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Introducing: The Language Of Light

Jan 30

In Videos at 8:59am

At the studio, we’ve been, well, busy. A big reason why revolves around this announcement, dovetailing with the announcement last week of the Strobist/Numnuts rolling speed light extravaganza, otherwise known as The Flashbus. (You’ll want to ping DH’s blog, BTW. Big news over there as well.)

We jumped into this project last summer, and have shot and edited pretty intensively since then. A lot of flash stuff in this 2 DVD set. From studio to location and back again, we show f-stops, shutter speeds, setups, break downs (mostly mine), things that didn’t work, things that did, and just about everything in between. There’s also, ahem, guest appearances, and interviews. And an ongoing ramble through my brain (be careful what you wish for) about why light is good or bad, and the thought process one has to engage in when summoned to shoot either a face or a place. How to light it? How to speak with the light? How to describe a scene or a person best to someone who is not right there with you as a witness. Storytelling light, in other words. Descriptive, fluent, ornate, simple, TTL, manual, rich, gelled, clean, warm–you name it–we use it, show it, and, most importantly, describe the thinking behind it.

Tomorrow, Monday, 9am EST, the Flashbus ticket sales go live. If you are digging that idea, and want to join us at a stop along the way, head that way ’cause the DVD is available discounted along with the tickets. Adorama is the exclusive distributor for the DVD, so to jump on the bus, hit the Flashbus site, and follow the path for bundled ticket/DVD. Below is a taste of the recorded mania…..

If you’re not able to join us on the tour, stay tuned for an Adorama URL to get just the DVD. More tk….

Mark Holloway says:

on January 30, 2011 at 9:10 am

This is way too cool!

Andy Fenn says:

on January 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

Is the DVD gonna be available for the UK? Unlike the flashbus :(

Lesley Gracie says:

on January 30, 2011 at 9:12 am

Sadly as I’m based in Scotland I won’t see the Flash Bus tour,however I’ll certainly be
purchasing you’re DVD.Looks amazing Joe!

Tim says:

on January 30, 2011 at 9:18 am

Hi Joe,

The DVD’s sound great! I know you’re just now launching them, but any plans to release digital versions to purchase, for those of us that are trying to reduce a reliance on physical media?

Also, any plans on taking the tour to Europe?


Mikkel Jezequel says:

on January 30, 2011 at 9:19 am

It’s a must have!!! loved the speed of light DVD looking forward to this one.

Rich Cave says:

on January 30, 2011 at 9:25 am

Awesome awesome, does the bus float and if so do you think it can swing by the UK, bought you a beer many moons ago for you, its a little flat and looks like creme de menthe.

As for the DVD I would love to have it.

As a pro photographer, your Life book was a kick up the bum and looking forward to sketching with light, and now the DVD things a hatrick of stuff this year to make earning with photography that little bit more fun.

If I could come over to the states to just join in for the day I would alas the car needs replacing.


Joe McNally says:

on January 30, 2011 at 9:31 am

absolutely…Adorama will be handling and shipping international (free shipping!) Joe

Scott says:

on January 30, 2011 at 9:33 am

Talk about announcements, first the tour but now DVDs from both you and David. Rock on!

Howard Pitkow says:

on January 30, 2011 at 9:34 am

I’ve got my phone alarm set so I don’t miss out. See you in Philadelphia. The tour is a great idea and the DVD will be very helpful. Thank you!

Rich Cave says:

on January 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

Free shipping, cheers Joe today just gets better


miguev says:

on January 30, 2011 at 10:01 am

I can’t wait for the DVD to come out, please make sure it does for all DVD zones/regions for your oversees fans! 😉

miguev says:

on January 30, 2011 at 10:01 am

(Clearly, I meant overseas)

William Beem says:

on January 30, 2011 at 10:13 am

Interesting. I’m disappointed that the tour isn’t coming to Florida, but it’s nice to see both you and DVD coming out with new DVDs.

