Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
I am ambivalent on this matter. I've certainly gotten better over the years (it IS liberating to walk around without a light meter), but with frustrating frequency I still manage to misinterpret many shadow-lit scenes and a dull day's true level of intensity. Subjectivity is the enemy here: The brain adapts too easily for purpose of 'accommodation' and this mitigates intensity disparities for the brain's comfort (but not for the recording medium's output).

And real accuracy is never guaranteed with a light meter, either. We must learn to correct that 'dumb' meter and we do so by judging: 1) the reflectance value of the scene's important elements (ie, the meter does not know how light of dark an object should be) and 2) the overall contrast.

Thoughts? - David Lyga

Ambivalent? Over lighting?
I surmise that your theories may come from a lack of in-depth knowledge and experience with meter. Especially the commentary about the lack of accuracy of light meters. Where did you get that idea from? In skilled hands, exposures are what the photographer sought, first and foremost, provided he has the skills and experience to know. What's difficult about that? Meters certainly are not dumb. In my long experience, it is indisputable that it's the photographers that cause the majority of difficulties in exposure using meters withh a sorry lack of foundation skill in understanding a scene, and quantifying light, which is taught in all analogue foundation studies (but not digital!). I cannot see how you 'manage to misinterpret' light on dull days: objects will be darker and additional exposure will be required no sweat with any meter. Contrast will be flatter and will need to be lifted, you can do that with the meter or in the darkroom. Easy to overcome all of these with just a meter and experience.