June 12, 2014
New post up at Joe McNally’s Blog: The Language of Light - Volume Two - FAQ

New Post has been published on http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2014/06/12/the-language-of-light-volume-two-faq/

The Language of Light - Volume Two - FAQ

Hey gang, we’ve gotten a few inquiries after the blog post on the launch of Language of Light Volume Two. Here’s some info:

1.   Will The Language of Light – Volume Two  download be available in the future as a DVD?

Most likely not…We found with our first DVD that the cost of the shipping, potential tariffs and duties drove the price up in so many areas, for so many regions of the world, that the electronic version was best way to go.

2.    Is there a discount for KelbyOne members?

Sorry no discounts for KelbyOne members at this time. A good thought though.  Might talk to Scott on collaborations on discounts down the road.

3.    What’s the “Update Coupon” icon in the order window before purchase?

A company called FastSpring produces the back end of the order forms for us and this is part of the template. It’s an inactive button for now and will be activated in the future when we have coupons or discounts offered.

4.    Computer glitches?

In the event of a computer hiccup (which never happens) or you need to re-download your purchased copy, just make sure you keep the order# handy – since a DVD disc version does not exist. We will work with you to get you a clean copy at any time as long as you have your purchase info.  Send us a note at: contact@joemcnally.com with any/all questions or problems.

5.    Is this new download for beginners?

No, not really. This edition assumes a more basic knowledge of camera operation and relationship between f/stops and shutter speeds. As I mentioned in the blog, LOL2 is more conversational, and has a faster pace. We don’t pause to review the basics, keeping the momentum going in pursuit of a picture.

More tk…

April 23, 2014
New post up at Joe McNally’s Blog: Prague and Vienna

New Post has been published on http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2014/04/23/prague-and-vienna-2/

Prague and Vienna

This past week on the Charles Bridge in Prague, I touched this image, below the statue of St. John Nepomuk. They say, if you touch this icon, you will return to Prague. I certainly hope so.

Just came back home from what has been a non-stop airplane fueled whirlygig of a travel sked that started in early February. Thankfully, we closed on a high note, with Annie along, and a workshop week in two of the most beautiful cities on earth, Vienna and Prague. It’s always a thrill to teach with Annie, as, even apart from her company, she remains a wonderfully informed, kind and patient teacher. She does amazing things for any class, especially any group just spooling upwards on camera technique. We also had Cali there, who, apart from his well evident charm, did great work with all the participants, showing them the ropes for camera work and lighting.

The workshop was, totally and completely, born of Liza Politi’s energy and organization. She wrangled locations, and arranged great hotels, meals and transport for all of us. It became a great environment to teach in, as I didn’t have to sweat the logistics, as I knew they were handled.

We had a great group of participants! From all over! And, we had Roland Voraberger, a native of Vienna, and a wedding shooter based in that fair city. Little did I know how industrious he was being all week, as he shot BTS stuff relentlessly, and just posted a sum up of the week over at his blog, which, by permission, and with some editing, I post below. A fun week, with lots of light, clouds, rain, sun, and pictures. (Below, pictures and text courtesy of Roland! And a few wry observations from me:-) Sharing this on the blog as it was simply a fun week of photography, with a wonderful bunch of enthusiastic photogs.

From Roland, in words and pictures: What a workshop, what an adventure! To be honest I was a little bit nervous when I was on my way to the 25hours Hotel in Vienna.

First come together with Joe McNally

Talking with Joe McNally for the first time, I found him to be an easy going human being. It is just fun to spend your time with this photographer. I was also a little bit astonished that I was the only German speaking guy in this room. A bunch of very nice people from UK and US came the whole way down to Vienna for being part of this fabulous workshop.

After a brief getting to know, we enjoyed our first dinner at the Museumsquartier in Vienna. The next day we first visited the Stephansdom and the Graben for taking some pictures. We had critique class every day for some hours after we took our pictures. A very efficient way to grow with the quality of your picture. And Joe McNally is very honest with his critique…most of the time ;-)


Bad weather? Doesn’t matter as a photojournalist

On Monday it started to rain very hard when we visited the Naschmarkt. On Tuesday we were in my neighborhood Schönbrunn and later in the Prater. It was my first ride with the “Riesenrad”. At the prater we also began with the first flash-exercises for Portaits together with available light.

