Expose for shadows/highlights

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
DenWil
DenWil Veteran Member • Posts: 4,430
Re: Expose for shadows/highlights
1

brandon77 wrote:

I have heard many people talking about exposing for shadows and highlights in film photography, and how it can make quite a big difference to photos

People talk  about  exposure or metering?  By chance are these the same people who shoot personal projects  full of meaning  and social significance? Sorry, I digress.

If I am using a camera with metering in it how would I go about this, or combine both together? mainly shoot people

I do not expose for shadows or highlights. I expose for Zone 5. Whether I am  shooting white or  charcoal or something in-between.

These were all shot with  the same B&W  film, same chemistry,  metered for the light hitting the subject , not  for the subject.

If your camera has a functional accurate meter in it  it can be the best option  because the  optics/ focal length and filter will always be factored in to your reading.

Frame and focus - then  hold  a grey card  in front of the lens filling the frame ,  in a straight line with your content,  in the same light as your content. Your meter  tells you  what aperture goes with the chosen shutter speed but I then reverse that and adjust so that I get the aperture I want.

I never have to burn through  film shooting  alternate  exposures - I can use that film for alternate framing, serious/ smiles,  horizontal/  vertical  and different styling.

Particularly useful shooting 100 ASA E6  because there is little latitude  - you need to nail the exposure. Full sun or filtered  doesn't matter.

Meter off the skin , meter off the white shirt ,  meter off the wall - all will yield less than optimum results-   meter off a  grey card receiving the same light as your content and perfect every time. Plus you can mix completely differ situations on the same roll of film and it will not matter. The emulsion  and processing are constants.

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dw

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