Climbing To a Higher Level With TTL
Set to TTL Mode, the B1 Off-Camera Flash will automatically provide you with a perfect exposure in a flash. Use TTL to shoot fast, to capture constantly moving subjects or simply to be able to fully concentrate on what happens in front of the camera. Like Maneki Neko did.
“Engin Türker is quite unique,” replies photographer Maneki Neko when asked about his athletic, wall-scaling subject. “Besides being a model, he is also a climbing instructor.
“So the idea behind this shoot was to show Engin’s physical appearance in the most raw and fierce aspect possible. For this reason, I told him to focus on his climbing and not worry about posing to the camera. But this presented a bit of challenge for my team and me. Engin moved quickly, and we had to do struggle to follow him with our lights! In fact, I think the shoot would’ve been almost impossible without TTL.”
This was the first time you put an Air Remote TTL-N on your Nikon camera and used the B1 Off-Camera Flash in TTL Mode. What did you think of it?
“The TTL capability really shines in a situation like this. It’s very difficult to get the correct exposure when you are shooting a moving subject. So leaving this task to TTL Mode is really liberating. It allows you to fully concentrate on the subject.”
What do you consider being the main advantage of shooting in TTL Mode?
“In my opinion, there are two main advantages of using TTL. The first and most obvious is the fact that TTL is fully automatic, which allows you to focus on other aspects of the shooting than the power level of your flash.
“The second, less obvious advantage is that TTL allows you to set up very fast. You don’t have to have to spend time dialing in the exposure. You just press a button and you are good to go. And you still have the option of switching to Manual Mode with the same settings whenever you like.”
Were all images shot in TTL Mode? Or did you switch back and forth?
“In this case, I didn’t really need to go manual. The exposure was always correct.”
Tell us how you lit these images. What kind of light were you going for?
“I generally prefer using contrasty and moody light in my work. I believe it adds a lot to the story behind the shot. For me taking photos is about telling stories, and the light is what shapes your story. In this case, I wanted a light that was focused on the subject and showed his features in a dramatic way.”
You added an Softbox RFi 3’ Octa to your B1 Off-Camera Flash to achieve that effect. Why?
“First of all, I really love the 3’ Octa’s shape. It’s quite natural and gives, in my opinion, a more organic, natural type of light. This is especially true for close-ups where you can see the catch light in the subject’s eyes. But I believe it’s also true for wider shots.
“Also, the 3’ Octa has two diffusers that create a really nice, soft light on the subject. Using a Beauty Dish here, for example, would have been a bit too harsh.
“The size of the 3’ Octa was also perfect for this shoot, because it was easy enough to move, but at the same time also wide enough to light almost entire Engin’s body.”
You added a Softgrid in front of the Softbox. Why?
“I often use Softgrids for the simple reason that they allow me to control the light better and direct it exactly where I want it. If we didn’t use the Softgrid, the light would’ve spread and bounced all over the place. As I said before, I wanted to tell a story with these photos. This required that I focus on my main character. The best way to do that was to focus the light on the subject.”
Our favorite image is probably the one showing Engin in profile with a bit a wild look in his eyes. Can you tell us more about this shot?
“In this shot the B1 with the RFi 3’ Octa and the Softgrid was positioned up and to the left of the camera. My assistant was holding the flash in her hands, doing her best to track Engin’s rapid movements.
“As you can see from his facial expression, Engin is definitely concentrated on the climbing. I like that, and I like how the photo shows the power he gets from his muscles. The hair flowing behind while he is in movement is also a nice detail.
“All in all, I think this particular image sums up the main concept of the shoot very well. It’s raw and it really shows the action and effort, which was exactly what I wanted to achieve.”
See more of Maneki Neko’s images at his website.
Learn more about the B1 Off-Camera Flash, the Air Remote TTL-N and the RFi 3’ Octa at the Profoto website.