To ETTR or not to ETTR...?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Pixnat2 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,718
Re: All depends on your expected output

Jeepit wrote:

Pixnat2 wrote:

Jeepit wrote:

Pixnat2 wrote:

You shoot landscapes in difficult light and are adept of squeezing out all the DR and shadow details you can in post processing?

You can't stand a bit of noise in your shadows?

In those cases, mastering ETTR could be helpful.

But for casual shooting, I wouldn't worry about it. Our modern cameras have excellent metering system and enough DR to cope with nearly all situations.

That said, it's a nice technique to learn and use in some cases.

Thanks for your post. What would those cases be?

You're welcome.

Lanscapes with high contrast (deep shadows and strong highlights) is probably the main case where ETTR can be useful.

In this scenario, camera tend to protect highlight for the JPEG, thus it underespose a bit. This will introduce noise in the shadows which will be visible when you try to recover your RAW files. In a landscape picture, you would lose fine details in the shadows and get a mushy result.

ETTR will burn your JPEG, but less noise will be present in the shadows. If correctly done, you could recover your highlights, and you'll get a landscape with clean shadows and fine details.

Peronally, that's the only case where I use ETTR.

Landscapes was one of the main questions I had regarding ETTR.

What about street shooting in b/w, where there are shadows?

For me, street shooting is more about getting the mood than ultimate details like in landscapes. I never ETTR for that kind of shooting. In fact, I don't fiddle too much with settings, because I try to be as connected as possible with my environnement. The decisive moment or seeing the detail is much more important than the perfect exposure, IMHO. So I put my camera in Auto ISO, A mode and just adjust aperture when needed, or sometimes even in P mode and just pressing the shutter.

But again, why not, all depends on your priorities.


I don't do a lot, but I think a fast shutter speed is often the essential setting for wildlife, thus ETTR is not very compatible. And like street shooting, getting the right moment is much more important than the perfect exposure.

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