Book Review: Hot Shoe Diaries

hot shoeThe Hot Shoe Diaries – McNally’s latest book – is currently flying off the shelves (for good reason).  If you’re a photographer – and you’re new to middlin’ in your flash skills – this book could be a good investment.

McNally’s strengths include skilled photographer, good teacher, and that “no challenge is too big” personality.  With his 30 years of shooting experience – he has a lot to share – and I’m glad he’s taken the time to sit down and write both The Moment it Clicks and Hot Shoe Diaries.

Diaries is very much in the Strobist groove – small, agile gear for on-the-go lighting.  McNally breaks the book into four sections: Nuts ‘n’ Bolts, One Light!, Two or More, and Lotsa Lights – and this really helps the reader when it comes time to study up on certain scenarios.

This book is also unapologetically Nikon.  By the end of this – you’ll know the Nikon line of tools better than your Nikon friends – and likely better than the local sales rep.  There’s even an appendix to teach you about the buttons on the new SB-900 you just bought (taught, no less, by a gorilla).

So, what’s a Canon shooter to do?  Just read the book and enjoy it.  There’s still a lot to learn even if you’ll soon be able to recite model numbers for four generations of Speedlights…

One note – McNally does get a bit salty in this book.  Some may feel that this helps him better connect with the reader – but I tend to find it a distracting tool that breaks the story and flow – and I’m puzzled why a teacher would risk his message by using wayward language.

But language and Nikon aside, McNally teaches well and his photography is compelling.  New to flash?  Seriously consider this book.

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