Camera Basics

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 27, 1999

TOMMY WILLIAMS / L’Observateur / November 27, 1999

As a child, you tend to believe that issues exist only in black or white (right or wrong type of thing); but, as your shoe size increases to about a size 10, you begin to realize there’s a great deal of grey area out there in the world.

According to Eastman Kodak, there are at least 15 different levels of grey that can be recorded on black and white film.

Even though I agree that red long-stem roses are beautiful, my heart still favors black and white photos over color photos any day of the week. Having good blackand whites are similar to having a relationship, you must work at it to make it better. Film type, makeup and exposure all play important roles in achievinggreat black and white photos.

There are three basic types of black and white film available in our area, such as TMAX 400, TMAX 100 and T400CN film. Both of the TMAX films are true blackand white films and must be sent out to another lab for processing and printing.

On the other hand, T400CN film can be developed locally at any one of the various one-hour labs. This film tends to print with a slight color cast of eithermagenta or cyan when using color paper, so try having T400CN printed on original black and white paper, and you won’t be disappointed. The ASA or speedof these different films are self-explanatory.

If you’re going to photograph someone with black and white film, have them add a little extra makeup. Start out with a clean face. Then begin by adding whiteconcealer beneath the eyes and to any unwanted facial lines. Next, apply an evenlayer of base to the face, neck and any visible (exposed) part of the chest. Theblush should be use a little heavier than normal to contour the face and give it shape. All other makeup can be applied in the normal fashion.Exposure of these films tend to differ just a little. The TMAX film will becomevery grainy if you over expose them too much, so don’t over expose much more then one F-stop unless you plan on having the film pull-processed. Pull-processed means developed for less time than recommended and push-process means to develop for a longer time period than normal. You would push-processa roll of TMAX 400 that was shot at 800 ASA to compensate for under-exposure.

T400CN film tends to do OK with a little over-exposure, so don’t worry about it.

Assuming that most of you don’t have incedent light meters, purchase a Kodak Grey Card and meter it from the direction that the camera will be placed and in the light as the subject. If the subject is in the shade, meter the gray card inthe shade, got it! Try it, you’ll like it. Using a grey card will normally produceprints with greater contrast, meaning better prints.

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