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Many Thanks…

Feb 5

In Links, Thoughts, Tips & Tricks at 11:28pm

To all for such a gracious welcome to the blog world. I promise to try to keep it going, and stay lively, win, lose or draw. Just doing this is a big deal for me, and I gotta admit some stuff here. First, I ain’t the most organized or responsible person on the face of the planet. Also, I’m a big time day dreamer. (Some picture ideas come out of those day dreams, to be sure. I guess I’ve always wondered if I could get paid for day dreaming, you know, charge a client a half day research fee if you thought about their job in the shower, for instance. Hmmm.)

And, I suck at the computer. I’m getting better, but the idea of being real, real good at this machinery is probably one of those things that ain’t gonna happen to me, like playing center for the Knicks.

I’m learning, though, from a guy named… Brad. Brad is our first assistant both in the studio and in the field, our IT person, go to guy, all around organizer, and the one who calms me down when I start hitting the computer with a hammer and screaming, “Make the little pictures come out!!!!”

Super Brad

You might occasionally get a response from Brad to a post. He’s a good guy. He actually lives with us, us being me and my wife Annie. He has his own apartment downstairs, comes and goes as he pleases, and we never hear him when he’s down there cleaning D3 sensors and watching Office Space.

[Many more thanks after the jump]…

He’s become such a dear friend to Lynn (our studio manager, more on her in later blogs) and myself, and part of our family, and valuable to our tiny business that we have all collectively told him he cannot leave. Lynn and I have been real straight with him that we would hunt him down, throw a net over him and drag him back. So, he’s stuck. Pleasantly so, I think, cause we are moving to new digs, and his apartment looks out onto woods and a wooden deck, where I have my grill. Carnivore to his core, he’s eyeballing that grill, I know it. I have a feeling we’re going to go through a lot of propane this summer.

There’s some folks I gotta thank here, big time. I wouldn’t be doing this without the encouragement, advice, counsel and sound wisdom of Scott Kelby, Moose Peterson, and David Hobby. I mean, these guys are the 18 wheelers of the cyber highway, and my bloggaroodi is always going to be a trike on the sidewalk of life. Scott speaks, people listen. With good reason. His daily sweep is so laden with good info and selfless pointers and heads up, it’s an essential stop for anyone in the visual marketplace.

And Moose….well, he be Moose. Nobody like him. He tunes up that Ferrari of his intellect and we all benefit from the whooosh! of his drive-by. He offers up so much info, free, you could make your own book of Moose by just printing out his PDF offerings. Recently, he took it upon himself to launch a site dedicated to parsing out the D3. Just did it in his spare time, yah. You know, just a big ass website about the camera. The fact he can knock that stuff out as easy as falling off a log just pisses me off, I tell ya! : )

And David Hobby. What can you say? He’s a terrific shooter and a guy who’s forgotten more about strobe than I’ll ever know. You’d have to go to strobe college to collect more info than you get from David, for free, daily. It’s amazing. If you want to know anything about strobe, go to Strobist. It’s just that simple.

And Michael Clark and Laurie Excell….sheesh…. Michael has an influential blog he writes in between shooting unbelievable pictures, sort of, you know one handed. With the other hand, he’s hanging off a sheer cliff face in Patagonia somewhere. And Laurie, she’s out there with the bears, shooting amazing stuff and then coming home to run She turned a whole garage full of my old photo stuff into a couple of mortgage payments.

All of this sharing and offering of info gives me hope for our battered business. Not to denigrate bankers or lawyers or scientists, etc., but somehow I don’t think there’s a bunch of them out there helping folks out, handing out info and tips and secrets and backstage stuff for free. Don’t know that for sure, just a feeling. The photo community, on the other hand, is really a community. It’s cool. And it feels right.

We’re all photographers, so we’re all in the same leaky boat together. We’ll get through, as long as we all bail in collegial fashion. Glad to join the blog world and help keep it going.

Mentioned in this post:
Nikon D3
Office Space!

