You are previewing Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash.
O'Reilly logo
Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash

Book Description

Following up on the great success of The Moment It Clicks and The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes, legendary magazine photographer Joe McNally takes us on another memorable ride with Sketching Light, another trip into the land of light--but this time running the gamut from small flash to big flash, and everywhere in between.

Of course, Joe includes coverage of Nikon Speedlights, but he also covers big flash, as well as "in-between" lights as the Elinchrom Quadra. The exploration of new technology, as well as the explanation of older technology. No matter what equipment Joe uses and discusses, the most important element of Joe's instruction is that it is straightforward, complete, and honest. No secrets are held back, and the principles he talks about apply generally to the shaping and quality of light, not just to an individual model or brand of flash.

He tells readers what works and what doesn't via his let's-see-what-happens approach, he shows how he sets up his shots with plentiful sketches and behind-the-scenes production shots, and he does it all with the intelligence, clarity, and wisdom that can only come from shooting in the field for 30 years for the likes of National Geographic, Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated--not to mention the wit and humor of a clearly warped (if gifted) mind.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Notes on the Book
  5. Contents
  6. Possibilities
  7. Links
  8. And Now, Time for a Short, Brisk Whipping!
    1. A Few Things to Note
  9. More Light-Shaping Tools!
    1. TriGrips!
    2. Need a Window in a Bar?
    3. And then, if You Need Good, Diffused Quality, in Bright, Bright Sun...
  10. Northern (One) Light
    1. Further into the Wild, and the Cold! Iceland is a Crazy Place.
    2. And Now for Something Completely Different!
    3. So, Here’s Some Advice: Cheat. Look for Something that’s Already Lit.
    4. Continuing Our One-Light Tour of Iceland...
    5. Stripping the Light Fantastic!
  11. But Then, I Just Couldn’t Take It Anymore...
  12. One Light, One Window, One Room
  13. Of Frosted Glass and Dirty Windows
  14. The ABCs
  15. Build a Wall of Light
  16. Make the Light Jump...and Other Lessons
  17. Big Flash, Small Flash, Far Away
  18. Here’s Sunshine Up Your Skirt!
  19. Set the Table with Light
    1. But This Is Just the Beginning...of the Athletic, Rim-Lit Portrait
    2. If You Just Want Crazy...
  20. The Two-Speedlight Character Portrait
  21. Industrial Light
  22. Finding Faces
  23. Big Light, Small Flash
  24. The Aesthetics of High-Speed Flash
  25. Up Against the Wall
    1. Shoot High Key
    2. Get Goofy!
    3. Work It!
    4. Damn the Reflections! Full Ring Ahead!
  26. Radio TTL
  27. The Shape of Light
  28. A Tale of One Face, Lit Two Ways
  29. Lessons from the Acetate Era
    1. New Pixels, Old Tricks
  30. Finding a Picture on the Edge of the Canyon
  31. Sometimes, the Main Light Is in the Back
  32. Working with D
    1. A Quick Tour of Self-Assignments That Come to Me in My Sleep
  33. Light as an Exclamation Point
    1. The Why’s of These Three Pictures
  34. One Light, One Shadow
  35. This Looks Hard, But It’s Not
    1. Here’s More Good News: It Can Be Even Simpler!
    2. Get a Helper!
    3. Take Chances! Let It Ride...
    4. The Three Zones
    5. Use the Technology!
    6. Make the Light Look Like It Belongs
    7. The Light Off the Camera is Helpful
    8. Get in Tight, Go Wide, Shoot Like Crazy
    9. Look for Extremes of Light!
    10. Quiet Moments
    11. Don’t Pack Up the Cameras
  36. A Couple of Joes
  37. The Lady, the Light, and Some Luck
  38. Lighting the Wind
  39. More Wilma
  40. This Looks Hard, and It Is
  41. This Just In...
    1. The Studio
    2. The Bar
    3. The Boiler Room
    4. On the Street
  42. Index