James Conkle says:

on January 30, 2011 at 10:16 am

This looks SWEET! Can wait to see if I get a ticket. I’ll need to take time from school at 9 O’clock to make sure I can get a ticket! (hopefully the order system isn’t flash based(for iPads sake)). Anyone know what the price of the DVD will be? (I still have to save up for Dobbs this year)

Alan West says:

on January 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

Glad to hear that it will be available in the UK. I follow your courses on Kelby training so am looking forward to seeing this.

Keep up the good work with educating us mere mortals.

Tom Marriage says:

on January 30, 2011 at 10:26 am


Terrific news from you and David. Hope there will be an option for Tour tickets and both DVDs. Thanks to you and David for all the teaching that you do.


Arlan says:

on January 30, 2011 at 10:32 am

In the column on the right side of this page…..Joe on xxxxxxx, you’re missing one item. Joe on Steroids.

John A. says:

on January 30, 2011 at 11:58 am

Ok, so tickets to seminar, JM DVD, DH DVD, what next, a free Nikon D3x giveaway? I’m in!!!!!!!

Terri Jacobson says:

on January 30, 2011 at 12:29 pm


This rocks. I can hardly wait to get you back to Portland.

My registering finger will be poised and ready tomorrow.

Jeremy says:

on January 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Now all we got to do is convince the terrible duo to visit the other side of the pond.

Nice to hear Adorama is offering free shipping :)

I’ll have to skip on the tour for now sadly

Good stuff!!!!

Dawn Zimdars says:

on January 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm

So sad we will not see you in Tampa :( Glad I can still get the DVD! Have a safe and crazy fun trip!!

Doug Evans says:

on January 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Joe –

All this news just tripped my SB-900s and blew my budget for February! 😉 I am so looking forward to the new disc set, saw some fun & familiar people & places!

I hope I can make the hop to NYC for the Strobist/Numnuts gig providing it’s not sold out by the 9:01am – regardless, I will be eating up your disc set along with David’s new DVD offering!

The mayhem, inspiration and teaching continues – Harumph, Harumph, Harumph!

Hope the Asian tour was a blast for you!

Take care!


diego says:

on January 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm

im going to be broke by the time spring is over.

count me in as well!

see u in san jose joe!

Dave Taylor says:

on January 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I’d love to see the DVD available as a digital download as well? iTunes anyone? Looks great!

Alex says:

on January 30, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Hi! Cant find the dvd at Adoramas website. Can you blog a link to where its possible to buy it, and ship to sweden?


lorenz says:

on January 30, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Can’t wait for the DVD, joe’s the Godfather of lighting 😉

Rob Lamping says:

on January 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Lookin forward to the dvd, Joe. What are the odds of the Flashbus taking a little detour, say The Netherlands 😉 … Only à littlebit jealous …

Ivan says:

on January 30, 2011 at 6:23 pm


Carl says:

on January 30, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Joe your the man I hope I can afford the DVD set because I am sadly unable to get to the tours :(

John Given says:

on January 30, 2011 at 7:33 pm

What a great way to get 2011 rolling!!! Hey Joe…..You Rock!!!

Calvin says:

on January 30, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Any word on pricing yet? I hope to get both sets of DVDs.

Robert says:

on January 30, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Hi Joe,

The trailer looks great, I really like Your flashwork. Just wonder, if You are planing to make some DVD’s about business side of photography in the future?

RAMYAD Photography says:

on January 30, 2011 at 8:17 pm

This is great news! I have purchased all your books and have enjoyed reading through them all. Very excited to get this DVD and learn more!

Steve says:

on January 30, 2011 at 8:22 pm

What a very cool idea.

Just bought myself a house truck (Navion Itasca) so I can be a nomadic photographer. Kid in college, empty nester, time to hit the road with computer and cameras.

I know you’ll have fun.

Maybe our paths will cross down the road.


Ingoman says:

on January 30, 2011 at 8:48 pm

how the hell can you pop out something new all the time? I can’t even follow to read and watch what you guys produce every day… when shall I be even working something?
if I do not get a spot in theflashbus in SF… oh boy, that’s going to drive me crazy 😉

greetings from down under
ingoman and carmen

Jimmy Tan says:

on January 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm

And I thought I can finally get a D700…. money’s gonan be diverted to Andorama then…..

