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Author Topic: expose to the right?  (Read 61162 times)

Jonathan Wienke

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expose to the right?
« Reply #60 on: November 09, 2007, 05:11:06 pm »

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Adjusting the black and white points in levels will increase the contrast in all areas of the image, but it might be better to determine which tonal regions of the image need a contrast boost and apply an S curve after setting the black and white points in a curve. The inflection point of the S curve can be determined by locating the critical tones with the eyedropper. The S curve adds contrast in the critical areas of the image and compresses tones in noncritical areas. This local compression helps if the dynamic range of the resulting image exceeds that of the display device.

Large radius USM is an interesting option, but the process might destroy details that one wishes to preserve.

I agree with your comment about levels, a level adjustment to set the white and black point is often not sufficient, and a curve adjustment that ensures optimal tonal distribution is a better choice.

Your comment about large-radius USM is not correct though. If you apply a midtone mask to protect the highlights and shadows from being clipped, you can boost local contrast well beyond the point of good taste before you clip any color channels and lose detail.
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Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #61 on: November 09, 2007, 05:25:23 pm »

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Jonathan, looking at your portrait link and reading your comments to Andre Napier, it seems like a joke when you are talking about ETTR and photoshop skills.

Perhaps it is time for you to brush up your portrait skills.

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JeffKohn

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« Reply #62 on: November 09, 2007, 06:26:01 pm »

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No, because the linear data are being recalculated in a 16-bit space, so when you shift the exposure control down the tonal scale, you are replacing bits that would normally be noise with bits that are actual image data. Imagine you have a 16-bit camera and shoot at base ISO where there is (just as an example) 4 bits worth of noise, and you take 2 frames, the first 1 stop underexposed and the second 1 stop overexposed. With the underexposed shot, when you apply the +1 exposure correction, you are keeping all 4 bits of noise, and adding an additional invented bit to move everything one stop op the tonal scale, for a total of 5 bits of something other than actual image data. With the ETTR shot, if you didn't clip any highlights and apply a -1 adjustment in the RAW converter, you are discarding the least significant bit, and moving all of the others over one position. So you have 3 bits of noise instead of 5 bits of (noise + interpolation).
I never said anything about applying positive exposure adjustments, I think we can all agree that is going to make noise worse. And I really don't think anything else you've stated disagrees with what I've said. In your -1 EV example you've improved the noise, but if you were to make a larger adjustment, say -2, you might be throwing away more than noise.

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If this is truly an issue, the you should consider other RAW converter options (ACR doesn't have this problem).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151584\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I use ACR/CS3.
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Jeff Kohn
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Toby1014

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« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2007, 08:04:12 pm »

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WOW - Now I am really impressed - what a feel.

In a strange way I actually liked the first image on your portrait link - it kind of have an unintended Loretta Lux look.

[a href=\"http://www.visual-vacations.com/ProfessionalServices/Portraits.htm]http://www.visual-vacations.com/Profession...s/Portraits.htm[/url]
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 08:07:22 pm by Toby1014 »
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jjj

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« Reply #64 on: November 09, 2007, 09:27:23 pm »

Andrew I did read your your article linked above [and very good it was too] and I do think ETTR will result in the technically better image, in the right hands. But as I used to use Acuspeed developer as I preferred the look it gave to the that of 'higher quality' developers, I may also shoot digitally less perfectly, if it gets me the result I want, more easily. The less time I spend tweaking images the better, I'm getting fed up with sitting in front of a monitor. And I like tweaking images.
I will use ETTR in some circumstances where it may be appropriate and have time to fiddle around afterwards. But as I usually shoot RAW+JPEG [tweaked with camera styles] which gives me near as dammit what I want with minimal fuss most of the time, I've now gone from shooting RAW only, to enjoying nice JPEGs straight out of camera. The same way I liked using slide film, even though I loved messing around in the darkroom. And the bonus is that I can tweak the RAW files afterwards, if I want to.


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I'd also observe that I've rarely seen any interesting/creative images produced by those overly concerned with the very techy aspects of photography. There are the odd exceptions.
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And as if to prove my point, which refers mainly to those who harp on about techy stuff a little too much, rather than actual photography. It appears in this thread, that those that judge by looking at images rather than worrying about absolute fidelity/maximum dynamic range..etc, not only produce more imaginative images, but much nicer looking pictures too. IMHO
The exceptions you listed above are well...exceptions, when it comes to photography and geekiness.

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Well both posts (yours and toby's) were uncalled for (and there's nothing respectfully being said here). We'd love to have you back when you regain some manners.
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I'd say they were absolutely on point.
The proof is in the pudding - all this hypothectical wittering about various types of exposure can best be judged by looking at pictures produced by the photographers who advocate each method. As no-one ultimately cares what camera is used, what monitor it's edited on, how the exposure was achieved, blah, blah, blah.... what people looking at the image care about is quite simple. Is the picture any good?
[Which is however, very subjective and a whole other thread entirely.]

