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

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Quarkcharmed Contributing Member • Posts: 658
Re: Any suggestions for maintaining detail ....

mfinley wrote:

At the end of our fairytale, the basic shooter now has avoided his typical problem of just relying on his camera to set whatever exposure it is averaging out and he has now made the first steps toward understanding he needs to interpret the scene and his camera's meter to protect those highlights and he has tools in post to raise those shadows and get a pretty decent rendition of the scene he saw in front of him.

Would you like to now dispute any of the above? Warp into some other reality or drill down into some bizzarre miniscule facet of a word?

My example was to illustrate ETTR and I already explained how exactly it illustrates ETTR and why it's different from 'exposing for the highlights'. Unfortunately you're missing (or deliberately ignoring) the crucial point.

ETTR isn't just about protecting the highlights, it's also about protecting the shadows. Had I used a different, less efficient method, I'd have lost the shadows and wouldn't have been able to heavy lift them.

Spot metering on the sky would also have preserved the highlights but not the shadows.

Or do you understand and accept what "expose for the highlights, and raise the shadows in post" means to everyone else even if you never understood what it meant?

The point was to show that variations of 'expose to the highlights' technique aren't the same as ETTR.

Try taking test snapshots with histogram on an arbitrary landscape scene with the bright sky or water. Spot meter on the highlights, remember the histogram. Then use ETTR and compare two histograms. You may then use more advanced metering and/or rules of thumb with magic context-dependant compensation numbers and compare the histogram against the ETTR's histogram again.

Most of the time, ETTR produces a histogram pushed to the right farther than other techniques, worst case the same histogram. So ETTR guarantees maximum possible protection of the shadows. That's it, that's the whole point this debate is spinning around.

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