Ken Toney says:

on January 30, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Joe, I’m so glad you have the DVD! I’ll order as soon as I type this. I’ll see you in Vegas, can’t make Atlanta (the wife won’t run the show all the time so I can play!). You and David don’t get to crazy. :)

joe r says:

on January 31, 2011 at 12:08 am

Not sure if this was an accident or I’m just lucky… but the registration opened up a little early for me somehow… and I wanted to say I’M OFFICIALLY REGISTERED FOR THE CHICAGO STOP AND I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU ALL THERE!

I guess it’s a good thing I’ve been OCD about checking the site for updates a couple times since the announcement? 😉

Lorri E says:

on January 31, 2011 at 1:06 am

Can’t wait, Joe on DVD & in person on the Flash Bus. Now all I need is a few more SB-900s/700s.

Theis Poulsen says:

on January 31, 2011 at 1:10 am

That’s good news :)

No flash bus in Europe so nice to see some videos instead.

bad news was me sketching light pre-order just got pushed to June :(


Patrik Lindgren says:

on January 31, 2011 at 1:11 am

Cool, ordering the dvd’s as soon as they’re available and looking forward to see master numnuts in action!
It would be even cooler if the flashbus could do a tour in Europe as well. :)

Paolo says:

on January 31, 2011 at 1:35 am

Well, I must say you guys managed to put together what looks like a killer event, DVD’s included!!! Looking forward to it!


David Hobby says:

on January 31, 2011 at 1:38 am

Holy Toledo. Okay, so who else besides me freeze-framed their way all the way through that trailer multiple times…


Alexander Evensen says:

on January 31, 2011 at 2:11 am

Cool stuff =) Congratulations on the new book!

I’ll be buying :)

Richard Hales says:

on January 31, 2011 at 2:15 am

The DVD looks fantastic. Is going to be available in the UK?

Pete Barnes says:

on January 31, 2011 at 2:35 am

Nice one Joe, if it’s anything like your books I’m sure it’ll be awesome.


Rob Lowry says:

on January 31, 2011 at 2:55 am

***Registration is Open***

It seems Adorama let things kick off just past midnight, and I’ve already got my registration in and confirmed. Don’t wait until 9am … it may be too late by then.

James Conkle says:

on January 31, 2011 at 5:29 am

Just reserved my spot in PA for the 11th! I guess registration didn’t open at 9 o’clock. (it was 5:20 am) Wish I could afford the DVD along with the ticket but that would cost too much for me right now.

So see ya 4/11!!!!

John Given says:

on January 31, 2011 at 6:42 am

I bought the Combo!!!!!

Sérgio says:

on January 31, 2011 at 6:56 am

Hi Joe, I really want to purchase this DVD. Please, tell me the Adorama URL…


Bob DeChiara says:

on January 31, 2011 at 7:54 am

So glad to hear the bus is stopping by Boston!

Will says:

on January 31, 2011 at 9:21 am

Just bought my ticket for Los Angeles, really excited. Set my alarm for 550 am Yawn now I go back too sleep.

Leo says:

on January 31, 2011 at 9:24 am

Signed up for the bus tour @ DC. Can not wait until then.

Jason Pitcher says:

on January 31, 2011 at 9:29 am

Ick! I just went on line and got tickets to the show. I tried to bundle wioth the DVD’s, but the site kept rejecting my credit card. Tried a different card and the wheels kept spinning. Eventually gave up and just got tickets, which went through no problem. See y’all in Houston.

Kjartan says:

on January 31, 2011 at 9:32 am

When will the registration open up for all the cities on the tour? Some of the cities are still TBD…
Do you have a time & a date for the rest of them?

Darren Elias says:

on January 31, 2011 at 10:07 am

Just ordered my ticket for Philly, and the DVD! See you at zah pahty, Rhictah, er Joe!

John says:

on January 31, 2011 at 10:11 am

I guess I don’t yet understand what the DVDs contain to know whether to order them with my Flash Bus registration… Hopefully I’ll be able to add to my registration later?

Regardless, I’ll see you guys in Denver!