Frank Little says:

on February 6, 2008 at 12:27 am

Thank you for starting your blog and You Tube web site. I really enjoy reading your musings. You are such a wonderful photographer and your pictures tell such amazing stories. It comes across, in a big way, that you love what you do for a living.

Your book “The Moment It Clicks” arrived in the mail the other day. From the little I’ve been able to read, I know that I’m going to love this book. I hope to gain some insight from your lifetime behind the lens and apply it to my own aspirations as a photographer.

Thanks Joe!

Duane Ellison says:

on February 6, 2008 at 12:31 am

Hi, I finally got your book, have been waiting for it since the first time I read about it on Scott’s blog. It is truly an amazing piece of work and probably one of the best photography books I have ever had the pleasure to read. It is definitely going to be one of those books you keep reading!

So thanks for the wonderful book and welcome to the blogosphere!


Jay Mann says:

on February 6, 2008 at 1:49 am


Thanks again for the blog. I was fortunate to be at your first DLWS in Tahoe. You should know that since your presentations were so entertaining and informative, we held a secret vote and decided not to use the city boy for bear bait.
The selflessness of the people you mention has really inspired me to assist budding photogs who send mails asking questions and photos to be discussed. Its part of the attraction of photography, we all learn ourselves as we pass on experience and knowledge.

Looking forward to seeing you in Dubai,


David says:

on February 6, 2008 at 2:05 am

Joe, thank you for your entrance into the blogging world!
One suggestion, you may want to take away Brad’s OfficeSpace DVD… he may get some crazy ideas living down in the basement. Do you have a good Offsite backup solution? :-)

Dave Wong says:

on February 6, 2008 at 2:13 am

Hi Joe,

I subscribed to National Geographic when I was a teenager (years ago) and now after seeing your online portfolios, I realize that many of the photos that captivated me at the time were your work.

It never occurred to me that I’d be shooting professionally myself someday, and more importantly, through this technology we call Web 2.0, that I’d be privy to the very photographer whose work has captivated millions.

Now we get to see Youtube videos and blog posts.

It’s truly a great time to be a photographer.

Thank you.


David Hobby says:

on February 6, 2008 at 2:39 am


If I have “forgotten more about strobe” than you know, then I have fogotten a hell of a lot more than even I thought I had. Turns out you write fiction well, too!

And photographers have *always* been cooler than bankers and lawyers…

Thanks for the kind words,

Michelle Jones says:

on February 6, 2008 at 3:31 am

Hi Joe,

I recently found your site (thanks D. Hobby) and you now have a new fan. I’m living in a little town called Ludlow in Shropshire, England. We have 5 pro photographers here including me and unfortunately the mindset is still archaic. It’s crap.

I did find one photographer willing to trade information and simply chat but it turns out that he was just fishing and about six months later I hear that he has nicked all of my good ideas that I had discussed with him and is spreading bad word of mouth around about me.

Can you guess that I was not a happy camper.
I cut all ties with him after a confrontation, his response was basically, “tough luck”.

I now only network with people who are online and read cool blogs, if I really like them I’ll comment.

Thank you for being generous, kind and over all a nice person. I know I don’t know you and you don’t know me but thank you anyway.


Paul says:

on February 6, 2008 at 4:02 am

Hi Joe,

Great idea starting a blog – you’ve got so much interest for photographers it’s terrific to see you writing a blog.

In particular the ‘how to’ piece you written about lighting a fence. I adore reading how other photographers remedied a situation; look forward to anymore ‘how to’.


Oli says:

on February 6, 2008 at 5:17 am

Hi Joe,

I’ve recently started reading Strobist, and was directed to your site from there. I’m really excited to see where your blog goes, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
Your book is on the wishlist at Amazon (I’m still paying for my last strobe!)

I’m amazed by all the information that the photographic community is putting out there. That, and the concept of Open Source programming have really restored my faith in human nature – we’re not all greedy capitalists!

