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The Moment It Clicks: Photography Secrets from One of the World's Top Shooters
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The Moment It Clicks: Photography Secrets from One of the World's Top Shooters

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,375 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Joe McNally, one of the world's top pro digital photographers, whose celebrated work has graced the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, and National Geographic (to name a few), breaks new ground by doing something no photography book has ever done--blending the rich, stunning images and elegant la
ebook, 298 pages
Published January 23rd 2008 by New Riders Publishing
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(showing 1-30 of 2,400)
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Interesting photo book. The photos were really fun to look at, and I enjoyed reading about the authors experiences while shooting them. As a learning book, a lot of what he talked about is not possible for me to do right now, due to lacking the equipment he suggests. Also, towards the end of the book he randomly started throwing in some unneccessary foul language that kind of caught me off guard.
Apr 29, 2008 Joshua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic and powerful read. Page after page of approachable information about great photos and how they were gotten -- which turns out to be (duh!) as much philosophy and personal skills as lighting and ISO. It transformed the way I look at my camera and the opportunities I will create behind and in front of it.
Mar 28, 2008 Andie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
Learning the stories behind the photographs always makes me enjoy the image more. The book takes you there...also it give great advice to photographers (new and old....some of us forget and need reminders!)

Joe McNally reminds you photography is hard work but a lot of fun too!
Allen Hamlin Jr.
Although this book bills itself as being part coffee table book, part training course, the scope of its training is fairly narrow. McNally's emphasis is clearly on lighting setups, and most of the special terminology and gear that he mentions are related to lighting gear. While the stories behind the photos are entertaining, and occasionally inspiring, they are not highly instructional. The photos used to exemplify the tips are far out of reach of most photographers--famous people, historical mo ...more
Aug 22, 2011 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could sum this review up in three words. Seriously cool book!!!! Joe McNally's The Moment It Clicks is the best photography book I have ever read and is one of the best books on any subject that I have ever read.

The book features tons of incredible pictures, many of which you will recognize from magazines. For each shot, McNally shares the story behind it and the lesson he learned from it. You get to see the creative process behind his work, both the times when inspiration and circumstance al
Dec 21, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: photographers
This book became one of my favorite all time photography books from the moment I picked it up!

Joe McNally is truly a legend. This book showcases some of his greatest work, and on the page opposite each photo he tells a story to go with it. He also gives the most basic description of the technical side of the lighting.

If you are looking for highly technical step by step detailed instructions on how to reproduce each photo,this book is not for you. You have to have a firm grasp on the technical si
Mar 22, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great how-to book as well as a beautiful selection of random photographs from a well-known photographer. Joe McNally has been producing photographs for the likes of "Sports Illustrated" and "National Geographic" for some time. Like many professionals, he no doubt is often asked to share his expertise with others, and he responds here with his descriptions of the background of photo projects, while clearly showing the technical and creative processes of getting publishable pictures. He ...more
Aug 06, 2008 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Photographers
Joe McNally is one of my favorite photographers. He’s shot covers for National Geographic, Newsweek, Time and Life Magazine. Though you may not recognize the name, I’m sure you’ve seen some of his photographs. He famously took the world’s largest polaroid camera to Ground Zero and took photographs of many people involved in 9/11(Click on Special Projects). One of my favorites is the picture he took of a lightbulb being changed at the top of the Empire State Building.

The Moment It Clicks is descr
Feb 07, 2008 Billrogers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Photographers
Recommended to Billrogers by:
Shelves: photography
I recommend The Moment It Clicks to serious amateur photographers and to professional shooters. It is an excellent first effort for Joe McNally. Nevertheless, it does have several flaws.

Scott Kelby is listed as the Editor of this book, and his fingerprints are all over it. If you are familiar with Kelby's books on Adobe Photoshop, you will instantly recognize his influence on the layout of this book.