The images Jonathan showed to illustrate ETTR + it's benefits, look flat + lifeless and oddly very old fashioned. IMO. Though I do like the quality of the DJ shot at the bottom of page. Andre's shots however have real zing and not only look so much better from an exposure point of view, but have more general creativity, even though or possibly beacuse he's not so au fait with all those pesky 1s + 0s. Andre's images look like they were taken by a photographer and not a technician with a camera.

With photography being somewhat technical, of course some technical knowledge is vitally important, but there has always been a tendency for some photographers to dwell a little too much on absurdly fine technical details rather than simply taking nice pictures. Ironically, I was once accused by an Art Student I shared a house with of exactly that, possibly as I actually knew what an f-stop was!  Oddly enough he now teaches photography. Examples of his work here - [a href=\"http://showstudio.com/projects/cor/cor_record_fair.html]http://showstudio.com/projects/cor/cor_record_fair.html[/url]  - unsurprisingly, he's a big fan of William Eggleston - I doubt very much if either ETTRs.
This also reminds me of a successful food photographer [whose name sadly escapes me at present] who gave up on medium/large format/light meters etc and swapped to 35mm digital. And to simplify further, he shot with auto exposure. And by removing the more techy side of things, he produced more naturalistic, but still very nice images.
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Wayne Fox

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« Reply #65 on: November 09, 2007, 11:29:12 pm »

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And as if to prove my point, which refers mainly to those who harp on about techy stuff a little too much, rather than actual photography. It appears in this thread, that those that judge by looking at images rather than worrying about absolute fidelity/maximum dynamic range..etc, not only produce more imaginative images, but much nicer looking pictures too. IMHO

I think this is way to broad of a generalization, and the implication is that hardly anyone who tries to understand what's going on under the hood so to speak is a good photographer.  There is no way technical skill and creative photography are mutually exclusive as a general rule.


After looking at Andre's images I'm not surprised ETTR seems like too much work and a waste of time.  Almost every single image is a controlled situation where he can manipulate subject matter,  lighting and even makeup to control composition, subject placement, dynamic range and tonal gradations. A great deal of his skill, creativity and style has nothing to do with a camera, but with the preparation into taking a photograph.   With this much control, I'm not sure ETTR would have any significant benefit.  He has created a system where he can equal what he did with film and achieve results he, and I assume his clients are happy with. Nothing wrong with that.  If he shoots like I've seen many fashion photographers shoot, adjusting for ETTR for a few hundred captures from a single shoot would be mind numbing and painful. I'm surprised he even posted into this subject.

Your work is very spontaneous and imaginative in a different way, and while the situations you shoot appear to be more extreme in dynamic range , you are choosing to use that as a creative tool, and even emphasize it.  It appears many times photoshop is a creative tool for altering the image into visually imaginative work (nothing wrong with that), rather than a tool to maximize the quality of the capture itself.  There are times ETTR may benefit you if you chose to use it, and it doesn't take that much more work... a handful of steps that become quite repetitive.  One thing I do know, if you chose to understand and master it, it wouldn't hamper your creative expression.  

I enjoyed both your's and Andres images, but that's not my personal style and not what my photography is about.  Photoshop to me is a tool to maximize my captures and prints, but rarely alter it, and when I do use it for altering an image, I hope the alterations are not detectable.  I have no criticism for other styles, but that's not what I enjoy. You may not like my style but I do.   My imagination is about what part of the natural world am I going to shoot, when to shoot it, what to include, how to crop, all to create an image of nature that is obviously a photograph, but hopefully a beautiful one.  There are many occasions that I cannot use ETTR because the dynamic range of the scene approaches that of the sensor, but when I shoot in early mornings and especially in late evenings, or on foggy days, exposing to the right gives me a better capture to take into photoshop (and yes this is on a P45 back).  Yes it's a little more work, but it helps me achieve my end goals.  Many that frequent this forum (it is called luminous landscape) are passionate about landscape photography, and find ETTR a method to maximize the quality of our images. That fact really shouldn't warrant criticism of our skill and personal preferences as photographers.

It's too bad this all gets so personal.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 11:30:15 pm by Wayne Fox »
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Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #66 on: November 10, 2007, 03:40:32 am »

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The images Jonathan showed to illustrate ETTR + it's benefits, look flat + lifeless and oddly very old fashioned. IMO. Though I do like the quality of the DJ shot at the bottom of page. Andre's shots however have real zing and not only look so much better from an exposure point of view, but have more general creativity, even though or possibly beacuse he's not so au fait with all those pesky 1s + 0s. Andre's images look like they were taken by a photographer and not a technician with a camera.

