Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: How to expose in unusual circumstances

  1. #1
    45-57-617
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toowoomba, Queensland
    Posts
    638

    How to expose in unusual circumstances

    Hi,

    I guess for many years now I've wanted to find a definitive book on exposure in difficult or unusual circumstances. One of my most treasured photographs is a scene of a rock above the waterline off a white sand beach with storm clouds all around. I exposed using an incident meter but pointing a little bit away from the camera to compensate for the light given off by the white sand. It really was only a guess.

    The other day I drove my car about 280kms to take 2 photos on 4x5 Velvia. It is a lot of investment at the point of clicking a shutter !!

    My subject was a couple of Jacaranda trees in bloom at this time of year. If you know them, they are covered in a purple flower.

    So ... how to expose for a shot that is pretty much straight up ? You are seeking a photo of a tree in flower against a blue sky. There is a breeze to guarantee movement to some extent. You have a Ries as it is the only tripod I own that will tilt to the vertical and allow me to fiddle with the camera. The flowers are about 3 to 4 metres away above. You use a Sekonic flash meter. The ground around you that will reflect light is a mixture of asphalt and grass (I was in a park on the edge of a road)

    Any suggestions of a book dedicated to explaining how to expose in unusual circumstances would also be appreciated...

    Cheers.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    4,726

    Re: How to expose in unusual circumstances

    A good book to learn the breadth of exposure metering knowledge is Perfect Exposure by the late Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz. On the used book sites it can easily be found for less than the cost of shipping.

  3. #3
    45-57-617
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toowoomba, Queensland
    Posts
    638

    Re: How to expose in unusual circumstances

    Cheers Brian

  4. #4

    Re: How to expose in unusual circumstances

    Quote Originally Posted by swmcl View Post
    Hi,

    I guess for many years now I've wanted to find a definitive book on exposure in difficult or unusual circumstances. One of my most treasured photographs is a scene of a rock above the waterline off a white sand beach with storm clouds all around. I exposed using an incident meter but pointing a little bit away from the camera to compensate for the light given off by the white sand. It really was only a guess.
    This does not look like a guess. It is the standard procedure of incident light metering, explained e.g. in the Brockway Norwood Directer or Sekonic L28c2 manual. It's quite reliable. Congratulations: you keep it easy and simple. I am sure your results are fine.


    The other day I drove my car about 280kms to take 2 photos on 4x5 Velvia. It is a lot of investment at the point of clicking a shutter !!

    Given this investment: why this restriction? What about bracketing?


    My subject was a couple of Jacaranda trees in bloom at this time of year. If you know them, they are covered in a purple flower.

    So ... how to expose for a shot that is pretty much straight up ? You are seeking a photo of a tree in flower against a blue sky. There is a breeze to guarantee movement to some extent. You have a Ries as it is the only tripod I own that will tilt to the vertical and allow me to fiddle with the camera. The flowers are about 3 to 4 metres away above. You use a Sekonic flash meter. The ground around you that will reflect light is a mixture of asphalt and grass (I was in a park on the edge of a road)

    Any suggestions of a book dedicated to explaining how to expose in unusual circumstances would also be appreciated...

    Cheers.
    So you use a flash because of the movement of the tree?
    https://expertphotography.com/how-to-fill-flash/
    and https://www.lightstalking.com/fill-light-portraits/

    What about a DSLR to see a preview of the scene?

    Regards
    Last edited by Daniel Casper Lohenstein; 29-Oct-2019 at 12:08.
    4x5, 120, 135

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    4,313

    Re: How to expose in unusual circumstances

    Quote Originally Posted by swmcl View Post
    So ... how to expose for a shot that is pretty much straight up ?

    Incident meter may be good for a number of situations, but not all. For example if you are in that beach and that rock it's backlight illuminated you will have to swim to that rock, with the incident meter, to know what incident light the rock has, or you will have to make a guess...

    For an accuratre prediction of the density you will reach in the negative, (for each spot in the scene you want to check) you need an spot meter.

    You may take 35mm film to make tests, you shot say 3 rolls with your film, develop at N-2, N and N+1 (BW). For each 35mm frame you take notes of spot metering in key scene spots, you bracket each scene.

    After those 3 rolls you will have extensive information about how each level of under/over exopsure is rendered in each N-/+ development, and for different subjects (sky, faces, trees, water).

    As meter may have different sensitivity than film (say velvia) in different colors, it would be interesting to see how sky/clouds/etc are depicted at different spot under/over exposure.


    For Velvia use a shutter tester to know real speeds. Many of us are using decades old shutters with little or unknown CLA.

    I always use spot meter from a SLR/DSLR...

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Oregon and Austria
    Posts
    2,335

    Re: How to expose in unusual circumstances

    It strikes me, that the scenarios you present are not "unusual" at all... rather situations one encounters commonly. Metering technique, then, would be standard as well.

