Compose your picture and set the film speed lens aperture and shutter speed

Looking through the viewfinder on the top and back of the camera, you can compose your subject the way you like it. But you also must make sure that the film is receiving the right amount of light (exposure) to record the subject. The first step for correct exposure is to set your ISO number, or film speed, on the camera so the built-in light meter knows how much light your film needs. Most modern cameras set the film speed automatically by reading a bar code on the film cassette. On older or...

Setting Shutter Speed

On most manual or older model cameras, the shutter speed is indicated on a dial located on top of the camera body (left). To set it, you turn the dial until the desired speed is indicated next to a marker. With many modern cameras, the shutter speed setting is displayed on an LCD screen you change it by turning a control wheel (center). Many camera models show the selected shutter speed in the camera's viewfinder (right). John Goodman, Two Wrestlers, Havana, Cuba, 2000 The choice of shutter...

Determining Print Exposure

Negative Exposure

Once you've processed the test strip, examine it carefully to determine the best exposure for the final print. You will find that some tests are more useful than others, depending in large part on where you've positioned the test strip. The section of the image that shows on the test should be an important part of the overall picture, such as skin tone in a portrait subject. It also should contain a good range of light and dark areas. The light by which you view the test also is important. It...

Whole and Partial Fstops

Whole, or full, f-stops are always indicated clearly on the lens or in the camera's LCD panel and or viewfinder. But you also can choose f-stops in between either in half stops and or third stops, depending on the equipment you use. If you set your f-stop on the lens, you may not see these increments marked numerically instead, you may feel or hear a click as you select a setting between whole stops. (On some lenses, you may not feel or hear anything at all, whether setting whole and or partial...

Alternative Approaches

See bw-photography.net for Although the preceding chapters cover the most common black-and-white more alternate approach . techniques, processes, and materials, there are still numerous, less widely used approaches. Most are for those times when the photographer wants to achieve an uncommon look by trying something different. This chapter describes several of these alternative approaches. Infrared film was originally developed for industrial and scientific applications, but it is now used...

Film Exposure

Well-exposed film helps produce good negatives, and you need good negatives to produce good prints. Film exposure refers to the amount of light that strikes the film when you press the shutter button to take a picture. Correct exposure generally means letting enough light enter the camera for the film to record the scene accurately. Too little light reaching the film is called underexposure too much light is called overexposure. Both under- and overexposure can cause a range of problems and...

Handheld Meters

Most photographers use an in-camera TTL meter, but some use a separate, handheld meter and set the f-stop and shutter speed manually. A variety of models are available, ranging from simple and inexpensive to sophisticated and costly some even cost more than a good basic 35mm SLR camera. The most obvious reason to use a handheld meter is if your camera does not have a built-in meter. Many sophisticated medium-format models, and virtually all large-format models, are meterless. And some...

The Holga

Thomas Gearty

In recent years, a number of simple, plastic toy cameras have become surprisingly popular among fine-art and professional photographers, who embrace them for their flaws rather than their technical quality. There have been several models of such cameras, such as the Lomo and the Diana, but the most popular is the Holga. The crudely-made Holga will cost you no more than a few rolls of film. It has a cheap plastic lens that doesn't distribute light evenly to the film and a body prone to light...