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News and Notes

Jun 10

In Links at 7:07am

Granted, my blog isn’t generally where you would go for current photo news and tidbits of information about the latest and the greatest way to jam more pixels onto the head of a pin. “Sony Announces New 27 Megapixel Lapel Button Camera with Automatic HDR Mode!”

Sheesh! I don’t know how guys like Scott Kelby and Moose Peterson do it. They’re onto everything. For me, it’s tough. I wake up every morning and generally can’t find my ass with both hands. I mean, it’s the new millenium dude, and I’m still struggling with my first rough draft of the 70’s.

The news in my head plays like an old Firesign Theatre routine:

And now the news….Red-lighted sky slated to appear in east! And now for the rumors behind the news….

Couple of things, though…….

I met Tim Mantoani last Friday. He’s given himself the unenviable task of tracking down photographers (talk about herding cats) into the Polaroid 20×24 studio in San Francisco and New York to push forward his long term project, Behind the Photographs. What he requests is that you bring in one of your most well known pictures (a short list for me) printed and simply stand with it. Sounds simple enough, but the wonderful catch to the whole deal is that you are standing in front of the Polaroid 20×24 camera, a truly unique instrument. (I might be missing my guess here, but I believe there are only 6 Polariod 20×24 cameras in the world. There are now Wisner cameras which will accomodate 20×24 film, and Tim owns one of these.)

He has been remarkably persistent with this project, pursuing it now for the better part of two years. You can see the results of his dedication here.

It is becoming a terrific and complete document that, I believe, will stand the test of time. I mean he’s got Phil Stern, Walter Iooss, Greg Heisler, Jean Pagliuso, Jay Maisel, Dave Burnett, Bill Eppridge, Carl Fischer, Barbara Bordnick, Neil Leifer…..Lots of folks. Lots of pictures you’ve not just seen, but had your life, your sensibilities, your sympathies, your appreciation for that which is beautiful, significant, and lasting molded, altered, informed and shaped by. Many of these images are some of the larger footprints we will leave behind. (Photos by Brad Moore)

Michael Clark just recently posted his spring newsletter. He is one of those guys who shoots perfectly composed pictures while hanging from one hand on a rock over a chasm in the great out there. He does a lot of really great climbing and outdoor sports shooting. We got to know one another in Santa Fe a few years back, and I look for his newsletters and blog all the time cause they are loaded with good images and info.

And….drum roll, please….our own Syl Arena has launched a blog… Now I call Syl “our own” cause we met at Santa Fe and he has been a prime mover and shaker in keeping our group talking and laughing together on line. I mean it was quite the class, with a range of personalities from Syl to “Machine Gun” Krista Lee.

Syl is an excellent shooter and master of color management and workflow. He combines all this with a personality as electric and curly as his red hair. He brings passion to everything he does, which now includes his excellent blog.

And our own Brad Moore is blogging–

More on Brad in a future post. He’s just getting the wind in blog sails now.

Martin says:

on June 10, 2008 at 7:59 am

Great post, but I disagree with the assertion that the list of your memorable photos is a short one. My copy The Moment It Clicks is falling apart from constant re-reading. I am going to get a new copy and pimp it ala Sly.
Keep up the great work and hope to see you again somewhere.
Martin Howard

Ken says:

on June 10, 2008 at 8:57 am


I really like this post Joe. I started writing a blog about 2 months ago. First, because I am new to the “Pro thing” in photography and just to create, simple and plain…..

I like your writing style and how you “see the world”.

My wife says to me about my fledgling Photography work, “Must be hard to photograph when are going through puberty at 62”.

Affectionately Nikon
Ken from KY

Syl Arena says:

on June 10, 2008 at 9:50 am

Joe –

Many thanks for validating my new mantra “Yes-Honey-I-still-haven’t-fixed-the-toilet-because-I’m-blogging-again”.

My OCD mated with my ADHD last week and gave birth to yet another blog. is an ever-expanding list of events and resources for photographers. So, as long as I have the stage for half-a-minute, can I put in a plug for it? Oops… I just did. Here’s another…

I’m looking to create a gallery of header images on from photographers all around the world. So, if you’re smart enough to read Joe’s blog and you’d like to see some of your work on the web and… get a link back to your website or blog, click here for details.

