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Constant ETTR...
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Jan 10, 2019 00:05:34   #
gessman (a regular here)
 
I recently saw a statement made by a seasoned pro that he shoots everything in Raw with +1.5 exposure comp because that's where white sits on the spectrum and therefore his whites are always spot on and very little is ever blown out. I haven't tried it yet but at first glance it would seem to have some merit. On one hand it sounds a little prerposterous to suggest that would be a valid approach but wouldn't that just be the same thing as ETTR? (Exposing To The Right) Anyone care to discuss this idea?

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Jan 10, 2019 00:40:38   #
IDguy (a regular here)
 
Maybe he lives in the Arctic.

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Jan 10, 2019 02:20:57   #
CHG_CANON (a regular here)
 
Hopefully, he's tested extensively for his specific model. I've had similar experience in Aperture priority and EC at +1, although I wouldn't say always / everything for my images. Maybe he's more consistent in the light / situations where he works.

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Jan 10, 2019 06:15:07   #
catchlight.. (a regular here)
 
ETTR again ... Hmmmmm

Maybe back in the film days and with early digital cameras. Today much more detail is stored in the shadow areas.

Bracketing is a far better solution... ETTR generally is a waste of time if under the gun for results.

But, retirement can allow time to experiment and elevate one's perception of what is possible with that thing that freezes time...

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Jan 10, 2019 07:01:00   #
Bipod (a regular here)
 
gessman wrote:
I recently saw a statement made by a seasoned pro that he shoots everything in Raw with +1.5 exposure comp because that's where white sits on the spectrum and therefore his whites are always spot on and very little is ever blown out. I haven't tried it yet but at first glance it would seem to have some merit. On one hand it sounds a little prerposterous to suggest that would be a valid approach but wouldn't that just be the same thing as ETTR? (Exposing To The Right) Anyone care to discuss this idea?
I recently saw a statement made by a seasoned pro ... (show quote)

If sensors had infinite dynamic range, then one would never need to set exposure
at all in the camera -- just fix it in post procssing.

But sensors do not have unlimited dynamic range. And the number of stops that
can be encountered in nature is unlimited. Imagine yourself trying to photograph
sunspots. Or the sun rising over a train tunnel. Or just bright snow and shadows on a
sunny winter's day. And once detail has been lost from a blown highlight, there
is no getting it back. (Shadows that look pure black to the naked eye aren't and detail
can be recovered in processing, but not blown highlights..)

In a very contrasty situation, you are going to lose detail in either the shadows, highlights,
or a bit of both. If you leave it up thte camea, you'll get the latter. But that doesn't
necessary look the best.

Shadows that appear pure black sometimess aren't, and the detail can
be restored in processing. But blown highlights are gone forever.

Dialing in 1.5 stops of additional exposure (over what the meter calculates) is
asking for blown highlights. But of course, it depends on what and where one
phtographs.

What's a "seasoned pro" -- some guy who takes passport photos? Or school pictures?

The statement "+1.5 exposure comp because that's where white sits on the spectrum"
makes no sense at all. White isn't in the spectrum--it's a mixture of spectral colors
(according to some guy named Isaac Newton--but then, he wasn't a "seasoned pro").

But there's a another reason not to ignore exposure and then try to fix it in post-processing:
you may not remember how the original scene looked. For example, in a portrait, you
may have forgotten exactly how light or dark the sitter's complexion was. Whatever it
actually was, in a close up autoexposure will give him an olive complexion (middle tone).

That's how autoexposure works: it takes whatever it meters (average, center-weighted, spot,
matrix or whatever), and adjusts the exposure so it's portrayed as middle gray (or some middle tone).
What else can it do? It doesn't know what it's looking at, or what tone anything actually is. It just
see patterns of light, and applies an algorithm.

Lots of people let their camera chose the exposure -- they just leave it in Program Mode.
Most of the time, that sort of works, provided you're not too particular and are willing to try to
patch it up in post processing.

But the reason one hires a photographer is to get a photographer, not just a camera. If that person
waits until post-processing to try to fix exposure, he's taking a big risk. The event or wedding is
over, no opportunity to try again.

Most camera users today don't make prints and just display images files once or twice on a small,
low-contrast LCD/LED computer monitor. If that's the "final image" then why not leave the camera
in Program Mode, leave it in autofocus, and leave the same zoom lens mounted all the time? No need
for full frame, let along anything larger. And why even bother to keep the lens clean--nobody will
notice a few fingerprints.

