What I learned from Gollywop -- and what I wonder

Started Mar 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
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s_grins Forum Pro • Posts: 10,764
Re: What I learned from Gollywop -- and what I wonder

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

s_grins wrote:

GeorgianBay1939 wrote:

Many (most) of the pictures I take with my E-M5 look like sh*t when I inspect the jpegs (which often appear to be wildly overexposed). When I pull them back in the RAW converter, however, the results are better (less noisy) than they would have been if I had tried to make the OOC jpeg look right.

Maybe there is something wrong with your copy of camera. I believe that many owners praise the OOC quality of JEPGs from Olympus.

It seems that there is a misunderstanding above.

The upper statement refers to the JPEGS when the camera (an OM-D) is shooting RAW ETTR. My camera, a Panny, does the same thing. My JPEGS look overexposed, which is what would be expected when ETTR in RAW.

Not only are do JPEGS in the EVF/LCD look overexposed, so does the JPEG resulting from RAW Conversion in software. That is why RAW ETTR shooters usually have to "compensate" by dropping the higher tonal values in post Conversion processing. I recall a discussion of this "extra" step on some (forgotten) site on the internet.

The second sentence in the second statement refers to the JPEGS when the camera is shooting JPEG. In this case the shooter is usually aiming for an exposure which optimizes an OOC JPEG. Nothing to do with RAW shooting.

I hope that this clarification helps.


Tom, you have to read all this discussion from above. Then and now I say that I do not ETTR and do not ETTL. I sniff around my subject like a dog who sniffs to a right spot to leak. I'm looking for a particular spot and angle where background suddenly darkens and my subject pops up. I do it for RAWs and JEPGs. I do not care about all these details I'm going to lose in the shadows. I do not shoot a clinical shot for educational purposes. SilkyPix allows me to control ever exposed areas with single move of DR slider. That is why I do not find any use of ETTR/ETTL.

This is the result from the RAW. If you want, I can post similar JEPG shot.

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No argument, Simon. I was just trying to clarify the situation with respect to OOC JPEGS being compared to RAW files converted to JPEGS before compensation. Very different JPEGS. That is why the latter look "overexposed". Actually the latter are optimally "exposed", it is just that the exposure and subsequent conversion leaves them over-brightened, hence the need to tone them down in post-conversion processing. That even happens to me .... sometimes!!!!

Depending on the presence of deer flies, black flies, mosquitoes I too like to chase around to find a bit of sunlight illuminating the flower that I am trying to photograph. Sometimes I am successful.

Sometimes I don't have that luxury but I still try to get an interesting image. This one is a good example:

RAW ETTR. A sort of bi polar image where I wanted the eye to grab the two irises up top and then wander down to the reflection... a bit of a puzzle as to why there's a bunch down below with only two above.

In order to keep the reflections from blowing out and to minimize halo-ing I didn't push HARD to the right and had enough data to lighten the green/brown water line (to minimize that sharp dark boundary). ( I guess that I would call this a "soft" ETTR, not pushing as hard as possible to the right.)

But in this case I pushed VERY HARD to the right when I exposed the sensor:

Very challenging luminance range in the scene. I used HARD ETTR ( I thought) to maximize the data / minimize the noise in the RAW file for later processing.

I found the challenge to be the myriad specular reflections off of the mesh of the gill nets, the reflection of the water and the up-sun sky at one end of the histo ... and the black hole interior of the fish tug at the other. Used Aperture priority. Surveyed the scene with spot meter, selected SS with back panel use of AELock. Didn't use EC.

This is what the image looked like after RAW conversion to JPEG, without any post conversion processing.

NOT hard enough ETTR. The bundle of frequencies at the high end were still left of the limit. I could've probably gone another 1/3 EV without the loss of much detail due to blown highlights. I certainly DID NOT OVEREXPOSE the scene!!!

I put these two examples up to show that even when purposely ETTR it sometimes doesn't work out as planned! .... for a novice like me. So using RAW gives me the best chance of recovery. I don't think that I could've recovered as much from either of the above if I'd shot in RAW+JPEG Fine and exposed "normally". Certainly the JPEG Fine image would have been toast.

knickerhawk's post has just reminded me to get my butt in gear and to get a custom UniWB for my camera(s). DM was very patient a while a go and led me through the process. But I am too dense to execute his instructions. I need help here!!! .... and in lots of other stuff too!


PS I suspect that the above makes me a non-purist! Sorry, still a learner.


Scenes like yours are very difficult to shoot with any camera, including FF sensor with higher DR. I usually try to find different solution ( in terms of composing) or do not shoot at all.

Tom, did you try to change metering from center weighted to, forgot the definition, full screen, probably?

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