Why Exposing to the Right (ETTR) is BAD!

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
AnthonyL Senior Member • Posts: 2,870
Re: (ETTR) is BAD! But saying so is going to get you a lot of flack

apaflo wrote:

Sovern wrote:

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.

Please feel free to correct me but I thought the whole point of ETTR was to ensure that the photo-sensors were as near filled as possible so that any noise in the shadows was drowned.  The photo-sensors that need being filled as much as possible may be those of the subject which may or may not be whole scene.  If the shadows don't matter then there is not much point.  If the highlights don't matter then they can be blown eg black dog in white snow.  In the latter case it is ideal if the shadows in the black dog are not underexposed, inducing noise, so it is the dog that needs have ETTR applied and thus the histogram (if using that) needs to be that of the dog and not that of the scene (metering).

Also if not wishing to PP for whatever reason then surely just correct exposure is required.

I don't like blanket statements and the OP's article is not well argued with repeated poor argument and he might have been better to start the article with

"So those are my reasons why ETTR sucks in my opinion. It makes most forms of photography more complicated and some downright risky (such as portraiture photography using off camera/on camera lighting a long with event photography where you’re constantly adjusting your exposure) and any other type of photography where there are external lights involved in the exposure of your photograph."

Thus far in my own experience I ETTR when I have the opportunity but usually I'm struggling with max apertures, high ISO and an already slow shutter speed (twitchy subjects in UK light) so it often becomes academic and I'm more interested in avoiding motion blur than having a bit of noise that I can just as easily PP so I don't really let ETTR  become some sort of mantra.

That's my 2p worth anyway.

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