The Moment It Clicks is divided into four chapters, but these chapter divisions are mostly irrel
Jul 15, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Popped over to my local library's website to reserve this title and discovered it was available as an e-book. Excellent: I read this on my laptop with my camera beside me, fiddling with the settings and taking test shots as I read.

Though intended for the more advanced photographer, I still found this an entertaining and informative read. I have a point-and-shoot, albeit a very adjustable one, but am only an advanced beginner. McNally's specialty is lighting portraits in subtle and innovative way
Dave Wilson
Aug 29, 2015 Dave Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for some photography inspiration and a thoroughly entertaining read, you can't get much better than Joe McNally's "The Moment it Clicks". The mix of humour, old-fashioned story-telling and technique tips (though not provided in any kind of tutorial-like way. This is most definitely not a photography textbook) is just right and I find myself coming back to the book regularly.
Donna Quinlan
Mar 15, 2015 Donna Quinlan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great photos and great photography tips coming from a master photographer. It's a little bit too technical for me, being a very amateur photographer. The only reason for the 4 stars instead of 5 is that the publisher could have used a higher quality materials to transpose the photos.
Jan 20, 2009 Vicster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe McNally makes great photography accessible to aspiring professional photographers (or serious amateurs).

Every page is filled with great anecdotes of a successful career, as well as a paragraph or two of "how I did it" to accompany the photographs. For all of the times I've looked at a great image and figured it was far too complicated for me to imitate (armed with just my camera and, when I'm lucky, an external flash unit), McNally shows that it can be done AND that it can be done without n
Dec 10, 2014 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good for some insight in to McNalley's thought process, but it's also kind of a giant advertisement for Nikon speedlites. And spoiler alert... his wife works for Nikon and they are a sponsor of his so... no surprise there.
May 12, 2015 J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great stories. Awesome tips. Wonderful pics. Personable, educational, and well worth the time. Could read it over and over again. Spent time reviewing the pictures. Better than many photog books out there.
Renée Doiron
Kept feeling like I was reading a book written in the 1980s. The early 1980s. Yes he has photographed a ton of famous people and yes he is obviously talented, but the ego that oozes from the pages (he includes footnotes for us dummies) turned me off. As for the photos, some are great and some are just average.
Liang Gang Yu
Mar 03, 2014 Liang Gang Yu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-books
This is a collection of celebrated people photos and stories from Joe McNally, a proclaimed photographer. Fun and easy to read. Be inspiring without going to much technical details.
Dec 16, 2011 Bader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
Nice photos to been seen, a man with a successful career, and beneficial backstage stories to be shared are the things that make this book a have-to-read book for all people in the world of photography.

إضافة للصور الجميلة التي تستحق المشاهدة, فإن كون الرجل القائم على الكتاب رجل ناجح في عمله كمصور, واحتواء الكتاب على قصص مفيدة لما يحدث خلف الستار يجعل من الكتاب من الكتب الواجب قراءتها لمن هو في عالم التصوير الفوتوغرافي.
النسخة العربية منه متواجدة حاليًا وأنصح بها لكل من لايجيد اللغة أما من يتحدث و
Nov 15, 2015 Abbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, click
This was a cool book! The premise of the book came from the author's continuously informative and entertaining photography workshops that he had been teaching through the years. Each photograph in the book was accompanied by little nuggets of wisdom, great stories about how he came to photograph the subject and of course technical information on lighting and shooting the subject. If nothing else, it was fascinating to see these famous photos and hear about how and why he had chosen to shoot them ...more
Apr 19, 2010 Wendelius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
It's a fun book from a professional photographer about the things he's learned over years of freelance work.

There are some practical tips, lots of anecdotes and stories accompanying cool shots (and he explains how he got them) and often explanations on how he lit the shots. The latter part, while irrelevant to me as I don't plan to get studio equipment and softboxes and so on, didn't detract from an overall enjoyable read.

