Wednesday, July 16, 2008


A funny thing happened yesterday while taking pictures. I went out on my lunch hour with my camera and no clear idea of where to go just an hour to do it in. I saw a Hawthorne Bus and decided to hop on and go check out the Newspace Juried Show. I was going across the Morrison Bridge and saw these concrete relief decorations on this old building that I had been wanting to photograph from the Morrison Bridge. I had my camera with me and the Juried Exhibit would be up through July so I changed my mind yet again and got off at the next stop. As I approached the bridge I realized this wasn't such a good idea there wasn't a cross walk to get across Grand or any safe way to access the walkway to the bridge at that point. The walkway is very narrow and puts you very close to the east bound traffic. I was committed though so I walked for a short distance to get a wonderful view of the decorations on the South side of the building. It was bright sun and I had on an Orange Filter and started taking quite a few pictures as the bridge shook beneath my feet every time a car or truck or very large truck zoomed past me only inches away. After shooting about 15 images I checked my apeture setting and it was f-4. F-4! bright sun, and ASA 100 film. Something was amiss. Using the standard "ASA rating convert to nearest shutter speed for apeture of f16 in full sun rule" I should have been getting a reading closer to f 8-11 at 125th of a second with the filter. I adjusted the apeture and shot a few more pictures closer to what I believed was the correct apeture and then decided it was time to get a bus back to work. I got back across Grand and realized I was close to Citizens Photo and I needed some photo chemicals and I still had a little time to kill. I went over and got my chemicals and while walking up to the cash register suddenly realized that perhaps my cameras meter was reading incorrectly because I needed new batteries. I couldn't remember though which battery the meter uses on the Nikkormat so I started to pull the battery out to avoid displaying my ignorance but a very helpful salesperson caught me and pretty much took over from there. He pulled out the battery and checked the voltage, .5 rather then 1.5 which would explain the overexposure. The old meters require a specific voltage to boost the sensitivity of the meter and give a accurate and consistent reading. If the voltage is too high it underexposes a bit, if the voltage is low it overexposes. The cameras were designed to work with a 1.3 volt Mercury battery. The old Mercury batteries held their voltage until they were exhausted but the newer batteries made with "more environmentally sensitive" material lose voltage over time and screw up the old meters that relied on a steady voltage level. So I replaced the batteries and when I got outside and checked the meter sure enough the reading was f16 at 125 of a second not f4. I had shot though quite a few pictures at the wrong setting and overexposed the film. So with another 15 pictures on the roll I am going to shoot the rest of the film at a lower ASA setting and purposely over expose and then pull the film in development. As I understand it I should shorten development by 1 minute for every stop of over exposure. Hopefully this will spare me having to go back and reshoot. So there is a little story about me and my attention deficit disorder and how it gets me in a bit of trouble from time to time as well as 10 minutes late.

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