Rooftopping photography enthusiasts enjoy climbing to locations that would make most people’s legs turn to jelly, pointing a camera straight down, and snapping a photo that commonly shows feet, a ledge, and a huge drop. While in Dubai for Gulf Photo Plus 2013, famed National Geographic photographer Joe McNally managed to snap the mother of all rooftopping photos, seen above. The Instagram snap was captured from the tip of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest manmade structure in the world. Read more…
Ever wonder how the photographs found on the pages of National Geographic come together? Here’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes video showing how the images of the 1992 cover story titled “The Sense Of Sight” — photographed by Joe McNally — were shot, edited, and arranged. McNally writes,
And changes. Man, is that an understatement. High res digital cameras have replaced film cameras. Hard drives store pictures, not little yellow boxes. Kodak’s stopped making carousel projectors. Photographers go to the magazine far less often, given digital transmission. Ties and jackets are seen less frequently.
But, the main mission, over time, has remained. Tell a good story in pictures. The major components–photographer, picture editor, designer, magazine editor–are all still in place, and the interplay among them is ongoing and largely unchanged.
The next time you pick up an issue of National Geographic and are tempted to flippantly flip through the images, consider these crazy facts: the 40 page/40 picture story took roughly a year to create from idea to completion and required 1200 rolls of film shot during 6 months of field work!
Being a photographer for the National Geographic opens the door to all kinds of photo opportunities that other photographers would die for. For a Nat Geo story on “The Power of Light”, photographer (and now blogger) Joe McNally climbed to the very tip of the Empire State Building to capture a stunning wide angle photograph of the antenna light bulb being changed. Luckily for the rest of us, they also created an awesome behind-the-scenes video giving us a glimpse into how the photo was made.
Photographers do a lot to get the perfect shot, and sometimes even put gear safety above personal well-being in dangerous situations. Here’s a fun video photographer Joe McNally posted showing him getting knocked over by a longboarder while trying to capture a shot. Notice how he holds his position long enough to snap the pic, deftly moves his camera to his other hand when falling over, and immediately checks the photo when he gets back up. True pro.
This video is hardly new (appeared back in 2008), but could be helpful for those of you who haven’t seen it yet. In it, photographer Joe McNally teaches how you can use your body to stabilize the camera, gaining a stop or two of light. McNally says his technique is mostly useful for left-eyed shooters, but you can adapt many of the things taught regardless of which eye you use.