dismiss the subject and leave the site,
- Manfrotto 222 Joystick Head – Replaces 3265 I know many are ball head and gimble fanatics, but I am an 80’s Atari kid and this joystick seems more natural, easier to use and does not allow my camera to take a header like a loose ball head does,
- Giottos LC325 10.7′ 4-Section Air-cushioned Light Stand makes the days of watching your gear plummet to the earth and then pinch your skin in excruciating pain a thing of the past,
- Bamboo (Small) Pen Tablet with Pen Only for tossing in my backpack and editing at Starbucks around the country.
Most importantly Joe discussed light and it’s relationship to subject and mood in a way that really made me re-think my approach. I believe it will fundamentally change my work…we shall see.