Any suggestions for maintaining detail with darker parts of the photo and toning down brighter part?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,075
Re: Any suggestions for maintaining detail ....

Quarkcharmed wrote:

Bill Ferris wrote:

Quarkcharmed wrote:

Don Lacy wrote:

Exposing for the highlights is To expose the scene to the point were the highlights are about to clip even if this means the mid or shadow tones are at a darker value then the actual scene it does not mean underexposing the highlights and the mids and the shadows. ETTR is to expose the scene to the point were the highlights are about to clip even if this means the mids and shadows are at a brighter tone then the scene. It is the same technique with different goals.

Ok, purely from the technical point of view, the techniques that different people described in the beginning of this thread as 'exposure for the highlights' did not include a method/indicator that the highlights are pushed to the right and are about to clip.

The post you responded to at the start of this subthread recommends using the histogram in the field to confirm highlights aren't clipping.

Yes, I even responded to that part of the message,

Then why did you misrepresent the comments in that post as "not include[ing] a method/indicator that the highlights are pushed to the right and are about to clip."?  Clearly - well, to someone who does photography it's clear - the in-camera JPEG histogram is a useful field tool for evaluating exposure and ISO settings to determine if highlights will be clipped.

It's an absolutely crucial detail - you can use multitude of techniques to not get the highlights clipped, bit that's not the point of ETTR.

ETTR requires you to shift the histogram to the right until it's almost clipped. By adjusting the aperture and shutter speed, you have to arrive to a narrow window where the histogram is pushed to the right but there's no clipping.

So, you recommend photographers prioritize their choice of shutter speed and f-stop to achieve an optimal histogram profile. That is quite possibly the worst advice one can offer on how to maintain detail while maximizing exposure. It's terrible advice because it completely ignores the photographer's creative vision for the photo they're making. That vision places limits on the range of shutter speeds and f-stops that will produce the desired result. Prioritizing a histogram profile over the image the photographer wants to make is the very antithesis of ETTR or any other successful method of choosing exposure and ISO settings.

If your method guarantees that, it's ETTR, otherwise it's not.

That's not ETTR. Those who embrace ETTR and actually do photography understand that the creative vision for the photo is the priority. Any successful method for determining a good exposure begins with the acknowledgment that there are limits to both shutter speed and f-stop, within which the envisioned photo can be accomplished but outside which the envisioned photo will not be achieved.

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