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12-09-2013, 11:49 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
And with BW film, you can compress highlights to get even more DR by over exposing and under developing the film. To understand why film handles highlights differently, have a look at its characteristic curve in the film's data sheet.
so, for exemple, if i have a 200 ISO film, i expose it like a 50 ISO and processus it like a 400 or 800 ISO for exemple ?

On a "chemical" side, this mean that there will be lots of highlights, and little shadows after exposure.
But, during processing, highlights will be processed faster but won't burn, and the least but well exposed areas , will appear as mid, or dark-grey. There will be not deep shadow then.
Am i right ? I'm asking because i still learn about processing, and how to use it differently then just @stock speed / processing.

12-09-2013, 12:25 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
so, for exemple, if i have a 200 ISO film, i expose it like a 50 ISO and processus it like a 400 or 800 ISO for exemple ?
First, read up on the zone system. How much you over expose and under develop is film/developer unique. You need to work out the development time. You can do it by trial and error close enough if you don't have a densitometer. The Pyro developer I use is well suited for highlight compression but not very good at expansion, for example. Do a web search for N-1, N-2 and N-3 for your film and developer and see what others have been using. Going 1.5 or more stops over exposed will most likely mean using one of only a few developers. The newer tabular grain films seem to do better than some of the older cubic grain film for for more than 1 stop over exposed too. The radical 3 stops over exposed in that picture I have only tried on a few films. I can say 100ACR, 100TMX, 400TMY and Delta 3200 worked okay so far.


QuoteQuote:
On a "chemical" side, this mean that there will be lots of highlights, and little shadows after exposure.
But, during processing, highlights will be processed faster but won't burn, and the least but well exposed areas , will appear as mid, or dark-grey. There will be not deep shadow then.
Am i right ? I'm asking because i still learn about processing, and how to use it differently then just @stock speed / processing.
You need to meter for the shadows and place them to ensure there is good exposure for them. So naturally a one degree spot meter is well suited for this kind of work. But if you have confidence in your camera's meter to place the shadows on a high contrast scene, you can just change the ISO on the camera and go with what it suggests. That is what the old saying, Expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights means. Place your shadows around zone III and compress or expand the highlights.

Last edited by tuco; 12-09-2013 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Correction
12-09-2013, 12:25 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jamey777 Quote
I actually visited your flickr account after seeing some of your work here. The medium format beach and lighthouse stuff is amazing.
Why thanks.
12-09-2013, 01:56 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nuff Quote
Here's Portra 400 overexposed by 5 or 6 stops.
That looks great! I really love film (especially portra) but have a lot to learn about working with film. I have been meaning to get around to using film for years (instead of just trying to emulate it with digital), and finally got my first roll of film (since the 90's) shot, processed and scanned a couple weeks ago. It was a roll of portra 400, all FA77, and all outdoor shots of my kids... From everything I'd read, I was expecting the film to be a bit more forgiving than I found it to be, at least with the scan results I got from the (reputable) local pro lab. I know it's forgiving enough now that I've learned a bit from my first roll...

I found out the lab uses a Noritsu scanner and I really like the way the colors turned out with their scans.. It was fairly mid to late morning sun with many of the shots and I was always exposing for the skin instead of the shadows. If the kids were in the shade and there were non shaded areas in the background, the highlights were more blown out in the lab scans than I expected them to be (although still tolerable for the most part). If the highlights weren't blown out then the shaded areas (often including the kids) had that typical under-exposed grainy film look.. Looking at my results I quickly realized that I had forgotten to expose for the shadows as I had read that I should have...Doh! Still, I was a bit surprised at how blown out the lab had my highlights even when I did have the shadows exposed better. I'm not arguing that the blown highlights weren't a fair price for the shots where the skin tones turned out..

(I also did some sunset hour shooting on that roll and ruined most of those shots when the sun was back-lighting the kids, again because I exposed for skin and not for the shadows.. )

I have since scanned some of these shots myself from the negatives using my Epson 4870 flatbed and Vuescan. I've been scanning raw 48-bit and playing around a lot and can save a lot of the highlights and still get skin exposed well for the most part (except for the truly under-exposed shots), and the quality is actually much better than the 6meg scans the lab did, in my opinion at least... I think it's just because I am scanning at a higher res than them... I wasn't going to order scans from them but the lab guy promised me that I could never get as good results as them, so I figured I would have them scan my first roll and then use their scans as a benchmark for my scanning ... The one thing I haven't been able to get to look as good as the lab scans is the colors... Presumably because of however the Noritsu scanner at their lab is programmed, or whatever the technical details are, I don't know.

I've spent quite a bit of time during and after my flatbed scans trying to emulate those flatter and tastier classic portra colors they gave me with their scans, but I haven't quite been able to do so yet. I get more cyan/green tones that I don't know how to deal with, at least not well enough to make my scans look similar to theirs.. I've read about Color Perfect and can guess that it would probably help, but I don't use any Adobe products (and don't plan to at this point) so that's probably not going to be an option for me. I expect to get much better results with the Portra 400 roll I am shooting now (diligently exposing for the shadows wherever appropriate). I also picked up a roll of Portra 160 I am looking forward to shooting next..

Quick printing question for anybody that's endured this long post.. What is better for lab printing my film? Should I process my negative and give them that, or give them the negative again, or am I going to have to try both to see which I like better? Like I said I like their colors better but I like my exposure control a bit better. I don't know how this is going to translate to print.. Printing is an aspect of photography I have avoided like the plague, but I really need to start doing it because I am getting requests... I am guessing right now that my best bet is to use the local lab for the film prints and give them back the negative.. (I need to get some digital prints done too and will probably just do that with an online vendor like Adorama or Mpix..)

