Why Exposing to the Right (ETTR) is BAD!

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Why Exposing to the Right (ETTR) is BAD!

schmegg wrote:

Barrie Davis wrote:

schmegg wrote:

Barrie Davis wrote:

With a similarphotographic result.

NO. You are wrong.

Under standardised lighting conditions the affect at the sensor is precisely the same every time you expose it for 1/100th second @ f/8. That is "the exposure"... and it made in accordance with an effective ISO, even if not the ISO the camera happens to be set at... (see below)

The exposure does NOT change because the processing changes. In this regard ISO is just processing.

The sensor readout is not treated the same if the ISO setting is different. So exposing for ISO 200 with the camera set at ISO 400 is simply not the same as exposing at ISO 200.

It doesn't matter what the ISO is at the point of exposure because ISO only determines output afterwards. Output from the exposure is variable depending on how it's processed, and doesn't itself determine the exposure unless you allow it to in reading the meter. As we have seen, you can overexpose or underexpose from the meter, anytime, if you choose to.

But a delivered 1/100th @ f/8 is always 1/100th at f/8, and that will always be the same exposure no matter how it is arrived at...

The amount of light that is gather by the sensor is the same - yes.

And that is all that matters, photographically.. that is, to the business of taking the picture.

What happens to it then, though, is not.

What? Do you think you can process more Depth of Field into the shot by pushing the histogram around after shooting..?  Or maybe get better camera shake suppression or subject movement freezing?

These are things which are dependant on the effective ISO; the shutter speed and aperture settings available for use at the point of exposure. As stated repeatedly, Exposing To The Right reduces effective ISO and that alters the photographers ability to take photographs.

In this respect, ETTR is the same as the "normal" way of shooting at low ISO... which low ISO constrains the shooting of images (the "photography") the same either way.

That is my point....

ETTR is just a somewhat inconvenient way of invoking low ISO because of the post processing needed to put the tones on the histogram back where they came from.

If the shot is capable of being recorded with a low ISO invoked in the "normal" "NOT inconvenient" way, then that would be the sensible thing to do. My tests, done with specially sought subjects of short tonal range, suggest that the results are so similar as to be the same.

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"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

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