Why Exposing to the Right (ETTR) is BAD!

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 45,358
Re: ETTR and Blinkies.

Guy Parsons wrote:

Without reading EVERY reply here, only about half of them, all I can say is that those who attempt ETTR using the histogram are really asking for trouble.

The only way to use the camera is to use the blinkies* (Shadow/Highlight in Olympus) where on the preview the underexposed parts are blue and the overexposed parts are red. Adjust exposure Compensation until there's no red showing or the red bits are only insignificant highlight spots. With flash a few test shots are needed to see the playback blinkie result and adjust things accordingly.

Most times for non-flash scenery this will involve under-exposing to preserve detail in the clouds/sky, rarely does an image need positive exposure compensation to pull it right towards red warnings. Post process work on jpeg or RAW conversion is the way to make things look right but only with a good quality calibrated monitor.

Instant jpeg printing is another world and rarely done by anyone and involves much good luck and often blown highlights to get the final overall exposure "looking correct".

* Blinkies is a bad name because in the Oly world they don't blink in preview, they only blink in playback. Plus the preview warning is a bit conservative, as red warning areas in preview often don't appear as red blinkies in playback.

So for me the so-called ETTR the way I do it is really a matter of preserving the highlights and usually involves under-exposing to get that correct.

Regards..... Guy

The histogram gives much more valid information than the blinkies. I know your advice is given with good intent, but I think you should do some more in depth research into the use of the histogram.

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