Why Exposing to the Right (ETTR) is BAD!

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP Sovern Contributing Member • Posts: 907
Re: (ETTR) is BAD! But saying so is going to get you a lot of flack

apaflo wrote:

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.)

I'm going to have to disagree. I don't think that time spent using a camera means much as I know so called "professional" photographers (my girlfriend models for some of them) that produce photos that my P&S is capable of and they actually get paid to shoot weddings......no joke.

I put a lot of time into reading, learning, already blew through s shutter, I love everything about photography and I didn't mention that before shooting photography I was a video guy so I knew all about exposure for over 8 years now.

I don't have photography nearly figured out but I know enough about exposure and ETTR that I don't like it for my style of shooting.....ETTR is actually a simple concept and thing to do (in my experience it's easy in a fixed environment .....risky and borderline pointless for what I shoot though as I could care less about a little bit of noise and would rather get the exposure correct and not play dice with blowing out highlights especially when mixing in flash with ambient and exposures constantly changing at events or during shoots).

As to how you would take a picture of a black raven sitting in a snow bank I don;t see why a camera would have such a problem with a photo like that.....Ravens are naturally black so expose to get the snow as it naturally is (bright and white.....) and the raven is naturally dark so it will still be dark in your photo..........

A camera with even better dynamic range (to my knowledge at least  would be to use one of Fuji Films CCD DSLRs such as the S5 Pro which boast a very large dynamic range.

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