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Thread: Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

  1. #1

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    Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

    I shot the picture shown below today at 19:30 at the shore of the Starnberger See near Munich. f 22 with 1/30 sec. ISO 100. My Pentax digital spotmeter gave me EV 15 for the white clouds over the hills (you don`t see them in the picture) and EV 11 for the opposite shore with trees. This reading give f16 with and 1/30 sec. I did several Fujiroid proofs with different ratings but all came out far to overexposed. Considering the humidity in the air over the lake the blue-ish appearance would be O.K. but where are my white clouds?
    Now the very dumb question of a photografic idiot...why is this, what shall I do the next time?

    Thanks in advance.
    George

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

    Not all photographic materials are equal. The Fuji instant film doesn't have much latitude at all. You need two filters: a ND split filter, and a haze filter. The ND filter will reduce the exposure difference between the sea and the clouds. The haze filter will reduce the atmospheric haze, and then you'll get the mountains and clouds to show better.
    "It's the way to educate your eyes. Stare. Pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long." - Walker Evans

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    Re: Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

    Using the sunny 16 rule says you should expose at 1/100th at f16 (1/50th @ f22), but this scene is a high reflectance sea with a very bright sky, so even that would be overexposed. The histogram shows 95% of the tones of this photo is medium gray or brighter, so you are over exposed by around 2 stops. So you need to see what is happening with your metering. Was you meter's ISO set to 100?

    A split ND filter would not help with this scene. It is unlikely to need one at 19:30, especially with a foreground with water (which is also overexposed in this photo) that should only be 1 stop darker than the sky.

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    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

    It would help if we knew the ev reading for the water.

    Me, I suspect a 1-stop or 2-stop hard GND filter would be useful indeed.

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    Re: Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

    Thank you for answering at all.
    Well, regarding filters, specially split grade ones, it will be a little bit difficult to get one - filter thread 95mm at my Nikkor 300 W. Regarding Fujiroid my experiance is, the material is quite reliable in its behavior. Yes, Greg, the picture is overexposed by 3 stops if you look on the sky-part, but it is quite O.K. if you look an the opposite shoreline part. I think I have to wait for the negative to see the thruth.
    @Heroique: the reading for the water was EV 14.
    What I can not understand is, I have metered at the very brightest point in the scenery - white clouds. And they disappeared completely in the mist, the blue sky also. Maybe this is the answer, mist is the bad boy who steals the structure.

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    Re: Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

    The opposite shoreline still reads brighter than a medium gray (pull it into Photoshop and look at the histogram). You have virtually no tones below medium gray. So you could have exposed 2 stops less and been in good shape.

    EV14 for the water proves my earlier comment. The water is only 1 stop less than the sky. A split ND will not help here.

    The bottom line here is the image is overexposed by 2 stops. Exposing 2 stops less would have rendered sky with detail. So either the meter is wrong, or the meter settings were wrong, or the lens settings were wrong.

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    Re: Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is your histogram. The dot on the curve layer is the tonal value of the darkest part of the shore line. Also notice that the mean tonal value of the scene is 232 and the median is 254 (on a scale of 0 to 255). You are only using a small fraction of the exposure latitude of your film.

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    Re: Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

    Thank you Greg! You are right, it is severely overexposed. But why?
    The meter is very reliable and it was set to ISO 100. As a newbee to LF I am very anxious to transmit the readings to the shutter speed and the f-stops correctly, so there is no source of errors. The meter readings was 1 stop less than I shot the picture.
    Could it be the humidity or the lack of sensitivity of the meter for blue? The latter would explain the disappearance of the blue sky. If I only would have a yellow filter for this huge lens! My biggest skylight filter has a 77mm diameter, so no chance for colour correction.
    Aaarrrgh! Itīs real work to haul the SinarP2 for half a mile and than a disappointing result.

    George

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    Re: Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

    My first move would be to buy a good Hoya UV filter.

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    Re: Dumb questions of an idiot - landscape trial

    If the meter is known to be good, then I would look at other possibilities. Is the lens's shutter known to be accurate? Maybe it is time for a CLA (or shoot the same scene with 2 different lenses (2 different shutters) to see if the 2 shutters are close. Perhaps it was human error. Did you pull the dark slide without closing the shutter? Did you set the shutter speed and aperture correctly on the lens?

    The humidity/haze actually makes the scene less contrasty, so that would not contribute to overexposure. And while skylight or haze filters will help with this type of atmosphere, they only make a very small difference. You do need to be aware that anytime you have an overcast sky, it will appear to be very uniform gray or white. Even skies that appear to be light blue to your eye will appear white on film because film is more contrasty than we see. But these are all secondary issues to the overexposure issue.

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