I find this extremely depressing.

| Reply
Jan 10, 2019 08:07:58   #
Linda From Maine (a regular here)
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
Hopefully, he's tested extensively for his specific model...
If he's a "seasoned pro," seems unlikely he's not getting the results he wants (doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result? )

On the other hand, for purposes of most of us here, it would good to learn more details, such as your mention of light (consistent, no extremes?) and conditions. A single comment out of a possible wider discussion could be misleading.

On the third hand, when shooting jpg with my bridge camera, slight under-exposure was preferred over slight over-exposure for tweaking in pp. Jpg only, bridge camera, about 2/3 stop.

| Reply
Jan 10, 2019 08:35:59   #
tinplater
 
Bipod wrote:
If sensors had infinite dynamic range, then one would never need to set exposure
at all in the camera -- just fix it in post procssing.

But sensors do not have unlimited dynamic range. And the number of stops that
can be encountered in nature is unlimited. Imagine yourself trying to photograph
sunspots. Or the sun rising over a train tunnel. Or just bright snow and shadows on a
sunny winter's day. And once detail has been lost from a blown highlight, there
is no getting it back. (Shadows that look pure black to the naked eye aren't and detail
can be recovered in processing, but not blown highlights..)

In a very contrasty situation, you are going to lose detail in either the shadows, highlights,
or a bit of both. If you leave it up thte camea, you'll get the latter. But that doesn't
necessary look the best.

Shadows that appear pure black sometimess aren't, and the detail can
be restored in processing. But blown highlights are gone forever.

Dialing in 1.5 stops of additional exposure (over what the meter calculates) is
asking for blown highlights. But of course, it depends on what and where one
phtographs.

What's a "seasoned pro" -- some guy who takes passport photos? Or school pictures?

The statement "+1.5 exposure comp because that's where white sits on the spectrum"
makes no sense at all. White isn't in the spectrum--it's a mixture of spectral colors
(according to some guy named Isaac Newton--but then, he wasn't a "seasoned pro").

But there's a another reason not to ignore exposure and then try to fix it in post-processing:
you may not remember how the original scene looked. For example, in a portrait, you
may have forgotten exactly how light or dark the sitter's complexion was. Whatever it
actually was, in a close up autoexposure will give him an olive complexion (middle tone).

That's how autoexposure works: it takes whatever it meters (average, center-weighted, spot,
matrix or whatever), and adjusts the exposure so it's portrayed as middle gray (or some middle tone).
What else can it do? It doesn't know what it's looking at, or what tone anything actually is. It just
see patterns of light, and applies an algorithm.

Lots of people let their camera chose the exposure -- they just leave it in Program Mode.
Most of the time, that sort of works, provided you're not too particular and are willing to try to
patch it up in post processing.

But the reason one hires a photographer is to get a photographer, not just a camera. If that person
waits until post-processing to try to fix exposure, he's taking a big risk. The event or wedding is
over, no opportunity to try again.

Most camera users today don't make prints and just display images files once or twice on a small,
low-contrast LCD/LED computer monitor. If that's the "final image" then why not leave the camera
in Program Mode, leave it in autofocus, and leave the same zoom lens mounted all the time? No need
for full frame, let along anything larger. And why even bother to keep the lens clean--nobody will
notice a few fingerprints.

I find this extremely depressing.
If sensors had infinite dynamic range, then one wo... (show quote)


Really appreciate your post, very informative. However I find your last sentence surprising. Why does it matter to you what experience and preferences others have? The point is to enjoy what you do and the way that you do it, not what a critic thinks of how you accomplished it.

| Reply
Jan 10, 2019 09:58:51   #
IDguy (a regular here)
 
Bipod wrote:
If sensors had infinite dynamic range, then one would never need to set exposure
at all in the camera -- just fix it in post procssing.

But sensors do not have unlimited dynamic range. And the number of stops that
can be encountered in nature is unlimited. Imagine yourself trying to photograph
sunspots. Or the sun rising over a train tunnel. Or just bright snow and shadows on a
sunny winter's day. And once detail has been lost from a blown highlight, there
is no getting it back. (Shadows that look pure black to the naked eye aren't and detail
can be recovered in processing, but not blown highlights..)

In a very contrasty situation, you are going to lose detail in either the shadows, highlights,
or a bit of both. If you leave it up thte camea, you'll get the latter. But that doesn't
necessary look the best.

Shadows that appear pure black sometimess aren't, and the detail can
be restored in processing. But blown highlights are gone forever.

Dialing in 1.5 stops of additional exposure (over what the meter calculates) is
asking for blown highlights. But of course, it depends on what and where one
phtographs.

What's a "seasoned pro" -- some guy who takes passport photos? Or school pictures?

The statement "+1.5 exposure comp because that's where white sits on the spectrum"
makes no sense at all. White isn't in the spectrum--it's a mixture of spectral colors
(according to some guy named Isaac Newton--but then, he wasn't a "seasoned pro").

