When I showed these (in luxurious print form) to a friend a few weeks ago we talked about how I photographed back then. He asked me if I zoomed in to find the right composition and I told him that the camera I was using didn't have a zoom lens, I was using a single, prime lens. "How many prime lenses did you take?" he asked. I told him that it was just the one. Just a 100mm lens which was a slightly long, normal lens for the 6x6 cm camera. Then we talked about metering and he asked me if I used my trusty Sekonic, incident light meter. I had to admit that, in my desire to travel light, I left the meter at home and tried to depend on both my memory of what light looks like at certain levels, and my secret weapon.
"Secret weapon?" Yes. In those days Kodak included a little slip of paper inside the box in which their black and white film emulsions were packaged. On one side the paper had the most popular developers listed along with their standard dilutions and times/temperatures. This allowed one to get in the ballpark when developing the film. On the other side of the paper was a series of pictograms that showed different daylight fighting situations. Cloudy, Cloudy bright, hazy sun, full sun, sun on sand and snow and, of course, heavy overcast. Along with the pictograms were recommended exposure settings for these light conditions. One would learn to open up a stop and a half when shooting inside the train with light from the window or to start at 1/60th of a second at f4.0 when shooting under typical office fluorescent lights. This was all predicated on using ISO 400 as your film sensitivity, if you used consumer Tri-X. (Professional Tri-X had a different emulsion and backing and was rated at 320 ISO --- I tended to steer clear of that film).
I shot hundreds and hundreds of frames of film on that trip and very few were spoiled due to exposure errors. The little sheet of paper, taped to the bottom of the camera, made it seem all so easy. Even to this day I remember the exposure settings. Not always needed in the age of effortless digital but still convenient to know. Not having to make choices between cameras, lenses and different films was such a delicious way of working. So was having what seemed like infinite time.