Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/01/18

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Subject: RE: [Leica] exposure rules
From: (Ted Grant)
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 07:26:42 -0800

>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.

George Hartzell wrote:
>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?>>>>>>>>>>

Hi George,

I'm sure your questions can be answered much faster in many photography
books at the library and or your welcome to my own personal book collection
of some 300 plus books covering almost every aspect of photography..

It has been my understanding and read a thousand times or more, that when
one is shooting 'chrome film to "expose for the highlights and let
everything else fall in to place" within the range of the film being used.

This is a general base concept of exposure, obviously if the most important
element of the picture were in the shadows, one would certainly let common
sense dictate you'd shoot tight and for detail in the shadows.

However any highlights would be complately blown out.

If one is using negative film and this usually applied to B&W films, one
would expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights. Or words to
tht effect.

I'm sure others more technically astute than I, can answer your question
with better technical information.

Me not being a technical photographer, I just set the asa on the camera
look through the view finder and when the lights come to shoot, I shoot!

Negs and slides always loook fine without technical thought process! :)

Ted Grant
This is Our Work. The Legacy of Sir William Osler.