Sunday, August 30, 2009

Crutchless Photography

Not long ago, I started playing with meterless Leicas. Especifically, a 1957 DS M3 purchased from National Camera Exchange for something below $500. Highly recommended, by the way...

Back to the issue... that purchase perhaps was not a good idea... Or probably it was, because it helped me start flying without electronic help.

Here come some early efforts with the M3 and Kodak Portra or Ilford XP2.

DeKalb garage, on the way to my office.

Stairs inside a university building.

Who said "no" to landscapes with rangefinder cameras? I did... once, a long time ago, before realizing I had done the one above (the Kishwaukee river flows around my university campus).

Something similar with my M4-2... on BW400CN film and with my Hexanon 35/f2 lens.

Hot dog vendor in campus.

Mimi stalking a chipmunk in the back of the house.

Table and chairs for not so terribly hot days (I'm curious about how they'll look in winter).

I admit having to do a bit of Photoshopping on these images, but mostly an exposure adjustment of maybe one stop. Considering that I tend to overexpose, and that I had to adjust the levels only one bit, it's not too bad.

BTW, these are all Walgreens scans off the film I left with them for developing.

More later!


Max Cooper said...

So what's your method for determining exposure? Sunny 16?

Francisco Solares-Larrave said...

I used sunny 16 for a while, but then decided to memorize different exposures for different types of light, based on my Leica MR readings. Now, I fly without autopilot with my meterless bodies.

Max Cooper said...

I'm intrigued. How specific are your memorizations? Like "Overcast, 6pm, f1.4 @ 1/60th"?

Francisco Solares-Larrave said...

What works for me is to think about soft light, like early in the morning up to 10 AM (where I live), as 1/1000 at f5.6. Very intense sun (like noon at summer) goes at f11-16, same shutterspeed. Later light, close to dusk, f4-5.6. Well lit indoors (natural light or lamp), 1/60 f4, and I open the lens a bit more if the room is darker.

I spent some time playing with my MR meter (calibrated by George from Industrial Lightmetrics in Hollywood CA), checking the stops of difference between deep shadows and sunlight at different times of the day... It may seem counterintuitive, but it worked for me.

BTW, I decided to use ISO 400 film exclusively. Makes life easier...

Hope this helps!