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Friday, 15 November 2013

The Swap with Jesse Alexander

by Colin Pantall

Stuart Pilkington is organising this thing called The Swap where photographers swap portraits of each other.

I'm in this with Jesse Alexander. Now I haven't picked up a camera for a while so I needed a few tips on what to do. I also like to work without a light-meter (because light-meters cost money and well, you know...).

I like to think I do pretty well at this, but Jesse told me that pictures such as the one below are actually over-exposed.

I dunno. Paul Graham did something like this and everyone liked those, but that's another story.

So Jesse put me right. He used to shoot in tunnels a lot and became sensitive to light down there. That's why he never uses a light meter and never gets it wrong!

Here are Jesse's metering rules for top of the ground - 100ASA Provia film only (adjust accordingly) at 1/125th second.

Close and cover your eyes for 10 seconds. Look at the main light source.

f22 - white after image on retina, purple patches linger for 1 minute plus.
f16 - yellow after image on retina, spotty after images on retina (colours across the spectrum)
f8 - red after image on retina, fading quickly to black
f5.6 - little or no after image on retina

f4 - Scene is initially dark then comes into view
f2.8 Everything is a bit murky.

And that is what that picture is of - Jesse demonstrating how light comes into the eye and changes its shape depending on its brightness.

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