But there's a another reason not to ignore exposure and then try to fix it in post-processing:
you may not remember how the original scene looked. For example, in a portrait, you
may have forgotten exactly how light or dark the sitter's complexion was. Whatever it
actually was, in a close up autoexposure will give him an olive complexion (middle tone).

That's how autoexposure works: it takes whatever it meters (average, center-weighted, spot,
matrix or whatever), and adjusts the exposure so it's portrayed as middle gray (or some middle tone).
What else can it do? It doesn't know what it's looking at, or what tone anything actually is. It just
see patterns of light, and applies an algorithm.

Lots of people let their camera chose the exposure -- they just leave it in Program Mode.
Most of the time, that sort of works, provided you're not too particular and are willing to try to
patch it up in post processing.

But the reason one hires a photographer is to get a photographer, not just a camera. If that person
waits until post-processing to try to fix exposure, he's taking a big risk. The event or wedding is
over, no opportunity to try again.

Most camera users today don't make prints and just display images files once or twice on a small,
low-contrast LCD/LED computer monitor. If that's the "final image" then why not leave the camera
in Program Mode, leave it in autofocus, and leave the same zoom lens mounted all the time? No need
for full frame, let along anything larger. And why even bother to keep the lens clean--nobody will
notice a few fingerprints.

I find this extremely depressing.
If sensors had infinite dynamic range, then one wo... (show quote)


Some interesting perspectives. But you don’t seem to understand P mode. P mode is the same as A or S mode with regard to exposure, except providing a range of shutter speed/fstop combinations to choose from by roatating the thumbwheel. You still control everything else including focus and metering mode and exposure compensation (EC). Perhaps you mean Auto mode?

You can’t use EC with Auto mode. I never use Auto. My D800 didn’t have it.

| Reply
Jan 10, 2019 10:27:02   #
IDguy (a regular here)
 
gessman wrote:
I recently saw a statement made by a seasoned pro that he shoots everything in Raw with +1.5 exposure comp because that's where white sits on the spectrum and therefore his whites are always spot on and very little is ever blown out. I haven't tried it yet but at first glance it would seem to have some merit. On one hand it sounds a little prerposterous to suggest that would be a valid approach but wouldn't that just be the same thing as ETTR? (Exposing To The Right) Anyone care to discuss this idea?
I recently saw a statement made by a seasoned pro ... (show quote)


One of the earlier photography courses I attended endorsed using M (Manual) exposure mode. They recommended using spot metering, placing the spot on the brightest part of the subject, and setting the meter to 1.5 or 2. That ensures nothing is blown. Perhaps that is what you actually heard?

They also endorsed using RAW image file type because it maintains maximum dynamic range. But it has nothing to do with exposure per se.

I only use M mode when the situation demands it. I usually use auto ISO with it so am still autoexposing.

| Reply
Jan 10, 2019 10:45:13   #
Rongnongno (a regular here)
 
gessman wrote:
I recently saw a statement made by a seasoned pro that he shoots everything in Raw with +1.5 exposure comp because that's where white sits on the spectrum and therefore his whites are always spot on and very little is ever blown out. I haven't tried it yet but at first glance it would seem to have some merit. On one hand it sounds a little preposterous to suggest that would be a valid approach but wouldn't that just be the same thing as ETTR? (Exposing To The Right) Anyone care to discuss this idea?
I recently saw a statement made by a seasoned pro ... (show quote)

Constant over exposure is not a good idea in my opinion. If you recall previous threads that you posted there are specific conditions for ETTR and EBTR to work. The scene determines the exposure, not the sensor DR.

Now the person you listened to was possibly talking about compensating the histogram the camera offers as it is still showing a JPG histogram and as such lying when using raw (Other threads exist on that.).

| Reply
Jan 10, 2019 10:53:15   #
via the lens (a regular here)
 
catchlight.. wrote:
ETTR again ... Hmmmmm

Maybe back in the film days and with early digital cameras. Today much more detail is stored in the shadow areas.

Bracketing is a far better solution... ETTR generally is a waste of time if under the gun for results.

But, retirement can allow time to experiment and elevate one's perception of what is possible with that thing that freezes time...



