We've come to trust the LOMO LC-A's lightmeter throughout the 20 years its been with us. However, not often but sometimes, we need to take the reins back!
I’d wager that the LOMO LC-A’s lightmeter does a great job 95% of the time. Its auto-exposure takes the guesswork out of our hands and delivers great shots. Hey, we wouldn’t be where we are now if the LC-A was unreliable, right?
The problem with reliable too much on auto-exposure though, is that in backlit situations, you’ll have a severely underexposed foreground, with a nice looking background. This isn’t a problem if you’re after silhouettes. But if you’re not, this spells disaster! Case in point:
How do you solve this problem? The most obvious solution is to add fill – either from a flash or reflector. Another is to use an graduated ND filter, but let’s not go there for now.
Assuming you don’t have anything else with you, what you can do is to fool the lightmeter. There are 2 ways to do this:
1. Change the ISO – If you’re shooting with ISO 400 film, you can change the ISO setting to 200 or 100 to overexpose your shot by 1 or 2 stops respectively. If you’re shooting on a low ISO and can’t do this though…
2. Use your finger – Refer to the photo below. Your LC-A’s lightmeter takes the whole scene into account when it calculates the exposure time. By blocking the lightmeter with your finger, you’re fooling it to add a bit more time to the exposure. Don’t just stick your finger on it though. Leave a few centimeters in between your finger and the meter. This takes a few tries to master but once you do get the hang of it, the results will speak for itself!