Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/11/22

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Landscapes with M Cameras (long)
From: "Jeff S" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 23:50:50 -0700

The easiest way to get lovely, rich blue skies is (1) To live in a place
that has them and (2) To favor brilliant lighting upon your subject matter,
which raises it's brightness a stop or two above that of the sky. If the
light's hitting the subject in such a way as to emphasize surface textures
in a pleasing manner, so much the better! Even when I'm not photographing, I
do sometimes try to guesstimate the contrast range of a scene visually, and
confirm with my Pentax digital spotmeter--keeps me in practice, which is
real handy, since the M6 meter isn't real helpful here--my dream M6 has a
bargraph meter display from -2 to +2 in 1/3 stop increments!  (3) If
shooting at an angle from the sun, polarizing filters can also be helpful.

So in these cases, I'm not coping with a "huge EV range", rather, I might
only have a 2-3 stop range (with the sky not being the brightest part of
it), yet, so long as I've got nice texture and perhaps some pleasing contast
of colors, the image looks great.  Some picture elements may fall outside of
this range, but they're usually smallish or deliberately pretty featureless.

For the most part, I try to avoid genuinely high contrast ranges when using
transparency film and am struggling with learning how to handle these
situations with black and white film (I'm envious of the tonality that
George Lauterstein's achieving!!)


- -----Original Message-----
From: Khoffberg <>

>Thus my question.  How do the rest of you deal with these types of shooting
>conditions with your M cameras?  Do you just frame out the sky in order to
>avoid the huge EV range?  Do you take a shot with an ND Grad?  Do you go
>the intimate scenics when the EV range is too great?  Do you stay away from
>transparency film under these conditions?