Exposing for lights or shadows with negative film?

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
Horiz Opposed
Horiz Opposed Contributing Member • Posts: 601
Re: Exposing for lights or shadows with negative film?

You have gotten good answers here. I would only add that there are no absolutes.

The first step in answering your question is for you to think out what look you want to achieve. Also, the dynamic range has to factor in. What do you need to adjust to maintain detail where you want it?

If detail in the shadows is important, then I would suggest at least a +1 exposure, with corresponding -1 development. Maybe +2, -2?
(The reason you expose for shadows, develop for highlights on neg film is simple. If you cut a film negative in half, and examine the cross section, the thinnest areas are the shadows.  No amount of increased development will help you there if you don’t have it in your exposure. Nothing times 2 is still nothing.)

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