You guys won me over to ETTR

Started Jan 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
dcassat
Senior MemberPosts: 1,152Gear list
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Welcome! But...
In reply to sansbury, Jan 7, 2013

Nice shot, I would encourage less sky here also.  But if you've attempted ETTR you may need to take your knowledge to the next level to understand what was actually lost...

THE HISTOGRAM (blinkies) LIES! (so know the truth).

I shoot entirely manual except when bracketing and every manual shot is ETTR optimized.  I like manual for ETTR as it seems to be a natural extension to the exposure process.

DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR DATA IS?

The thing about ETTR is that it requires some knowledge about the outcome (output) of your efforts to optimize your exposure.  In other words, did you blow any highlight data or loose any shadow data?  Sure you can overexpose to a degree and recover the highlights so you can hardly notice the blown areas.  If those blown areas are specular or in unimportant areas of the shot then you don't care.

But if those areas or detail of fantastic clouds or rippling water, it matters and to me clouds without all of their detail are just plain ugly.

If you use Lightroom and ETTR you are not fully aware of how much blown detail you actually had.  You MUST check these exposures with a program (ie: Rawdigger) that will let you see the actual exposure or you cannot really get the feel for how close your ETTR effort is bringing you to retaining the highlight while not burying the shadows.  You are loosing data somewhere but LR is interpolating and replacing the missing data.  Sometimes, that's good enough but often LR cannot recover the missing data, it's too far gone.

The data doesn't gently roll off the sensor.  Either the data is captured or it is not.  To optimize the exposure, ETTR works but don't short yourself, know how much data you actually retained in your effort so that you can get a feel for just how far off that JPEG rendering of the histogram and blinkies is in your camera.

JUST TAKE PICTURES!

For some that statement is where it's all at, but for me, I need to ensure I don't bury the shadows so much that I get mud when I pull them up on the E-M5.   The only way I can get more shadow detail is to make sure I'm using as much of the highlight area as possible.  It's a real problem, not just a technical pursuit.  If I blow the highlight I get edgy damned clouds and I hate edgy damned clouds!

JUST BRACKET

That's a great solution on a tripod and if your not taking pictures of things that are moving that you want the detail of.  And, there's something special about a single shot that captures the scene that can be lost when shots are blended.

THIS RANT IS PREDICTABLE

Yeah, I know, but my method is best, neener, neener!

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Dan

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