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McNally's Lighting Tip of the Month
Bring it all!

Eisie (Alfred Eisenstaedt) always used to say, bring the stuff with you, it doesn't do you any good back in the studio. He was right.

But just 'cause you got it, don't mean you have to use it.

I dragged a bunch of strobes to the roof of the Tropicana in Vegas to shoot Linda Donohue, the "Showgirl of the Year."

It was tough. Lots of stairs, wind, thunderstorm gathering, puddles of water everywhere. Makes you feel good about using large power packs.

I was so blinkered about using all this gear, thinking strobe, strobe, strobe, that I totally forgot I was there to make a picture. Wasn't the first time this has happened. I shudder to think about how many pictures I've missed while pursuing what I thought was gonna be the one. Sorta like dating, you know?

Anyway, common sense seized me and I looked at the subject, who was fussing with her feathers. A thought crackled through my remaining synapses...that looks fantastic! I put my eye into the camera and went click. We were done.

Thankfully the picture ran, and Linda was rewarded for climbing a 20-foot steel rung ladder in her dancing shoes, a G-string, and feathers.

Of course, if you think sweet, simple available light and you don't bring all this crap up there with you, you'll need it.

Welcome to photography!

(Excerpted from: The Moment It Clicks. Photography secrets from one of the world's top shooters. By Joe McNally, Copyright 2008 Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and New Riders.)