Can you guys explain the dynamic range fervor

Started Apr 9, 2016 | Discussions thread
Josh152 Senior Member • Posts: 2,149
Re: Can you guys explain the dynamic range fervor
9

M H S wrote:

The Davinator wrote:

M H S wrote:

The Davinator wrote:

We also hear some people ralk about "pulling shadows".... Which it actually has nothing to do with. anyone using the term simply doesn't understand metering.

Please explain... Since this contradicts the very clear explanation given earlier in the thread. TIA.

When one exposes for a subject with a large scene brightness range, in order to maintain the highlights, one meters for them. In doing so, the midtones that were at zone 5,6, or 7 are compressed down to zone 2,or 3. In post processing, the midtones are brought back from zone 2 or 3 to zone 5 or 6. Notice what never moved? Yes, the shadows at zone 1 or 2. Shadows remain shadows.

Like I said, the shadows have nothing to do with the equation when one understands metering. This is explained very well in Adams books as well as workshops I've attended.

OK. I agree, but that seems like a bit of a semantic argument. Pulling underexposed regions may be more technically correct... But I guess most people understood the basic concepts of darker regions being noisier.

It's not semantics it's a misunderstanding. Most who say DR is only good for pulling shadows erroneously decide what's a shadow by looking at the dark areas in the photo which if you meter to keep the highlights from clipping many of the dark areas are not really shadows but actually mid tones. What is a shadow or not should be judged by the scene, not the brightness in photo of it. So when The Davinator talks about mid tones and shadows he is talking about them in the scene being photographed and how they will be translated to the photo. Just because something is dark in a photo doesn't mean it is a shadow area. It is this confusion about mid tones and shadows in the scene vs what the photo looks like that is causing the misunderstanding.

What The Davinator is talking about is basically ETTR. Which in the case of a high DR scene is intentionally under exposing the mid tones to keep from blowing the highlights. With a higher DR sensor those mid tones will not only have less noise after this processes but more accurate color and better color/tonal transitions. If you end up with no shadow areas in the photo when they exist in the scene you have done ETTR incorrectly. Which is why when talking of ETTR or metering for the highlights anyone who says something like "high DR is unrealistic looking anyway" or anyone who refers to ETTR as "pulling shadows", has clearly demonstrated they don't know how to do ETTR correctly and don't even understand the basic concept.

An underexposed midtone that is then brought back up is not "pulling shadows" because while they were exposed dark in the photo, they are still not shadows, they are mid tones since that is what they were in the scene. When you pull them up you are merely restoring the mid tones to their proper brightness after having to expose them darker than in the scene to keep the highlights from clipping. ETTR is not shadow pulling it is mid tone pulling and then only as far as is necessary to restore them to the proper mid tone brightness. Again if your photo lacks contrast or shadows or looks unrealistic after this process, you have done it wrong. Unless of course you were intentionally going for that for some reason.

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