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McNally's Lighting Tip of the Week
by Joe McNally

Steven Spielberg can get away with hot, smoky light coming from beneath the lost Ark of the Covenant, buried for 2,000 years in a crypt. We can't.

There is a logic to light. It's gotta come from somewhere and something has to be making it. That's why it doesn't really make sense to have somebody in a field staring at a hole in the ground with light coming from the hole. Unless you're shooting production stills for The X-Files.

Try to be logical and give your reader something to hang onto. I often use a flashlight, which creates a reason for the light, plus it's something you'd actually use if you were looking under a car hood, reading a map, of checking out a torpedo tube.

[How do you get this type of shot]

Small and light is the way to go onboard a sub. I brought three small SB flashes with me, bounced one to open up the dark recesses of the torpedo room, and then placed a double-gelled unit inside the tube, lighting the sailor's face.

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.