Image contrast and brightness

Started Aug 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jack Hogan Veteran Member • Posts: 6,074
Image contrast and brightness: defining 'right'

itchhh wrote:

Regarding contrast and brightness, how do you know if you've got it right when your processing your image? I find myself working in a vacuum and I get used to seeing my work but I have no idea if its right.

1) If by right you mean that it 'looks' right, that's subjective and part of your interpretation of the image. Neutral renditions are not appealing in large part because most output devices/media are only able to display about 6-8 stops of DR, so your input is needed to intelligently squeeze the much larger DR produced by your recently purchased DSLR into it (other posters gave good workflows on how to do that).

2) If by right you mean 'accurate', then things get a bit more complex. In theory, if you had a perfect 16+ stop DR monitor in perfect viewing conditions and a perfectly exposed Raw capture of matching DR you should be able to simply display the rendered capture neutrally, without any curves (or playing with brightness and contrast), for a fairly 'accurate' rendition. Alas we typically do not have such equipment yet - and in any case you would still need to apply curves for the relative print/jpeg to look good. So back to square 1)


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