There isn’t much that ac­claimed pho­tog­ra­pher hasn’t shot in his stel­lar 30-year ca­reer, but as he ex­plains in the first of his monthly col­umns, the hu­man body is hard to beat...

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

Pro­foto air re­mote sys­tem. I ex­per­i­mented, bounc­ing be­tween man­ual and TTL con­trols, rarely hav­ing to leave the cam­era, and dic­tat­ing light lev­els and ra­tios to the flashes on the set wire­lessly.

I was thrilled with the two-way com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the Nikon sys­tem, even then, and now that the B1 TTL units are in full-blown pro­duc­tion sta­tus, the news is even bet­ter. When more power is called for, and you ab­so­lutely need a larger flash that can cross over easily from the stu­dio to the field, op­er­ate on bat­tery, and give you a wal­lop of light, the B1 is ba­si­cally the go-to unit.

Like­wise the D810 is the go-to pic­ture ma­chine for this type of job. Why would you ad­dress these mag­nif­i­cent ex­am­ples of hu­man ar­chi­tec­ture with any less res­o­lu­tion? The D810’s phe­nom­e­nal sharp­ness plus Nikon’s 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom lens is a beau­ti­ful com­bi­na­tion for shoot­ing beau­ti­ful hu­mans.

Smoke. It’s a won­der and a vexation. Kind of like herd­ing cats, it me­an­ders. But if you fill a back­ground with vapour oc­ca­sion­ally, it can add tex­ture and depth to your light­ing. For most of the day, I worked with a com­bi­na­tion of side­lights, an over­head strip and a small strip, po­si­tioned low. I played with the val­ues of these lights via the air re­mote, and some­times shut them down al­to­gether, depend­ing on the at­ti­tude and po­si­tion­ing of my sub­ject.

Black and white was a nat­u­ral way, to me, to ap­proach this. Colour, I feel, would have in­ter­fered with the di­rect­ness and in­ten­sity of the ath­letes as they pre­sented them­selves to the cam­era. They were stripped down, es­sen­tially, us­ing noth­ing but their phys­i­cal­ity, so I kept it equally ba­sic in cam­era, shift­ing into monochrome mode on the LCD, so I could see and feel in black and white.

It was a good day in the stu­dio. The tech­nol­ogy of cam­eras now al­lows the pho­tog­ra­pher’s imag­i­na­tion of to run free, and fast. • To see more of Joe’s amaz­ing im­ages, visit his web­site at

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