Why ETTR?

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
clengman
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Re: Why ETTR?
In reply to letsgofishing, 4 months ago

letsgofishing wrote:

rare wolf wrote:

letsgofishing wrote:

...

My experience is that parts of the sky blow out to white which I cannot recover in PP.

On the other hand, a "correct" exposure allows me to easily recover information in the dark shadow areas....am I doing something wrong?

When you state "PP", are you post processing the raw? If so, I'm surprised you cannot retrieve a little bit of the highlight information that would be lost in the OOC jpg. That said, it is all about the camera you're using and what it is determining as the correct exposure, and just how much you can over-expose and still retrieve lost highlights. E.G., for my E3, I dared not go beyond +2/3ev, but with my G3, I can sometime go 1ev above what the camera tells me is "properly exposed". It really is all about testing your camera with respect to what it is telling you is correct relative to what you can retrieve in raw development.

What camera are you speaking of, and what raw developer?

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Thanks for the reply.

Shooting with an EM5 in RAW only and processing in ACR....

The Highlight/Shadow indicators in live view on Olympus cameras are a really nice tool for ETTR. Blown highlights (based on current jpeg settings not RAW values) will appear red or orange in the live view. If you set your exposure so that only the brightest highlights (light sources in the field of view or specular highlights or the brightest parts of clouds etc) appear red, you should be very close to maximizing your exposure. For high contrast scenes, I usually use A or P mode and matrix metering, set A or P-shift to get the depth of field I need, then adjust exp comp until I have just a tiny bit of highlight clipping showing in the live view. If the scene has lower contrast or no obvious super bright highlights, I usually dial back to 1/3 stop below the lowest exposure that still reveals some clipped highlights. In other words, if most of the tones are clustered around the midrange, I'm a little more careful not to blow any "highlights".

This usually leaves me at somewhere around 1/3 stop below the point where I might lose important highlights. If I have time and I want the best possible result, I'll bracket exposures.

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