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New video series: “Nikon Behind the Scenes”

New-video-series-Nikon-Behind-the-Scenes
Nikon introduced a new video series called “Nikon Behind the Scenes”. The first video is already online and features Joe McNally talking about the fundamentals of light and flash photography:

Additional details:

Nikon Empowers Enthusiast Photographers With New "Behind the Scenes" Video Series and Introduction of Google+ Community

Nikon Goes On Location with Leading Pro Photographers to Educate and Inspire Passionate Photo Enthusiasts with New Video Series and Online Community

MELVILLE, NY – Nikon Inc. today launched the “Nikon Behind the Scenes” video series, dedicated to empowering and entertaining intermediate level photographers by equipping them with the skills they need to take their photography to the next level. The video series follows a diverse group of leading photographers into the field, including Nikon Ambassadors Joe McNally and Corey Rich and Nikon Professional Photographer Tamara Lackey. These pros provide insight on subjects ranging from lighting, lensing, posing models, shooting landscapes, working with different subjects and gearing up for a shoot.

“Nikon is committed to engaging our fans with interesting and informative content, and the ‘Nikon Behind the Scenes Video Series’ is an entertaining way to fulfill this promise” said Lisa Baxt, Associate General Manager of Communications, Nikon Inc. “From the moment someone picks up their camera, they have in their hands unlimited creative possibilities and we hope this inspires them to make amazing images and videos. With this video series and the new community on Google+, Nikon is there to support photographers as they explore visual storytelling and tap into their creative potential.”

Nikon Behind the Scenes

Starting with Nikon Ambassador and lighting expert Joe McNally, each featured photographer will focus on their area of expertise. In “Nikon Behind the Scenes: Light It Up with Joe McNally,” McNally will be exploring what is possible with Nikon Speedlights and off-camera flash techniques. Over the course of five videos, he will show viewers how to make the most of lighting in whatever situation a photographer may find themselves in.

Nikon Behind the Scenes: High Altitude Adventure with Corey Rich” will focus on Nikon Ambassador Corey Rich’s techniques for shooting portraits, time lapse, action stills and video while high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Whether suspended from a sheer cliff face or braving the elements, Rich’s penchant for adventure can inspire others to capture their extreme shot.

Finally, the series is rounded out with Nikon Professional Photographer Tamara Lackey, “Nikon Behind the Scenes: All in the Family with Tamara Lackey.” Lackey is well known for her family photography, and shares some of her secrets to a successful portrait, whether it’s coaxing an elusive smile from a rambunctious toddler or capturing a couples’ true personality.

The first video in the series will be go live on March 11 on the Nikon YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/nikonusa) and the new NikonUSA Google+ page. A new video on a different topic will be posted every couple of weeks to both the YouTube channel and Google+ page for viewers to check out. The new Google+ page will feature work from Nikon Ambassadors and Professional Photographers, and serve as a hub for passionate photographers to share favorite photos, insights on techniques and behind the scenes stories. On this page, Nikon aims to help advanced, professional and aspiring photographers looking to further their craft and take their passion to the next level. Please find the official NikonUSA Google+ page at: plus.google.com/+NikonUSA

Video Series Schedule (subject to change)         

Launch Date Video Segment Pro Photographer
Tuesday, March 11 Nikon BTS: Reading Light Joe McNally
Thursday, March 20 Nikon BTS: Golden Hour Expedition Corey Rich
Tuesday, April 1 Nikon BTS: Photos with the Family and Pets Tamara Lackey
Monday, April 14 Nikon BTS: Small Lighting, Big Results Joe McNally
Thursday, April 24 Nikon BTS: Extreme Action Shooting Corey Rich
Monday, May 5 Nikon BTS: Capturing an Authentic Smile Tamara Lackey
Thursday, May 15 Nikon BTS: Using Light to Tell a Story Joe McNally
Monday, May 26 Nikon BTS: Packing for an Outdoor Shoot Corey Rich
Thursday, June 5 Nikon BTS: Romantic Portraits Tamara Lackey
Monday, June 16 Nikon BTS: Dramatic Portrait Lighting Joe McNally
Thursday, June 26 Nikon BTS: Starry Night Time-Lapse Corey Rich
Monday, June 30 Nikon BTS: Little Kids, Big Personalities Tamara Lackey
Thursday, July 10 Nikon BTS: Advanced lighting Joe McNally
Monday, July 21 Nikon BTS: Action with Video Corey Rich
Thursday, July 31 Nikon BTS: Lenses for Great Portraits Tamara Lackey
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  • Bonetti

    I respect Joe Mcnally but the Picture at 1:45 Just Looks to Novice.

