Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/05/12

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Re: PAW wk 19/sl
From: Ted Grant <>
Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 07:04:42 -0700
References: <>

B. D. wrote:
>>> While I almost always agree with Ted on photo issues, I've got to
> on this one. Given that the light was theoretically the same where the
> photographer was shooting and where the couple was sitting, I'd have gone
> for a reflective reading off my hand, and opened up a 1/2 stop to a stop.
> problem with the photo is that it is much too flat.>>>>

Hi B. D.
I think the "flat look" lack of contrast you don't like might have more to
do with the scanner or computer setting or Steve not giving the picture
enough contrast during printing rather than how Steve did the meter reading

I believe Steve works with a flatbed scanner after making a print to produce
his jpg for transmission, so either one of these two may not have sufficient
contrast originally. Steve being the only guy who can answer this.

When you look at the screen image the overall exposure appears correct and I
agree about the lack of contrast, flat look. But as I said, I believe the
original film exposure is correct no matter how he achieved the metering and
it's the production of the screen image or the original print that's
creating the contrast problem.

>>>>I looked at the photo and thought, 'okay, that's the inside of
> a bar: so what?' But I would guess that had the photo been based on a
> reflective reading, there would have been much more light on the couple's
> face, much more contrast between highlights and shadows, and the couple
> would have drawn much more of my attention - causing me to think, 'Gee, I
> wonder who they are and what's going on.' <<<<<<<<

But what you're saying here are basically darkroom or computer corrections
even with this photograph as it is. I bet if Steve gave you the negative
you'd make a print as you describe whether wet darkroom or PhotoShop.

I feel what's happening here is different metering techniques to achieve the
same kind of effect. It's just the screen image doesn't have the contrast
and possibly extra tweaking of dodging, burning  you would like if you were
to make the print ?

>>The same photo, with much more contrast - which would have been obtained
with a reflective reading, would, in my opinion - based on my personal
taste - have been far more interesting to look at.<<<<

The contrast you're referring to due to reflective reading is really a
"different exposure" and only more exposure therefore giving you a darker
negative, and not necessarily more contrast / detail as you feel the scene

But the photograph as we see it is only lacking contrast and with a touch of
tweaking can look exactly as you describe. A greater amount of exposure
during the initial making of the negative wouldn't necessarily create more
contrast, only more exposure. This is something answered by being in the
darkroom cranking out a couple of prints or a whizbang computer guy or gal
who can show a corrected image and the one we're discussing.

This may come out being a more convoluted post than if I'd left it alone.

Damn we're really talking about pictures and photography! Can you believe
it? And pictures made with a Leica to boot! :-)

Ted Grant Photography Limited

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In reply to: Message from "B. D. Colen" <> (RE: [Leica] Re: PAW wk 19/sl)