    If you use incident metering, then you are measuring the light falling on the subject and determining your exposure from that, based on your knowledge (and ability to measure) the lighting ratio. Many take a reading from the main light source and then one in a shadow to determine final exposure. You can search a bit here and over on Photrio and get a lot of useful information on incident metering techniques.

    I use a spot meter and base my exposures for black-and-white negatives on a shadow reading. I then determine development time by seeing where the highlights in the scene fall and extrapolating from there based on my notion of how I want the final print to look, i.e., I use the Zone System. This approach works well for color negative film too, as long as one realizes that the development control are more limited. Spot meters can be used to measure and place any value (e.g., a skin tone) as long as one knows how to figure the correct exposure for the placement. Again, there's lots of info on spotmetering on many forums and other sources.

    Many meters are some form of averaging meter, which give one reading for an entire scene. These work well too, but require that the photographer be able to recognize overly- and underly-contrasty scenes and apply some exposure correction if needed.

    Dealing with and compromising for subject movement (breeze or whatever) is a common challenge. Some shots need no movement at all to work, so you wait or come back at another time.

    Really, spend some time learning how to use the meter you have and you'll find that most scenes aren't unusual at all; they just require that you know your metering technique...

    Best,

    Doremus

  7. #7

    Re: How to expose in unusual circumstances

    There is a german saying: "Wer misst misst Mist." Measuring measures a mess. I like the Sekonic L408 with its 5 spot and an incident meter. It's not too selective.

    The OP mentioned a fill-in flash, as far as I understood. But how do we calculate the amount of fill-in light? There is another very interesting website, with simulator: https://www.sekonic.com/united-state...htutorial.aspx The best photograph is the one without fill-in flash, IMHO.

    What about bounceboards? Alternative daytimes? Different focal lengths? Separating the essential from the less essential objects (decluttering) ...

    What do you want to show? https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Jacaranda+...-pretoria-.jpg gives a lot of quite easy situations you can cope with by using a simple incident light metering against the sun / clear sky.
    4x5, 120, 135

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    4,313

    Re: How to expose in unusual circumstances

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    they just require that you know your metering technique...
    Just a thought, AA metered the Moonrise by smelling the moon...

    I guess that a film photographer, beyond using metters and metering recipes, he should sometimes practice with intuitive metering, some Sunny 16... IMHO shooting a roll with Sunny 16 from time to time it develops a good intuition

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Oregon and Austria
    Posts
    2,335

    Re: How to expose in unusual circumstances

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Just a thought, AA metered the Moonrise by smelling the moon...

    I guess that a film photographer, beyond using metters and metering recipes, he should sometimes practice with intuitive metering, some Sunny 16... IMHO shooting a roll with Sunny 16 from time to time it develops a good intuition
    I have nothing against "intuitive" metering; it's just that it doesn't seem to work for me at all

    FWIW, AA based his exposure of Moonrise on his knowledge of the luminance of the moon in foot candles (not intuitive), which, however, woefully underexposed the foreground of the scene. It was only his prowess as a printer that enabled him to make the masterpiece that it came to be. I believe he called Moonrise "very difficult" to print.

    Best,

    Doremus

  10. #10
    45-57-617
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toowoomba, Queensland
    Posts
    638

    Re: How to expose in unusual circumstances

    Just a note to say I got it wrong ... the exposure of the underside of the branches is about right but everything else is overexposed.

    Doremus, it is a highly unusual circumstance for me to be using a specific tripod to shoot straight up !! In fact, my only two LF shots ever that were vertical.

    It would have been best to use the incident reading pointed at the ground as a stop - a limit reading. In other words, do not wind the shutter down this low ... Another reading of a spot on the underside of the branches to confirm the incident reading and then the brightest flower would perhaps serve as a highest shutter reading. Somewhere in between the two would be the best.

    In this scenario of such a wide SBR (beyond the film's abilities) bracketing would be advised and combining images in a digital program to give a final solution but that there was not an insignificant breeze.

    Tis tough to remember all this when you are a bit of a curiosity in the middle of a park central to a city. I hate people gawking at me while I photograph.

    I need to get out more !

Similar Threads

  1. How should I expose for back-lit flower
    By Salvatore Formisano in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 25-May-2009, 08:14
  2. Night Photography: How to expose?
    By ryanmac in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 27-Jan-2009, 22:50
  3. which side did i expose??
    By rippo in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 26-Mar-2008, 13:40
  4. Which developer with TMax100 4x5, with these circumstances?
    By Colin Corneau in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 2-Dec-2007, 03:39
  5. How often do you not expose?
    By Jonathan Bujndick in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 9-Mar-2002, 19:37

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •