Q: Is there any way to shoot color shots with fluorescent light so that the color is good instead of a sick green? And how about flash -- will that correct the color? A: There are two reddish-colored filters made that will correct the lack of red in flourescent lighting. They are called FLD for daylight film and FLB for indoor tungsten. I've had very good color with the FLB (with some manufacturers FL-T) and type B (tungsten) indoor Ektachrome film, but if you're only an occasional shooter you may prefer the FLD and just put that on when going indoors for the fluorescent shots.
There are many types of fluorescent lights and each takes a special filter if you want absolute color correction, but for general use the FLD or FLB or FL-T filters will give sufficient correction.
Flash can be used to correct the color balance of fluorescent-lighted scenes. In an average size room a bounce flash will mix with the fluorescent light and correct the color. For the technique, just use the regular bounce-flash exposure and ignore the fluorescent light output. In larger rooms a straight-on flash from a distance will provide correction. When using flash-fluorescent light, slow your shutter speed so that the lighting in the room will additionally register. Q: All my pictures of people in front of a window are underexposed. I can't understand this because I have a fully automatic camera. What's wrong? A: The problem very likely is that the light meter averages in the background bright light and the foreground dark area, leading to underexposure of the people in the picture. This problem can happen with any light-metering system when there are extremes of light and dark.
If you have an override on your meter -- that is, a way of locking in the exposure -- then the answer is simple. All you have to do is first move in close to the subject so that the background light is cut out of your viewfinder and take an exposure reading. Then move back to your picture-taking position and use the close-up exposure setting for the picture.
If your camera is fully auto, with no override, a solution is to move your camera position or ask your subjects to move so they're not in front of the brightly lighted area. Another way of handling this problem is to shoot with flash. The flash will light up the foreground subjects and the brightly lighted background will register on its own. This technique can produce very effective indoor-to-outdoor scenes where someone is seated or is standing by a window looking at a sunlit outdoor scene.
The normal flash-distance setting for a shot of this kind would illuminate the figure, and the sunlit background scene will register at the average 1/60th or 1/125th of a second flash-synch shutter setting. Q: I have two enlarging lenses: an f/3.5 and an f/5.6. Usually i stop down to f/11 when making enlargements, so I can have greater depth of sharpness. What has always puzzled me is which lens has more depth of field at f/11: the f/3.5 or the f/5.6? A: If the lenses are the same focal length, they will have the same depth of sharpness at f/11 regardless of their different f/stops wide open. But you will have to watch out for lenses that are not equal. In this case, the shorter the focal length, the greater the depth of focus. You can check this by looking on the depth-of-field scale engraved on the lens barrel. Sometimes the difference can be surprising.
A wide-angle 24-mm lens on a 35-mm camera can be sharp from 2 1/2 feet to infinity at f/11, while a tele lens of 105-mm on the same format will reach only from about 50 feet to infinity. This, by the way, is the reason for more careful focusing with a longer focal lens, especially at wider apertures like f/4 or f/5.6.