Ok since I already heavily bombed this thread, might as well end with a couple of these lab scans (I don't have any of my flatbed scans with me right now.. )..

This is an example of my under-exposed shots:

(I was set to auto-exposure with my ME Super focusing/metering on my daughter in the middle, but I am guessing the meter read the bright sun-lit part of her face when I fired.. bummer lol..Haven't tried my own scan of this one yet...)

And this is an example of my many over-exposed shots.. (Again metering the kids with auto-exposure who were in the shade in front of the directly sunlit background.. What should I have metered to expose this better? The trees or sky maybe?)



Last edited by todd; 12-09-2013 at 02:03 PM.
12-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #20
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Actually your 'overexposed' shot looks great. who cares if the background is blown out, the high dollar wedding guys shooting film sure don't :-) the pastel colors you are seeing in those trees are what folks on digital spend hours trying to recreate.

As for the scans, I went the whole flatbed route and its just way too much work. I bought a Pakon 135 (that can be another thread) and scanned in 28 rolls in less than a day and all of them look 'lab great' with no tweaking :-).

I normally overexpose my portra 400 to like 250 or so, always doing kid portraits here too.

For your underexposed shots, there is just no way to fix them on film (that I have found).
12-09-2013, 02:13 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
...
And this is an example of my many over-exposed shots.. (Again metering the kids with auto-exposure who were in the shade in front of the directly sunlit background.. What should I have metered to expose this better? The trees or sky maybe?)
In a people picture like that, they are the most important thing in the scene, no? So exposing for them is important. Sometimes you just have to say the hell with the rest of the scene.

With that said, there are a couple of things to consider in post processing that image. First, crop to a 4:5 portrait orientation to cut out some that excess bright sky. Second, add a vignette. It will both help bring down the highlights in the sky and draw your attention to the subjects. A graduated mask pulled from the top with the highlights pulled down and as well of some exposure might also improve things.

Also, getting 48bit color TIFF files in a wide gamut color space from the lab will help you pull up/down shadows and highlights more in post.
12-09-2013, 02:38 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
First, read up on the zone system. How much you over expose and under develop is film/developer unique.
To be honest, i've tried to read it multiple times, but i don't get it in practice !

QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
You need to work out the development time. You can do it by trial and error close enough if you don't have a densitometer.
Well, i'm not really good at processing film either, so i send it to a lab, that only do processing on large scale, with various push / pull processing available, and special request possible.

Hence my question about the example with iso 200 film / 50 shoot / 400 processing. I'll do some trial soon to test some combo.

So far, i think i can say that in B&W with ilford delta 400 (almost the only B&W film i use, because i push it to 3200 and still get perfect results), i exactly know what will come out after the processing.
For C41, i use mainly expired film like Kodak gold 200 and superia 200. For those too i know what will come up, the color shift, etc ...

So i will do trials and i will be able to compare the results. Tomorrow i'll try those Provia 100 expired 22 years ago i speak about in another thread
12-09-2013, 02:44 PM   #23
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Talking about overexposure and underexposure, what went wrong in this picture?



12-09-2013, 03:31 PM   #24
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Zone 30... I thought Ansel said there were only 9 zones?
12-09-2013, 03:38 PM   #25
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You should tilt that to the right a little.
12-09-2013, 03:45 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
Talking about overexposure and underexposure, what went wrong in this picture?
End "end of speed zone" sign is facing the wrong way?


Steve
12-09-2013, 04:13 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
End "end of speed zone" sign is facing the wrong way?


Steve
That is a speed limit for foot traffic. 30 steps per minute.
12-09-2013, 04:39 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jamey777 Quote
I bought a Pakon 135(
Cool I will be checking that out.. Is this a solution for 120 too? I am looking to acquire my first MF camera soon as well... Although for the volume of film I expect to shoot (no high) my flatbed might just remain to be satisfactory..

QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
First, crop to a 4:5 portrait orientation to cut out some that excess bright sky. Second, add a vignette. It will both help bring down the highlights in the sky and draw your attention to the subjects. A graduated mask pulled from the top with the highlights pulled down and as well of some exposure might also improve things.

Also, getting 48bit color TIFF files in a wide gamut color space from the lab will help you pull up/down shadows and highlights more in post.
Yeah those are good suggestions that I would normally do in some form/fashion but just threw these up as examples of the straight out of lab scans... I would assume that the cost factor of those tiff files from the lab would keep me from ever doing it.. Maybe if they would do that on a specific image for a fair price I might consider it..
12-09-2013, 05:20 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
And this is an example of my many over-exposed shots.. (Again metering the kids with auto-exposure who were in the shade in front of the directly sunlit background.. What should I have metered to expose this better? The trees or sky maybe?)
The 2nd over exposed shot looks perfect to me, not over exposed at all. But only when I look at it on my iphone and my imac which has calibrated screen. It has nice pastel blue sky like mentioned above which a lot of digital photographers try to emulate, it looks perfect and the lab did great job. Now, when I look at it on my cheapie monitor at work, it is totally blown and I know it always blows highlights. My guess is that you possibly have a monitor like the one in my office or maybe it needs to be calibrated?

Like mentioned above, this photo has the look of film wedding photographers. My pet peeve is that most photos this day are all middle grey. There's no gentle highlights or deep blacks or even blacks with no detail in them. Everything has to be in the face and all the photos look the same. For me I like to blow the highlights or bring down the shadows and make them pitch black if it makes the photo.

Take a look at some of Jose Villa's work, it's all shot on film:
http://josevillablog.com/
Jose Villa | Fine Art Wedding Photography
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