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Settings for off-camera Profoto light.

Hi: Question for Neil and also everyone else. 

When you use the Profoto B1 light (and soft box) for outdoor portraits do you usually have it set to TTL? Rather than manual? And, if so, do you then adjust the flash power with the camera? (Rather than walking over to the flash and adjusting there). Even if it's on manual, can you adjust the manual settings via the camera?

Also, if you are shooting in bright sun and have the camera set to properly expose the background and sky, now you are using the flash to properly expose the subjects (if backs to sun). So, would you have your camera meter now set to spot metering to enable the TTL system to set the flash right for the faces? Wouldn't a more overall meter setting underexpose the faces in this situation? (Unless you adjust the light to taste after looking at faces in camera screen.)

Here's the light I am referring to (for readers not familiar with the Profoto).


  • This below is Neil's response to a question on a May 2015 blog post. So my question is this: Why lock in manual after getting right exposure? Is it because leaving on TTL would change exposure and expose for background, sky?

    The sequence:

    1. Meter for the skyline and do one test shot it confirm exposure & camera settings.

    2. Then another photo – the first shot of couple against the skyline, with the Profoto B1 set to TTL.

    3. Check the exposure of this shot, and adjust the flash up / down accordingly. Then lock it to manual flash for the other images.

    All this takes but a few seconds. Then we continue shooting.

    After a few shots I would show the couple how awesome the photos look. 
  • Why lock in manual after getting right exposure?

    Because once you have the correct flash exposure it will not change. It's like driving a manual car. Once you put in a gear it will not move from that gear until you change it.

    Is it because leaving on TTL would change exposure and expose for background, sky?

    Yes. As you move or as the conditions change the camera will try to adjust for those new conditions. It will change the flash settings accordingly. These new settings may or may not produce the desired result. If you are in Manual mode and have the correct flash exposure set it will not change regardless of the changing conditions.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Exactly what you found for yourself, and Kevin confirmed. 
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