Originally Posted by dpurdy
I am pretty sure that flare causes the higher shadow reading in the spotmeter used at camera position. Film would be subject to flare, and the optics of camera and lightmeter are "similar" enough that you can use the reading from camera position.
If you cancel out the flare by walking up close (not saying that's a bad thing to do)... Then you should think about flare in your exposure calculation.
High Zone III is a good idea. I just re-read a post by Ralph Lambrecht. He was amazed how much his negatives improved after he followed John Sexton's suggestion to place shadows on Zone IV.
(But don't do too many changes at once without thinking how they interact... I believe the original advice to place shadows on Zone II that you don't hear much anymore, came from a time when spotmeters were not available, and the shadow readings were taken with a Weston Master II by walking up to the shadow exactly as you describe).