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  1. #1

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    Meter for white , print for black?

    Hey guys,

    I live in New Mexico and we get these beautiful cloud formations here in the southwest. I'm embarrassed to ask.. Is it.. "Meter for white and print for black"? or the other way around? I went out about a month agao and shot a thunderhead cloud rolling over the mountain, however it lacked contrast. Anyone have any tips. Trying to get my skill based up where is was 10 year ago. Damn digital cameras has made me forget everything.

    ToddB

  2. #2
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    You meter for shadows, so that you get as much shadow detail you deem necessary. Bracket your exposures if you're unsure.
    Then you develop the film to get the right density in the highlights.
    Finally you print to reap the benefit of both those exercises.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  3. #3
    Aron's Avatar
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    If you'd like to show clouds on your prints, a yellow/orange/red filter and/or a little burning-in will help.

  4. #4
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    What type of meters do you have?
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #5

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    Over here in the currently rain soaked UK, I was brought up on a recipe of 'Expose for the shadows and let the highlights take care of themselves'. That way you will always find detail existing in the darkest area whilst highlights can always be printed down.

    There is a modification I use now and that is to expose the film at half the rated speed and then shorten the development by a certain amount. For instance the re-manufactured Agfa APX 100 exposed at 100 ISO requires 13.5 mins for the development in Rodinal diluted 50-1. Expose the same film at 50 ISO the development n Rodinal at 1-50 is 12 mins. There is usually perfect detail in all but the very densest of shadows and the highlights are held back to make printing that little bit easier.

  6. #6

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    Sekonic 408

    I Have a Sekonic 408 with Spot meter option.

    ToddB

  7. #7

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    Ilford Delta 100

    Quote Originally Posted by BMbikerider View Post
    Over here in the currently rain soaked UK, I was brought up on a recipe of 'Expose for the shadows and let the highlights take care of themselves'. That way you will always find detail existing in the darkest area whilst highlights can always be printed down.

    There is a modification I use now and that is to expose the film at half the rated speed and then shorten the development by a certain amount. For instance the re-manufactured Agfa APX 100 exposed at 100 ISO requires 13.5 mins for the development in Rodinal diluted 50-1. Expose the same film at 50 ISO the development n Rodinal at 1-50 is 12 mins. There is usually perfect detail in all but the very densest of shadows and the highlights are held back to make printing that little bit easier.
    Hi there,

    Good Info. I have had good good contrast with Ilford Delta 100 and D-76 developer at 13 minutes as compared 12 minute directed by ilford instructions. I think I was metering the wrong element in the scene. Going to Colorado next weekend and hoping there will be clouds in the high country to where I can test drive this.

    ToddB

  8. #8
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    For black and white negatives:

    The classic rule of thumb: Expose for shadows, Develop for Highlights
    -As valid today as ever.

    Rule of thumb validated by image studies: The least, if it is enough, is usually the best
    -Participants were confident, additional exposure did not improve on "first excellent print"

    Controversial variations:

    Fred Picker: Place highlights on Zone VIII
    -Common objection: "that is fine unless the scene is contrasty"

    Bruce Barnhaum: Place shadows on Zone IV
    -My objection: "Zone III is more than enough"

    p.s. With your meter it cannot hurt to switch to Incident Mode and do a quick "sanity check". Also, while Incident Metering is a popular choice, I am not sure how to do incident metering for sky/cloud - that may be a limitation or a case where the spotmeter is a better mode.

  9. #9

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    Here is an idea.. Meter Clouds and meter shadow in foreground and split the diffence? What do you think?

    ToddB

  10. #10
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToddB View Post
    Here is an idea.. Meter Clouds and meter shadow in foreground and split the diffence? What do you think?

    ToddB
    That's too easy, it doesn't involve thought... (I used to do that when I first got a spotmeter. It often worked but I always felt I was not learning anything useful about exposure).

    It's better to make up your mind what you want and expose/plan to develop to make sure you get it.

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