    • Patrick O’Connor

      I’m pretty sure this was aimed at novices. It wouldn’t be very effective if he used complicated lighting and got professional results, neither of which a beginner could reproduce…

      • hje

        Nontheless I prefer those images without flash.
        Would’ve been wise to shoot in a less perfect ambient light

        • Patrick O’Connor

          I thought the point was to attempt to replicate, as much as possible, good ambient light. I’m not sure there’s any point to making the target (ambient light) less desirable.
          Joe knows…lighting ;-)

        • Mansgame

          Available light?!? That doesn’t pay the bills for Joe and Dave. Moar lights! If you’re not overpowering the sun for every single picture, you’re not doing it right!

          • Patrick O’Connor

            I’m kinda naïve sometimes; are you trying to be funny, silly, or are you just a jerk? I’ve noticed a commonality among your posts (this post is similar to your “stupid human tricks” post, further down) but not sure of your point of view. It’s just that I would hate to think you’re a jerk if you’re not.

            • mikeswitz

              You don’t have to worry. He’s a jerk.

            • Mansgame

              Relax, I like Joe, but it seems that all he ever posts lately are either random dancers prancing around, people with swords, or circus freaks. Nothing really cutting edge or inspiring. Just a model with a talent bathed in Nikon light. He’s not getting out there to shoot the Afghan girl.

            • Patrick O’Connor

              Unfortunately for him, and most of us, the people who pay the bills dictate the subject and style. The guy who shot the Afghan girl was doing the same thing; he just happened to be there and then.

            • Mr. Mamiya

              If Joe’s work is so boring, I’d love to see and get inspired by your cuttin edge work. Thanks.

          • mikeswitz

            Joe McNally has forgotten more about available light than you will ever know. Anyone can overpower the sun. Joe can change the location of the sun with a minimal amount of equipment. If you knew or understood any of his work, you wouldn’t make such incredibly disrespectful comments. It only amplifies or ignorance as a “photographer”.

            • Mansgame

              Whether he knows about it is irrelevant to the conversation at hand. Maybe reading comprehension isn’t your thing, but my reply was to the poster that said he would have preferred this in available light. To which I answered the obvious that Joe gets paid by Nikon (at least it’s obvious that he doesn’t do this for free) to promote their flashes. He’s not going to get paid if he doesn’t use the flashes whether the picture needs it or not.

              Since you’re taking this so personally, I’m curious whether you know Joe in real life. Do you know of any training session he’s done showing how brilliant his available light techniques are? I have never seen it. Neither with that strokist guy. Why is that?

              Now Cliff Mautner has shown time and time again how to take beautiful available light portraits in a room with nothing more than windows. No gimmicks, no stealing sheets, no need for having a half dozen assistants holding lights with diffusers on them – just simple and pure photography.

            • desmo

              comprehension reading or otherwise eludes you

              “available light”
              wasn’t the stated purpose of the tutorial

        • desmo

          that wasn’t the purpose of the tutorial

    • AM

      I believe that he clearly explained that that was what he was trying to achieve.

    • tedwash

      That must be a old video. Didn’t Joe cross over to the dark side (Canon)?

      • tedwash

        Sorry about that. It was Scott Kelby that crossed over

        • desmo

          Joe has been known to hang out with Kelby
          :)

    • samseite

      yes this video aimed at novices. Joe demonstrate an easy lighting for enthusiast

  • http://www.davidiam.com/ davidiam photo

    Groundbreaking! Jim McNally promo video where he only uses one sb900. Someone pinch me, I’m dreaming.

    • AM

      It’s a sb-910.

      • http://www.davidiam.com/ davidiam photo

        Yes I know. You do realize that they are the same thing? Or are you some Nikon product placement bot.

        • Anonymous Coward

          The 910 is as similar to the 900 as the 610 is to the 600. Admit to being wrong, it’s the sign of a truly enlightened individual. Pun intended.

          • http://www.davidiam.com/ davidiam photo

            That explains all of the oil splatter on the inside of my Sb900! Thanks for solving the mystery ;)

          • Stan

            they should call it 910s

  • broxibear

    I’ve no problem with Joe McNally, he’s got a pleasent way of teaching in the few videos I’ve seen and gets information across in an easy way. Everyone has their own style of photography and lighting…it’s not what I like, but that’s what makes everyone different. As someone outside the U.S. there’s a definite “American look” in the way he lights, you see it in many American magazines/adverts…very few shadows and a lot of light. It’s very obvious when you compare images from American Vogue to British or Italian Vogue.
    I know these videos are for Nikon US, but it would be nice and refreshing to see some photographers from around the world. Maybe that’s one of the problems with having Nikon Ambassadors, you’re locked in with the same photographers/filmmakers year after year ?
    On a side note, does anyone know what the photographer gets out of being a Nikon Ambassador ? are they paid for specific talks/videos, do they get equipment for free, is it a time limited contract ?…I’m curious as to what type of restrictions are put on them ?

