You got your camera.  You loaded a cassette.  The cassette is in the camera, emulsion facing the lens.  If you have an older camera, the meter is a needle on the right side of the viewfinder window.  If you have a newer ZX-M camera, the meter is the dots that appear on the right when you press the shutter release half way down.  OK, what now?

Frames 1-5 (silhouettes)
Grab a friend.  If you don’t have one, make one.  Ask your friend to stand in front of the camera, with the city and sky in the background.  Lots of sky.  At Paki, this might be on the third floor, looking out over Honolulu harbor.  At ‘Akahi, this might be on the top floor, looking out over Lëahi.  At Konia, just the sky will do.  Take the picture leaning against the lockers, with your friend against the second floor railing.  Be sure to get lots of sky in the background.

Turn the camera vertical, and set the shutter speed to 250th second.  Make sure that your film speed is set to 100.  Take a meter reading and place the needle (or dots if you have a ZX-M model) in the middle.  Snap off five frames.

Frames 6-10 (portraits)

  • Take exactly the same pictures as before, but this time follow these steps:
  • point the camera down at your friend’s feet, so that you cannot see any sky.
  • take a meter reading and balance your needle (or dots) in the center.
  • point the camera up, focus, compose and shoot.  Again, use the horizontal format.

Frames 11-25 (whatevers)
This is a test.  Think about what you were asked to do above and try to use your meter carefully, so that you get the image you want, not the image the camera’s meter gives you.


  • Double-check to make sure that film speed is set at 100.
  • Remember to focus carefully, hold the camera  steady, and squeeze the release, without jerking. When you shoot, tuck your elbows in and spread your legs — or brace the camera aginst something.
  • For  now,  use a shutter speed of 250th second whenever possible.  If you cannot set your meter needle in the middle, reduce the shutter speed to 125th second.
  • Pictures taken in bright overcast or light shadows usually come out looking better than those taken in direct sun.
  • If you want to take indoor photos, put the camera down on a flat surface and then press the shutter release.
  • Don’t face the camera into the sun, with the sun hitting the lens directly.
  • Take several pictures of each image.  Sometimes, negatives get messed up and it is good to have a backup.