Joe McNally: Knee-to-Groin Injury

Dexter had never actually seen a female crotch before, and was once again forced to default to a ‘best guess’ and hide everything with inky-black shadow.

Thanks OldBean. When we original received this PSD and found out it was from Joe we ran it by a bunch of photographers to make sure there wasn’t any strange photography magic happening. This PSD was found in Joe’s latest book “Sketching Light“.

I thought the tag “What do you mean you’ve already printed it” was very fitting for the occasion. If you can’t see the PSD, you can check out our red circle image. 

Update:  The great Waldo Joe McNally has provided evidence that proves we are indeed looking at something that hasn’t been modified.

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  • Guest

    Sorry Joe is a Photographer God and everyone knows Gods can do no wrong ssssooooooo I  recuse recuse recuse!

    • God


  • Le_Bob

    I’m just glad mt girlfriend can’t do that.

  • Bev

    Wow, that is very weird looking!  I can’t even tell what they did with her rear end.  I wish it were so easy to make them disappear… mine could use some shrinking!!

  • Stock Photos

    maybe she’s just the really uber flexible gymnast type – pretzel girl! lol

  • Steve

    Add uber sense of balance to uber flexible. 

  • Jeff Berardi

    I’m actually less offended by the terrible photoshop (and the whole thing looks like a comp, really– click through to his website and see the original version) than I am with the overall concept of the shot itself. “Oh, let me just put on my lacy nightgown and my heavy-duty Gore-Tex parka and some boots and go crouch on a rock on the beach at night while some guy shines what is obviously an artificial light source on me”. WTF is that? What story does this shot tell? What way is it supposed to make me feel? Is it a portrait? Is it an an ad for the jacket? It’s just a thing combined with a thing combined with a thing for no apparent reason. It’s like the elements of this shot were chosen by manatees, South Park style. 

    I mean, I’m supposed to buy this book to learn about lighting, right? Could someone tell me one thing that’s good about the way this shot is lit? They got a big softbox and threw it on this girl at a very standard angle. All the black nylon on the inside of the jacket is catching that light and creating a really distracting texture, which then conspires with the white undergarment to pull the viewers   Hell, the rock is getting light. Why? Is THAT what this is supposed to be about?

    I’m going to stop here for the benefit of anyone reading this, but I could easily spend the whole day cataloging the myriad of ways in which this photograph pisses me off. Thanks to PSDs for giving this some exposure; a guy who wants to sell us books about how to be a better photographers should not get a pass on publishing this kind of sloppy work. 

    • Vernon

      Thanks Jeff for the ranting! I really did enjoy reading it and I think that they should tell people where they used photoshop.

    • Malwitz Jason

      Thats quite an impressive portfolio you have there Jeff! Lol! Joe has forgotten more about lighting than you will ever know!

    • Kent

      Jeff… You are writing like you actually have your brain photoshop`d away.

      Just have to laugh out loud when reading that bullshit you are posting, and then taking a look at your portfolio. Man, get real. Get down to earth. Please.

    • Stefan Simonsen

      Thank you for sharing your photography mistakes in a gallery too… Oh wait, that’s your PORTFOLIO, right?

    • aboutrc

      Jeff – this is Hilarious….  theres NO way you can be angry at your comments…  its just to the point of funny.. 

    • Donald Page

      I have to at least respect that fact that you used your full real name on here on a post used to blast one of the lighting geniuses of our time. 

    • RicC

      Considering the fact that Joe McNally showed that the photo
      was not edited, the whole discussion is now pointless.  However, your comment is really good.  Got me thinking about “Concept of
      shots” overall.  To be honest, when
      you take Joe’s picture out of context, you might raise a feel questions… like
      why did he use that light and not some other setup?  Criticizing is very easy; try doing it better…
      and that gets me back to the “Concept of shots”. 

      I was taking a look at a portfolio a few minutes ago ( and boy was I
      intrigued. I’m still trying to figure out story upside down light/line poles
      are telling. When did take ordinary street snap shots of reflections or from
      behind windows become art?

      I’m not a professional photographer… actually I’m not even
      amateur… but I could write a book on criticizing the concepts of the shots in
      this portfolio.  I don’t want to sound
      like a “windows-portfolio” that repeats itself, but it is as I said before… Criticizing
      is very easy; try doing it better

    • Richard

      Jeff is absolutely right. This guy McNally sucks.

    • Scott

      Jeff Berardi’s entire site belongs on my other favorite blog… You Are Not A Photographer

    • Kenny Kinter

      I was actually thinking wow these comments on him are pretty harsh. Guys got a right to his opinion. Then I looked at the portfolio and I have nothing else to say.

    • Phil

      So I should listen to Jeff Berardi complaining about Joe McNally being sloppy, when Jeff wants to see more “how to be a better photographers”?  Considering my trip through Jeff’s ‘portfolio’ (sic), next time try using a spell checker so maybe I can take your writing seriously.  Your portfolio definitely doesn’t do the trick.

      Jeff: make sure you send us all an invitation to your next Flash Bus tour so we can learn from you how to place light poles upside down.  In the meantime, I’ll spend my time marveling at the equalizing force of the web which puts Jeff’s and Joe’s talents out there for all to compare and consider.  You can guess who I will be paying attention to in the future.

    • LG

      Don’t mean to sound sarcastic, but who is Jeff Berardi?  No seriously, are you an actual working professional or just someone with an opinion?  I, like others, checked out your portfolio and, ummm…. yeah. nuff said there.

