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Thread: A lion on Eastbourne pier

  1. #11

    A lion on Eastbourne pier

    Sandy, there's some great advice here. As you can gather, light meters can only take you so far. I keep basic notes of what I've done in terms of exposure time and the quality of light available for each image, but to be honest, I haven't used a light meter or reciprocity chart for any of my pinhole photos for the past five years.

    This is going to sound a bit like Yoda's "Use the force Luke," but I just take in to account the personality of my camera and how I think it will respond to the light. I try to imagine the negative collecting photons and close the shutter when I think there's enough. I gives a different sort of dimension to the experience of making an image, and helps to develop a greater sensitivity to the moment.

    Steve

  2. #12

    A lion on Eastbourne pier

    Quote Originally Posted by sandy
    I have heard of sunny f/16. I stumbled across it on wikipedia the other day. I am not sure how to apply it to pinhole though?

    The rule of Sunny 16 works out thusly: for a given film speed -- 100, say -- you can reliably take well-exposed pictures by shooting at 1/film speed @ f/16. So an object in full sun with an aperture of f/16 would look good if shot at 1/125 (the closest setting to 100).

    If you don't tear open your film boxes too roughly, you'll find the same details inside, near enough.

    If your camera has an f/stop of 256, divide 16 into that, and multiply your exposure time by the result. I get 16. 16 * 1/125 works out to 2 seconds (I think).

  3. #13

    A lion on Eastbourne pier

    and then...
    light is fairly predictable during the middle part of the day and can be guesstimated reasonably well.
    as you go from really full sun to haze you lose an f-stop
    as you go from haze to light broken cloud, you lose another f-stop
    as you move to heavier broken cloud you lose another f-stop
    and so on...
    this is where the rule come into pinhole:
    once you know the "full sun" exposure for your pinhole (al la paul, above) each time you lose an f-stop in ambient light you double your exposure time
    when you get to long exposures you may have to add a bit more for "reciprocity failure" but at least you'll have a ball park exposure time to aim for
    in some circumstances your meter can get fooled by having bright reflective surfaces like water or snow getting in the way and you might just be better off ignoring the meter!

  4. #14

    A lion on Eastbourne pier

    What Andrew said. Meters are designed to accurately work with an even midtone image, represented by 18% gray (hence the card of the same name). But when you want to capture an image of a white kitten in a coalbin, your meter will fail you. Likewise a black dog in the snow.

    If you're really interested (ie, marginally obsessed) in this, reading up on the Zone system might make this more useful. To boil it down, you assume your film can see 10 shades of grey, from pure white to featureless black. The meter, if you use one, will try to give you an exposure averaging what it sees. If your image has fewer than 10 levels, you might be OK. But extremes might require you to override it. In the case of the kitten in the coalbin, you want it to be white, so you might open up a stop or two -- lengthen your exposure or open the aperture -- to make sure it is white. The Zone system is a method for placing objects in your image at certain tonal values.

    Reciprocity is the relationship between aperture and shutter speed. 1/60 @ f/4 = 1/30 @ f/5.6 = 1/15 @ f/8. When you get down to times in excess of a second some -- not all -- films will stop following this straight line rule and will require more light, generally meaning more time. So you may find yourself needing to double the time of already lengthy exposures.

  5. #15

    A lion on Eastbourne pier

    Sandy, I'm printing all this out, too! I'm a terrible note-taker when I'm photographing-- only occasionally am I as disciplined as you are. I like the photo very much-- good eye! The detail on the boardwalk is very nice.

    I use a "vintage" light meter, too, in conjunction with the Black Cat exposure guide. It's a circular dial that gives the relationship between lighting conditions, f-stop, and exposure time. I use it "backwards". I meter the scene, which gives me an exposure time for, say, f22. I set the dial for that exposure and f-stop, then read along the dial until I get to my pinhole f-stop, say, f350, and read the equivalent exposure time. It doesn't take reciprocity failure into account, though. The good thing is that it has extended ranges of f-numbers, which are needed for pinhole. It also is easier (for me) than counting on my fingers: 2,4,8,16,32, etc.
    Maybe this discussion should be on another thread...sorry!

  6. #16

    A lion on Eastbourne pier

    Normally I measure in my hand with a cheap light meter ( sekonic ) after calculations (David Balihar mR.Pinhole etc), he tells me something within me but time or less, now and I turn off the shutter ... thus I obtain errors but also many joys ...

  7. #17

    A lion on Eastbourne pier

    Minor nit -- when converting apertures, you have to multiply by the square of the ratio (the aperture is diameter-based -- diameter over projection distance -- but the light admitted is area-based). So, if you have f/256, and meter at f/16, you need to multiply your exposure by 256, not by 16. Close enough to read four minutes for each metered second (but then you have to add reciprocity correction, and an exposure that meters at four minutes turns into multiple hours).

  8. #18

    A lion on Eastbourne pier

    Don't Zone Out & do a "Murray".

    My repeated error is to measure the shadows with a spotmeter that reads out in EV, then ATTEMPTing to PLACE the exposure at Zone III (meter thinks it just read Zone V), I then subtract 2 EV (No, no, NO! DON'T try that at home) to lower the EV reading by 2.

    Unfortunately that is WRONG...

    Lowering EV is a longer exposure, and one usually wants the shadows darker (on the positive). So what I effectively do is take a shot 4 stops off..grrrr, kick >ouch<, kick >ouch< kick >ouch<

    I don't know how many times I've done this.

  9. #19

    A lion on Eastbourne pier

    Don't Zone Out & do a "Murray".

    My repeated error is to measure the shadows with a spotmeter that reads out in EV, then ATTEMPTing to PLACE the exposure at Zone III (meter thinks it just read Zone V), I then subtract 2 EV (No, no, NO! DON'T try that at home) to lower the EV reading by 2.

    Unfortunately that is WRONG...

    Lowering EV is a longer exposure, and one usually wants the shadows darker (on the positive). So what I effectively do is take a shot 4 stops off..grrrr, kick >ouch<, kick >ouch< kick >ouch<

    I don't know how many times I've done this.

  10. #20

    A lion on Eastbourne pier

    Don't Zone Out & do a "Murray".

    My repeated error is to measure the shadows with a spotmeter that reads out in EV, then ATTEMPTing to PLACE the exposure at Zone III (meter thinks it just read Zone V), I then subtract 2 EV (No, no, NO! DON'T try that at home) to lower the EV reading by 2.

    Unfortunately that is WRONG...

    Lowering EV is a longer exposure, and one usually wants the shadows darker (on the positive). So what I effectively do is take a shot 4 stops off..grrrr, kick >ouch<, kick >ouch< kick >ouch<

    I don't know how many times I've done this.

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