Author Archives: Joe McNally

A Quick Lighting Build in Times Square

Ah, the crossroads of the world, Times Square, New York City. Neon blares, thespians tread on venerably historic stages, with fashions, movies, and the cult of celebrity all shining brightly outside. It’s really the only place I’ve been where your shutter speeds at night need to be faster than they are on some days. It’s a whirlygig of lit up pop culture, where in the space of a half a block or so, you can quite literally bump into hundreds of rushing people, and likely hear about a dozen different languages, intermingled with the usual, distinctively gruff New Yorkese. And…

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Throwback Thursday

Just visited my old haunts at ABC TV, where the gracious editors let me peruse some of my old pics, and offered me a few scans to have for my archive. I was a staff photographer there during a tumultuous time. Made the first promo pictures of Ted Koppel as they launched Nightline in response to the Iranian hostage crisis. Ted might have had an inkling, but I sure had no idea as I made these in the control room that Nightline was going to go on to become a long running journalistic institution. Obviously, I had no idea about…

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A Lighting Build for a Boxer

We kind of all know where to put the light by now, at least mostly. Well, some of the time, anyway. Basic lighting info is all over the internet, some of it good, some of it bad or just indifferent. It’s pretty ubiquitous, to the point of being monotonous, such as the axiom of “If you move the light closer to your subject it will appear softer.” There’s so much of this out there you might actually begin to think it’s important, like the kind of important that shows up on the nightly newscast. “Earlier today it was reported that…

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Paloma!

  You  know you’ve been in the business a long time when startling, talented newcomers cause waves and news, and you photograph their sterling debuts. And then you see them retire. So it is with Paloma Herrerra, who I photographed years ago for a story in LIFE. She was then the “baby ballerina” of ABT, incredibly gifted, and young, and poised for greatness. Below, a portrait, onstage at the Met. Along with Paloma, Julie Kent is also retiring in the next month or so. I only had one chance to photograph her, below, with Marcelo Gomes. Also exiting the stage…

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Goodbye, Danny…

When I first arrived in NYC, nurturing faint hopes to become a photographer in the Big Apple, Danny Farrell was the dean of NYC press photography, a class act, and much respected. A shooter’s shooter, nobody was tougher when the job was on the line. He delivered. A resplendent generalist who shot it all, his particular genius was on full display at Yankee Stadium, and at the tracks, Belmont and Aqueduct. Baseball and the horses—nobody beat him. He loved pictures, and life. As good as he was, he was also approachable and decent, always up for a laugh and a…

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The Boys of Summer, or, Thank Goodness Winter’s Over….

This Terminator of a winter finally fades as a memory. It was indeed like a movie monster who wouldn’t die, who rose up again and again, for one last kill or thrill. I’ve still got a pile of filthy ice and snow in the shadows of my driveway. I walk past it gingerly, lest I wake it. The bitter winter, combined with the fact that I couldn’t honestly tell you anything about anyone who starts for the Knicks, has made the crack of a bat and the slap of a ball hitting a glove welcome noises indeed. Prospects of success…

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