Foggy Morning in Somerset on Film

Film pictures of Somerset, Kentucky in a thick fog just before sun rise.

These pictures are from Friday morning August 3rd 2018. Somerset had a thick fog and I shot these just before sun rise. The little city of Somerset Kentucky is beautiful at night with the old style street lights. It is especially beautiful when a thick fog rolls in.

Somerset Energy Center
Hwy 80 Bypass Somerset Ky.
Pulaski County Judicial Center.
North Main Street Somerset Ky
Commonwealth Journal Somerset, Ky
East Mount Vernon Street Somerset, Ky
Serendipity Restaurant Somerset, Ky

These photos were scanned from the negatives on an Epson v550 and uploaded here with no post processing or Photoshop adjustments. This is how they came out of the camera.

One of the great things about shooting with film in low light situations, is you can expose for the shadows and let the film hold the highlights. If I was shooting with a digital camera, I would instead expose for the highlights and use Lightroom or Photoshop to boost the shadow detail up. Digital burns out the highlights very easily and it is nearly impossible to fix in post processing. You absolutely must use an exposure that protects the highlights from burning out.

Just to repeat my exposure plan in low light or high contrast light is as follows: 

  1.  If using film, expose for the shadows and let the film hold the highlights.
  2. If shooting digital, expose for the highlights and boost the shadows in post processing.

I find it best to use center weighted averaging or spot metering when doing either of the above.  Canon offers four modes: spot metering, center weighted averaging metering, partial metering, and evaluative metering. Nikon offers spot metering, center weighted averaging metering, and matrix metering. I use both brands of cameras in film and digital. I consistently get my best results using center weighted averaging metering and the above exposure plan for digital vs film.

When shooting digital, sometimes you have no choice but to use spot metering if the highlights are in a very small portion of the frame. Of course if time allows, with digital you can always bracket your exposures and keep shooting and checking the playback screen until it looks right. Learn how to shoot your digital camera in manual mode and practice exposing for the highlights. You will soon be able to get your low light shots exposed properly, far more quickly.

For all the photos on this page, I used a Nikon F-601, and Kodak Tri-x film pushed to 1600 in Rodinal developer. Rodinal tends to make light bulbs glow when you push film with it. Fog also tends to make lights glow. Combining the fog with film pushed in Rodinal created a unique look to the pictures. On black and white film shot this way, Somerset looks like something out of an old movie!

I hope you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for stopping by.


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