Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
IMO Davis is using an assumption and a special case to make his point.

First, Davis is assuming that deep shadow detail is important in most shots, that seems true for you and I'm sure a fair number of people at APUG, but it is far from a given in photography as a whole.

Second Davis is describing a special case measurement, pointing directly at the light source, that measurement is typically only used with a second measurement (as in duplexing) or with modification (as you might with your spot meter placing zone III). Ruling out the normal way to use the incident meter may help win a debate but it doesn't help us understand what's really happening or help us make better pictures.

If instead we allow the normal cases into the argument we easily get good results, no muss, no fuss.

An incident meter used in the follow-the-manufacturer's-directions manner, dome pointed at the camera, meter held at Ross's nose, one reading taken, will in the grand majority of situations reasonably place Ross's face nicely on a print. That is assuming we pose Ross a bit in your scene to avoid mottling the light on his face.

A duplexed incident meter reading using the readings from say frames a&b in your example would provide plenty of info to decide on how to adjust contrast and the average of the two readings would give you a camera setting that should protect both shadows and highlights quite nicely.
Mark, I'm only responding to the Davis quote you referenced earlier. His statement is accurate with regard to a single incident measurement in full sun and the corresponding poor exposure to be had in the shadows----there's no myth involved with that statement, it's a fact. I'm making no other challenge.