Thomas Granbacka says:

on January 31, 2011 at 11:08 am

I live a bit too far east of where you will tour. A quick note though. I think a ‘bus tour’ limits how you get around. Next time, have an ‘airplane tour’. That way you can reach places a bus can’t. For example Europe. 😉

Good luck with the tour!

Barbara Thorbjornsson says:

on January 31, 2011 at 11:10 am

You have NO idea how I anticipate the URL to purchase just the DVD. Due to a head injury which has made reading quite difficult for me, I have no way to avail myself of your teachings EXCEPT via this DVD. Thank you for making it possible.

Arno says:

on January 31, 2011 at 11:14 am

I do hope that the DVDs come without a region code? It would be a pity if we old-worlders would have to undergo cracking the players’ firmware for your enlightenment.

Speaking of old-worlders: When is the flashbus hitting Europe? I’d sign on in an instant!

Scott Cejka says:

on January 31, 2011 at 11:37 am

Saw Joe in Denver last time around and couldn’t have been happier. Great teacher, loads of learning to be had. So bummed I can’t be there for this year’s incarnation of lighting bliss…and with David Hobby to boot!

Anyone want to trade air tix to northern Japan for a ticket to this workshop?’d have to stay with my in-laws in Japan though…oh and pretend to be my wife and I…

Kevin says:

on January 31, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Hi guys,

I registered asap for the flash bus wishing not to miss my place, but did not spend the time to research which of the two DVDs on offer I’d want to purchase also 9fearing the time spent would possibly cost me a place on the tour).
As I’m now registered, do I qualify for the discounted rate still? Is there a mechanism where I can use my registration number for the discount when ordering?

Extremely excited to meet you both, and join the fun!

Best regards,

King Yella says:

on January 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm

See you in St. Louis

Lyle says:

on January 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Yippeee! I got my tickets.
I get to go on a road trip too, boys.
From Canada to Minneapolis, here I come.
Can’t wait.

Kurt Wall says:

on January 31, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Booyah! So looking forward to this! Will you sign one of your books if I accidentally bring it along?

Me says:

on January 31, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Ordered the NcNally DVD + the Las Vegas venue. What a great excuse to combine this awesome event with a mini-vacation!

Greg Pittman says:

on January 31, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I am, along with half of the rest of the photography community, one of your biggest fans. I own all of your books, and I am incredibly excited to see you in-person in Dallas. I had today marked on my calendars, alarms set on my cell phone and iPad, and a reminder set in Outlook, and then, regretfully, I wasn’t able to register because Dallas is marked as TBD. My biggest fear is, because of my schedule at work, not being able to check back often enough and then facing the possibility/likelihood of being too late whenever registration DOES finally open up, and the class fillin-up. Can you give us any idea when registration may be open for dallas?

Jan says:

on January 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Can you get this DVD in the UK?

Ed says:

on January 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm

So stoked the last stop is in STL!!
ticket: purchased!

Eivind Rohne says:

on January 31, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Can’t wait for this one!! Really enjoyed the last McNally DVD. So come on now Joe, give us the link…

Glyn Dewis says:

on January 31, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Well it goes without saying…a DVD will be being ordered and winging it’s way over to the UK, that’s for sure :)


Shawna Goodman says:

on January 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I know you guys are Americans but it sure would be nice to see you in Canada. We are not that far away and would love to see you here. Regina Saskatchewan has a very active photoclub with a lot of members and a lot of Nikon users!!

David says:

on January 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm

I would like to see Bus tour in australia

Skip Barber says:

on January 31, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I’m on the bus, I’m on the bus. Anxious to see you and Drew again in Raleigh!

Morgana says:

on January 31, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Wish I could be there for the bus tour but looking forward to the DVDs. :)

kevin glackmeyer says:

on January 31, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Dropped my money for the Atlanta stop. I guess you’ve decided to bypass Montgomery, Alabama. Thanks for leading my on…as a sidenote, I’ll buy ol’ Numnuts a beer…or 6.

Arno says:

on February 1, 2011 at 12:14 am

Hey Joe, let me know if you need my backyard for the Dallas date OK?? :-)

I can host 50, park about 20. No nudity in the pool area, bring your own beer.