Lets go to Prague – for the first time in my life

Wednesday morning we left to Prague. With a short stop in “Telc” – a very nice town in Czechia. On Thursday we stood up very early for a sunrise-shoot on the famous “Charles Bridge”of Prague. After the critique-session we also visited “Castle Quarter” in the Afternoon. In the evening it was time for another great flash-sunset lesson with Joe. (Below, Annie helps Fred with his relentless fascination with cobblestones!)

From the Jewish Museum to the old town

On Friday we visited the Jewish Museum in the morning. Afterwards it was again time for some class with Joe. In this class he teached us some more interesting points about flash and how he did pictures for “National Geographic” and so on. I was very impressed how simple it could be sometimes to make an amazing picture. Joe knows all about the tricks. He showed us everything from the beginning to setting the last flash for his pictures. Wonderful. (Below, Cali works with Stephanie and Sonny and then offers, visually, what seems to be an opinion on what I’m saying.)

Time to say goodbye

On Saturday we visited the new town of Prague and in the afternoon is was time for our last class with Joe. On our last evening we first watched our slideshow with the “Best of”-Pictures from all participants of the week and went for a great dinner at the Danube afterwards.

Wrap up

It was a great week with wonderful people. On the top were of course Joe McNally and his wonderful wife Anne. I also really enjoyed all the tipps and tricks from his great first assistant Cali. A great guy who enjoys to share his knowledge. Overall it was the best organized workshop where I have ever been. I learned a lot about seeing and trying to make pictures with a story. Dealing with flash and gels was one of the most interesting things for me during this week. I think and hope that there will be a second workshop with all these great people in the near future.

Output of the workshop

If you are interested in some of the street photography-output of our week…you find the impressions here.

I enjoyed it very much and wish you all the best and safe travels!

All the best from Vienna,

Same back to you, Roland! We have one more of these this year, in St. Lucia, which is more specifically about location lighting, with a dose of post production thrown in by RC Concepcion. And, stay tuned to Politi’s site, where she will soon post about our going to Scotland next year. More tk….

March 31, 2014
New post up at Joe McNally’s Blog: St Lucia in September!

New Post has been published on http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2014/03/31/st-lucia-in-september/

St Lucia in September!

Heading to St. Lucia again, and the Anse Chastenet/Jade Mountain Resort to teach advanced lighting techniques, and all manner of post production wizardry, courtesy of my good friend and co-instructor, RC Concepcion. We start with an introductory dinner and then, beginning Monday morning, run for five straight days of working with light in one of the most beautiful places on earth. We build in time to relax and explore as well.

Here’s a link to the workshop schedule, and all the day to day events, types of rooms, rates, etc.

 It’s one of my favorite places on earth, so much so, the ever gracious owners of the resort, which consistently ranks among the top resorts in the world, commissioned my studio last year to shoot a book about the place. Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy carved out a piece of heaven in the splendor of the Caribbean, and the pictorial inspiration there is infinite. No matter how many times I go, I find something new to shoot.

We work with all manner of small flash techniques, from high speed flash to multiple speed light interiors. Balancing indoor/outdoor scenarios with flash, working with gels, line of sight TTL and manual radio syncing all gets covered, as does–available light! The week is dedicated to recognizing good light when you see it, using it well, and then augmenting it with small speed lights as appropriate. Hard light, soft light, and all manner of light shapers are discussed. We work with jungle bikers, island characters, and beautiful people on the beach. We work in one of a kind, magnificent sanctuary rooms with sweeping views of the sea and the Pitons, and solve the photographic problems of making a flash interior match a bright exterior.

And, numerous times during the week, RC takes over and shows HDR magic, Lightroom skills, and how to make your workflow flow. It’s a full week of skills, set in the splendor of what has been often rated as the top resort in the entire Caribbean.

Registering for the workshop is easy. Hit this link and it brings you to the description I mentioned above, and scroll down through the calendar of activities and hit the button “click here to enroll.” Or, just go to this link, which brings you immediately to an Eventbrite registration page.

Either link brings you to one of most enjoyable weeks of photography you’ll ever have.

More tk….

