Les, how did you do this?

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by RobR, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. RobR

    RobR Member

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    To Les McLean,

    Regarding your photograph of the steps in Wells Cathedral (http://www.apug.org/site/main/album_page.php?pic_id=294: How did you do that??? I love photographs taken in natural light where there isn't much light, such as your photo and the one in the Critique Gallery of the broken shovels. But when I'm working with a 4x5 camera and a 210-mm lens, I don't have much depth of field. To compensate, I use a narrow lens opening (f45 when I can get away with it), but then I'm using very slow shutter speeds and running into reciprocity failure. I switched to T-Max film for its more forgiving reciprocity failure characteristics than Tri-X. But is there anything else I can do?

    Thanks!

    Rob
     
  2. Ailsa

    Ailsa Member

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    Hi Rob

    Just to let you know, Les has had to pop into hospital (nothing serious) and is then in London for a few days, so it may take him a little while to get round to replying.

    Didn't want you to think he was ignoring you!

    Regards
    Ailsa
     
  3. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Ailsa,

    Would this be for his fabled once-cancelled ear op?

    Either way, should you see him then please do pass on my best wishes.

    Thanks,

    Frank

    ...A mind like a steel sieve.
     
  4. RobR

    RobR Member

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    Thanks very much for letting me know.

    RobR
     
  5. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Could it be... all the talk of Single Malt and Bouncy Nurses got to him?
     
  6. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Ed, A fellow can only resist temptation so long, after that....
     
  7. Ailsa

    Ailsa Member

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    He did sound in remarkably high spirits when I spoke to him yesterday, so anything's possible...
     
  8. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Just back from the hospital, the op went well but will not know for a while if it has been totally successful. I was supposed to stay in one more day but I persuaded the Doctor to let me home tonigh as I'm off to London in the morning. Thanks again for the comments.

    Rob

    I can't remember the exposure but it would be quite long but as the subject was static the long exposure was not a problem. You could use the movements on the LF camera to enable you to retain depth of field and work with the lens reasonably wide which would reduce the length of the exposure. Otherwise I'm afraid you've just got to live with the problems you mention, it's the price we have to pay when using LF cameras.

    With respect to this version of Sea of Steps the impression of light was enhanced by the way that I chose to print the image. Because of the long exposure to give detail in the shadow at the bottom of the steps the bright wall to the right was quite dense on the neg even though I did reduce the film development. Consequently, there is quite a lot of burning in to that area and to the curved area from left to right on the steps.
     
  9. RobR

    RobR Member

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    Les,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Do you have any tips for dealing with reciprocity failure, then? Do I have to run separate tests for each lens opening/exposure time combination I am likely to use? Are manufacturer's guidelines reasonable enough?

    Thanks again!

    Rob
     
  10. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Rob

    I've never run any strictly controlled tests, many years ago I simply noted exposure times indicated by my meter and made a exposure then carried on doubling it, exposing about 15 or so sheets of film in the process. I learned a lot from that excercise, doubling the exposure each time is only one stop increase which is not a lot when considering bellows extention etc when using 4 x 5. When I developed them I selected the negative that looked right, good detail in the shadows and noted how much more exposure I had given compared to the first meter reading. Thereafter that was my starting point when making long exposures. For quite a long time I did bracket but as I gained experience I began to understand the characteristics of the films I used and I never bracket now. I always make two exposures but they are the same and are made simply as a cover in case I happen to damage a negative when processing.

    I see you use Tmax, I have a reciprocitry table that John Sexton uses so I'm sure that it will be good, although I've never used it for I don't like Tmax film. I'm not at home at the minute, I'm in London doing a one on one workshop in London and my client has gone to bed, but when I do get home I'll send you the table.