Keep putting your work out there, and we’ll continue to be inspired!


Greg Furry says:

on February 6, 2008 at 7:58 am

Welcome to the web. Finding a great new blog or website is like finding that perfect shot. It doesn’t happen that often (for me) but when it does the warm fuzzy feeling lasts for a while.

Your book just arrived yesterday and I look forward to reading it.

Stacie C Morris says:

on February 6, 2008 at 8:20 am


You are an amazing person, writer, and photographer. I had the chance to photograph with you in Cape Cod and can’t wait to join DLWS this year in Redwoods. And yes, Brad was a huge help – I can understand why you keep him around. I am really glad that you started this blog and looking forward to reading more!

Jason Chimienti says:

on February 6, 2008 at 9:43 am

Your book finally arrived yesterday from Amazon. As I mentioned in a previous reply, I’m a novice enrolled in a digital photo program at BU. Last night after class, when we tucked ourselves in bed, I finally cracked open the book. My wife lacks interest in my photog eduction and certainly camera theory and technique books (I think she’s supporting my passion (addiction?) just to get a steady stream of photos of our daugher (1 year old now). Her eyes were just closing when I cracked open the book. In my peripheral vision I could see she opened them and glanced at my new book. I could tell she seemed interested. She’s a physician and a big fan of Linus Pauling (I had seen that pic on your website preview) so I quickly fanned to that page. With that she snatched the book from my hands and spent the next 20 minutes paging through the entire book. Alas, I fell asleep before she surrended it. It’s my book tonight!

bill zaspel says:

on February 6, 2008 at 10:59 am


I also have started blogging and understand your newbie jitters. I am the tech kid here at my day job and work off my frustrations with technology through my photography. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself and allowing us to go along for the ride. Let’s hit the road together…

James Garland says:

on February 6, 2008 at 11:47 am


First off, I don’t like you anymore… I take back every nice thing I ever said about you LOL j/k… I just got your new book in the mail last night and as for today… I now have blood-shot eyes and insomnia… Thanks allot Joe. Actually, You Rock! Keep up the great work and I know your new book is most definitely going to be an inspiration to upcoming shooters. Always looking forward to what comes next!


Tom Legrady says:

on February 6, 2008 at 11:48 am

Enjoying your blog, Joe, and looking forward to the book

“I’m sorry boss, I’m too busy keeping track of David Hobby, Joe McNally, Chase Jarvis, and A Little news on the side, to do any real work!”

Mike says:

on February 6, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Sooo, from what i gather, your computer skills are gonna prevent you from keeping a steady flow of posts? so instead you offer we visit other blogs? now thats not very business smart now is it? 😀

None the less Thanks… i didnt know about some of these blogs, & im adding them to the list now.

PS good stuff, like your blog, will visit oftain!

Jerry Courvoisier says:

on February 6, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Welcome to the world of computtering (I think).

Great to see the “The Moment It Clicks” book out and about! When we looked at the blad in Italy this fall, I could see you were a proud papa.

Let’s catch up on a few more of those digital tech terms in Santa Fe. but Please… stop asking me to step in as walking reflector fill.

Congrats Joe.
All the best!!


Russ Sprouse says:

on February 6, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Joe: You have quickly become a hero to me. The Speed of Light was a real source of both inspiration and education, and now with the Blog and The Moment It Clicks (which just arrived from Amazon) you are hereby awarded official Hero status, right up there with David, Moose and Scott.

Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your wisdom and expertise. Many, many of us aspiring non-experts will greatly benefit.

I look forward to the day I can attend one of your workshops.

— Russ Sprouse
— Images Unlimited

Jane A. says:

on February 6, 2008 at 11:25 pm

Just ordered your book and can’t wait to read it. I’m enjoying your Blog! :-)

Wally Kilburg says:

on February 7, 2008 at 7:25 am


From one carnivore to a couple of others, you might want to check into this awesome grill, The Big Green Egg – – and skip the propane. I won’t tell you how much better it is, I’ll just say my propane gas grill has been parked in my “junk shed” for a year now and is headed to a dumpster soon.

