Once I got comfortable with exposure and negatives bracketing at the camera became a waste of time and film for me. As long as I don't forget to do something, I simply don't miss on exposure. (When I forget, bracketing can't fix it.)
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour
This isn't any claim to fame, gift, or special knowledge on my part either.
I shoot at box speed and use an incident meter to find exposure. I have lenses and shutters that work as they should. I develop film per the manufacturer's instructions. Anybody can do it. This is an industrial quality process and fully repeatable.
Using this process there is plenty of room to create variations in print character.
What I can't control here is the occasional pin hole in the emulsion or the subject blinking.
I just need to say this...
Some folks are getting as belligerent as I've been sometimes lately... and overly defensive to boot. I guess some "artists" are just that way. I'm definitely no artist but have an equally good excuse. I'm brain-damaged...
Back on-topic: I used to bracket by +1 stop just in case I wanted to retain more shadow detail and/or adjust development. When I finally do start taking photos for myself again I will surely bracket occasionally but not very often and for a very different work-flow. I won't use the "D-word" or the "H-word" but if I feel the need to protect dynamic range and local contrast then (shooting only Ektar 100) I'll take two shots...
1: Darkest important shadow detail at "Zone IV"
2. Brightest highlight detail at "Zone VI"
This way I can combine both exposures as needed to retail optimum local contrast.
Poisson Du Jour,
It is professsional to bracket! Absolutely. I've repeatedly told stories that I don't bracket, however it is for my personal work where one of the constraints is how much film I have.
One time I did a quasi-professional shoot of Italian imports (which I bracketed every shot). I gave the customer the selects. Now I accept on the surface your argument that alternate takes may be quite usable. But all I have left of this work is several slide pages of murky and overexposed garbage.
On one point I will dissent, compositional bracketing (or exploring, working the subject), is common and I think a good use of film. Here I try to improve on what I first saw. I'll take my first impression. Then refine by moving to a different vantage point. I'll spend more time on the second shot but often will not take it (the first is often the best).
Seems like with 35mm slides, doubling up would give you one (#1) to project and/or throw on a light table (and one may require a little different exposure than the other use, but there could be eventual fading) and one (#2) to keep safe (for scanning or making dupes -- after scans were made of #1.) I assume making 'dupes' in-camera would be the cheapest and highest quality way to go.
Something that's missed is that often in the past (pre digital) professional photographers would often take two shots of ket images (almost always LF). same exposires and process just one, only processing the second if the result needed pushing/pulling. This was very common with E6. The other trick was to shoot two quick test shots and have a clip test done from the first roll. Many also forget that back in the 70's (and earlier) professional colour films came with suggested colour filtration adjustments stamped on each box. Here in the UK many switched to Fuji films as they were far more consistent, later Kodak caught up. Ian
I know guys that still work that way.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant