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

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Metering the highlights. Help!
From: "Joe Stephenson" <>
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 08:57:24 -0700

Dear Kevin,
An approach that I have found helpful is such situations is to take an
incident light reading, and then bracket around that. Many scenes have
contrast ranges that are well beyond what the film can record. If you
bracket you will be likely to a shot with good shadow rendering, and at the
other end, one with good highlight rendering. And of course, the shot with
the average reading. Take your pick. To me, this is one of the reasons that
I prefer B&W. It allows--given proper exposure and development--the longest
possible usable contrast range. We live in a world that has a long contrast
range, and we are used to looking it through eyes that adapt to this long
range quite nicely. However, our films aren't so good. Hence the problem of
deciding on what to give up: highlight, or shadow.
Joe Stephenson

Kevom wrpte:
So the question is,  what would you expose for?

I decided I wanted very little if any detail in the boat hull so that
started me off at EV 9.  This also put the water at zone VI or more.
Conversely, I suppose I could have decided that I wanted the water a little
hot and put it at zone VI and arrived at pretty much the same exposure.

So Ted (or anyone else), if you're reading, what do you mean by metering for
the highlights?  If the hottest reading in the scene is the water at EV 10,
what exposure value do you shoot?

PS.  For whatever it's worth, I spot read a gray card at just under EV 9.
Kevin Hoffberg