Ok, it’s the middle of week 5 (and roll 5 still isn’t shot yet), but I’m just getting to posting roll 4. For future reference, here is my workflow, so there’s no more questions.
Ok seriously. For roll 4 I decided to try my knowledge of the “Sunny 16 rule”. For those of you who may not know, the sunny 16 rule is a general rule of thumb that photographers used to (and still do) use in the days of film, to estimate exposure time when an electronic light meter was not available. I had never used it before, although I had gotten pretty good at guesstimating before actually metering in the past. So I took my fully manual, no built in light meter Hasselblad and set out for the bay. (Yes I had my digital light meter with me, but I PROMISE it never came out of the bag.)
Oh, and to make things a little more challenging, I shot this entire roll with a red filter that is -2.5 stops. So not only did I have to figure out base exposure, I had to figure out exposure plus the 2.5 stops of light that the filter absorbs. This proved to be a whole lot harder than I expected, because my camera doesn’t have 1/400th of a shutter speed. Its got 1/250th, and 1/500th… but nooooo 1/400th! So, I set it to a beginning aperture of f/16, and 1/500th (which would normally be 1/400th for HP5+) for the sunny weather.
These are STRAIGHT SCANS. I did absolutely NOTHING to them in that program. (I hate it so much that I refuse to call it by name. But its a very popular digital program.) I also scan on the cheap, and put a piece of frame glass on my negative, so ignore the dust particles, thumb prints, or anything else that looks like it shouldn’t be there.
This was my first shot. It was taken at f/8 at 1/250th of a second. (f/16 – 2 stops is f/8. 1/500th -1 stop is 1/250th… total -3 stops.)
This is my second shot. I decided to try and get the detail under this bridge. The detail was in the shadows, so exposing for the shadows was the hard part, especially because I knew the sky would be blown. I think, (heavy emphasis on the THINK) that my thought process went something like this. For open shadows 5.6 was the “magic” number, but instead I went to f/8 (thinking in terms of the filter). F/8 minus a stop is f/5.6. At f5.6 I still needed to increase the light by two stops which is why I adjusted the shutter speed to 1/125th. If you’re lost, I’m sorry, but it worked in my head ok! Anyway, this was the result.
Under The Bridge
Then it was on to the house. I decided to find some ‘open shade’ on the side of our outdoor storage shed and do this dog portrait. I used f/4 at 1/125th I believe. By now I hope you have an idea of my thinking process, because truthfully I’m starting to confuse myself by rethinking it. I should probably take better notes but I’m soooo not a note taker. I store everything mentally… to a fault almost!
And this was my final shot. Also at f/4 @ 1/125th.
I’m certainly hoping that this is in fact due to my sloppy processing, and not a light leak, but this is what I consider one of those “happy accidents.” This photo was taken right after the first, and I absolutely love the dirty, foggy, flared, vintage feel of it. Yes, I did add a little color digitally in that program, but I could tone it just the same in my darkroom.
My good twitter friend @TroyBradford told me the other day that part of the joy of instant photography is embracing the imperfections. But I think that goes for most other photos as well. This photo is by far perfect, but its certainly one that I’ll cherish forever because its a good portrait of my dear pet Wrangler. He’s 11 now and getting a little lumpy, and I find myself taking more and more and more photos of him for fear I may not be able to do so much longer.
By the way, if any of you ‘pros’ want to chime in because my thinking process on exposure time and aperture is/was incorrect, I definitely want to hear from you. Shoot me an email and explain my mistakes through the contact form!