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Thread: Having trouble to get right exposure

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Question Having trouble to get right exposure

    Hi all,

    I'm at the moment in the Azores and find it difficult to get a good exposure of a graveyard.
    The light is harsh even in the evening, and the problem is that the graveyard is only open between 09:30 and 18:30 :-(
    The buildings are all pure white with black volcanic stones.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The white (air) is about 1/30 sec and the door about 1/2 sec, the most dark is about 2 sec.

    How what would be the best exposure, I did one exposure of about 1/15 sec ...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    now in Tucson, AZ
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    2,879

    Re: Having trouble to get right exposure

    B/W? Color negative? Color transparency?
    If in B/W, using the same f/stop, try exposing at 1/8" and 1/4". Then reduce film development time by 20%. This will reduce the contrast.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    Oregon now (formerly Austria)
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    2,468

    Re: Having trouble to get right exposure

    You have more than one sheet of film with you, don't you? Expose several at different exposures (i.e., bracket!) and see which one gives you the results you desire. Keep notes and learn from the experiment. The learning experience alone should be worth the extra sheets of film.

    Best,

    Doremus

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Having trouble to get right exposure

    And use the clouds to help create a softbox -- make your exposure when the shadow lines become faint.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    5,443

    Re: Having trouble to get right exposure

    If it is black and white film, one would expose the shadows so they have 'just a hint' of detail in the negative. You can spend your lifetime calibrating your system such to know apriori what exposure will place the shadows on the portion of the film curve where the gradient is one-third the average gradient of the film, but some bracketing of exposure can lead to a great print too...

  6. #6

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    Re: Having trouble to get right exposure

    forget to say it's Kodak Ektar 100

  7. #7

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    Re: Having trouble to get right exposure

    Yes, I have about 30 sheets with me for 20 day's, so I'm a bit careful
    .

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
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    Oregon now (formerly Austria)
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    Re: Having trouble to get right exposure

    Bracket a couple of sheets, erring on the side of slight overexposure and you should be fine. Do try to use Vaughn's trick of using the right moment to get the lowest possible contrast. Base your exposure on the low values (shadows), not the high values and you should be fine.

    Best,

    Doremus

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    4,356

    Re: Having trouble to get right exposure

    From 2s to 1/30 you have 7 stops dynamic range in the scene.

    To nail exposure in that scene you need next:

    > Graded ND filter for the sky to reduce that range.

    > A shutter tester to know how your shutters expose.

    > Having tested 35mm Ektar with bracketings and spot metering to know how detail is depicted for each level of under/over exposure, so you know what quality you sacrifice in the shadows and in the highlights when you make a decission.


    If you lack those resources then your best best is being a bit conservative, I'd place at +1/2 or +1 overexposure the important areas, if very deep shadows are black this is not usually important for the aesthetics.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Belgium
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    58

    Re: Having trouble to get right exposure

    I was lucky yesterday, a cloudy day and soft light. Just on our last day on this Island, now on to the next one.
    Thank you all for the good tips.

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