As I mentioned a week or so ago, I had finally gotten a copy of Joe McNally’s newest book which has skyrocketed to the top ten books list on Amazon.com. After reading it cover to cover, I can see why. Joe really struck a major chord with this book and he did something that no other photography book has yet to do: reveal himself on a very personal level. Not only do you get to see some of Joe’s amazing work and read all the technical and setup data behind the shot, you also get the story behind the image and how it came about.
Joe shares a lot of information, techniques, and secrets (sssshhhh…) that many photographers spend a lifetime attempting to discover, let alone master. He talks about everything from lighting, to business, to barely scraping by, and more. The only way a photographer could attain the kind of wisdom that Joe possesses is to spend his or her life behind the lens. And that’s exactly what he has done.
The inspiring words and not-so-gentle instruction that come through in the book have changed the way that I will think and shoot… forever. I really wish Joe could have written this book a long time ago. If you have even the slightest interest in photography or photojournalism, you HAVE GOT TO GET THIS BOOK!
The book is filled with lots of little tidbits of information that were passed on to McNally by editors from the likes of Time and National Geographic magazines, both of whom Joe has worked for. He even has a chapter in the book called “The Barroom” where he tells some of the war stories from the field that will blow your mind. He bears it all, good and bad.
With only four main chapters, you would think the book would be short. No way! It’s 256 pages of pure photography bliss! Chapter One is titled, “Shoot What You Love”, Chapter Two “Keep Your Eye In The Camera”, Chapter Three “The Logic of Light”, and Chapter Four “There’s Always Something to Bounce Light Off Of”. There’s lots of extras in the book and you can even register your copy at peachpit.com for more stories from Joe.
With out a doubt, if you like photography you will love this book. As Joe himself says, “It has one foot on the coffee table and one foot in the classroom.”