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Thread: Exposure Worksheet

  1. #1

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    Exposure Worksheet

    See post #8 to #16 for revised worksheet, and post #22 for a final revision. The final version is available for download at GitHub, link in post #31.

    I decided to make a new exposure worksheet and thought that I'd have a look at what others have done. However, it looks like exposure worksheets have never been the subject of a thread and only come up occasionally in passing. I guess that interest, or lack of it, in this thread will demonstrate either that the subject has been overlooked or that it's too simple and obvious to spend time discussing

    I've attached my new one and I'm more than open to criticisms and suggestions. I'd also love to see others'. I use a worksheet to avoid exposure errors, but I also like having a record that I can look back on and learn from.

    My new one could be printed on a legal size sheet of paper (8.5"x14"), but I plan to use it on an iPhone or iPad. I've filled out the attached copy with an invented example to show how it works. Some comments...

    Note that the final exposure is entered at the top of the worksheet, not at the end.

    I've used mathematical formulas for bellows compensation (step 1) and reciprocity failure for Ilford films (step 4). Both calculations are extremely simple. For me, the bellows compensation formula is more appealing and faster than the various workarounds based on f-stops. The forum home page article on bellows compensation, from 1998, contains this statement: "[This method] requires no fancy gadgets to purchase nor algebraic formulae to memorize." Twenty-four years later, smartphones and iPads, with high resolution screens and plenty of computing power, are ubiquitous. The formula for bellows compensation involves elementary math that takes a few seconds on a smartphone calculator.

    Calculating reciprocity failure directly is faster than using the Reciprocity Timer app, which I find kind of clunky. It's a one-step process, applying an exponent, which Ilford provides, to the time value that exists before taking into account reciprocity failure. There's an xy button on my phone's calculator designed specifically to do this kind of calculation. Ilford has some caveats about the calculation, which of course need to be kept in mind, but the caveats also apply to Reciprocity Timer. If I want to add comments, for example if I choose to deviate from the calculation, the worksheet row will expand if necessary to accommodate added text.

    The centre filter and polariser (step 2) are new and I need to get some experience with them before settling on values. There are a couple of filters for black and white that I may add to this step. They would have to go on this lens's rear element, which is something that I need to experiment with. The following thread covers that issue: Using a Neutral Density Filter on a Rear Lens Element.

    Regarding step 3 on neutral density filters, I'm aware of the fact that opening an aperture by 7 stops has nothing to do with reality. The idea is to take into account the option of parceling out the 7 stops to a combination of aperture and time. In addition to the 4-stop and 7-stop, I may add a couple of lower value ND filters to this section of the worksheet. Again, this is a rear element issue.

    I abandoned the idea of having one worksheet for all of my lenses while making this. I think that I'll wind up with two three versions to cover eleven lenses.

    In case anyone is interested in the mechanics, I used Apple Pages to make the worksheet. I could also have used Apple Numbers. It's just a table with two columns.

    I plan to try out the worksheet this weekend. I hope to confirm that it isn't too time-consuming to use. It works very well on an iPad, and seems OK on my phone, which has a fairly large screen, in landscape mode. Another option is to use the voice memo app on my phone to record the data and fill in the worksheet at the end of the day.

    Curious to learn how others handle this.


    REVISED, SEE POST #8
    Exposure Worksheet
    The text is a bit small, presumably due to a forum upload limitation. However, it can be zoomed in on if desired.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by r.e.; 28-Jan-2022 at 12:23.

  2. #2
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Worksheet

    Has a lot of stuff. Too much? Try it to see how it works for you then modify it to make it better. B&H has this logbook that I use. ( I sometimes just record my notes using the video on my cellphone or digital camera, then transcribe when I get home. Sometimes I write it in the logbook at the time I'm shooting. It depends on how rushed I am.)

    Besides the 60 pages for 60 film sheets, it has a grayscale page for metering and tips, charts and other information that is useful. It's $7.95.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ....html/overview

    Example from mine:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Worksheet

    When I scan all the film shots into my computer, I scan the Logbook pages in also so it's all together. I copy the logbook notes and keep them together with the film sheets in my film binder with plastic protective sheets. It makes it all easier later on when I come back to check. But I'm probably doing overkill as well.

  4. #4
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Worksheet

    Here's the actual shot for the sample logbook pages pictured above. I don't recall which of the two pages is the actual shot. Probably the page on the right without the center filter.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/alankl...7714124881023/

  5. #5

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    Re: Exposure Worksheet

    Here's my exposure record.

