99% of the photographs i take ( half frame - 8x10 ) i do is without a light meter.
it really isn't hard to judge light ... color, bw, c41 e6 .. even portrait work with a flash.
you just have to pay attention to the situation ...
how is it wasting the film ?
film and paper are very forgiving .. you don't really need a crazy scheme to do sunny 11 ...
start off on overcast days and work your way to bright sun and gloom from there ...
From time to time I also just wing it. I used to carry a light meter and test myself to guess exposures, more often than not I was on or very close, so its not too difficult. I usually just go at it, and then dev these rolls with rodinal stand development to work its hocus pocus, and I get some decent shots out of it.
jnanian (and all): 'Obscene' was too strong a word. I really meant that if you are just starting out trying this lack of meter, then it could be very wasteful indeed.
But, jnanian, don't fall into the trap of relying upon the 'forgiving' aspect of negative materials (ie, E-6 is NOT so forgiving). Always relying upon such will reduce your need to know and that is what this thread is all about: learning how to hone your efforts into, or close to, perfection.
'Latitude' is not an attitude to adopt, Instead, it should be the ambulance that gets you to the emergency room on time. - David Lyga
BrianShaw: you both 'make sense' and 'do not make sense'. I fully understand your consternation and, in a way, accept it. After all, it is firmly rooted in pragmatism.
Think of my diversion as simply delving into another mindset. In sum, I find it personally liberating to KNOW light. It just gives me an 'up' to not HAVE to rely upon meters. However, Brian, that is a far cry from me saying that I don't USE meters. (I try not to take escalators because I see advantages that many do not see by expending muscle strength.) My joy emanates from the enhanced knowledge about light even though I know that I probably will never be as 'smart' as the meter. I certainly do use them and will continue to do so. When I visit my 90 year old father in Connecticut, after I get off the train in Waterbury I take a city bus as close as I can get to him in the next town, Wolcott. I get off the bus about 1.5 miles (2 km) from his apartment. He always has a fit because one is not 'supposed' to 'have' to walk with suitcase in suburban Connecticut. I actually enjoy the walk and get great excercise, although those in Wolcott fail to see the 'benefit' because the addiction to cars is profound in that small town. I took the CPA Exam in 2011 SOLELY to see if I could pass it. At 62 I KNEW in advance that no one would have anything to do with that 'achievement'.
You know, someone once said that I am mildly autistic. I fret none over that and tend even to believe that. (I fret over proper wordage whenever I post here even though the same thought will be imparted without taking so much care.) Sometimes in life one simply DOES things for sakes other than pragmatism, such as: training oneself to perceive light; reading timetables SOLELY for the joy of seeing if one can guess the time it takes to get from point A to point B, even though one has no intention of taking the voyage; studying a foreign language SOLELY for the purpose of understanding one's own language's etymology better (Latin in high school helped me much here).
Years ago I think it was Modern Photography which did a story about a blind man learning photography. I did not think that venture ill-advised, as I am sure that he got something positive out of it, especially in hearing feedback from those who had eyesight. Indeed, us 'fortunates' with eyesight might not have that blind man's insight: We rarely think about that parameter.
When I was a child in the fifties the thought of 'crippled' people competing in an Olympics would have been downright cruel to think or talk about. How dare one taunt such unfortunates! Now, it is status and the para-Olympics are serious business and have aided considerably in removing that ill-fated stigma (which, let's face it, was really rooted in our collective arrogance which 'said' "thank God, kid, I am not like you").
I still think that you are correct, Brian, but only in an somewhat myopic way. I fully understand one rooted in pragmatism saying such. Who could disagree using those parameters? But I hope that I have at least opened possiblilties for an alternate viewpoint, one, perhaps more poetic than one rooted in strict objectivity.
It is wise to perceive that there are two sides to this frustrating, but informative, experience called life. And that dichotomy does not have to be perceived as wholly oppositional, but can well be considered to be both synergistic and compatible. - David Lyga
I understand you, David... I just can't think like you . You are definitely a more "poetic" thinker than am I. I have never had that skill. :)
Maybe it's a flaw, Brian, But I am what I am. Thank you for your input. I must admit that your 'reaction' caused me to really think about the value of my post. I still agree with me but you have offered much perspective. - David Lyga