Q - When I'm taking photos of stage performances from the audience, I can't read my meter in the camera or see my settings in the dark. What can I do about this?
A - I use a penlight flash and wrap a piece of paper, most often the program, around the lighted end. This funnel constricts the light beam so it's not distracting to the audience. I shine the beam into the top window of the camera meter to illuminate the dial in order to take direct meter readings of the stage lighting. I also use it to check my shutter and lens settings.
Q - How would you recommand using three photofloods with stands for portrait lighting?
A - Place one directly above the camera for general illumination, a second higher and to one side and the third back of the model, high enough to light the hair but with most of the light directed on the background.
Q - I have a Bronica that uses 220 film. I want to use the pictures to make sides to fit a standard 2x2 projector. Are there processors who would develop and mount the 220 film for me?
A - Best bet is do it yourself - for several reasons. One, you'll probably want to make the decision as to where to crop the image, a responsibility no lab wants. Second, there are photo mounts available, and you can simply have the film developed uncut, then cut a frame out of a piece of black cardboard, lay it over the image, determining your cropping and trim with a papercutter.
Q - I would like to take pictures when it's raining outside. What is the best way to reproduce a "rainy" effect?
A - Use a fast shutter speed of 1/250th faster if the light permits. Shoot at an angle to the light that will highlight the rainfall; backlight is best. Don't forget to include puddles that show the spatter of the rain-drops.
Q - I've just returned from a long trip. When I got back my slides from the lab I almost got seasick. They were all an icky green color. What happened?
A - Very likely one of two things. Either the film was out of date or you had it in heat for a prolonged time. This effect is indeed "icky" and is much the same as when you expose under fluorescent lighting. There's not much you can now do about it except save some of the best frames for projection by sandwiching the slide with a warm filter in the red to yellow band. This will correct the color. Experiment with differing color intensities for each slide.
Q. What's the best way to use flash for portraits?
A. Direct flash lighting is harsh and unattractive. Take the flash off the camera and connect it by an extension cord. Then mount the flash on a light stand and, pointing the light away from the model, bounce it off a white umbrella or white card. The reflecting surface should be pointed at the model from a direction above and to the right of the camera. Open up one f-stop to compensate for the reflected flash.