Film Theory

Overexposure latitude or: how to cheat your way to perfect film photography

Film photography doesn’t need to be difficult, in fact in many ways I think it can be much easier than digital. I’ve had a few people ask me recently how I have the guts to shoot film commercially. I’ve got to a stage where even the question seems alien to me, it’s just photography, I’ve been doing it professionally for nearly a decade. But then I remember, if you’d asked me about the idea of specifically shooting film professionally as little as 18 months ago, I’d probably have looked a little more worried. 18 months on I now find it no more of a challenge to get consistent results from film than I do from digital. If there is one thing I’ve learned in the last 2 years – one thing that has taken me from being worried about working as a film photographer, to being completely comfortable and confident in my work – it would be how to properly expose negative film. Actually, let me rephrase that, if there is one thing I have learned it would be how to overexpose negative film.

Metering for Film, Understanding the Basics of Exposure – By JK Lockwood

Shooting film is a challenging process for many new photographers, especially those used to the instant feedback of digital cameras. Modern DSLRs are precision instruments that quite scientifically gather light. Film however is a bit more mysterious. The complete lack of feedback from film, plus multiple film stocks (which all respond differently to light) only adds to the complexity. Additionally, properly exposing color or black and white negative film requires a metering technique that is opposite of exposing a positive image. Permit me to explain.

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