Found my Kodak Master Photoguide

Found this in the drawer today and it took me down memory lane. What is it you might ask?

Well while this Kodak Master Photoguide has been gathering dust the insides of the book are burned into my brain from years of using this book over and over to help me learn the principles of photography.

Here is what is on the first page of the book to tell you how it is to be used and I did:

You can carry this Photoguide with you when you take pictures so it will be handy when you need it. It’s just the right size to fit in your pocket, purse, or camera bag. The Master Photoguide contains in compact form a great deal of information normally found in photo books. You’ll find it useful whether or not you have an exposure meter or an automatic camera. This Photoguide will help you set your camera for the correct exposure, select filters, use supplementary lenses for close-ups, determine depth of field and much more.
In addition, the Photoguide is especially helpful for planning purposes to show you in advance what the photographic requirements will be for the pictures you want to take.

The “Sunny 16 Rule” is right here on the Daylight Exposure Dial. I would often have to use this dial because my earliest camera didn’t have a meter. You lined up your ISO with one of these:

  • Daylight or Hazy Sun
    • On light sand or snow
    • Average
  • Weak, Hazy Sun
  • Cloudy Bright
  • Heavy Overcast
  • Open Shade
On light sand or snow you would dial your ISO and the corresponding ƒ/16 would be the exposure and the shutter speed would be the closest to 1/ISO.
I would often pull this little book out when planning a new adventure and find the tap and then flip to the page. Just like the book says, “the Photoguide is especially helpful for planning purposes.”
Click on photo to see it larger

Click on the photo above to see the existing light choices.

Click on photo to see it larger

The little book even helped you figure out your depth of field. Say you were to put a lens on the backboard in a basketball game. What ƒ-number will you need to be sure the rim to the players faces is in focus. This would help you in planning. Back then you would have to buy the right ISO film for such a situation. This helped you preplan.

Even planning on doing some macro work with extension tubes or a bellows this would help you figure out the right exposure, because we could’t take the photo and adjust right away. You would have to go and process the film and then see the results.

For those of you starting out you need to know for most of us we had to really work at understanding the principles because the learning curve over time was longer with film. You didn’t click and look at an LCD to see your results. Sometimes it would be weeks later after you got back from traveling for a coverage for a month or so on the road.

While this book isn’t as necessary to the photographer’s bag it is still relevant for those wanting to see principles of exposure on a dial.  It is great for planning what you might need on your next assignment.

The best part is this book was like a cheat sheet for photography.