"Meter for the shadows" is all you hear when you first start your film journey. Or, how about "I just overexpose the heck out of it". What does these really mean?
Do you really apply the same formula across the board, no matter the film stock, light or your vision?
Photography is about light.
But, light can be very tricky.
More often than not, we don't "see" but only "perceive" the actual light.
Here is where I'll drop the bomb: Overexposure is not "one size fits all" way to shoot film. Yes, of course it will work under the optimal-open-shade-of-the-amazing-California-sun weather. But let's face the reality here, not all of us have beautiful weather all the time. So, what do we do?
One of the exercises we do in Embrace The Grain workshop is to learn how to really "see" light and how light transforms different tonalities and affect everything in our surroundings. When you starting to understand how to see light in different lighting situations, you will truly understand the power of how you can actually manipulate these tonalities to fit your shooting style and vision. Next time when you meet up a friend to have a cup of coffee, leave your film camera at home and take only your handheld meter with you. Try metering lights in different scenarios and see if you can guess what the meter reading will actually be.