Exposure control in a raw developer: misnomer?

Started Jan 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
Hugowolf
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Re: Good answer!
In reply to richarddd, Feb 1, 2013

richarddd wrote:

Hugowolf wrote:

richarddd wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

richarddd wrote:

I'll ask you the same question as above, "Do you believe anyone is confused by a slider called exposure (or, at least, anyone who is not being willful)?"

If you asked people what the exposure slider does, what do you think they'd say?

What I say is that it makes the picture lighter. Some other sliders make the picture lighter too, only different. I push them all around until I like the way the picture looks.

Lighter or darker.

And, to be sure, for most people, "exposure" or "brightness" -- who cares? A rose by any other name, eh?

However, if it's all the same, then, why not use the proper term to describe what something does?

I explained earlier why "brightness" would be confusing. "Exposure" is not confusing in this context. The goal is to communicate and "exposure" communicates clearly and effectively.

Except it doesn't tell the whole truth. It doesn't have the tonal response of a digital sensor under changing exposure conditions. For one thing, those that worked on it have said that it is 'content dependent'.

Do you really expect a word or two that labels a control to "tell the whole truth"? This is a label, not a treatise.

Do you believe anyone is confused by a slider called exposure (or, at least, anyone who is not being willful)?

What proper term do you think they should use?

That is always a problem for Adobe, who seem to stick with 'it has to be one word', and there isn't a good one word metaphor. It is like the lasso tool in Photoshop.

Anyone who has even glanced at algorithm or graph theory would be able to tell you that a lasso forms a convex hull, and the 'lasso' tool in Photoshop doesn't always do that. It would have been better named the irregular polygon selection tool. But that is too many words for Adobe.

It is too many words for any commercial product

It has nothing to do with comercialism, it has to do with the labelling space available for controls such as sliders and buttons.

So, how would you go for: soft on highlight clipping, somewhat content dependent brightness tool?

Shouldn't you have put a smiley at the end of that?

Was it necessary?

Or even better: Adobe supply a help system that briefly explained how each tool worked and what effects to expect from it under some example circumstances.

Adobe does supply a help system and extensive documentation. There are also numerous articles, videos, etc. online and offline, free and for sale.

If the 'help system and extensive documentation' were good enough, there would be little need for numerous articles, tutorials, and thousands and thousands of videos.

The easiest way to figure out what each tool does is to use it. It doesn't take long.

Taken to its logical conclusion, why not call them Tool A, Tool B, etc?

I actually don't have any problems with it being called the Exposure Tool, and another one being called the Brightness Tool, even though the assignment is somewhat arbitrary. But if doing that, an explanation of the differences between the two would be good - especially since one of them has disappeared and the other has changed the way it works. It isn't difficult to program a hover over that comes up with 'adjusts brightness while trying to avoid hightlight clipping'.

Exposure tool is fine with me. It isn't an exact metaphor, but there are far worse ones in Adobe products.

Brian A

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