March 27, 2014
New post up at Joe McNally’s Blog: GPP.. Through the Eyes of the Lost Boys

New Post has been published on http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2014/03/27/gpp-through-the-eyes-of-the-lost-boys/

GPP.. Through the Eyes of the Lost Boys

Cali and Jon here from the studio..

With another amazing GPP event looming in Singapore, Joe asked us younger shooters in the studio to comment on what the annual workshop has meant to us.


The crew has recently arrived back to the ranch after a lengthy, yet thrilling month and a half on the road.  I mentioned the crew’s return home, however, Joe’s schedule continued him onward to the marvelous city of Havana, Cuba.  At the end of each year, we look back at the previous 12 months and laugh about the crazed schedule endured by all.  It’s only nearing the beginning of April, and we’ve already had a few of those laughs this year.  I’m incredibly fortunate to have traveled the world as much as I have at 24 years old.  With regular trips to Europe (London; Birmingham; Germany; Prague & Vienna next month), the Middle East (Dubai; Qatar), South Africa (Cape Town; Johannesburg; Kruger), St. Lucia, and Asia (Singpore & Hong Kong this year), I invariably believe that I’m stuck in some sort of alternate reality.

Although we find ourselves exceptionally busy a great deal of the time, we still find it within ourselves to enjoy the travels and friendships that have been so graciously planted in front of us.  One particular trip that engulfs all the positivity mentioned is our annual trek to Dubai.  Gulf Photo Plus hosts a wonderfully beneficial series of photography workshops in the Middle East.. the biggest of its kind.  It’s a rare occurrence when so many of the top names in the photographic industry are in the same place at the same time, and GPP is one of those unique exceptions.

This most recent trip I made was my third Joe workshop with GPP, and I’ve watched the program grow tremendously year after year.  Having thought about how fast time has gone, since I first visited, and how much I’ve grown since, I am absolutely baffled.  Walking in the doors of the workshop for the first time, I was nothing more than an overly nervous, newly appointed second assistant.  When you’re placed in front of such raw talent, the only thing going through the mind is “remember to keep your mouth shut, and when spoken to, try not to say anything stupid.”  Although everyone is completely gracious and sympathetic, there was a perfectly normal, yet constant sense of feeling star struck.  Now that I find myself as Joe’s first assistant, and having worked in Dubai several times, my levels confidence and maturity have exceedingly developed, since my start with Joe McNally Photography.  As I grow older, and develop more into my role as Joe’s right hand man, my priorities have shifted dramatically (in a positive manner that is). However, experiences such as GPP allow you to sit back, forever humbled by the sheer love and joy shown by unbelievably hard working photographers.  I understand how lucky I am to sit where I sit, at such young age, and I’ve come to greatly respect those who have gone before.. handing down their passion of the craft.  For that, I am thankful.

I also find myself extremely proud of our newly appointed second assistant (I say new.. but he’s been here for almost a year now).  Due to all of his hard work in the studio, Jon was asked to join us in Dubai this year!  Having gone through the same experience with our former assistant Drew Gurian, I was just as excited for him to see this new world.


As the newcomer to Joe’s studio, this was my first year attending Gulf Photo Plus. I’ve heard plenty of stories about all that GPP and Dubai has to offer, so the anticipation had been building for months prior to the trip. Plus, this was my first international adventure with Joe and Cali, so the term ecstatic (and scared shitless) doesn’t nearly begin to describe what I was feeling. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

My week was largely spent soaking in the bottomless pools of inspiration left by the ridiculous line up of instructors Mo and Hala brought in. It was such an honor and a privilege to spend time with photographers I’ve admired for years. I also had my eyes opened to some extremely talented younger photographers, whom I now consider great friends. I look forward to following their careers, as they continue to make some serious waves in their parts of the world. The overwhelming measure of passion for their art, as well as the desire to spread their knowledge and grow the industry, was undeniable and immensely motivational.

In addition to sharing quality time with the instructors, I had the opportunity to bond with the incredibly diverse student body, from all corners of the globe. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about their backgrounds and cultures, over the course of the week. It was so encouraging to see such a variety of ages and occupations, joined together in their dedication to learn and expand their proficiency in the world of photography.

