Sunny 16 and a Canon A-1, Part 1

I recently decided it was lame that I didn’t know how to take a picture without the camera’s light meter and computer, i.e. full manual.

So I did my homework and found out about the “Sunny 16” rule, which makes figuring out the right settings much easier. And yesterday, armed with some HP5+ 400 speed B&W film, my Canon A1, a 35-70mm lens, and just for fun, the old autowinder, I set out to collect Pokémon master exposure.

I’d wanted to set out just after sunrise and take advantage of long shadows and beautiful morning light — the problem, as I told my friend Oliver, is that in this part of France, sunrise is often a theoretical concept. The sky was one huge cloud. I went all the same, and the day just got worse from there.

It was freezing. My autowinder started making horrendous noises. The camera’s battery started dying, making only one in every 3 shutter presses actually work. And it started raining.

All the same, I still took my photos, bracketing 1 stop for each picture just in case, which means my 36 exp roll got me 12 shots. I dropped the roll at a 1-hour photo while I went and had a Big Mac, and then took the prints home and scanned them at very high-res (the lab’s scanning fee was outrageous), then cropped, and straightened them.

I’ll be posting the shots in 7 posts. There are 9 I want to share, but there are two pairs that go together. Please enjoy the results of my first roll of completely manual shooting.

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After a tip, this lady was happy to let me take a few photos.

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