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[filmscanners] Re: Real-World Scene Brightness Range

At 05:11 PM 5/13/2002 -0400, Bill Kennedy wrote:
>Shooting architecture I routinely handle scene brightness ranges that
>approach and sometimes exceed 14 stops (see:
>http://www.jobousa.com/jq/jq9903.htm#UPBK). There are two article listed
>there, "The Jobo/Digital Darkroom Workflow" describes one approach to
>handling high contrast scenes/subjects; then scroll down the page to "Taming
>High Contrast in Black & White Photography".

Great! At last some substantiating data for what I would consider a very
large brightness range. Do you see these ranges in both outdoor and indoor
architectural shots? What would you say are the bright spots and what are
the dark? (White limestone facia on buildings vs. dark window openings, or
what?) I take primarily landscapes and scenics and I just don't see these
ranges except perhaps very rarely in nature. I can accept that they would
be much more common in man-made "landscapes."

I'm reading your articles now. By the way, that link should be
http://www.jobo-usa.com/jq/jq9903.htm#UPBK (hyphen between "jobo" and "usa").

>There are no "normal" or "common" brightness ranges. There is only a relative
>degree of predictability that over time emerges from a photographer's
>experience. However, on a "normal" or "average" clear day our perception of
>the world will easily include scenes that exceed a given film's ability to
>record texture and detail.

Yes, shooting E-6 mostly for my landscapes (usually Velvia) it is
relatively easy to exceed the film's range.

>By the way, spot meters are notorious for flare and most are not color
>accurate. Older meters may also have "memory fatigue". Any or all of these
>limitations can easily mask the true contrast range of a scene or subject.

I didn't know about that, but I can certainly see that older sensors could
have this problem. My spot meter is a brand new, though, so I hope it's
part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Thanks for the information,

Photography by Stan McQueen

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