- Always know where your light source is coming from. Ideally you want sun behind you at an angle…. Coming over a shoulder but not directly over your back.
- Look at your subject carefully. Where is the light falling? If you photograph your partner is there any light on their face or does it sit in shadow? You must learn to look for light. Your cameras record light. It’s all they know. If there isn’t any or if your primary sits in deep shadows there is nothing for it to record.
- Keep in mind the brightest areas in the scene will reflect the most amount of light and therefore create more exposure on your paper. Therefore, when you look at your paper negatives the black means exposure and white means no light was reflected.
- An ideal negative has a range of tones from black-gray-white.
- Trouble-shooting light leaks with your cameras. Remember to push the top sliding plate against the back of the film holder first, then GENTLY slide the bottom plate against the front of the film holder. If you push it back with too much force you will unseat the film holder and create a light leak.
- Light travels in straight lines. The bottom of the scene you photograph will appear at the top of the film holder and the top of the scene at the bottom. When you have big dark streaks of black sliver on the bottom of the image it actually indicates a light leak at the top of the camera and most likely at the film holder.
- Movement: when making an exposure be very careful when you pull the slide and take your finger off the pinhole. If you move the camera the image will be soft. (ON the other hand you can choose to exploit movement if you know what you’re doing).
- After making an exposure make sure to take the film holder out of the camera and turn it around to avoid double exposing your negative. (ON the other hand you can choose to make double exposures.)
- If you get a lot of small spots all over you negative it means that there’s dust in your camera or film holder. Make sure to clean out any dust from your camera.