    It's just a table made in Word. I print three of these to a page (8x11 or A4), cut them out, punch holes and put them in a small notebook designed for 3.5x7-inch pages (the notebook has six rings, hence the guides for hole-punching at the top). A small automatic pencil lives in the notebook; information is entered with that. The notebook is almost exactly the same size as a 4x5 filmholder and lives together with my holders in the field.

    When developing, I use the records to organize my holders so I get the right developing time for whatever film and development scheme I've used. Then they get filled together with the negative and its proof sheet in binders.

    I find I need space for other things than r.e. rather than tables and formulas for calculating bellows extension, reciprocity failure compensation, filter factors, etc. For those, I have tables that I can quickly consult in the exposure record notebook if needed. I have bellows extension tables for all my lenses from 75mm-450mm on one small 3.5x7 sheet and reciprocity adjustment tables for several films on another. Easy to consult when needed, but not taking up space on the exposure record itself; there's just a box for the adjusted value if I need it. I know my filter factors and often meter through the filters anyway (so I'll just indicate which filter I used with an "MT" for "metered through").

    What is important to me is information about location, date, title, date the holder was loaded, filmholder number(s), development plans, etc. Most important is the little matrix for entering the actual EV values from my meter for the various important areas in the scene I meter. I enter the shadow value I base the exposure on and then other important values where they fall. If deviations from "normal" are called for, I'll circle a value and draw an arrow to the Zone I want that value to end up in.

    I've got boxes for the lens used, E.I. adjustment (e.g., for extreme plus or minus developments, etc.) and development adjustment (e.g., for development changes with reciprocity failure compensation).

    Exposure calculation starts at bottom left with the "Basic (metered) exposure" and goes across the bottom and then up the right side. Note I have a box for "Dev/Paper Gr." In this goes my target development scheme (e.g. N+1) and the target paper contrast (I often plan on a higher-than-grade-2 contrast for various reasons, but mostly this just for fun to see how close I can get - just another fun way to refine my technique and keep track of my processes).

    The EV matrix along with the E.I. and other compensation boxes allow me to keep really careful track of how I'm exposing and allows me to make adjustments in my working E.I. and development times when needed and to identify problems when they show up. Having the holder number for each exposure allows me to trace defective holders (light leaks, etc.).

    Note the "Exp U" row under the Roman numeral Zone column headings. These are useful for working out multiple exposures or pre-flashing. I've also got a box for H/V (horizontal or vertical orientation) so I can remember which side I want up on those abstract compositions (I'll write "Pano" above that if I want a panoramic aspect ratio).

    Other notes about the exposure can be written at the bottom of the page and on the back (e.g., people's contact info, etc.).

    All this on a third of a sheet of paper. When needed, I can go back to a negative filed 30+ years ago and see where, when, and how I made the exposure.

    Best

    Doremus
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ExposureRecordSheet.jpg  

  6. #6

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    Re: Exposure Worksheet

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post

    What is important to me is information about location, date, title...
    Reading your and Alan's posts, what strikes me is how much I've gone digital. I don't deal with hard copy documents - whether they're notebooks or charts - unless I have to. I read the New York Times daily, but I can't remember the last time that I purchased a copy from a newsstand. I read a lot of books, but probably don't buy more than two or three a year in hardcover/softcover. This isn't good or bad, it's just my preference.

    Re the quote above, I actually make two documents, both digital:

    1. Planning/Day of Shoot
    2. Exposure Worksheet


    The first document has information on the subject, location, light and weather if outdoors. As part of planning for an outdoor shoot, I use Artist's Viewfinder and PhotoPills. I use Artist's Viewfinder to make photographs of the location showing the behaviour of various focal lengths, which leads to choice of a lens. PhotoPills provides me with detailed information about the sun and how it will light the location over the course of the day. If I can, I arrive at the location with my camera and a single lens when I think that the light will be right, and with no more film than is absolutely necessary.

    Some of the information on the planning/day of shoot document gets input as IPTC metadata and keywords so that I have a searchable database of my photographs. This includes location of the subject and, when it's significantly different, location of the camera. In addition to a common name such as a street address, I include lat/long co-ordinates. For the latter, I can use my phone to consult Apple Compass or Apple Maps, or just ask Siri. Or take a photo. The lat/long is in the photo's EXIF data

    When I'm making photographs, my interest in analogue starts and ends with the camera and the film in it.

