Intro to Black-and-White Film Testing

Ted Orland, Ansel Adams’ assistant before Alan, made the humorous observation that no two light meters seem to agree. Funny, but truer than you might think, and understanding it is crucial to your photographic results.

The reality is that the film speed listed on the box is determined by scientific factors that may not apply to actually evaluating a scene using a light meter, let alone your own light meter. If you want to know you’ll have a useable negative when you click the shutter instead of hoping for the best, you need to test your film to determine its limits of under and over exposure, using your own light meter.

In this 60-minute online workshop, Alan will patiently explain why you need to test your film and how. He’ll show you how to interpret the results and put you another step closer to confidently and accurately calculate exposure. Among the things he’ll talk about:

  • Why light meters don’t agree and why that’s important to know
  • How to determine the limits of under and over exposure with your film and your meter, from a down-and-dirty quick test to a more complex test involving plotting values on a curve (don’t worry…you don’t need to be a math whiz to do this!)
  • How to identify your unique personal film speed
  • Why a spot meter could be your new best friend, especially if you want to be in control of your exposures
  • How, with just three exposures, you can know most everything you need to know about your film speed.

One hour certain to move you a step closer to nailing your exposures. Limited to 5 participants. $50 per person. 

Current schedule:

New schedule coming June 2021

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