Re: lens questions - redux

From: Tom Ferguson ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 07/07/05-09:19:15 AM Z
Message-id: <>

I've shot similar scenes for commercial clients. Bob already gave most
of the advice I would give, I just have a few extra comments.

Arrange the shot so that the flame and sparks are against something
dark colored, and then add a fair bit of fill flash.

Color transparency film is ^$%#$@ fussy about exposure and very high
contrast (and your scene is also high contrast). Color neg would be far
easier to deal with in this situation.

If you must use transparency: Set up your scene, meter, expose 3 frames
as "tests" at your metered exposure (digicam meter is fine). Mark this
roll of film for a "SNIP TEST". Now (and for the rest of the shoot)
shot everything as a braketed set. At least +1/2, normal, -1/2. If your
subject is relatively stable (not too many decisive moment worries) I
would add a -1 and +1 to that list. Yes, that does eat up a lot of film!

When you get the E-6 film developed, only get the "Snip Test" done.
They will cut off just enough film for a few frames and save the rest.
Examine that snip and ask them to push or pull the remained of the job
as needed. Unlike the black and white film most of us here are use to,
E-6 does a reasonably honest push (increasing both shadows and

I expect a large part of the flame/sparks to be pure white (off the
right hand of the histogram on a dig). If we can't look at it, it must
be darned bright!

Lastly, remember that dragging the shutter a bit will make the spark
trails far more interesting, and the flash fill will help freeze the

My apologies if you already know all of this :-)

On Thursday, July 7, 2005, at 05:08 AM, BOB KISS wrote:

>            It is (as always) a question of balance. 
>            Firstly, forgive my reference to the welding flame being
> “too dense on the negative”…too much time shooting b&w for fine art
> photos. I slipped back into a more “negative” frame of mind ;-)); of
> course it would be too light (low density) on your Provia > transparency.
>            Secondly, you can measure the light coming from the welder
> and then pump up the strobe light to, let’s say, two or three stops
> less (setting your exposure for this reading) so you will get a bright
> welding “flame” and a more midtone environment. Further, the sparks
> should still stand out against this midtone environment. 
>            Again, ain’t nuttin like an instant film image (calibrated
> to your Provia)  to tell you what you will get. Looking at it you can
> easily change the relationship between the flame/sparks and the
> environment by changing the lighting ratio. 
> The shutter speed can help with this as well as it has no effect on
> the strobe exposure (within limits) as the ‘Blad synchs up to a 500th
> (if you are using the in-lens leaf shutter) but will vary the ambient
> light exposure in relation to the strobe. 
>            I hope I haven’t made any more mistakes.
>                                                CHEERS!
>                                                            BOB
>  Please check my website:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Barry Kleider []
> Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2005 12:14 AM
> To:
> Subject: lens questions - redux
> thanks  to all for offering two cents (and more) on this question.
> In reading through the responses, I have some clarifications and some
> extra questions.
> First, a clarification: Provia is a transparency film, so the negs
> being dark = underexposure, not overexposure.  (It's also possible
> that I pushed the film instead of pulling it, and two stops might have
> been too much.)
> Exposure comp on the D-1 was set to 0 - unless it automatically
> protects itself from burning out.
> I hadn't thought of using a Polaroid to test the 'blad.  Duh!
> Here's a question: Bob is suggesting hitting the scene with a massive
> light source. Wouldn't that destroy any chance of grabbing the flying
> sparks? (I can imagine using a fill flash to give some depth to the
> face shields, gloves work area, etc. but it seems all the magic of
> welding is in the fire/heat/spark. Maybe this is a is a difference in
> artistic approach.)
> Barry
> Barry Kleider wrote:
> Last week, I was shooting some welders.
> My ultimate goal was to shoot them with a Hasselblad and a 150 f4
> lens. (No internal meter.)
> Since these exposures are obviously tricky, I started with my Nikon
> D-1 and a Tamron 28-70 f2.8
> I was getting some decent exposures - nothing great, but certainly
> within tolerance for a first attempt. So I decided to switch over to
> the Hassy using the same readings.
> Since the Nikon was running at ISO 200 and my provia is 100, I gave it
> a full stop. I got the lab results today: $%#^$%. (Translation: way
> too dark and looks like s**t.)
> So my question is: what's the relationship between a medium format
> Hassy with a 150 f4 lens, and a 35mm Nikon with a 28-70 f2.8 lens
> (running close to 70 if not full on)?
> I assume there's a very straight-forward (though possibly hard to
> follow) explanation having to do with the difference in lens designs
> rather than a format comparison or a digital vs. analog thing (as my
> lab guy surmised.)
> Barry
Tom Ferguson
Received on Thu Jul 7 09:19:51 2005

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