When was the last time you learned something new?

For me, it was Wednesday.

I love learning, and I actually feel like I’m picking up new stuff all the time, but Wednesday afternoon I really felt like a learned so much that it will change the way I make portraits from here on out. It happened during Joe McNally’s blind portrait lighting critiques during Wednesday’s episode of “The Grid.

He wasn’t critiquing my images.

What I learned wasn’t even about lighting.

If you’re wondering when the last time you really learned something new that made a real difference in your photography, it can be today, in one hour, with one amazing teacher, and it won’t even cost you a dime, but what you’ll learn from Joe is priceless.

Here’s wishing you a weekend of great learning.

All my best,


  1. watching again! Joe is a gentleman – his critiques are kind as well as insightful.
    Please make it easier to enter the blind critiques and give more advance notice of the theme so we can enter photos we think need some help.

      1. Some of us have tight schedules so more lead time would be appreciated. Also many people are limiting time spent on social media, blogs, internet, email and such to work and lead normal lives. Perhaps you would consider posting the information where it could be easily and regularly found such as Monday on your blog and or/on NAPP website.
        THX – this is not a complaint, just an observation from someone who continues to be amazed at the breadth and quality of the learning opportunities you provide through your various enterprises.

  2. I always look forward to these! I never get to see them live due to my work schedule, so thanks for re-broadcasting these, can’t wait to get home and check it out!

  3. Try astrophotography and you’ll never stop learning something new. It’s probably the most demanding and challenging photography out there from capture to intermediate processing (stacking lights, darks, bias, flats) to post processing.

  4. Learning something new isn’t the case, but being reminded about a personal fundamental that got me involved in photography to begin with. Growing up during a growth in photojournalism I got involved with photography because it could tell a story even in a still. Then photojournalism was challenged by video. Then came my appreciation for the beauty of nature. Then McNally reminded me that a single image could tell a moving story by stroking the imagination. Again and again.

  5. Every time Joe opens his mouth there’s something to be learned! From his actual educating to critiques to the stories he tells to just watching him do his job, the guy is just a never-ending stream of insight and inspiration.

  6. I love listening to Joe speak. He has a way of seeing and explaining things that you just don’t see on a regular basis. His books are the same. Undoubtedly one of the greats of all time!

  7. I think we all learn something different from Joe. Now I am curious. What in Joe’s discussion caused you to say, ” it will change the way I make portraits.”

    1. Ditto. Joe is always interesting and worthwhile. And Scott is generally great. But to tout this the way he did is hype run amok. And this is not the first time I’ve felt this way. In the future, I’ll take Scott’s lead-in blurb with at least a half-grain of salt.

  8. Although I learned about portrait photography, the way Joe always was able to uncover something good in every photographer while delivering suggestions to improve the future photography was awesome. If only I could remember to always treat others in the same way.

  9. OK, I want to learn something new…. specifically the future differences between PS CS6 and PS CC. (I have both) Originally we were told that CC would undergo updates that would not be in CS6. Yes I know CC is suppose to be version 14 while CS6 is 13. But we were told that all work from CC summarized would work in CS6. Yesterday Adobe put out a maintenance release for CS6 and not CC. (yes I know Terry White said it would be too difficult). The update was not specific about the fixes. So will CS6 continue to be supported (maintenance and or enhancements) separately, and will same named features work the same? I wanted a Kelby photography user answer, not an Adobe marketing answer.

  10. This reminds me of a management seminar I attended where it was asked..

    ‘ Who is the wiser man? The one the has the information to do the job? Or the man that surrounds himself with those people with that ability’s and visions?’

    I too took away quite a bit from Joe’s input… but then, I usually do. If you can’t hear the YEARS of looking though glass in that man’s voice… You may qualify for a hearing checkup.. Joe is old school personified. You can still see him shooting NG spreads about eye balls.. running though the streets of NY, on the spire of the Empire State Building at 5 AM.. This guy is the real deal… And probably one.. if not, THE best all around, shoot from the hip, no holes barred, see it all kinda guys you’d ever speak with and in the world today. We are living in pretty remarkable photographic times.

    And he can talk.

    Kudos to all. Joe for being Joe and really.. letting us see inside the genie’s bottle. Scott for having the forethought and insight to include, and make Joe available to us all..

  11. Thanks for asking Joe to do the critiques. He’s experience and comments were great, but
    you rushed thru too many images to fully cover the learning opportunities that
    they presented. Good try, next time, please let Joe preview the images for those
    that are best as instructional tools and then let him talk about those select
    images as long as he wants.

  12. Maybe it’s just me but I was watching on my IPad and some of of the portraits looked like they lost the focus on the eye. I believe the eyes are the most important part of the picture and if looking towards the camera they should be sharp and not soft. There didn’t seem to be any mention about this unless I missed it. Apart from that, it was great having Joe on the show. He is a pleasure to watch critique and such a pleasant guy….

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