Want consistently good exposures in your 35mm or digital camera? Before you even worry about the correct exposure settings on the camera check your batteries. Before every professional job I take a small pocket sized volt meter, available from Radio Shack for $30.00 and I check the voltage in the battery. To do this you must know what the voltage is for each battery. For example double (AA) batteries are 1.5volts. Many camera’s call for 6 volts of power or (4) AA batteries. Place the red and black volt meter leads on the respective ends of the battery and take your reading. You can do this with any battery as long as you know what the voltage should read. A new 1.5 volt AA battery will many times ready 1.58 or 1.60. This gives you a little extra power as the battery wears down closer to 1.5 volts. I actually throw my batteries out when they reach 1.5 volts because a big job will wear them down to an unsatisfactory level. DO NOT RELY on your camera’s battery check display. I’ve seen camera’s display a full charge on the batteries when in fact that were nearing full exhaustion. What will happen with low batteries? Your flash won’t fire properly and your built in exposure meter won’t work. What’s the end result? Severely underexposed pictures even though all the camera settings were correct.

What’s medium format?

You’ll hear many wedding photographers boast that they use medium format equipment and film rather than 35mm (we’re one of them). So what’s the difference?

Well chiefly it’s the size of the negative. A medium format negative measures 2-1/4″ X 2-1/4″. That’s more than 2.5 times larger than a 35mm negative. What’s that mean for you? Simply the bigger the negative the more density to the photograph when it’s enlarged assuming we’re comparing the same film speeds and quality. However as a general rule of thumb medium format film will easily produce 30″ x 30″ wall portraits and maintain razor sharp definition. Whereas the 35mm counterpart typically maxes out at about a 16 x 20 print. Secondly, although their are various types of medium format equipment, most are made with the professional in mind. These manufacturers typically produce a high quality family of lenses to go with their cameras. 35mm runs the gamut from plastic throwaways to hi end professional systems. It’s the same with their lenses. Make sure you know what equipment is capturing your image.

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