Experimenting a bit.
So the last couple weekends I've been trying a set and forget strategy that is working pretty slick.
For example this morning I shot a roll of HP5+ while walking the dogs about an hour or so after sunrise, so strong contrast. Set the camera using the clear northern sky well above the horizon as the mid-tone reference, opened up one stop to get good shadow and let the dogs run.
No adjustment was made to the camera settings from there. Shot in all directions, where ever the dogs ran.
Developed the roll in WD2D+, the normal 9 minutes in my JOBO at its lowest speed.
Set the enlarger exposure with the first frame then ran off about 8 prints from random frames all the same exposure.
All the prints looked nice and normal. The subjects looked like they fit their context perfectly, with plenty of shadow and highlight detail. Sunny faced dogs looked sunny faced, shadow faced looked shadowed. The mood fit perfectly for each frame, nothing looked forced.
Did essentially the same thing at an afternoon football game last week. Same result. (XP2 Super and Superia 400.)
Makes me wonder why we even bother with readjusting exposure once the sun is up.
Anybody else played with this.
Unless the moon or some clouds get in the way, the sun is a pretty constant light source.
this philosophy is why Kodak made money selling box cameras for a very long time.
They essentially still do with their single-use/disposable/recyclable cameras.
Originally Posted by summicron1
Part of my thought is that it seems in theory that even an eclipse or overcast doesn't even matter.
Originally Posted by ic-racer
The question becomes should I peg to the light or peg to the subject?
When "pegging to the light" subjects in the shade of an eclipse or the diffuse light of overcast should "look as lit", they will naturally print darker than front lit sunny.
Sure adjusting to say "the open shade 4 rule" artificially places the subject lighter, but is that what we really want?
I've been doing this with some of my manual cameras. Meter something appropriate, enter settings, and go. The problem is when I enter deep shadows, nothing has significant light on it, photos come out too dark. That's when you learn to open up a couple of stops. Metering every frame is just silly, frankly, unless you're shooting chromes.
The Contax 35mm SLRs (RTS III and later) have an interesting AE Lock function. The usual method is to meter, press the AE lock button, recompose, shoot. The Contax AE Lock switch gives the camera an Exposure Index priority setting, allowing you to lock in your exposure values for as long as the camera remains on, all the while allowing you to change aperture settings, or switch to Shutter priority... It's a great feature that I never see discussed. It's a manual exposure mode that is fully automatic!
Yeah Fred, I agree that there are limits.
It is nice though to set and run until something significant changes.
The same overall exposure (film + print) would not really work because the human eye adjusts for shadows instantly. Film + print do not. The dog in shade probably appears "darker" in the print than it appeared in real life. Keeping global exposure (film + print) constant would work if film + print could mimic human eye + brain vision, but they don't.
In this case it probably worked because in the morning light the contrast is low, there is not so much difference between shade and sun, as there is in the central hours of the day. I suppose it wouldn't work as well during central hours of the day without compensating during printing so as to obtain a tonality which is as the mind recorded and remembers it.
In the morning situation Mark was shooting I would have metered for the shade (expecting something like LV11 or LV12 I suppose) and left it there in manual position leaving the exposure latitude of negative film toward the highlights take care of the details in sun light.
I am surprised by the choice of the north sky as middle grey. Isn't that too bright a reference? I would have used a concrete wall in shade to peg my "shadow" exposure. Using B&W that is basically a "good for all situations" exposure unless the light changes substantially.
Yes, the dogs in the shade did print darker than the ones in the sun.
The neat thing is though, that it looks fine, the context they are in and the dogs look normal, they fit each other.
Even the back lit dogs printed nice.
Setting the camera for the shade is essentially the general idea of what I did, I picked a peg where I knew I would get good shadow detail and let the highlights run. Same idea was used to set the enlarger.
As to the northern sky, try it, this s an old idea that I picked up from a book years ago and it works, much like a green lawn. I'm not talking about close to the horizon, but up a ways, say a camera tilt of 30-40 degrees. As a side note, this kind of tilt works nicely for getting a darker looking sky behind certain subjects.