Bill Giles says:

on February 1, 2011 at 11:08 am

Joe McNally and David Hobby live on the same stage somewhere other than the UAE. I can hardly stand the wait.

Rich says:

on February 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I feel like Rock Stars are coming to town. This is awesome! Even though photography is but an avocation, I can’t wait for you guys to get to Texas ( I’ll be driving from San Antonio to Austin to see the ‘show’). I just know it will be a great day.


Tracy says:

on February 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm

So… no South Florida stop? Have you guys checked the weather reports lately? :}
What about on the second leg of the tour?

Pat Delany says:

on February 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Looking forward to seeing you in Boston! Safe travels!

Pierre says:

on February 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm

From Sherbrooke, Québec, to Boston. With 2 new sets of DVDs. Boy, what a week-end that will be!

Nigel says:

on February 2, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Any plans to drive the bus over to the UK?

Wayne says:

on February 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm

DVD URL Please !!

Frederik says:

on February 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Looking forward to that DVD. always nice to pick up some new knowledge !

Alan West says:

on February 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Have just placed my order for shipping to the UK with Adorama ..can’t wait for it to arrive.

fotograf ślubny says:

on February 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm

please, give us DVDs :)

Dave Dantos says:

on February 10, 2011 at 7:11 am

Finally! Boston on a Saturday. (Almost as good as NH on a Saturday!). Signed up in a flash. Get it, “a flash”? Anyway, it will be great to see Joe and Dave. Counting the days.

Jeremy Knop says:

on February 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This I am sure will be a very informative book Joe. Are you able to divulge who any of the guest appearances are from in the interviews? I have always dreamed about a day when you, David, Jeremy Cowart, Chase Jarvis and Scott Kelby could all be in a room at the same time bouncing ideas etc. off of one another.

I am excited about learning to speak the language of light better with a little help from yourself and David when the Flash Bus rolls into Phoenix! As far as learning the language of light in the book do you devote separate chapters to the likes of TTL, Manual, clean, warm etc.? Thanks!

Morgana says:

on February 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm

The DVD looks really good… but with postage to Australia *starting* at USD$68.60 [for a DVD!] sadly the frieght costs are just too much to justify. International readers miss out again. :(

Hassan says:

on February 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

Please come to bangalore and do one of your workshops

Jack Gregas says:

on February 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Wow I would love to just drive this around the city for awhile, talk about a joyride

Marcus Jones says:

on February 22, 2011 at 7:00 am

A little love for Australia… Seeing as the Bus wont make it, a better deal on the shipping costs would be nice.
Enjoy the trip!

Jonas Eriksson says:

on March 7, 2011 at 7:50 am

Here’s another vote for a Flash-Event in Sweden – come on over guys! We’ll help you organize it! :-)

ROMOLO says:

on March 9, 2011 at 5:28 am

Hi Joe! My name’s Romolo. I’m your fan but i speak Italian! On the DVD there are subtitles in Italian? Is there a version in Italian?
Greetings from Italy

Roger says:

on March 15, 2011 at 11:36 pm

So disappointed that the Boston site filled up in just a few hours. I was chomping at the bit now I’ll just drooling from the mouth with disappointment that I couldn’t get in. Damn, why spend so much time on the west coast and NOT be full to the brim. East coast photogs will fill your cup while you fill ours!

Ricardo says:

on March 24, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Hi Joe, I’ll be in Austin tomorrow I bought my ticket event but I can’t afford the DVD. See you there I’m very excited to learn from you.

Jimmy Tan says:

on April 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Looked forward to the DVD but totally cost from Andorama is $201.55 shipped to Singapore.

Joe, anychance of free shipping outside USA so that more people can be introduced to the language of light?

David Hobby’s signed DVD is good and I am sure yours will be as good if not better.

Ericlefrancais says:

on April 26, 2011 at 9:07 am

Its new trailer this dvd ?
See The Language Of Light:

Luis Charruadas says:

on November 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

Any chance this DVD set might make it to European stores any time soon? The Adorama e-mail ordering process for international customers is too much of a hassle not to mention quite cumbersome and in the end you still have to pay import tax and deal with customs. Thanks, love your work.

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