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DLWS, 2010

Jan 12

In Seminars & Workshops at 2:26pm


First stop of the year for Moose and the gang…..San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge. One SB900, camera left, Tri-Grip one stop diffuser, minus 2 EV programmed into the camera, plus one EV into the flash. Lots of folks shot some nice stuff of the bridge itself, but, being a people shooter, I just look at the bridge as a nice backdrop to put somebody against. Josh obliged, and we did a quick flash lesson out on the rocks for the group.

Knocked around the bridge before, of course, as has just about anybody who’s come this way with a camera in their hands. Tony Bennett and I went up into the headlands on the Marin side a few years back, just to place him where he left his heart.


More tk….

Norbert Tydingco says:

on January 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Great work as always Joe! I’m hoping to get to one of your seminars soon!

Teri says:

on January 12, 2010 at 2:52 pm

thanks for the mini lesson…cool shot of Josh!

Iden Ford says:

on January 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Love the blue clouds and the face tones against the blue, and I also love the depth of field.

Carl Schaefer says:

on January 12, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Joe, of the shot with Josh, what was your WB setting? tungsten or auto (or other)? Was the shot taken in the early evening?

Sarah Kavanaugh says:

on January 12, 2010 at 3:01 pm

My husband and I courted (is that word used anymore?!) in San Fran. Beautiful.

TeeWebb says:

on January 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I was looking through a portrait where I used very similar framing to some of your work and that used in the first photo, I was finally able to pin down why I feel it works so well (at least on one level). By sublty distorting the bottom portion of the subject you funnel the eye towards the face – nice little eureka moment of the day! (Having the bridge doing the same to intersect on the subjects face is a double whammy) Thanks for the great posts.

adedip says:

on January 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Hello Joe, stated that you’re god to me, and the few good things I know probably I’ve learned from you, and what I’m going to say is my humblest opinion (not proved by any rule 😀 ): in the first pic I find the light on the bridge meeting the hat a bit annoying, don’t you think so?!
Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge :)

Mark Holloway says:

on January 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Oh Man I love SF! Used to travel out there a lot before 2000. Ran a Suburban down Lombard without a scratch! Rental of course. You gotta make it to The Buena Vista while you’re there.

Joe McNally says:

on January 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Absolutely right Andrea…now that you got me paying attention to it, shoulda moved a millimeter…..thanks. Drew will take me through some PS paces to mess with it. Good stuff….Joe

Phil in Aus says:

on January 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Humble as always Joe!

Billy Mitchell says:

on January 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I kinda like the headlamp. Enjoy the area.

Ken says:

on January 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm


If you can fill jar head in Kentucky; Tri-Grip one stop diffuser, what does that look like and what is it? 2. What did you have your Nikon set up, f stop, etc

Ken in Ky,
PS I got my new SB900 in, wow what a blast, really cool “thing’ with my D300s. Don’t know what I have to get the S thing. Momma use to say to me, ” Ken you got it, but you don’t why you got it, but you had to got it.” I did got it…..

Vasanth says:

on January 12, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Is it just me who thinks the first subject looks like Mark Wahlberg and the next as Robert De Niro?? :)

Jeff Lynch (Mark's Friend) says:

on January 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Is that Tony writing a check to you Joe? Really? Why haven’t you retired?

Just kidding Joe. Don’t send the K-Man after me.

JASAIM (Just another smart assed Irishman)

Jim says:

on January 12, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Looks as if Tony is checkin out your lighting setup.

Jay Rodriguez says:

on January 13, 2010 at 12:08 am

Cool read Joe, thx!

john jackson says:

on January 13, 2010 at 1:46 am

Tony is pulling some strings for Joe to have that pesky light removed for his next shoot

Jan Winther says:

on January 13, 2010 at 7:21 am

Isnt it obvious that Tony is making a Numnuts sketch…? 😉

Jim says:

on January 13, 2010 at 8:26 am

Can we get an update on Laurie’s hair during this DLWS? It has been too long.

Keep fighting the good fight.

Buddy says:

on January 13, 2010 at 10:01 am

Joe, You r the best. How iconic can you get with Tony Bennet and the GG bridge together. As they say “nuff said”! Bam! brings a smile to your face. So I’m thinking about this story. What was the conversation between the two of you driving over? Was it just the two of you or was it a posse? It is kind of like wow this is going to be a hell of an image. We will just mess around with this and get a killer shot that at first glance, just looks like a guy with his address book figureing out something and then wham you realize who it is and where he is standing and then the story gets huge in about a nan-o-sec. As Calvin said of Hobbs one time, “I live for that dawning comprehension”! That’s what this image did for me!

Brian Jones says:

on January 13, 2010 at 10:29 am

Great job Joe, catching the bridge with just a hint of fog to create a surreal setting.

Andrea, I didn’t notice the light on the cap until you mentioned it. Now I can’t stop staring at it…. LOL

Debbie Young says:

on January 13, 2010 at 11:31 am

Lovely work as always Joe.

Will you ever be doing any workshops in the UK? I would love to attend one but money & young sprog commitments make getting to the States (& other exotic places that you go) a bit difficult for me!

Robert Arbitter says:

on January 13, 2010 at 11:38 am

Hey photo as usual. I was wondering what type of photos would be taken with the overcast the last few days in the SF bayarea.

J V says:

on January 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm


I have (and read) your hot shoe diaries book. Maybe I should read it again to answer this question, but I don’t remember you discussing the following point:

“-2 EV in the camera and +1 on the flash.”


Why is that not the same effect as simply -1 in the camera, or, alternatively, -1 on the flash???

ruedi says:

on January 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I enjoyed “Hot Shoe Diaries” so much, that thanks to you, Nikon just got 450 dollars richer today, when I got my SB-900 (in addition to my SB-800)! :)

Did you use any gel for this photo here? Wb-setting?
Ruedi from Bern, Switzerland

TeeWebb says:

on January 13, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Not sure if its too presumptuous to answer the questions:

Ken, check out What’s in the Bag link top-ish right, scroll down to Lastolite section, its the first one (Links to Adorama). Basically triangle shaped diffuser with one end being a handle, collapses down to a circle. Really handy to have someone hold and point a flash through, or use yourself as a one handed reflector. Versatile, packs down to nothing, handle has a great feel.

J V, check out pg 61 Hot Shoe Diaries, Joe says it better than I can explain :)

Hope it helps, happy shooting.

Algernon Parker says:

on January 16, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Thank Joe! Your work always inspires me!

David says:

on January 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Nice shoot Joe, I love the subject position and the beautiful background.

Lasse says:

on January 21, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Hi Joe!
Been a while.
I’m on tour with Mr Frakes and Ms Heald right now, 18 below in Helsinki…
I’d change that for the GG bridge any time!
Take care, my friend.
Say hello to Anne!

John Taylorson says:

on January 29, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I too am a “people shooter” and find many shots without eye balls as missing something. The Golden Gate bridge has been shot already… Thank you for your tips, suggestions and story-telling.


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