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  1. #21
    Stephen Benskin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobfowler
    Stephen, I have to ask this... How long did it take you to dig up this reference?

    hehehe

    (BTW - this was not making fun or taking a cheap shot)
    Bob,

    I have all of the papers by Jones. He's my geek hero. Just to make sure the title was correct, I walked across the room and opened a folder where I keep them all. Truthfully, his papers are the source for almost all modern photography.

  2. #22
    bobfowler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Benskin
    Bob,

    I have all of the papers by Jones. He's my geek hero. Just to make sure the title was correct, I walked across the room and opened a folder where I keep them all. Truthfully, his papers are the source for almost all modern photography.
    I'm impressed! Quite often, my filing system looks like someone set off a hand grenade in a paper factory...
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Henderson
    But why bother- using a meter doesn't take much, if any more time than assessing all the factors to use Sunny 16 optimally and measurement is going to be more accurate than a guided guess whenever exposure is in doubt or critical . In any case I don't think you can expose transparencies well consistently by making a single assessment, no matter how derived- whether a meter reading or a guided guess.

    "Make (extensive) notes for each exposure and analyse each print, negative or chrome"

    This just isn't what I want to do when I'm photographing. I want to concentrate on composition, decide where I'm going to move next; judge how I want my photographs to look; assess whether this shot is going to improve if I wait, and so on - not write stuff down for close examination later on every shot. I can do this only if I have a process for assessing exposure that works materially all the time. Sunny 16 wouldn't do it for me.

    To each, his own I guess.

    All I'm saying is that the sunny-16 rule does work, and that there is value in learning and understanding it - enough that, in my opinion, it is worth putting a little effort into it. Not because you're gonna throw away your meter but, because I think (as Charles alluded) doing so gives one a deeper understanding of light and shadow. I think it makes one a better photographer.

    BTW: When shooting large format, I routinely make at least one, and sometimes two pages of notes on exposure, meter readings, environmental conditions, camera position, fiters, belows extension, location...anything else that seems relavant. The feedback loop that the notes provide greatly speeds the learning process. But, again...to each, his own.

  4. #24
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    Here I go again, sticking my neck out. David asks? "why bother" to learn the
    to judge light and shadow as long as we have a meter that will tell us exactly what it thinks the exposure should be. :-) He would much rather spend the time composing and making photographs than spend time learning the nuances of light and putting that into practice. This attitude is rampant in the art world today. Everyone wants to be an artist, or photographer it seems today, but they simply want to make images and have folks praise their work and shower them with fame without really learning the basics.

    The idea that, all they need to create art, is a box with glass, a few holders of film and a meter. (Now the debate of incident vs reflected can and usually doe's enter the equation about now.) Any subject matter, or whatever they aim their box at will automatically be art. Since that is their conception of photography as art, there is no need for them to learn anything else.

    How many art students do you/we know with college credentials that can't draw a straight line with a ruler. They will tell you "ah ya don't have to know how to draw to paint" I disagree with this theory.

    My belief is that the more you learn about light and shadow the better your final exposure will represent the the subject matter you are trying to render.

    I enjoy mentally competeting with with the exposure meter, I usually am within a maximum one third of a stop. I make a comparison between what I see and what the meter indicates. It is exciting to hit it right on the nose!
    Then I make adjustments to the exposure to create the negative I like to print.

    Please understand that I am not finding fault with anyone, but wish simply to present a different view.

  5. #25
    Ole
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    There's a latitude component to it, and there's a time-of-day component to it. No, I didn't mean "exposure latitude", but geographic latitude. There's a decided difference in the light intensity at 60░N where I live, and at 15░N (the farthest south I've been). Sunny-11 works fine in most of Norway around the equinoxes, close down a little in midsummer and open up a lot in midwinter. Open up a lot more at midwinter at 74░N, but then again there won't be any sun at all...
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  6. #26

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    "that no one would notice that the sun was steadily becoming dimmer."

    Actually, that's no joke. More authoritative sources are no doubt out there, but this explains it good enough:

    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2003/s1013859.htm

    If we've seen a 15% - 20% dimming since the formulation of the sunny 16 rule, that has to have an effect.

  7. #27

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    Along the same lines as the sunny-16 have you seen the The Ultimate Exposure Computer?

  8. #28
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    Wow!
    I'm really glad that I started this topic. Not only am I learning a good deal, but the question seems to have started a really interesting discussion.

    After carefully reading all of the posts, I have come to two basic 'intermediate' conclusions.

    Firstly, over the last few months I have been deeply involved in film testing with both APX100 and Delta-400 and zeroing in on EIs and soup times for my equipment (camera, meter, enlarger). This would almost certainly have moved my variables along a bit.

    Secondly, I live in Quebec City...Perhaps this alone puts 'sunny-16' into question, especially in the spring, autumn and winter.

    Keep it coming!

    Cheers,
    Kent
    Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Power
    Is 'sunny-16' a bad joke? Ought it really be 'sunny-11'?
    In a danish photo book the chapter on exposure lists a lot of methods and one of them is called "BlŠnde 11-reglen" which can be translated into "The rule of f/11". It says that you should shoot at 1/(film speed) and f/11 in sunny conditions. So some mean that it should be "sunny 11".

    As it is said earlier in the thread it is f/11 in the northern regions (hence Denmark) and f/16 down south.

    I haven't done the testing myself yet, but will give it a try when I am out shooting one day.

    Morten

  10. #30
    127
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Henderson
    But why bother- using a meter doesn't take much, if any more time than assessing all the factors to use Sunny 16 optimally
    Because it's always good to THINK about what you're doing.

    All my exposures are sunny-16. Occasionally I get the meter out and play "beat the machine", just to check my judgement, or deal with something tricky. With a few weeks practice it's good to within a stop. I go out, and I look at the light, and think about what it's doing. That doesn't make me better than anyone else, but it does make me better than I would be if I didn't do it.

    In the UK I'd say 16 is good if there is absolutly no cloud or haze. The slightest amount, and you need to go f/11. f/8 it you could descibe it as cloudy. f/5.6 is overcast. (Add a stop for light shadow, two for heavier shadow.)

    Also remember that 125th is faster than 100th so if you rate your film at 100, you need to err on the side of giving it more.

    What's the worst that's going to happen - you're a stop out... I've had some poor exposures but never anything I couldn't print. I did FAR worse on some early outings when I followed the meter slavishly - I had no idea if it was giving me good info.

    Of course you don't NEED to think about exposure, but then there are plenty people telling us that with photoshop you don't need to worry about composition either.

    Ian

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