less shadow detail mght be 'more'...
Does anyone like certain photographs BECAUSE they have black shadows?
I have been having a conflict with my sense of aesthetics for many years over this. There are too many photographs out there that are actually enhanced by lack of shadow detail. But, let's face it, that 'information' is permanently lost through the film's underexposure.
I think that the answer lies with the subject matter and the mood that one wishes to convey (or the mood that the subject FORCES one to convey). There is 'mystery' imparted in some situations by allowing one to 'read into' the picture in order to mentally create appropriate data. Obviously, this is not always the case and there are countless photos that demonstrate a lack of aesthetics solely because they look so underexposed. But with such 'underexposure' of the negative the highlights usually benefit through better separation, as they are not so far up the exposure curve and into the more contracted 'shoulder' area. - David Lyga