Marc Silber of Advancing Your Photography talks light, learning and failure with Joe McNally
posted Saturday, July 27, 2019 at 7:00 AM EDT
In the newest video from our friends at Advancing Your Photography, Marc Silber chatted with award-winning photographer Joe McNally. Over the course of his prolific career, McNally has captured cover stories and features for publications such as National Geographic, LIFE and Sports Illustrated and worked with many large corporate clients. McNally has chatted with Silber before on numerous prior occasions and you can see the previous videos by clicking here.
In their most recent conversation, Silber and McNally discuss light. Specifically, McNally offers tips for how to best learn lighting, broadly speaking. Light is central to photography and it is one of many methods a photographer can use to tell a very personal and creative story. One of the first and most important steps for becoming a better photographer is to improve your understanding of light. McNally recommends experimentation to aid in your understanding of light and how it works. By capturing images with different types of light, such as harsh versus soft light, you can learn a lot about how light works, how you can use it to convey certain emotions and better figure out what type of images you want to capture. It isn't about determining what light is "good," but rather, understanding how different types of light convey varied emotional and psychological messages as part of an overall image.
McNally encourages photographers to utilize human adjectives when describing and thinking about light. "Light can be angry, it can be harsh, it can be slashing, it can be gentle, it can be provocative, it can be sumptuous, it can be baroque, it can be sultry…" McNally says in the video below. By understanding light in these types of terms, McNally believes it will help you better understand how light can be used in your images. To learn more about light, the critical importance of location assessment and to hear about how McNally has faced and used failure in his career, watch the full interview below.