Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/06/01

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Subject: [Leica] Real men don't use meters?????
From: "BIRKEY, DUANE" <>
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 12:16:11 -0500

Real men who don't use meters, must not either shoot much slide film or 
must not shoot on partly cloudy days or must not notice over and under 
exposure when they see it.  Snow is one of those situations where it 
either loses all detail or looks like mud if it isn't exposed right on.  
A 1/2 stop off either way makes a huge difference and a stop either way 
yields useless images.

Real men (and women) do whatever it takes to get the shot right.   
Exposure is a very important part of the process. 

Having said that, I teach a photography class here locally 3 months out 
of the year.  The cameras we use don't have meters, and I pound the 
exposure guides in one ear till they come out the other.  One can get 
acceptable results, but you spend more time in the darkroom changing 
contrast and exposure.  As a teacher, contact sheets are often not fun to 
grade and I spend more time looking at negatives instead.  

Meters are like any other measuring device.  The user has to be smarter 
than the device itself to insure that the data is correctly interpreted.  
Taking an incident reading in the sun and shooting an object in the shade 
will result in underexposed negatives.  Like-wise the M-6 meter is less 
than precise in certain situations and completely way-off when metering 
computer monitors. 

Real men don't bracket aimlessly.  Real men know when and when not to 
bracket.  Real men know when to shoot and when to keep walking.  Kind of 
reminds me of a Kenny Rodgers song,

You got to know when to hold them......
Know when to fold them....
Know when to walk away..... know when to run...... On that note......

Duane Birkey

HCJB World Radio
Quito Ecuador