    • Mike

      You’d probably like Gerry Gihonis then Broxibear. He’s a co-designer of the Icelight and is a Nikon and Wescott ambassador. As such, his lighting is one or two Icelights and has a lot of moody shadows. Also, Joe is very editorial. So comparing him to Euro Vogue is two entirely different genres. Joe ‘a M.O. is telling a story in every image. Where as fashion is fashion. It’s about the dramatic portrait, not about the story behind the subject. That is Joe’s brilliance. He makes it look easy.

      • broxibear

        I wasn’t comparing McNally’s images to those in Vogue, I was comparing that type of lighting…you see it across American editorial and advertising. What I meant was if you took an American Vogue and put it next to British Vogue it would jump out at you.
        I think McNally’s earlier work is far better than what he does today…but as I always say. it’d be a dull world if we all liked the same thing.

      • broxibear

        “You’d probably like Gerry Gihonis the” , never heard of him so I looked him up and no…not my type of photography…interesting to have a look at his work though.

    • BernhardAS

      I think you have to distinguish between personal and paid work. While he is mainly hired for his style, it is still the photo editors who at the end of the day have the last say. And they tweak it to fit their magazine look. That is why each magazine (with a good photo editor) has it a distinct style. Sometimes the personal work has moved on, while the photogs are still hired to do the style from two three years ago, simply because the magazine has not moved on. There is nothing wrong with that after all they get paid.

      • Jeff Hunter

        A magazine’s art director is responsible for the “look” of the entire magazine. The photo editor answers to the art director.

        • BernhardAS

          You are of course right, for the sake of the discussion why magazines look different I have oversimplified and bunched the two jobs together.

          • desmo

            Magazines are dead, unfortunately, most are in denial
            (I take no pleasure in saying this,
            but it’s a digital age)

      • broxibear

        Hi BernhardAS,
        It’s not to do with individual magazines, there is a definite American type of lighting that’s across American photography…that’s what I was reffering to.
        There are plenty of excepitions.
        What is depressing is that if you took images by many of the Nikon Ambassadors http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Learn-And-Explore/Nikon-Ambassadors/index.page and mixed them up you wouldn’t be able to tell who shot what in most cases…they’re all becoming generic.

  • Mansgame

    So does Joe still work as a photographer anymore or does he just make a living showing how to use 20 SB-910′s on stupid human tricks for Nikon?

    • AM

      He does both at the same time.

      • Mansgame

        In the last couple of years I’ve seen dozens of promotional shoots, but nothing real. Perhaps you would be so kind as to point me to that work. NatGeo shoot perhaps. Newsweek article showing him covering a war perhaps. Wildlife photography perhaps. Something other than him demonstrating Nikon CLS.

        • Mike

          In 2008 he shot the cover story for Nat Geo on Neanderthals. In 2010 he did more Nat Geo coverage on the U.S. electric grid system. Since then I think he’s written books and toured for teaching. Listen, after 30 years grinding it out it’s his prerogative to accept or decline work. He’s probably seen it all and only does things now if it excites his mojo. Even if that includes teaching flash photography in the desert in Dubai. I’d say he’s earned that. Fact is he’s great at what he does and is a good teacher. Heck even U.S presidents go on speaking tours after 4 or 8 years in an occupation they had no previous experience in. If 4 years makes you an expert, certainly 30 is. :-)

          • Mansgame

            I just like to see him mix things up a bit. Maybe shoot some macro or wildlife. Heck, maybe shoot a wedding for the hell of it.

            • desmo

              actually he show’s how to shoot a wedding in the excellent video on lighting , that he and Bob Krist did for Nikon.

              You should buy it you might learn something

    • mikeswitz

      So does Mangame make a living as a photographer or is he just still selling cameras in New York. I’m guessing stupid selling tricks.

      • Mansgame

        You’re really taking this too personally. Are you an assistant or groupie?

