Shooting B&W mid-day

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by Casey Kidwell, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    Just curious who does a lot of shooting with high sun. Having shot a lot of portraits I avoid it like the plague but I'm wondering if I should be more open when shooting general, possibly non-living subjects. My reason for asking is that I'm taking a short photo jaunt and trying to schedule shooting time (nothing in particular, just aiming at nouns). In the past I've tried to use 12:00-3:00 or so for travel or an alternative activity but I'll be in unfamiliar territory and right place, right time is not an option. This may be too general a question to answer but I thought I would run it up the flagpole. FYI, I'm in Texas and I swear the sun is bigger.
     
  2. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    In bright sun at mid day you'll have harsh direct shadows so they key is to make note of them and use them to your advantage. It will be very high contrast which can be a good look if it's what you're after, or it can be bad if you aren't expecting it. As long as you aren't shooting wedding dresses or Great White Egrets you should be able to manage to cover the dynamic range.
     
  3. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Another way to look at the higher contrast is to use your film's ability to lessen the contrast. Exposing film is all about the shadows. If the shadows get enough exposure, you can see into them just fine. The highlights always get enough exposure, we don't need to worry about them until development.

    I live in the high desert here in Utah. I over expose most of the time. It gives me shadow detail. I just make sure when I develop I don't run the highlights up on to the shoulder.

    We so quickly forget the basics. Expose for the shadow, develop for the highlights. Easy peasy as they say.
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    One thibg that might help if you have no one along to hold up a reflector on the shadow side would be to wear a white shirt or sweater. Might help. And there's always fill flash.
     
  5. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Another way of looking at it is to put your camera on its side and then everything will be side light.
    I call this the perfect light.
     
  6. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Or pop a R72 or 25a filter on the front and load up with infrared film. Not to everyone's taste...
     
  7. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    Thanks everyone. I just have trouble with the "seeing" when there's that much contrast. Hard for me to pre-visualize. Might be a good time to expand my development repertoire anyway. I'll get good brackets and take notes.
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I find the beast time in the redwoods is about 10am to 2pm (a bit later on the longer days of the year.) Great on light overcast days, but the sunny days works great with print processes that can handle the contrast (carbon and -platinum printing, for example.)

    If one has an eye for light, great images can be made in all light conditions -- perhaps not the same type of images one makes in "perfect" light -- but so much the better!
     
  9. Casey Kidwell

    Casey Kidwell Member

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    Vaughn, I like the way you dealt with difficult light on your "oak" image. Pretty cagey. Great image. Hard to print?