What's Better? A little overexposed or a little underexposed?

Started Oct 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
John Deerfield
Senior MemberPosts: 2,122
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It depends
In reply to Spiranthes, Oct 19, 2012

And that is the best answer anyone can truly give. However, as a very, very basic rule, when shooting JPEG, I prefer a file a file that is slightly underexposed (in truth I prefer a file that is properly exposed ). When shooting Raw, I prefer a file that is slightly over exposed. With a JPEG, decreasing the exposure slider in virtually any application "deadens" the file. Whereas increasing the exposure slider has the needed effect. With a Raw file, I can decrease the exposure slider and have the effect I want (and then of course there is the whole ETTR thing). As ONE example: bracket a headshot, 0, +1, -1, in Raw + JPEG. With the overexposed JPEG, bring down the exposure and see what happens. With the overexposed Raw file, bring down the exposure and see what happens. Conversely,increase the exposure with the underexposed JPEG and see what happens. You could increase the exposure with the underexposed Raw, but at that point it doesn't matter as the JPEG has illustrated my point.

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