Why Exposing to the Right (ETTR) is BAD!

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
apaflo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,854
Re: Why Exposing to the Right (ETTR) is BAD!

Sovern wrote:

Okay, well if you shot the photo RAW+JPEG and used ETTR....took the SD card out and made a print of the photo it would in fact be overexposed.

Why is that?  I would set the brightness to an appropriate value when I processed the RAW file.  It would not be overexposed by any definition.

That's what I'm talking about when I say overexposure.

I'm pretty sure you are talking about the brightness of the camera generated JPEG, not overexposure.  If the camera is generating images that are excessively bright, you have the option of reducing the "brightness" parameter for the camera's JPEG engine, or you can convert the RAW data to a JPEG using external software.

Now if you adjust the photo back to where you can see the detail that was pulled back down only then is it not overexposed.

It is not excessively bright.  Exposure is how much light hits the sensor, and we can't change that after the shutter is released.

If I showed a model of a shot taken used ETTR on the back of my LCD they would claim that it's overexposed and I would be inclined to agree as without touching the photo at all from that point onward it would be overexposed.

Then don't do anything that upsets the model!  DON'T SHOW UNFINISHED PRODUCTS. Keeping a model happy with unfinished previews at the expense of losing quality in the final product is not a good choice.

It only looks "normal" when we pull the exposure down.

It only looks right once you've finished processing it!

Now, if you want more fun...  look up UniWB and give that a try.  Show a model a preview on your LCD and see how he likes that!

UniWB will allow you to get an histogram that is very accurate for exposure, but it also has twice the green that a normal image has (because there are twice as many green sensors as either red or blue in a Bayer Color Filter).

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