Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/26

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Subject: [Leica] Noctilux and natural light
From: Robert Appleby and Sue Darlow <>
Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 10:14:04 +0200

Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 22:49:31 -0400
From: Tina Manley <images@InfoAve.Net>
Subject: Re: [Leica] noctilux vs. the cheap alternative
Message-ID: <>
References: <003c01bfc67e$1319cc60$1974fdcc@BryanCaldwell>

At 04:17 PM 5/25/00 -0700, you wrote:
>The nice thing of shooting by available light means they look like what
>the real world is all about, natural as we see it.  And not blown away
>with, dare I say it?  "Flash!"  This in turn gives an exposure all
>right, but totally destroys the natural moment as we were motivated in
>the first place.

Amen, Ted!  I couldn't have said it better myself.  I studied the David 
Alan Harvey shots where he used the Vivitar flash and couldn't help 
thinking that with a Noctilux and a little faster film, he could have had 
more natural shots without drawing attention to himself with the "twinkie" 
light.  His flash shots are some of the most natural I have seen, but I'll 
still bet that when that flash went off everybody around stopped what they 
were doing and looked at the camera.  That's the end of any natural shots 
you might get at that scene!

Now if we can just get rid of "Wrong Stephen", the LUG seems to be headed 
back in the direction of discussing photography!


Tina Manley, ASMP


Flash is not just a substitute for natural light. You can do things and get
a look with flash that you can't without it. 
Another thing is, that when you're using flash a lot, I mean for every shot
of a roll or two of film, after the first three or four frames most people
just forget about it and go back to being "natural". That is, if they've
already accepted you're there to photograph anyway.
I recall an occasion photographing a boy begging at the stoplights with a
small child inside the car stretching out his hand to him, both absorbed in
each other. I put one knee up on the hood of the car to get close and shot
three frames using flash before the lights changed. No-one even looked at
me. When the car took off they all smiled and waved!
I use flash to put a high key look into things, sometimes the result is
good, sometimes it isn't. It can be unpredictable. Possibly bw
photographers are less attracted to flash than colour photographers - they
might need it less because of the superior range of bw film. In colour
slide, the shadows drop off the edge of the cliff pretty fast and look ugly
and unreadable. In fact, the natural look is gone because our eyes read
shadows better than film. I would have thrown out some of the DAH pictures
because of too dark shadows.
Anyway, everyone has their own style I guess. This is back to the
flash/natural, bw/colour style of disagreement, so I'll stop now.
Someday when I have my own website I'll back these wise words up with some
pictures. Needs to be be soon...
Robert Appleby and Sue Darlow
Via Bellentani 36
41100 Modena
Tel/fax [39] 059 303436

Replies: Reply from Mark Rabiner <> (Re: [Leica] Noctilux and natural light)
Reply from Ted Grant <> (Re: [Leica] Noctilux and natural light)
Reply from Tina Manley <images@InfoAve.Net> (Re: [Leica] Noctilux and natural light)