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So yesterday after work I picked up my four processed chromes from CSW on Damen. Attached are some lousy camera phone pics taken on the light box. Only the one in the upper right turned out well, whereas the others were either over or under exposed or just plain uninteresting. For test shots this at least confirmed that my camera and 210mm lens are functioning properly. Here are some brief notes on each:

First photo I took is in the lower right. At f5.6 and 8/sec with 12in bellows, I'd say this was underexposed by a stop. All things considered, it would've been ideal to shoot at f8 at half a second.

Second photo is the staple removers in the upper left. Not the best choice of picture, but I wanted to experiment with the technical aspects of the lens and basically knock everything except a few small details out of focus. I'd framed this in anticipation there the background would be lit by light from the window, but that didn't pan out. Shot at f5.6 at 8 pops with 12 bellows. I guess I could've shot at f8 and tried 17 pops, but even that wouldn't have been worth it for this shot. As in the earlier photo, if I'm going to shoot these tight, up close photos, then I must at least be at f8, possibly even f11. There's just too much risk of the entire picture going soft considering all these wacky plane movements at 16in.

Third photo is in the lower left. As in the first photo, this was using 100% natural light from the window, so I had to deal with shifting light intensity. Shot at one second at f8 and one-third along with 16 in bellows, I'd say this one was over exposed by a stop. Going back, I'd have simply changed the f-stop to 11 and a half, thereby widening the focal plane and letting less light into the camera for my ideal exposure.

Fourth photo is in the upper left, and out of all the pictures I think this turned out best. At F8 with 8 pops and 12 in bellows, this was a spot on exposure, and I can see just enough detail in those highlights. This shot is actually pulled back compared to the others, and I believe it would be a more suitable direction for me. As much as I love super-up close work, it doesn't allow for a lot of variation or background.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to shooting more photos again!

againstathorn: (Default)
Alright! Just dropped off my four sheets of transparencies at CSW Film Systems on Damen Ave. Kind of an odd location but at least it's easy to get to. From work I took the Pink Line to Ashland and walked half a mile to the lab.

Anyway, the sheets will be ready on Monday. I'm sure they'll be all over-exposed, but at least I can verify whether or not the technical aspects of my camera are in order. With all the wacky exposure compensations tried to do for these shots I'll be extremely lucky if even one is on target. Bellows factor + multiple strobe pops + shooting chrome without testing on a Polaroid is a recipe for disaster, but if I'm getting back into this game I might as well bring myself up to speed.

CSW seems like a cool place. I have to admit that 2 bucks a sheet is a sweet deal compared to the $3.50 Gamma is charging.

I decided the best route home would be to walk over to Western and take a bus up toward Lincoln Square. Hopefully these little stops to CSW don't add more than 45 mins to my commute home.

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So last night I took a couple more photos with my view camera. Same as Wednesday, I took one in my office using natural light by the window and the other in the kitchen using a strobe. I feel somewhat better about the exposures for these two, but I have a feeling they'll still be off. Anyway, below are my notes for each.

Fujichrome Provia 100F
210mm lens

For the photo in my office I again shot a case of shoe polish and yellow shining cloth, though this time from a different angle. At f8 my highlight metered a 8/sec and shadow was 2/sec. With 16 inches of bellows I ended up exposing at f8 for one second. Actually at the last minute I closed that f8 a third of a stop. I have my doubts as to whether the shot will be in focus, as several times I found myself moving variables around to accommodate with the changing light. Getting the perfect highlight for this shot was a big deal for me, and working with natural light for these sort of intricate still lifes is extremely difficult while operating a view camera. I'll have to keep this is mind. As with the previous shot, I used a paper to reflect light back, thereby filling in some of the shadows.

Later that night I took another shot in the kitchen, this time of the chain lock on our cupboard. The light was coming down from a strobe I'd set up overhead. Highlight metered a 60/sec at f8 while shadow was around f2. With 1 and a half inches of bellows I ended up shooting at f8 and leaving the shutter open for eight pops. I reflected a little light from below, but not as much as I would have liked. I have no idea how this one is going to turn out. I guess we'll see next week!

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So yesterday I finally got around to shooting some still lifes with my view camera. I'm more than certain the exposures will be completely off. As mentioned before, I'm using 100 Ectacrome film. First shot was at my office window utilizing the natural light shining in. Subject was a small case of shoe polish and a yellow shining cloth. This is especially tough to meter; I should've gone more towards the shadows but I was too concerned with blowing out highlights. Anyway, I ended about 16 inches of bellows and was using a 210mm lens, therefore had to compensate by two stops, bringing me to a shutter speed of 15/sec at f5.6. At the last minute I changed my shutter speed to 8/sec to let in more light. I bounced back some of the light in the attempt to fill up the shadows. Thinking back on all the variables, it's obviously going to be very underexposed.

The other shot was of three staple removers stacked on the radiator cover in the kitchen. I composed it so the natural light coming through the window would render their outline in the background, but by the time I got around to shooting the image said light had passed. I used also a strobe for this shot. Again, I had about 16 inches of bellows with a 210mm. The strobe wasn't directly hitting the subject but rather bouncing off from behind. Shadows from strobe metered at about f8 at 60/sec. At f5.6 I ended up just opening the shutter and popping the strobe eight times. Looking back, my calculation for exposure was probably off by +2, but considering how dark the subjects are perhaps this wasn't such a bad choice.

Anyway, after years and years of only talking about, at least I'm finally shooting again! I forgot how fast time flies when doing this sort of work.

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