I suppose there was some “work” involved as well, but when your boss is Joe McNally, there is rarely a dull moment. Every hour on the clock is further education in the school of life and the ever rewarding craft of photography. I can’t thank Joe enough for bringing me along and for everything that he’s done for me in my first 9 months at the studio. It is safe to say that I have never had the pleasure of experiencing anything quite like GPP and probably won’t again until I go back next year!

All in all, we cannot recommend experiences such as GPP enough, especially to the younger crowd.  If you find yourself so in love with a craft like photography, take that ambition and run with it.

March 26, 2014
New post up at Joe McNally’s Blog: Visual Notes, Cuba

New Post has been published on http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2014/03/26/visual-notes-cuba/

Visual Notes, Cuba

Just returning from Havana, where I taught at the behest of the Santa Fe Photo Workshops. I only took one DSLR with me, the newly minted Nikon DF, which proved to be the perfect, quiet, unobtrusive camera for the vibrant streets of that amazing city. Shot basically with one camera and one lens all week.

Exhausted boxer…..Nikon Df - 1/2000 sec;   f/7.1;   ISO 200;   28mm f1.4 lens.

More tk….

January 28, 2014
New post up at Joe McNally’s Blog: Dance!

New Post has been published on http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2014/01/28/dance/


One of the cool things about any career is how random acts and circumstances ultimately determine a course, or provide direction. And no career I know of is more random than photography.

In 1978, I moved into a great little studio apartment on W. 65th St. in Manhattan. It cost $250 a month. If I looked east, from my fire escape, every Thanksgiving morning, I had a view of the Macy’s balloons as they floated and bumbled their way south towards 34th St., from their inflation stations up by the Natural History Museum on Central Park West. If I looked west, and leaned way out, I could see a piece of Lincoln Center, hub of the dance universe in NYC. Little did I know that moving into that apartment would influence my choice of photographic subject matter for the rest of my career.

I noticed dancers, virtually every morning, making their way towards the practice studios over at Lincoln Center. It was easy to pick them out, bun headed, duck walking, extended necks, carriage maintained just so. Mixed in of course would be a dance bag, the inevitable bottle of Evian, and a certain arrogance of gaze as they move through the streets with a physical grace they never allow to dissipate, while the rest of us scurry into the subways. They are an elite, like fighter pilots in pre-flight mode, going to a practice studio where they daily make their bodies do things most humans never think of attempting.

I made the above picture in 1978 or ’79, and with those isolated clicks, I knew I would return again and again to the world of dance, camera in hand. We have just put together a Quicktime movie of my dance work, with the intent of sending it out to ballet companies, in hopes of attracting assignments. We always seek work. It’s a thing we continue to do, as any photographer must. Many thanks to Jon Cospito and Michael Cali in my studio, who did the heavy lifting of putting this together. Love to know what readers might think. You can link to it direct on Vimeo….  https://vimeo.com/85203522.

Or, here is the link to the video section on our website, and it’s the first one that comes up: - http://portfolio.joemcnally.com/#!/video.

More tk….

December 25, 2013
@joemcnallyphoto. Early morning brush strokes. Christmas morning, light snow. #thephotosociety  (at Joe’s Studio)

@joemcnallyphoto. Early morning brush strokes. Christmas morning, light snow. #thephotosociety (at Joe’s Studio)

12:19pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Ztqbvs12EtaW1
Filed under: thephotosociety 
December 21, 2013
@joemcnallyphoto. Headed home. Looked out the window during last plane ride of the year. Lots of air miles in last 12 months. Home for holidays. #thephotosociety  (at somwewhere over the water)

@joemcnallyphoto. Headed home. Looked out the window during last plane ride of the year. Lots of air miles in last 12 months. Home for holidays. #thephotosociety (at somwewhere over the water)

6:52am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Ztqbvs11qeNKJ
Filed under: thephotosociety 
December 15, 2013
Hands. Qatar. @joemcnallyphoto. #thephotosociety  (at Katara Cultural & Heritage Village)

Hands. Qatar. @joemcnallyphoto. #thephotosociety (at Katara Cultural & Heritage Village)

6:51am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Ztqbvs11GhI-R
Filed under: thephotosociety 
December 14, 2013
Falcon souk in Doha. @joemcnallyphoto (at Souq Waqif | سوق واقف)

Falcon souk in Doha. @joemcnallyphoto (at Souq Waqif | سوق واقف)

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