Author Archives: Joe McNally

Still Shooting for LIFE


Back in 1936, when Henry Luce bought LIFE magazine, and shaped it into America’s window on the world, one might have thought he had some sort of crystal ball. I mean, the magazine has had its share of ups and downs, once being shuttered for six years, then rebounding as a monthly from ’78 to 2000, then borne again for a brief period as a newspaper supplement. In between, it’s been special issues, yearly recaps, and now, quite successfully, a book publisher. I mean, the name fits. The estimable Mr. Luce was on to something. Ya just can’t kill it.

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Hello, Mr. Anderson…


You’ve certainly become a bit of a household name, and face, via your folksy thank you videos that all Delta passengers are familiar with by now. And kudos on trying to make the process of “inserting the metal flap into the belt buckle” more entertaining. Love the triplet scenario in the emergency exit row.
Videos aside, you’re doing a nice job running Delta, you and all your colleagues. I find Delta service to be generally excellent, upbeat, and folks from the counter to the cockpit strive to please. Some of the planes are pretty old, but you’re making strides. A …

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Finding Faces

Always on the lookout for faces, right? Even when there’s a lovely face provided for you.

I was on assignment for the Lastolite Group in the UK, and I did some shooting in an amazing place, with a wonderful subject, seen above. The grounds belonged to Richard Jobson, a film director, and in an earlier life, lead singer and guitarist of the formative Scottish punk rock band, The Skids. As soon as I saw Richard, I knew I wanted to make a portrait of that legendary face.

The fashion-y pic at the top of the blog is lit

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Up to Our Old Tricks….

 My dear friend and former editor at National Geographic, Bill Douthitt had a cover to be shot that involved a bare chested guy with a mouse. He called me. No idea why.
It’s quite a serious science story, actually. Roughly put, the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) were breaking a story about how researchers are engineering mice to act as “avatars” for a particular patient, so they could examine cancer biology from a more personalized perspective. 
The cover notion called for a shirtless male, with a shaved head (to intimate, potentially, someone involved in a chemotherapy …

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Available Light? Guilty!

It might be called, PICTURES YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE THOUGHT I’VE MADE. My first one man show opens this coming Friday, Oct. 3rd, at the Monroe Gallery in Santa Fe, and pretty much the sum of a life behind the camera will be on the walls. A total of 54 images, give or take a couple that there might not be space for.


So, over the years, I’ve done flash portraits, flash sports action, flash production. I’ve lit telescopes. I once lit the main building of Ellis Island, fer chrissakes, offering up my humble skills to the great …

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A Quick and Simple TTL Build


Firefighters. They share, along with cowboys, an innate ability to simply step in front of a camera and become a photograph. Henry, of the Soufriere Fire Department in St. Lucia, has a look, a presence, if you will, that speaks to the camera.…
To do this portrait, I made some camera moves before I even put it to my eye. When doing what one might call a “formal” portrait, I’ve always enjoyed a more blocky type of aspect ratio. Don’t know exactly why. It might hark back to film days when I shot a lot of 6×7 and square medium

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