Great blog by the way. Nicely done and as typical of your work loaded with info. Thanks.

RC says:

on February 7, 2008 at 9:21 am

Its Superbrad!!!

Cory Kerr says:

on February 7, 2008 at 12:02 pm

I can’t thank all of you sages enough for what you’re doing with these blogs. When I got into photography a couple of years ago, I would spend hours sitting on the floor of bookstores trying to find books on photography that didn’t have chapters labeled, “how to turn on your camera” and it was impossible to find a website giving out knowelge without trying to get me to buy X (the purchase of whicheould automatically make me shoot like a pro). I gave up and started gropping around on the dark trying to figure things out myself. Thanks to you and all those out there in the blogoshere like you, I’m now progressing in my skills at a rate that doesn’t make me want to hammer-throw Gary Fong off a building.

Geoff Scott says:

on February 7, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Hi Joe–

It’s always a pleasure to hear your voice. And now I can while I read! Thanks to you and Brad for all the help over the years. I look forward to more adventures.

Have fun,

Jason Caine says:

on February 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm

I am so glad to see that you started a blog!
About a year or so ago when I initially got into photography, I always heard the guys on PhotoshopUserTV talking you up a bunch and I have always been eager to learn more! I finished your online course at KelbyTraining last week and just purchased your book … can’t get enough of your style and technique. I am extremely eager for the book to arrive … I have heard that it is packed with information and tidbits of Joe. Can’t wait to learn more and glad that I’ve got a place to digest some of your humor and knowledge of the sport of photography each day!

Nick Gale says:

on February 9, 2008 at 3:09 pm


Regarding your statement:

“All of this sharing and offering of info gives me hope for our battered business. Not to denigrate bankers or lawyers or scientists, etc., but somehow I don’t think there’s a bunch of them out there helping folks out, handing out info and tips and secrets and backstage stuff for free”

Although i am enjoying your book and blog, you are certainly misinformed about scientists (of which i am one). The whole foundation of science is based on sharing what we we find and learn for the greater good of humanity. Even as an industrial scientist, we get out as much as possible for the greater good. I also have a feeling your motives are somewhat less altruistic than you imply — this is as much self promotion and money making as it is sharing. Nonetheless, i greatly admire your work and creative talents — i am a total wannabe who is devouring your book and whatever you share with us on the net.


Greg Hohner says:

on February 10, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Joe: So pleased to buy your recent book and have bought your Nikon Video a year or so ago….great work on all…I guess I have too much equipment and not enough time and talent…however, reading your book gives me the insight on how to view the possibilities…I cannot ask for anything more…except more time :)

Keep shooting and teaching


Dan Pinder says:

on February 10, 2008 at 5:50 pm


Finished your book in about a day and a half—couldn’t put it down. I’m about to pick it up again for another run. I couldn’t be more inspired and enthralled by the wisdom you impart, the quality of the photos themselves and the style in which you present it all. I have never considered getting into other-than-available lighting but you’ve changed all that. I found your entries on being a photographer dad to be especially moving, as I work in a profession where I (and my family) feel much the same way. it’s always been a tough topic with me and it’s good to see how much it obviously means to you, despite the conflict of being a traveling creative and a parent. Anyway, I could really relate to that.

Amazing work!

Mark Krajnak says:

on February 11, 2008 at 9:16 am

Just what I needed…yet another reason to not get any work done throughout the day!

Glad I found this blog, Joe. It will help me keep track on where in the world you are…and probably learn a whole helluva lot too.

Watch out for the donkeys….


James Clarke says:

on May 7, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Joe… first off, love the book. Amazingly inspiring on multiple levels. Secondly, any tips on sensor cleaning? I’m wondering about forking out for a Delkin SensorScope to help get rid of all the crud that is buiding up on my D3’s large one. Not sure if it is worth it. How did you learn about sensor cleaning?

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