      If you ARE in fact just a guy with an opinion, I have no issues with accepting your comment as just that, a random guy, posting random criticisms without the actual credentials or work history to substantiate anything said.  McNally, on the other hand (someone I greatly admire), has credentials and a work history that would put 98% of photography resumes to shame.

      Anyhow, Jeff, congrats on stirring up a little backlash from your comment (I’m assuming that may have been part of your objective).

      PS.  you’re funny.

  • Gary

    look at the bigger image on the site
    no PSD it just looks that way because you can see the back part of the jacket and you can clearly see in the original that she’s leaning on the rock to her left

    • Bird2e411

      No PsD….r-i-i-i-ght.   Then where is the rest of her left thigh and buttock? No one has a thigh that is thinner than the ankle.

      • Vernon

        Gary could really be Joe :)

      • Gary

        Did you look at the bigger image? If yes, are you blind?

  • Earle

    Jeff. First of all, I respect your right to an opinion but (and I don’t know jack about Photoshop as to whether that’s really her thigh or if it’s been shaved — though both her thighs are on ample display in two other images in the book and I’m not sure what benefit there would be in trimming it for that image) you’re whining about a  photo in a book without the context.

    You’re crying out for more information that may be answered — albeit perhaps not to your satisfaction — in the book.

    For what it’s worth to you, it’s in a chapter that deals with using one light (outside) and details compromises that must be made due to heat or cold — in that case both, since they were at a hot springs in Iceland —  foolish equipment choices, etc. Two other shots of the model feature her without the parka, incidentally. It’s followed in that chapter by a self-admitted botched shot of Gregory Hines.

    Elsewhere in that chapter there’s a before-after shot where Photoshop was used.

    McNally’s book, overall is accessible and likely meant for readers with all levels of lighting skill. So maybe while someone of your lofty experience and understanding will look at that image and start shouting “the Emperor has NO clothes,” others with considerably less lighting skill (and I count myself near the bottom of that rung) will draw value from the image in the context of the book. An image, that, ironically is in a chapter where the “emperor” himself is busy detailing how often he ventures out into the world in varying stages of dres.

  • John Doemann

    @ Jeff Berardi – Perhaps you are not
    familiar with Joe McNally …he has been shooting for the Nat’l Geo
    and Life longer than you have been alive. I’m sure your Certificate
    of Completion from Hallmark Institute of Photography has made you
    a fine photographer and their “Intensive
    ten-month photography program” has provided you with the tools
    necessary to capture fine art images of windows
    and power lines. Your education, experience and razor sharp
    critic will cause Joe to pause and reconsider his career path. Yes,
    I’m sure of it.

    those of you who would like to compare/contrast the work of the
    talented Mr. Berardi and that hack Joe McNally, please follow the
    links below:

    McNally –

    Berardi –

  • Ducky

    @John Doemann – amen

  • Brad

    I see an awkward pose but not a PSD. Her blouse is draped over her left thigh, obscuring it and making it appear to be thinner than it really is. Why didn’t the submitter also complain that her left arm is photoshopped out (because it is obscured by her coat)?

  • Pat

    Guys, looks like a #fail on your side this time …

    Joe answered on his blog :

  • Tomasz Brodecki

    For those of you who can’t  be bothered wih reading Joe’s blog, here’s the RAW file preview:×328.png 
    Yup, she’s just incredibly skinny.

  • Chris Nemes

    The pose is a little awkward, but I don’t think it’s PS. The volume of the jacket is kinda big compared to her skinny size + the blouse partially covering the thigh is what’s causing an optical illusion, in my opinion.

  • John A.

    Hmmm, I think the editing dept. here needs an anatomy lesson, …or one less screwdriver when selecting potential candidates.

  • Richard Cave LBPPA

    Ha ha just checked out the RAW file, and PSD have made a mistake, do the honourable thing and just apologise. 

  • Ken

    Joe McNally just owned you guys!  Get your facts right before you post, how embarrassing for you.

  • Shannon Wimberly

    uuhhhh….. like, so what? …. its a great image in spite of your little quibble with it.

  • Zod

    So it isn’t a PSD. Is there a site for terribly posed models so that this image can be properly ridiculed?

  • SimonJacobs

    This Jeff guy is hysterical. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but when you set yourself up to criticise someone who has been at the top of there game, and earned their living from photography for 30 years, that criticism must come from a place of experience. Jeff, and credit to him for linking to his pictures, quite clearly has little in the way of photographic prowess, let alone the ability to use the  lighting technique he questions.
    My opinion of Joes work? Love it. Love his attitude and his ability to translate exactly how a photographer feels when on any paid job, big or small more. HIs understanding of light is astonishing. He comes back with the goods.
    My opinion of Jeffs work? I have been a pro shooter since 1984. In the film days we would rattle off a few frames to advance the film. These frames would be of, boots of cars, sky, feet, camera straps etc. Most of Jeffs work look pretty akin to these unconsidered frames. Mind you, I do know a UK press photog that actually put a book together of these ‘wind on’ frames. So, Jeff selling books could actually be your thing after all…

  • RicC

    Joe McNally proved twice you guys (and your “bunch of photographers”) are wrong…  You could AT LEAST update the post to do some justice…  or at least to regain some of your credibility.

  • Phil

    There’s credibility in any of Jeff’s comments?  News to me.

    • RicC

      If you are referring to my comment…  I meant credibility.

  • jack yell

    C’mon guys, let’s not get too harsh on Jeff. If his windows and poles portfolio look like crap, that’s probably because they were taken on 2009 when he’s only been photographing for two years after his photography short-course. I’m sure his windows and poles photography skills have  improved much since then.

  • Robert K.

    He, I knew that lighthouse was a fake !  ;o)