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11-07-2008, 08:35 AM   #1
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First time with B&W Film

Hi. Heres some pics I uploaded to my "user photo gallery". Sadly Im still having trouble getting the right exposures especially on cloudy days and on white buildings. Am using the sunny 16 rule but I think im either over or under compensating half or full stops. O ya its taken with a spotmatic.












Last edited by miniheli; 11-07-2008 at 08:40 AM.
11-07-2008, 06:32 PM   #2
WJW
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Not bad, but you might need to post some more info: What film, pics scanned from negs or prints, exposure info (if known).

I like #1 & #3 best. The last looks like either there might be a scan problem, an exposure error, or my monitor is going bad.

Last edited by WJW; 11-07-2008 at 06:33 PM. Reason: lousy typign....
11-07-2008, 10:22 PM   #3
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Hi WJW.

I think the film I was using was Kodak BW400CN 24exp. The pics were scanned from negatives. Im sorry I don’t have the exposure info.

"The last looks like either there might be a scan problem, an exposure error, or my monitor is going bad."

I think your monitor is fine lol, I think my exposures were way off, but I kind of like dark pics but never meant for this one to be so dark. Its funny cause the time I took that particular picture, in my class, we were learning about a particular photographer (forgot his name) and his style was very underexposed.
11-07-2008, 11:58 PM   #4
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Getting the right exposure from bright buildings will be difficult. You should try out some other B&W films as well. It is a lot of fun

11-08-2008, 05:31 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
Getting the right exposure from bright buildings will be difficult. You should try out some other B&W films as well. It is a lot of fun
What he said. Some of the shots you were going for were pretty challenging. The fourth one seems to be pretty spot-on to me, with a fine dynamic range. And of course the sunny 16 rule will only take you so far. Do I take it from that that you're not using a meter of any kind? For B&W work you may find a hand-held meter could be your best friend. B&W can be a very stern medium and few reach the heights and plumb depths of its possibilities. The rest of us struggle on as best we can, but that's half the joy of it. I find it the most thrilling, rewarding medium to work in. Keep on, mate, keep on.

There are some excellent websites and plenty of good books to help you, many available for a song in 2nd hand bookshops. And don't forget your local library. Also I'd thoroughly recommend the British magazine "Black and White Photography." They're real experts but they cater for all levels in their articles and help columns.
11-08-2008, 09:01 AM   #6
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I got back into B&W film around 1999 or so, after a 20 year layoff and using colour film only.

First thing i did an advice from a pro shooter, was buy a Minolta IV hand meter and a Minolta spot meter.

Made a world of difference.

Try some real B&W film, that 400CN is ok, but the real stuff pops.:-)

Dave
11-08-2008, 03:38 PM   #7
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I recommend Black and White Photography - A Basic Manual by Henry Horenstein.
IMO it is essential reading for all film photographers.

Chris
11-09-2008, 01:19 PM   #8
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Those are some nice-looking shots! How do they look to the negative?

At this point of you interest, let me tell you this: crop in the frame. If you see anything, and I mean ANYTHING, you don't want in your photo, move your position so that you don't see it in the viewfinder anymore. It sure beats cropping and enlarging, especially if you use 400+ ISO film.

If you're going to be doing a lot of Black & White, let me recommend The Ansel Adams Guide by John P. Schaefer.

11-11-2008, 03:08 AM   #9
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Nice shots.

I recently started using B/W films as well. The first one (Ilford FP4) was messed up by the lab. Since then I don't take the risk anymore: I love the C41 B/W films, as they're developed in the same process of a color film, so any color lab at least can develop them correctly. I'm VERY happy with the Ilford XP2 Super (the equivalent of your Kodak, which I'm trying out at the moment). Any real B/W film you should take to a pro lab to get them properly developed.

Anyway, are you using filters with those photos? The contrast with the sky seems nice, but you can add a lot with filters.
11-11-2008, 02:23 PM   #10
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"First thing i did an advice from a pro shooter, was buy a Minolta IV hand meter and a Minolta spot meter.

Made a world of difference.

Try some real B&W film, that 400CN is ok, but the real stuff pops.:-)"

Ya I really should consider getting a light meter. Ill take your advice lol.
Ya the 400CN was from some local photo shop. They didnt have anything else so I just wanted to see how the world changes in black and white. There are some nice online shops I found on the net that has a pretty good selection of bw. Gonna get the real stuff

" I recommend Black and White Photography - A Basic Manual by Henry Horenstein.
IMO it is essential reading for all film photographers."

"Those are some nice-looking shots! How do they look to the negative?

At this point of you interest, let me tell you this: crop in the frame. If you see anything, and I mean ANYTHING, you don't want in your photo, move your position so that you don't see it in the viewfinder anymore. It sure beats cropping and enlarging, especially if you use 400+ ISO film.

If you're going to be doing a lot of Black & White, let me recommend The Ansel Adams Guide by John P. Schaefer."

On the negatives they look pretty good. I did my scans of my film in a photo shop that only does c41 and nothing else.

Thanks for the book recommendation, will check it out in barns and nobles.

" Nice shots.

I recently started using B/W films as well. The first one (Ilford FP4) was messed up by the lab. Since then I don't take the risk anymore: I love the C41 B/W films, as they're developed in the same process of a color film, so any color lab at least can develop them correctly. I'm VERY happy with the Ilford XP2 Super (the equivalent of your Kodak, which I'm trying out at the moment). Any real B/W film you should take to a pro lab to get them properly developed.

Anyway, are you using filters with those photos? The contrast with the sky seems nice, but you can add a lot with filters."

Thanks

Ya that’s the reason I got the c41 B/W film cause I wouldn’t need to drive to a pro lab to get them developed. I will keep the xp2 super in mind the next time I make a film purchase.

Nope Im not using any filters. I see what you mean, the sky seems blown out in some pics and the clouds don’t have much detail to them.
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