Two unrelated questions!

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by lft, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. lft

    lft Member

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    1. I'm having real trouble with my outdoor shots. While human subjects are usually exposed well, I am always getting blown out ugly skies, which is pretty lame. How do I expose for good skies while the subject is exposed as well?

    2. I am also looking to achieve cleaner, more "glamorous" portrait shots. When I use tri-x 400, I get an in focus, well exposed shot that looks slightly dirty (if you know what I mean). Can someone recommend a great black and white film that is very clean and great for portrait with very nice tones?

    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Fill flash maybe.

    Delta or T-Max?
     
  3. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    1. Problem is a range of subject brightness greater than the film can handle. Mark has it right: anything to throw some light into the darker areas so that they are closer in brightness to the sky. That way, exposing/developing so that the sky looks more natural doesn't result in relative underexposure of the darker areas. Even a large white foamcore board or a light-colored wall can serve as a reflector.

    2. Second the vote for TMAX or Delta. I like 320TXP as well but it's trickier in bright outdoor light. Not sure what you mean by "dirty". Do you mean flat and lacking contrast? If so, try downrating 400TX to 200 or 250 and developing the same as you are already. See what you get and adjust development time accordingly.

    Guess I really didn't need to post this, since I basically reiterated everything Mark said earlier, and better!
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    lft, I will ask the obvious just in case. Is the front and rear of the lens clean? If you have a filter on the lens, is it clean.

    I just do not know what you mean by dirty.

    Steve
     
  5. lft

    lft Member

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    I guess I should rephrase! I'm looking for smoother tones rather than the real grainy pictures that I usually get from Tri-X
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    MikeSeb is right you need to drop the contrast, increase exposure and cut development slightly, and that will help with both your questions.

    I guess by dirty you mean the gritty grainy look that Tri-X in particular is known for and was exploited by photo journalists in the 60's & 70's. If you want the speed then switch to Tmax or Delta 400, or the 100 ISO versions if speed isn't an issue. All those film will give you better tonality.

    Ian
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Use a finer grain developer like Kodak XTOL or pyro developers. I get excellent grain with those two.

    Steve
     
  8. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    you want to "darken" the skies it sounds like? Maybe orange or red filter and a polarizer. Lengthen exposure appropriately and highlight subject (flash).
     
  9. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    As to the grain, are you processing your own film or sending out?
     
  10. JDP

    JDP Member

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    Its not clear if your problem 1) is with B&W film, but if it is then I second the suggestion from Jeff - it will work a treat (and a yellow 1 stop filter would give the most subtle change, a red the greatest).
     
  11. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    If the skies are blue, as Jeff says, use a yellow, orange, or red filter or a polarizer. If the sky is hazy, use a graduated netural density filter. It will be darkened, but still won't have much detail.

    For outdoor use, I would recommend a slower, finer grain film. Something like Ilford FP4 might be good. Relatively fine grain and higher contrast. If the contrast seems to high, pull it a little. It will give smooth skies and sharp detail. Do you even need the speed of Tri-X for portraits? Even there I would go with a slower, finer grain film.

    My philosophy has always been, go with the slowest, finest grain film that will do the job. Unless you're looking for the grainy look, why make things difficult. Just IMHO.
     
  12. lft

    lft Member

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    I develop my own.
     
  13. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

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    These are outdoor portraits ?

    Martin