To ETTR or not to ETTR...?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
tt321
tt321 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,623
Re: Definition of ETTR

Adielle wrote:

Tom Axford wrote:

There seems to be some uncertainty/disagreement on the meaning of ETTR.

I find this article to be useful.

The relevant quote from that article is:

... ETTR sets exposure so that the brightest significant values just reach to the right-hand edge of the histogram (sensor saturation), and this frequently results in an image that initially appears too bright or too dark – it being assumed that the desired image brightness will be obtained later on either through processing the raw file in a raw converter or post-processing the JPEG in an image editor....

I have emphasised the word "significant" because it is important. ETTR doesn't necessarily mean than nothing in the image is clipped. What it does mean is that, in the photographer's judgement, anything that has been clipped (i.e. blown out or overexposed) is not important to the image and can be sacrificed to obtain a better quality image of the things that matter.

It is indeed the most important word, and what you wrote is accurate. "ETTR" is just a bias towards maximizing highlight and high mid-tone content, and more willingness to sacrifice details in the high frequency spectrum rather than the low frequency spectrum.

High frequency = blue, low frequency = red. How does ETTR favour warm colours at a cost cooler ones?

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