Can you support that statement, please, that "Today much more detail is stored in the shadow areas." What you have stated is contrary to my knowledge of digital sensors so I'd be interested in seeing the supporting material. As far as I've learned, the most image information in digital is contained in the first half of the highlights on the sensor scale. From the Manual of Photography, "...this means that half of the available levels (2048) will be recorded for the brightest zone of the image (the highest exposure stop). For each stop down the scale of the recorded luminance range, the number of levels will be halved (1024 levels will be allocated to the next stop, 512 to the one after that, etc)....

| Reply
Jan 10, 2019 10:59:15   #
srt101fan (a regular here)
 
IDguy wrote:
One of the earlier photography courses I attended endorsed using M (Manual) exposure mode. They recommended using spot metering, placing the spot on the brightest part of the subject, and setting the meter to 1.5 or 2. That ensures nothing is blown. Perhaps that is what you actually heard?

They also endorsed using RAW image file type because it maintains maximum dynamic range. But it has nothing to do with exposure per se.

I only use M mode when the situation demands it. I usually use auto ISO with it so am still autoexposing.
One of the earlier photography courses I attended ... (show quote)


I think you've hit the nail on the head with your comment re spot metering the brightest part of the scene and then increasing exposure. I think rmalarz and Gene51, two of the UHH luminaries, use this approach routinely.

| Reply
Jan 10, 2019 11:24:54   #
via the lens (a regular here)
 
I know the theory that people espouse about +1 and -1 for white and black, respectively, (I learned this early on in a photography school) but I wonder how much it applies in some cases in today's photography and to what one wants to do with an individual image. I know that when I focus on the brightest spot for exposure metering using the back screen and live view and a back button approach doing a +1 would not work out well for me. Thus, I do a minus exposure as needed. I don't generally blow out highlights in my images. I'd like to see how the theory holds with all types of shooting techniques and how mirrorless shooting might be affected. I am not disciplined enough to attempt this type of scientific experiment.

| Reply
Jan 10, 2019 11:41:38   #
catchlight.. (a regular here)
 
It is amazing how exposing to the right is kind of like a religion or belief that is cult driven...

Here is a good explanation I think...

Quote: "Most of a particular camera's extra dynamic range is relegated to the shadow detail. Most all cameras allocate only a small portion of the dynamic range to the highlights, and most cameras give you roughly the same amount in the highlights, with minor variations. So a camera that has 11 stops dynamic range will give you 3 stops above middle gray, and 8 stops below it, while a camera with 14 stops dynamic range will very likely also give you 3 stops above middle gray and 11 stops beneath it. More dynamic range will give you more ability to pull up shadow detail, while highlight headroom depends on exposure.

This meter calibration has nothing to do with the ability to pull down nominally overexposed highlights from a raw file. A color camera will typically have three color channels, and each of these channels is exposed differently, with the red and blue color channels usually being underexposed relative to the green channel by a stop or more. These red and blue channels are amplified during raw processing, and if you happen to have a bright, intense colored object in the scene, the raw processing may very well blow out this color. It's quite typical for blue skies and red flowers. But if the raw channels were not overexposed, they can be recovered. How much you can recover depends on the camera white balance and the light source, the model of camera, and many camera or raw processor settings, such as saturation, contrast, and the camera profile used, such as Landscape, Standard, Flat, Portrait, etc. It is possible to measure or estimate this color channel headroom and use that to adjust exposure upwards in certain circumstances.

If you want more highlight headroom, all you have to do is to dial in some negative exposure compensation. I do it all of the time!"

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60302908





via the lens wrote:
Can you support that statement, please, that "Today much more detail is stored in the shadow areas." What you have stated is contrary to my knowledge of digital sensors so I'd be interested in seeing the supporting material. As far as I've learned, the most image information in digital is contained in the first half of the highlights on the sensor scale. From the Manual of Photography, "...this means that half of the available levels (2048) will be recorded for the brightest zone of the image (the highest exposure stop). For each stop down the scale of the recorded luminance range, the number of levels will be halved (1024 levels will be allocated to the next stop, 512 to the one after that, etc)....
Can you support that statement, please, that "... (show quote)

| Reply
Jan 10, 2019 12:16:32   #
srt101fan (a regular here)
 
via the lens wrote:
I know the theory that people espouse about +1 and -1 for white and black, respectively, (I learned this early on in a photography school) but I wonder how much it applies in some cases in today's photography and to what one wants to do with an individual image. I know that when I focus on the brightest spot for exposure metering using the back screen and live view and a back button approach doing a +1 would not work out well for me. Thus, I do a minus exposure as needed. I don't generally blow out highlights in my images. I'd like to see how the theory holds with all types of shooting techniques and how mirrorless shooting might be affected. I am not disciplined enough to attempt this type of scientific experiment.
I know the theory that people espouse about +1 and... (show quote)


As I understand it, it's not really a theory; it's simply applying the Zone System to digital photography. Spot meter the brightest part (which would then record as middle gray) and increase the exposure to place the bright area in the desired zone.

| Reply
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