Photographic Innoventions: In the Moment

Joe McNally is a photographer to be admired. He’s been published all over the world and in such publications as National Geographic, Time, and Sports Illustrated to name a few. In over 30 years as a pro photographer, Joe McNally has been faced with capturing photographs in some of the most bizarre places on Earth (and New York City) and under some strange circumstances and still managed to come away with publishable work. What would you give to sit down with Joe and learn at the feet of one of the masters? Luckily for us, Joe has given us such an opportunity, with some encouragement from his friends, his book, The Moment It Clicks, came out to resounding reviews and sold out of it’s first printing within days. It’s now in a second printing and I’m sure many more will follow.

I recommend this book if you are past the beginning stage in your photography comfort zone. He does assume you have an understanding of photography. Anything beyond that he explains in footnotes or in the “How to Get this Shot” sidebars. The real charm of this book is in all the “nuggets”. These nuggets are short bits of knowledge and photographic common sense he has garnered during his career of working with clients, photo editors, models and other photographers. You would spend hundreds of dollars to see Joe in a workshop give some of these nuggets. For less than $40 you have them, examples of some of the best journalistic photos he ever produced and how he did them to reference anytime you want.

If you are thinking of becoming a professional photographer in any field. This is a must read in my opinion. Someday I hope to meet Joe and thank him for this book. While it is inspirational, I enjoyed it for the mental and physical perspiration which went into each of the photos he presents and for passing on his knowledge in a straight forward and personable manner.

Now, in Joe McNally style, here’s a self-assignment I gave myself on my last Walt Disney World trip. Pictured below are my two daughters and a friend riding Big Thunder Mountain. My daughters are both in college and I don’t know how many more times they’ll want to spend with Dad on vacation. I wanted to capture a moment of joy. One I can look back on and recall the spirit of what the Disney parks mean to me. It doesn’t matter they were hamming it up. The fact that they did is a testament to Walt Disney, himself. This is one of those moments it clicked for me.

The Joy of Disney. © Scott Thomas Photography 2008
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/320s, f/9, 200 ISO, 18mm Focal Length

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Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

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