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We launched a challenge that invites Safari Books Online subscribers to write a book or video review and in exchange for their review, we’ll enter their name into a drawing to win an eReader of their choice. We also invited non-subscribers to sign up for a free trial of Safari Books Online so they could get in on this challenge. The more reviews they write and share, the greater their chances of winning.

The following book was reviewed by Peter Tran, a Safari Books Online subscriber:


Here’s an overview of the book:

“When it comes to photography, it’s all about the light.

After spending more than thirty years behind the lens—working for National Geographic, Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated—Joe McNally knows about light. He knows how to talk about it, shape it, color it, control it, and direct it. Most importantly, he knows how to create it…using small hot shoe flashes.

In The Hot Shoe Diaries, Joe brings you behind the scenes to candidly share his lighting solutions for a ton of great images. Using Nikon Speedlights, Joe lets you in on his uncensored thought process—often funny, sometimes serious, always fascinating—to demonstrate how he makes his pictures with these small flashes. Whether he’s photographing a gymnast on the Great Wall, an alligator in a swamp, or a fire truck careening through Times Square, Joe uses these flashes to create great light that makes his pictures sing.”

Here is the review by Peter Tran:

 “Joe McNally’s book The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes reads more like a prequel to his earlier book, The Moment It Clicks. This book was written a year after TMIC, but contains a lot of great advice for mastering small flashes. The book is broken into 3 main parts: the equipment, one flash setup, and two or more flash setup. Part 1 is a gold mine for anyone that has not invested any equipment and wants to emulate an expert. WARNING this chapter is going to do some serious damage to your bank account. Joe covers all the equipment he uses and the setting on his camera and flash. I found this part really helpful because I found the default setting on my camera (Nikon D300) to be incorrect. The most important setting is to make sure your camera is set to rear sync. If you don’t know why, then buy the book or get a Safari Books Online account. ☺ Part 2 and Part 3 cover different ways to use single flash and multiple flashes, respectively. The biggest take away here is to get the flash off the camera – even for a single flash. The last two chapters follow the same didactic approach Joe uses on his first book. He describes the challenge with the scene and the mood he wants to capture, then he walks through the flash setup followed with the final result. One great advice he provides is how to adjust the flash compensation when you adjust the exposure on the camera. I love both books by Joe McNally. If you haven’t read either book, then get them both and start with this book. This is book worth getting a hard copy to admire the pictures – a picture is worth a thousand words! I guarantee you will not be disappointed with what else you’ll learn. “

Check out this book  The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes  on Safari Books Online.

Tags: Big light from small flashes, book review, HotShoe Diaries, Joe McNally, New Riders, peter tran, Safari Books Online,

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