    By the way, you shared your "Bellows Extension Chart" with a post at some point. I prefer to do this with my phone's calculator, but it's a nifty, compact chart. I have a copy. In digital form, of course

  7. #7
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Worksheet

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    Reading your and Alan's posts, what strikes me is how much I've gone digital. I don't deal with hard copy documents - whether they're notebooks or charts - unless I have to. I read the New York Times daily, but I can't remember the last time that I purchased a copy from a newsstand. I read a lot of books, but probably don't buy more than two or three a year in hardcover/softcover. This isn't good or bad, it's just my preference.

    Re the quote above, I actually make two documents, both digital:

    1. Planning/Day of Shoot
    2. Exposure Worksheet


    The first document has information on the subject, location, light and weather if outdoors. As part of planning for an outdoor shoot, I use Artist's Viewfinder and PhotoPills. I use Artist's Viewfinder to make photographs of the location showing the behaviour of various focal lengths, which leads to choice of a lens. PhotoPills provides me with detailed information about the sun and how it will light the location over the course of the day. If I can, I arrive at the location with my camera and a single lens when I think that the light will be right, and with no more film than is absolutely necessary.

    Some of the information on the planning/day of shoot document gets input as IPTC metadata and keywords so that I have a searchable database of my photographs. This includes location of the subject and, when it's significantly different, location of the camera. In addition to a common name such as a street address, I include lat/long co-ordinates. For the latter, I can use my phone to consult Apple Compass or Apple Maps, or just ask Siri. Or take a photo. The lat/long is in the photo's EXIF data

    When I'm making photographs, my interest in analogue starts and ends with the camera and the film in it.

    By the way, you shared your "Bellows Extension Chart" with a post at some point. I prefer to do this with my phone's calculator, but it's a nifty, compact chart. I have a copy. In digital form, of course
    Isn't it something how much digital we use with film including this post?

  8. #8

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    Re: Exposure Worksheet

    I moved the new exposure worksheet from Apple Pages to Numbers and did some major revising. The attachment is a screen capture from my 10.5" iPad. The worksheet fits with plenty of room to spare. It would work fine on a smaller iPad and is quite manageable on my largish phone.

    The first field - sheet number - is done with a counter and most of the other fields are drop-down menus. The drop-down menus cover all of the large format lenses that I have, the filters I use with the lenses, the films I use in 4x5 and 8x10, the ISOs I use and apertures from f/4.5 to 64.

    The only keyboard inputs are time and any aperture calculations that I want to make; also any notes in the box at the bottom.

    It's dead easy to use and I get a detailed record of the shot. For subsequent shots with a similar setup I can duplicate the worksheet, making only required changes. I'll post a few screen captures tomorrow that show how it works.

    [Posts #9 to #16 show how this exposure worksheet works.]

    Exposure Worksheet Revised

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    Last edited by r.e.; 9-Jan-2022 at 10:49.

  9. #9

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    Re: Exposure Worksheet

    The attached image, like the image in the post above, is a screen capture from my 10.5" iPad. The asterisks show the 11 fields that are filled in from a tap of a button or from a drop-down menu. The two fields with green asterisks (ISO and Aperture post-corrections) might be filed in, depending on whether one sees them as subject to change, before or after a meter reading. When some of the content of these fields carries over from one shot to the next, the worksheet can be duplicated and adjusted as necessary for the new shot.

    I prefer to correct for bellows and reciprocity failure for Ilford films with my iPad or iPhone calculator, but this information can of course come from other sources. As the worksheet shows, I'll use the app Reciprocity Timer for Portra, a film that I've only recently started to use for large format.

    I like the fact that this worksheet, if on my iPad or iPhone, is immediately copied to iCloud and updated via my cellular connection. As a matter of personal preference, I also like that I don't have to carry, and enter exposure information with, a clipboard, paper and pen or pencil.

    This won't work for photographers, such as Doremus, who use the Zone System (post #5), although it can probably be adjusted for Zone System use.

    Next a post showing the buttons and drop-down menus.


    Exposure Worksheet

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

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    Re: Exposure Worksheet

    Inputting the Date (iPad screen capture)...

    The "today" keyboard button writes the date in short form:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Closing the keyboard changes the date to my preferred long form:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Post #9 shows the button and drop-down fields filled out.

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