Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/01/17

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Subject: RE: [Leica] exposure rules
From: George Hartzell <>
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 23:16:18 -0800 (PST)

Khoffberg writes:
 > [...]  What I got
 > out of this discussion is pay attention to the top of the range and don't
 > let the highlights get blown out.

This topic got its start with the rule "Expose for the highlights",
which seems to actually be "expose for the brightest highlight that
you want to record with detail".

Assuming that the scene you're working with has a greater dynamic
range than the film can handle, this says you'll lose detail in the
shadow areas *and* that you're not going to explicitly decide about
how/where that happens.

Is there a reason that one doesn't expose for the darkest shadow that
one want's to hold detail, and let the highlights fall where they may?

Is there something different about the shadow end of the range, is it
that the highlights are usually what's defining the focus of the image
so one needs to get them right, or is it just that you have to pick
one end or the other end to think about/nail down and tradition
dictates working with the highlights?