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Old 10-19-2003, 03:12 AM   #6
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 722
Originally posted by Mystikal
Wow, it's really hard to get quality night shots like that...
That's really an understatement. With the advent of digital cameras with built-in smarts, shooting half-decent night pictures is almost as easy as point-and-shoot, at least with the higher quality digital cameras. Using traditional film has its own bag of problems, which leads to my next point...

Originally posted by Mystikal
A lot was lost in the scanning though, I can tell...
Absolutely. Results would have been a lot better if compensation during the scanning stage can be minimized or outright eliminated. As it stands, I had to bump up these pictures an average of +2 EV at the scanning stage, that's after already shooting +2 EV from the get go. Translated this means that based on my camera's meter the exposure would have been 4 seconds, but I added +2 EV to compensate for reciprocity failure thereby shooting these pictures at 15 sec. exposures. The results were too dark, thus requiring an additional +2 EV compensation during scanning in order to obtain the correct exposure. If I had properly considered the exponential character of the film's reciprocity failure, then I should've shot these pictures with 60 second exposures! But then again, I'm no night time photo expert and I was using Kodak Portra 400 NC, a film really geared towards low-light, low-contrast subjects like intimate wedding shots or portraiture. Colour shifts unpredictably with high reciprocity failure, so severe filtration was required at the scanning stage. All this post-shooting manipulation hurts the final product and that pisses me off.

If I had to do it again, I'd choose a more contrasty film and extend the exposure times appropriately after studying Kodak's reciprocity charts (since the failure curve is unique to the type of film).
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