Why Exposing to the Right (ETTR) is BAD!

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
apaflo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,854
Re: (ETTR) is BAD! But saying so is going to get you a lot of flack

Sovern wrote:

I agree, I gave ETTR a try but honestly beginners are better off nailing the exposure in their camer as much as possible and learning how the histogram should look in camera for a specific scene vs worrying about keeping everything on the right.

Michael, with a bit over one year (according to your web page) as a photographer, you really can't expect to have figured everything out, much less the complexity of exposure systems (a topic that many fairly functional photographers never come close to really understanding!).

ETTR may not be a good system for you or other beginners.  It's complex and obviously hard to understand.  Later, when experience makes it easier to understand, you might find it very  useful...

This also keeps you safer from over exposing your photos which is the main thing that I mention that is a con from ETTR (You're more prone to losing your highlights).

The whole point of ETTR is to know exactly where the highlights are exposed at.  If you are prone to losing them, you're doing it wrong.

Here's a thought:  how do you take a picture of a black raven sitting in a snow bank with nothing but bright sky and ice/snow as a background?  How much does your system for setting exposure change if you zoom out a bit and show lots of the surroundings, as compared to if you zoom in very close and try to get a closeup that shows little other than the raven?  (The easy way to make that shot?  Use a Nikon D800 and ETTR.)

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