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What went wrong In this picture.

24 Dec 2011 10:07PM
Hi Experts,

This is the digitised picture of the film snap taken from Canon EOS kiss lite ( Rebel).
I was experimenting with manual operation adjusting shutter Priority and Aperture. I think I set aperture to 5/6 and shutter priority to 3 seconds. I expected a silky water flow. This was the last snap in the 24 film roll. I am still learning and not able to comprehend, what mistake I have done.

Please can you help me. Is there a way to correct it, Tried some options in photoshop,

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.


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Daffy1 10 365 Ireland
24 Dec 2011 10:45PM
Over exposed. Very little can be done. Hard Luck. Happy Christmas .Damian
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
24 Dec 2011 11:30PM
need i add anymore to the explanation above, no.
24 Dec 2011 11:52PM
I agree with Daffy1 above, but you might be able to pull something out of this by using the levels control, either automatic or manual, and then use the curves control to try to tease something out of the nearly white space.

I think this can be a good learning experience. If you want to use shutter priority, you need to let the camera decide what aperture to use to control the light.

FWIW, 3 seconds is a very, very long time. I suspect that the silky water flow could have been accomplished with a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second; certainly no more that 1/4 of a second would be needed. I don't know what ASA film you were using, but unless you were shooting in the dark or with ASA 10 film or so, you would need to have a very much smaller aperture. The ISO of the film is a measure of the amount of light that is necessarily to expose the film. Modern films have ASAs from about 100 to 1000.

There is a rule of 16 that states that in a sun-lit scene, one can estimate the exposure with the following rule. At F16, use a shutter speed that is equal to 1/film speed (ASA). If you want to adjust the shutter speed, just scale the F number to keep the same amount of light. If you are using ASA 100 film, then F16 and 1/100 second would be good. If you want to go to 1/25 second, for your silky waterfall, increasing the time by 2 stops, you would need to change the F number by 2 stops, or F8.

Rule of 16 suggests that cloudy-bright light is sort of rule of 11 and so on. There are almost always guide lines in the inside of your film box. If your camera has automatic exposure, look at what it is telling you, based on the film and the light, and then adjust the exposure time and F number to get the character you want while maintaing the right amount of light to hit the film or digitial sensor.
25 Dec 2011 12:44AM
Thank you Wehrmacher, Daffy1 and ianrobinson.

@Wehrmacher, learnt from your post a lot, I could able to stick together different things I have read regarding the ISO - Aperture - Shutter Triangle etc. It all made sense now with this mistake and your nicely explained post with tips. I will now certainly remember this for a long long time. Thank you very much. I was using ISO 400.

Does choosing the ISO film for the specific purpose increases the noticeable quality of the picture.
Is there any site or links you could refer me to please. I understand that ISO 100 is good for Potraits under good light conditions.
What's the best ISO film for nature photography, something high on depth and sometimes inside the bush/rain forests.

Thanks a Ton.
User_Removed 8 1.4k England
25 Dec 2011 12:54AM


The image posted is quite heavily compressed; but on the original this kind of work is easy.
25 Dec 2011 2:10AM
Thank you very much Swwils. How did you manage to do this. It somewhat comparable to the comparatively better picture I shot with only shutter priority, In this case I let the camera choose the aperture settings.

Is there a way, I could get equivalent of digital raw data picture file from the film negative. I got this scanned from a photo shop, I have no idea what's the DPI they have used.

Very eager to learn. Cheers


25 Dec 2011 3:02AM
@Protocoder re ASA. I have an opinion I am willing to share, but in the final analysis you will have to learn from experience.

My rules say to use the lowest speed film (or digital camera speed) that will allow you to take the photo you want. In my not so humble opinion, using high ASA film or high speeds in digital is like turning up the volume on am radio station. If you are close to the station and the signal is strong (or have a lot of light), you can leave the volume down and you get nice clear sound. If you are far from the station (or have low light), you must turn up the volume and in addition to the signal, you also get static, noise from other ratio stations, lightening strike noise, and if you are in your car you get to listen to your heater motor and spark plugs. Being close or far from a station that can also be strong or weak, is like having a lot of light and not much. ASA 1000 has the volume control turned up a lot further than ASA 100. So, if you have a nice strong signal (ie, a lot of light) you can keep the volume down (ASA 100 or 200) and have a nice clean image. You can also turn up the F number and shorten the shutter speed reducing the light and turn up the volume with ASA 1000 (or 16000 or more in some digital cameras) and have a noisy image. In addition, I think the character of color is different in higher ASA films, but the character of the color is probably wider between film types than strictly based on ASA.

BTW, my hat is off to @Swwils on his clean up. I wasn't able to get even close to that. I tried, but...

Best of everything in the holiday season,

25 Dec 2011 3:20AM
@Wehrmacher Thank you very much. Very useful information. I agree with you, experience is the best way to learn. With these tips, it certainly helps me to think in right direction. Please have a great holidays as well. Cheers
25 Dec 2011 5:01AM
@protocoder. I did have a thought about why people want to use low ASA film for portraits, besides having lower noise. As it takes more light to expose the film/sensor, people tend to use larger lens openings, lower F numbers, so they can use short exposure times. The low F number tends to give shallower depth of field which serves to separate the subject from the background. In fact, there are 'neutral density filters' which reduce the amount of light entering the lens without changing the color mix, hence making it seem as if there is less light. Reducing the light forces one to make changes in the shutter speed and F number to properly expose the film/sensor. Those changes often result in opening the lens (reducing the F number for the exposure.)
User_Removed 8 1.4k England
25 Dec 2011 8:33PM
You can scan the film negative or use slide film: This will give you the "digital raw" to work from. - most scanning softwares are capable of dealing with both reversal and negative film.

That cleanup took 5 minutes; it is just a levels and curves adjustment. Its all about understanding what the level graphs represent and then adjusting within 'certain' constraints. e.g. 1/2 stops. This obviously varies with the content you are working on.

I've started some short, whistle-stop video tutorials of advanced photoshop processes on a blog here


Have a look, they are meant to inspire you to have a play around with photoshops tools - have a look at the levels / curves / masking tutorials and then combine what you learn.

e.g. I pushed the high-end reds up to reveal the detail in the rocks, but has to then mask out any areas which were actually green in your photo.
28 Dec 2011 12:14AM
Thank you very much @swwils. I will go through the links. Very useful information indeed. Have a great Holidays. Cheers and Thanks a ton.

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