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Thread: Show Me Your Night Shots!

  1. #761
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Show Me Your Night Shots!

    I made my first RA-4 print last night! I took this image years ago but of course never printed it. Finally assembled my new darkroom stuff and got it setup properly and after a bit of frustration started to figure it out. I need to keep practicing and probably buy some fresh paper as what I have seems to have a bit of fogging but nevertheless, a good start!

    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  2. #762
    Random Pixel Generator
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    Re: Show Me Your Night Shots!

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I made my first RA-4 print last night! I took this image years ago but of course never printed it. Finally assembled my new darkroom stuff and got it setup properly and after a bit of frustration started to figure it out. I need to keep practicing and probably buy some fresh paper as what I have seems to have a bit of fogging but nevertheless, a good start!

    I like it. My darkroom is still in storage. One day I'll dive in and I hope mine comes out this good.
    "Even after all this time
    the Sun never says to the Earth,
    You owe me.". Hafiz

    Wild Light

  3. #763
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Show Me Your Night Shots!

    Thanks. I've wanted to try color printing for years but had a lot of trouble getting a working color head.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  4. #764

    Re: Show Me Your Night Shots!

    Firefly pix on 4x5 400 speed neg film, in summary:

    Set up and underexpose a likely landscape by about 2 to 3 stops or darker. Do it about dusk. Choose a dim tree-sheltered space. F16 to 45 for 3 to 6 seconds is common, using the Black Cat Exposure Guide. Maximize your Scheimpflug alignment to sharpen the most active firefly zone, usually a couple feet above the ground.

    Then, wait until it's as dark as it can get, usually about 90 minutes. By this time, fireflies have been active awhile, but exposing film too early for these first flashes uses up the film's chemistry and overexposes the landscape. Be patient until it's dark as possible. Open up the aperture to about F4 to F8. Too fast an aperture makes the nearby flashes look like soap bubbles and spoils the effect. Too small an aperture sharpens the flashes to too-small, dim dots. My best luck came around F4 to 5.

    On the sheet already (under)exposed with the nice woodsy dark landscape, wait for flashes to fly across your shot. Open the shutter with cable release, set to Bulb, and hold open a few seconds while your bug leaves a nice trail of flashes across the sheet of film, then close the shutter.

    Re-cock the shutter immediately, ready for the next one that flies across your field of your shot. Repeat until.you collect maybe 30 to 90 seconds of flash-trails on the sheet of film. They'll show up as nice little purple dots on the negative.

    Full disclosure, I do use a scanner and digital help to salvage shots, correcting exposure, etc. to achieve a look true to the scene. A long night in the humidity and mosquitos and rushing to not get locked in the State Park overnight, all against the odds of sparse fireflies nowadays, deserves some salvageable result. If someone can teach me how to keep it purely a work of pure chemistry and optics, I'd be interested to know. Oh, almost forgot, watch out for moonlight, it burns blue reciprocity patches into the image.

    I wrote a more detailed treatise with diagrams and sample photos, and could relay it along if the Mediators can guide me as to protocol. I'm barely started on Tapatalk, still learning the ropes. I hope to share a couple images with the community when I figure out how.

    Good luck and enjoy!

    "rustyhammer"

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

  5. #765

    Join Date
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    1,115

    Re: Show Me Your Night Shots!

    Nice, RA4 is a great process, relatively easy and fun. The paper base does eventually yellow a bit with time (expired paper that is) but often you can't tell in the print, so I'd say use up what you have and see how it goes.

  6. #766
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Show Me Your Night Shots!

    Very interesting, we still had fireflies last year. Bees are going fast, mosquitoes are now so small I cannot see them, they still bite.

    Never heard of 'Black Cat Exposure Guide' seems to be a useful item.

    Are you connected in any way to Black Cat Exposure Guide?


    Quote Originally Posted by rustyhammer View Post
    Firefly pix on 4x5 400 speed neg film, in summary:

    Set up and underexpose a likely landscape by about 2 to 3 stops or darker. Do it about dusk. Choose a dim tree-sheltered space. F16 to 45 for 3 to 6 seconds is common, using the Black Cat Exposure Guide. Maximize your Scheimpflug alignment to sharpen the most active firefly zone, usually a couple feet above the ground.

    Then, wait until it's as dark as it can get, usually about 90 minutes. By this time, fireflies have been active awhile, but exposing film too early for these first flashes uses up the film's chemistry and overexposes the landscape. Be patient until it's dark as possible. Open up the aperture to about F4 to F8. Too fast an aperture makes the nearby flashes look like soap bubbles and spoils the effect. Too small an aperture sharpens the flashes to too-small, dim dots. My best luck came around F4 to 5.

    On the sheet already (under)exposed with the nice woodsy dark landscape, wait for flashes to fly across your shot. Open the shutter with cable release, set to Bulb, and hold open a few seconds while your bug leaves a nice trail of flashes across the sheet of film, then close the shutter.

    Re-cock the shutter immediately, ready for the next one that flies across your field of your shot. Repeat until.you collect maybe 30 to 90 seconds of flash-trails on the sheet of film. They'll show up as nice little purple dots on the negative.

    Full disclosure, I do use a scanner and digital help to salvage shots, correcting exposure, etc. to achieve a look true to the scene. A long night in the humidity and mosquitos and rushing to not get locked in the State Park overnight, all against the odds of sparse fireflies nowadays, deserves some salvageable result. If someone can teach me how to keep it purely a work of pure chemistry and optics, I'd be interested to know. Oh, almost forgot, watch out for moonlight, it burns blue reciprocity patches into the image.

    I wrote a more detailed treatise with diagrams and sample photos, and could relay it along if the Mediators can guide me as to protocol. I'm barely started on Tapatalk, still learning the ropes. I hope to share a couple images with the community when I figure out how.

    Good luck and enjoy!

    "rustyhammer"

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
    sin eater

  7. #767
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Show Me Your Night Shots!

    Thanks Ed, yes I think I will use this up and see what I can get. Photos that don't need/have perfectly neutral color will be easier, such as the above.

    I want to see some LF firefly photos. I shot digital and MF last year of synchronous fireflies but the MF didn't come out. I have a better idea/plan this year, if I'm able to go.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  8. #768

    Re: Show Me Your Night Shots!

    My only connection with the Black Cat Exposure Guide is as a customer. I couldn't really afford a light meter, so I tried it out. Helped me with a few situations probably outside the comfort range of most meters.


    rustyhammer

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

  9. #769
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Show Me Your Night Shots!

    Quote Originally Posted by rustyhammer View Post
    My only connection with the Black Cat Exposure Guide is as a customer. I couldn't really afford a light meter, so I tried it out. Helped me with a few situations probably outside the comfort range of most meters.






    I just bought one

    Thank you!

    rustyhammer

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
    sin eater

  10. #770

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    57

    Re: Show Me Your Night Shots!

    Crown Graphic 45. Schneider Xenar 135mm f4.7 lens at f22. Kodak Ektar film. About 30s exposure.

    Cenotaph in Ottawa by Howard Sandler, on Flickr

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