        • mikeswitz

          No I’m a DGA film/tv director. My name is Michael Switzer. Look me up on IMDB. Before that I was a cinematographer shooting documentaries and political campaigns including Jimmy Carter’s first presidential run. And before that I was a still photographer. In all of those various jobs yes, I had an assistant. Imagine that, a professional with an assistant. I’ve noticed that is one of your many whines…”I could have done that but I don’t have an assistant” or ” I could have done that if I could afford to go to that place” or your endless inability to deal with oil spots on your sensor.
          Your latest whine about McNally’s video and his career trajectory is about as stupid as all your previous whines put together. It was a little like saying “I really like Romeo and Juliet but I think it should have had a happy ending. Did you ever see a Shakespeare tragedy with a happy ending. I think he is stuck in a rut and should be more cutting edge with his plays.”
          You ask me I have I ever been to a Mcnally seminar that was for available light? Why would you ask that? A completely specious question. But I’ve seen many a Joe Mcnally available light photograph. Have you?
          Finally, if you are on location (not a studio) and you are faced with all white walls and no available light you are in a pretty tough situation, which I think was one of the lessons of this video. If you had had any real lighting experience you would have known that. It’s why you almost never see all white walls in movies unless there is a story reason. Joe’s portraits always try to tell a story. At least from his point of view.
          I know a number working, published photographers. Not one has anything but the highest praise for Joe’s work. Those who have maybe shot a couple of weddings just might want to sit back and learn something before disparaging other photographers, including those that volunteer to show their work on NR.

          Grow up.

  • Rameses the 2nd

    I know Joe McNally is supposed to be an expert, but this seems like a poorly done ad for Nikon flash system. White background for white subject. Plenty of side lighting available and he could just simply use his built-in D800 flash for fill flash (if this video is supposed to be for noobs). A simple reflector would produce much better images, IMO, than bouncing lights of the walls, etc… The images are not inspiring at all.

    And what’s the point of an old abandoned building, if all you can see is white background (no texture, no patterns, no lines). I am not certainly going to buy more flashes to procude meh images like these.

    • Jeff Hunter

      The white walls were his reflector. All those white walls created a lot of soft reflected ambient light. It would have been more challenging if the walls were darker.

      • mikeswitz

        Hey Jeff,
        I would like to disagree. One of the most difficult situations a photographer or cinematographer has to deal with is a box of white walls with little or no ambient (available) light. It has often been said that your subject needs to have something both both lighter and darker than a white wall background to give your picture any kind of depth. Relying only on soft bounce is not going help. Mcnally is a master at controlling lilghter with one or just a few SB flashes.

        • Jeff Hunter

          Little or no ambient light? The entire room was filled with tons of ambient light. One whole long side was nothing but window light! The only way to get any amount of chiaroscuro in that environment is to do what Joe did near the end of the video; put the model’s back near the bright window light and add a touch of fill-flash to brighten the shadows. (If the model had pale skin and bright blond hair that would not even have worked.) These were the only pictures that had any appreciable depth to them.

          • mikeswitz

            I’m sorry, I didn’t mean Joe had no ambient light and I was talking about just the shots up against the white walls. Using a single, on camera flash he overcame what the little available light was doing, creating an extremely flat capture. For me, at least, the picture with the more interesting shades is the one without much ambient light and therefore has more depth. I believe the choice of a black woman in a white fencing uniform with white walls is what made this an interesting lesson. The little ambient light was the problem not the solution and I think that was the point of the video. If the walls were darker he wouldn’t have needed the flash and in fact the assignment would have been much easier.

    • broxibear

      Hi Rameses,
      It’s not an out and out ad for the Nikon flash system as such or for “noobs”, it’s also a reminder to all photographers that even with one flash on camera you have different possibilites and ways of using that flash…I’m sure he takes it on with more flash units.
      Being inspired by images is a very personal thing, I may look at one photographer and think his/her images are amazing, yet to someone else they will be anything but.
      As far as the location, it’s pretty much a studio, one of the most difficult things is to take interesting portraits against a white wall/backdrop. Have a look at Avedon’s portraits and Terry Richardson’s against plain white walls, and you’ll see how their use of shapes/composition, quality of light and when to take the image is what makes them interesting.

      There’s a wealth of images out there, videos from McNally and others will fill in the technical parts, but you should look beyond that and look at photography from the Hollywood photographers from the 30′s to Joey L who did an interesting interview with Mr Polin, (the link is below)
      You don’t have to like everything a photographer does but you’ll learn something by looking at their images.
      The Joey L interview is worth a watch, not my favourite photographer by any means, but I’m always interested in other photographers thoughts.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAFonNe0_K0

    • desmo

      Simply put it takes skill on the photographers part to make that all work.

      thx Joe,
      well done

  • Paul

    at the end of the video it says 24-70 as the glass. the best shots were with the 85mm prime. or am i wrong?

  • http://www.michaelkormos.com/ Michael Kormos

    Does anyone else find it super-distracting that Joe is talking to camera in some scenes, and off-camera in others? I’ve seen this done before, and I can’t understand why anyone would do this in a video. Veteran directors of photography must be pulling their hair out! Aaaaaahhhh!

    • mikeswitz

      Huh?

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