Ciao! Syl

kathyt says:

on June 10, 2008 at 10:32 am

Mr. McNally — thanks again for your blog!!! It is incredibility interesting to read all of the things that go on behinds the scenes in the photography world that most of us out here don’t have a clue about. I have learned so much from your blog and the classes on Kelby Training. It has made my venture into photography a lot more fun and interesting. Not to mention the fact that one could spend years trying to learn the things that you and others share in their blogs. I wish I could express the thankfulness I feel for the time you and other spend blogging to help many of us that would never have a chance to learn all this cool stuff. So a great big THANKS!!! kathyt

John Gettis says:

on June 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Checked out the site did not see your photo up yet. I am curious as to what photo you chose and why. I also wonder what is going to happen to these large polaroid cameras when the company ceases to make film. Currently enjoying your book “Faces of Ground Zero”. Would have liked to have seen the orginal photos from that one but I live in California. Check your blog daily for updates and allways enjoy it John

Dan DiMuzio says:

on June 10, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Hey, Joe,

This isn’t related to the post above, but I just downloaded the new version of Nikon’s Capture NX (NX 2), and I wondered if you use it and whether you like the changes.

Mark K_NJ says:

on June 10, 2008 at 10:31 pm

Any “Behind The Photographs” project that doesn’t include one Joseph McNally just isn’t complete. Glad to see that you got some time in FRONT of the camera this time.

Thanks, too, for the links to the other blogs out there. Always great information there to for us newbies to learn from, and also gain inspiration. Brad’s is a fun one too…I took my assistant, Olivia, out with me last Sunday morn…unfortunately, she fell asleep in her car seat shortly thereafter. Ever have that problem on your shoots with your assistants?

And hey, in advance…Happy Father’s Day.

Rob Domaschuk says:

on June 11, 2008 at 8:36 am

“I mean, it’s the new millenium dude, and I’m still struggling with my first rough draft of the 70’s.”

Joe, it’s great to know that I am not alone with this ailment.

Richard Cave says:

on June 11, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I was caught outside my HQ on the lawn with three strobes, I saw some pretty clouds and wanted a photo, So I thought a self portrait would do. I have not laughed so hard in my own company before.

There I was giggling my head off on my own mucking about with two strobes. Man I love my job. thought I got away with it and I look up there was my CEO looking out the window looking at me like I was crazy.

I realised today that us phots are poor models, so I ask Joe how does it feel to be on the other side of the lens. ?

My fellow soldiers think I have lost it, but the thing is as a photographer I enjoy what I do.

Thanks for the links some good stuff there, oh and give David Hobby a call as he is pimping you out on his blog,



Demetrius says:

on June 12, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Joe: “The news in my head plays like an old Firesign Theater routine”:
Wow Joe, you take me back to the sixties when Bob Fass on WBAI FM in NYC introduce me to the great Firesign Theatre; Wavy Gravey (Hugh Roomley) listening late at night to this poetic energy.

We were the first musical critics of the political arena fighting the Vietnam War thru music,street theatre, as well as experimentation in all the arts. Fred McDarrah and his documentation of the new art wave in the Village Voice.
Thanks for the memory…what a smile to remember when we first discovered the seeds of a vibrant American art beginning in the sixties.

Greg Funnell says:

on June 24, 2008 at 9:32 am

Good to see you in front of the camera again…And I’m sure you won’t take any offense if I say that somehow you’ve managed to look a bit like Robert Redford 3rd photo down…

Steven says:

on June 24, 2008 at 1:47 pm

Everything technical used to be in the camera, now it is all outside the camera. So much new stuff going on all the time. Exciting, but I think we’re all Bozos on this bus. (Except for Scott and Moose).

How many people does it take to peel a 20 x 24 Polaroid?

Phil Austin says:

on July 7, 2008 at 2:08 am

No Firesign Theatre quotes here, just hello from the thing itself. Nice to see your site, Joe, and hello. Nice pictures and a nice bunch of people. Nice.

We’re putting out (through Shout!Factory) a four-cd set of the more-or-less complete Nick Danger history called “Box of Danger.” Out in late September this year. My life is reeling before my third eye.

I like looking at your pictures.


And sign it …


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on April 15, 2009 at 11:36 am

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on January 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm

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