The most interesting aspect of it is the "look at one more shot and read
Apr 07, 2013 Katsu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
This is first book of Joe's but last one I've read. You can feel that from the style and language.
Lot of photos shown in this book are also described in another two. And truly I like theme there more because their descriptions are more detailed with some technical stuff included.
But still, for sure, this title is worth reading. Funny, easy and fast to read but also easy to understand and remember.
I like the style of this book. Motto, some story and maybe some info about photo - not so detailed
Sharada Prasad CS
This is a book for for people who can invest a lot of money on photography. I am giving three stars as this book does not describe many techniques which involve very few or less expensive accessories. Also, I am interested more in street photography/candid photography. There weren't as many techniques related to that!

But the photographs and techniques listed in the book are stunning! An excellent book if you are considering photography as a profession or if you have too much money to buy accesso
Feb 01, 2010 Kylie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a little more for the professional photographer than the amateur. The book is mostly about lighting and how to create light that looks natural with artificial light. I use mostly available light (I'm a total amateur and just can't afford softboxes, umbrellas and the like). I did enjoy reading about how he created the looks and the photos are lovely to look at, but because of the focus on lighting with artificial lighting, it's not the best photography book for me.
Ryan Watkins
I would very highly recommend this book to fellow photographers at any ability level! It is filled with amazing stories of how one of the best and most technically adept currently living photographers has captured his stunning imagery. It has a wealth of technical information to help you improve your photography and wisdom for how to work with clients. Even for those new to photography Joe's stories will keep you entertained even if the technical info is over your head.
Henri Tuomola
Mar 24, 2014 Henri Tuomola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
Good book on giving thoughts, nuggets and general guidance on photography and especially on lighting but not really a guide to flash photography (probably it didn't promise to be that either).
I'm torn about this book - the photos are good and the descriptions of the thought process behind the works can be enlightening however there is a certain shallowness to the descriptions that leaves me wanting more than just the few tips sandwiched between the stories.

If you already know to look round, take in the details and know that the small stuff matters this book is a good review. If you don't know to do that, this book will help reinforce the message

Mar 05, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I had mixed feelings about this book. If you're looking for tips on how to take better photos (as the title seemed to imply it would be), you'll like be sorely disappointed. (The "secrets" are things like "Then I climbed to the top of the Empire State Building, used a magenta filter and a strobe flash!") However, if you're looking for a coffee table book of some great photos with a bit of commentary on each, you will likely be pleasantly surprised.
Dec 26, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this for Christmas from my husband and read the entire thing that day. Joe McNally is a master and this book is one of my favorite photography books so far. I know that I'll read this over and over again, picking different sections to focus on, etc. I really appreciate that Joe provides a story behind some of his most famous photographs. I also love that he tells us how the photos were made focusing on specific lighting techniques.
Mar 18, 2008 Tamara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover picture for this is probably my least favorite one from the collection. But there are some amazing pics in here, and some great anecdotal stories to go with them. Like the pic taken of the photographer's daughter after she got a black eye coming up from the bottom of a pool and the one of "the Napalm girl" with her newborn in her arms.

Definitely worth flipping through.
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An accomplished and widely-respected photographer, Joe McNally got his start as a newspaper photographer in New York, eventually becoming a staff photographer for Time magazine and a frequent contributor to National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, and numerous other publications.

Particularly noted for his portraits, McNally teaches numerous workshops throughout the year.

See McNally's own website o
More about Joe McNally...

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“No matter how much crap you gotta plow through to stay alive as a photographer, no matter how many bad assignments, bad days, bad clients, snotty subjects, obnoxious handlers, wigged-out art directors, technical disasters, failures of the mind, body, and will, all the shouldas, couldas, and wouldas that befuddle our brains and creep into our dreams, always remember to make room to shoot what you love. It’s the only way to keep your heart beating as a photographer.” 66 likes
“Don’t pack up your camera until you’ve left the location.” 61 likes
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