So the other day, shortly after New Years Day, after 10 days of relative over-indulgence and general slobery, the wife and I decided it was time to get us all out in the winter air for a bit of a walk in the nearby countryside….you know, blow the cobwebs off a bit.
Naturally, being a photographer, I immediately assessed the light outside and made a film choice selection followed by camera selection. It was bright and sunny (albeit cold), no rain, and I knew there may be some horses on the route. So it was time for some classic Fujichrome Provia 100 and my Hasselblad 501CM.
So coats and scarfs on, and the jelly nailed to the wall eventually, out we went. A short time later I realsied that although I had the camera, lens, darkslide, and film, I had forgot one minor detail….the light meter! Mmmmm….slide film (aka transparency film) and no light meter of any kind – the Hasselblad 501CM does not have one built in, and it seems that in our hurry to get out I had forgot my Sekonic light meter as well. And of course slide film is entirely unforgiving of bodged exposures. One stop under or over and you’ve blown it, literally! So what does one do in such circumstances? One resorts to the Sunny 16 rule of course and hopes for the best.
The Sunny 16 rule is all over the Internet so Google it, but very basically it means that in bright midday sun, if you are using an ISO of 100, you can set your lens to f16 and your shutter speed to 1/100th (or 1/125th) and all will be well. Fortunately for me, I was using an ISO100 film, and it was bright and sunny.
So after a bit of walking through a few nice fields, we arrived at where a few horses were. The kids were obviously delighted to get the chance to stroke their snouts, and I was equally happy because I love animals (dogs and horses in particular). So adjusting my f stops here and there by a stop or two, I was not entirely convinced that my Sunny 16 metering would be that accurate, but I hoped for the best. A few days later after my lab did the honors, I got the results, and I was pretty delighted. Not the best photographs in the world, and I was only having some fun with the family so don’t expect wall hanging gallery pieces. But I think I did OK here. What do you think? Feel free to comment below.