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Episode 02: No Excuses

I make an impromptu trip to Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, only to screw up my exposure.


I’m not a fan of cold weather. So my wife and I decided to take a quick 5-hour drive to Jekyll Island for the weekend. While it was still a little chilly in the morning, it warmed up to be a very nice day!

I had every intention in getting up super early to set up the 4×5 camera before sunrise. However, the night before, I had one-too-many rum and coke and I woke up later than I wanted. While I still made it down to the beach before sunrise, it was incredibly rushed. As a result, it was a chain reaction that led me to metering my slide film incorrectly and resulted in overexposing my image by more than 3-stops. My slide was essentially transparent.

However, not all was lost. I took two backup shots with color negative. I metered my Portra 160 off the shadows and metered for EI (Exposure Index) 100. The result was a very well exposed image. However, again, back being rushed, my composition was… well… crap. So I lost half a frame due to cropping however it does still yielded a really big panorama.

Jekyll Island Pano-1

Originally, I had every intention to do this vlog to discuss the changes the beach faced after Hurricane Irma ripped forever altered the face of Driftwood Beach. I originally visited Jekyll Island January 2017 and captured several of my favorite images. However, upon returning in November 2018 I was left a little sad to see some of the trees I photographed will only be enjoyed in the memory of my photographs.

Rather than coming up with excuses for my mistakes in exposing my 4×5 Velvia 100, I just need to own it, learn from the mistakes, and make sure I won’t do it again. I am thankful I did take a backup shot on color negative at which I metered off the shadows. I will do my very best not to make the same mistake with my color slide and tell myself, “Meter for the highlights!”


Bill Manning View All

Host and Executive Producer for Studio C-41

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