Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/26

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: Open Flash, Open City
From: Johnny Deadman <>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 08:41:55 -0500

on 3/26/01 4:40 AM, Douglas Cooper at wrote:

>> went out for a day on Oxford Street with a Rollei, some color print film and
>> a strobe and shot the following, which even surprised me.
> Still interested in hearing more about your "open flash" technique.  Do you
> open the shutter, fire the flash, then close the shutter?  Or do you try to
> time the flash with the beginning or end of the exposure?  (Guess this could
> give you a sort of poor-man's second-blind sync...)

nothing so complicated!

all these shots were taken using the following technique: meter for ambient
light @ f/11 or f/16 or whatever stop you want to use for your desired DOF.
In the case of f/16 this gives you some ridiculous exposure like 1s.

Now back off two stops from this so you are underexposing the ambient light
by 2 stops. So you should have a working exposure of 1/4 or 1/8 second.

Now set your flash to 'auto' for the stop you are using, say f/16.

er, that's it!

I tend to finesse this depending on the situation. I might only underexpose
the ambient light by 1 stop if this allows me to use a shutter speed of 1/15
or less. Or I might do what Rob Appleby does and pretend that the film is
rated one stop faster than it is, ie pretend I am shooting with 800 when
really I am shooting 400, then meter normally but have both flash and
ambient exposures, so the film gets effectively 2 equal lots of light. I
think he explained this more clearly than I just did!
> I have to figure some of this out, before I take to the streets of New York
> with my Super Speed Graphic and Star Wars flash unit.  I want to do a whole
> Weegee series, of people cowering before exploding flash bulbs...

yeah me too, exaaaaactly. we could do a joint show!

- -- 
Johnny Deadman