Available light – of course, that means “any light that’s available.” The emphasis of this workshop in Santa Fe with Joe McNally is on keeping it simple and direct, and using light that is available on location to create storytelling portraiture. That does not mean flash or constant light sources are not allowed. If participants have small portable light kits they wish to bring along and create with, that works. The whole point of the week is a conversation with and about light, and using light to eloquently render effective, true portraits. Light is our language, as photographers, and when we use it with clarity and simplicity, the subject, not the technique, rightly comes to the forefront.
We work on location, using outdoor light or window light, and augmenting that light with easy to use, portable tools such as fill boards, scrims, and reflectors. There are assignments and image reviews throughout the week, along with illustrated lectures showing the management of light from large to small, from huge sets to simple portrait sessions. While on location, Joe does a “wander” with the class in search of quality of light and appropriate environments for location portraiture. That process of scouting, or “location assessment” is one of the most crucial aspects of a day in the field and can dictate success or failure on any given assignment. A special gallery visit to the Monroe Gallery, one of the foremost galleries representing historically important photojournalism in the United States, is also scheduled.
Light, and how we recognize it, use it, push it, tweak it, and tell stories with it, is the theme of the week.
Working knowledge of digital workflow and manual mode on your digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Participants must be able to download, select, and transfer images to their own jump drive for class each day.
Joe McNally is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning photographer and filmmaker whose prolific career includes assignments in 70 countries. McNally won the first Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Journalistic Impact for a LIFE coverage titled, “The Panorama of War.” McNally has been honored numerous times by Communication Arts, PDN, Graphis, American Photo, POY, and The World Press Photo Foundation. McNally is masterful at lighting and is known for his large-scale production work, in addition to his vast storytelling experience which stems from assignment work for legendary publications such as LIFE and National Geographic. His work is regularly cited in social media surveys as sources of inspiration and industry leadership.