You seem to be confusing stylistic preferences with photographic skill. My approach is more documentary/naturalistic than that of others here. I really don't care for Andre Napier's style of extensive tonal and color manipulations that shout from almost all of his images, but if that is how he likes to work and it pleases his clients, more power to him. The B&W portrait I linked in my previous post is of the pastor of a church I used to attend before joining the Army. It was shot handheld at ISO 800 with a 100mm f/2 lens wide open during a sermon with a spotlight and some stage lighting. If you pixel-peep the background, you can see a bit of noise, but it's not so much that it distracts from the image. But if I had not pushed the exposure to the ragged edge of clipping, that shot would have been an unusable noisy mess. In this situation, paying close attention to the technical aspects of the process got me a nice portrait I wouldn't have gotten if I had exposed in the traditional film manner. ETTR was absolutely critical to getting the shot in this instance.

If you do all your shooting at base ISO with studio lighting, ETTR is not as critical; you can shoot a stop or so in either direction of optimal before the consequences of doing so start to become blatant (excessive clipping or noise). But if you ever shoot with natural lighting at higher ISO, ETTR will frequently make the difference between a usable image and crap. Learning to apply the principles of ETTR will allow you to shoot in a wider variety of conditions and still get excellent results. And that is one aspect of being a better photographer, regardless of one's stylistic preferences.
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Toby1014

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« Reply #67 on: November 10, 2007, 06:14:40 am »

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You seem to be confusing stylistic preferences with photographic skill. My approach is more documentary/naturalistic than that of others here.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151678\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Quote
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digitaldog

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« Reply #68 on: November 10, 2007, 10:33:20 am »

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The images Jonathan showed to illustrate ETTR + it's benefits, look flat + lifeless and oddly very old fashioned. IMO. Though I do like the quality of the DJ shot at the bottom of page. Andre's shots however have real zing and not only look so much better from an exposure point of view, but have more general creativity, even though or possibly beacuse he's not so au fait with all those pesky 1s + 0s. Andre's images look like they were taken by a photographer and not a technician with a camera.


You are confusing photographic style with what you assume is the unavoidable outcome of ETTR which is incorrect.

There's absolutely no reason you can't use ETTR and produce any rendering you wish, given the tools in the Raw converter and the skill.

Our esteemed host, Michael practices ETTR. Are you suggesting his style of shooting and those you are criticizing are the same?

I suspect one could under expose and produce the style of either photographer in question here. All ETTR does is target the most data the sensor can capture into the Raw file. What you do after is totally up to you as an artist. Or a technician if you prefer.

Again, bringing up someone's photographic style or aesthetics here with respect to a purely technical aspect of image capture is simply a means of excusing the real benefits of ETTR from a data standpoint. The OP asked a question and I get the impression the answer he and a few others got, wasn't what they wanted to hear, so now the topic has been somewhat hijacked from what SHOULD be a purely technical discussion to one of artistic interpretations and veered off into a nasty direction I don't care to continue.

I've referenced my article (the one the OP decided he wouldn't read) and we have Michael's of course plus the writings of Bruce Fraser based on what Thomas Knoll has said about Raw data capture. I think the question, despite the answer not being what at least one person wanted to hear, has be answered. Is there anything more this post provides that's useful?
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Andrew Rodney
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Rob C

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« Reply #69 on: November 10, 2007, 11:48:44 am »

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Jonathan,
I really tried to restrain myself but I guess by know you really have asked for it. I checked the link that you have posted ( visual- vacation ) and have to conclude that with all your linear knowledge all your pics. posted are as flat, dull and Kmartish as they possibly can be. The fact that you do not get the point is a point by itself. Good luck to you assuming that my PS skills are lacking. I do not think that there is a hope that one day you will see past the 1's and 0's and realize where you really standing.

To all of the rest of you guys,
sorry for being so impulsive. I realize it is time for me for extended vacation from LL. I take full responsibility for this personal attack. It is just my opinion and I may as well be wrong.

Respectfully Yours
http://AndreNapier.com
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151565\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Forget the extended vacation, Andre; your work is not beholden to anyone else´s opinion and from your site I really don´t see what anybody here can teach you that you don´t already know.

The big problem here is simple: whilst not EXCLUSIVE to landscape  photographers and landscape photography, there do not seem to be lots of photographers here who speak fashion. And that´s the word I mean. It took a lot of buying, stealing and borrowing magazines before I developed my own ability in the language , so short of that investment, there´s little way that those not so interested will ever understand what´s going on in that world. And there is even less reason why they should - the wish comes from within.

Enjoy your life and your work - don´t allow anybody else to push you, one way or the other.

Rob C

Ray

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« Reply #70 on: November 10, 2007, 12:29:21 pm »

Hey! Andre,
There's one particular model on your website who always has blown highlights, in the white dress she's wearing. Any particular reason for this? Is she a big spender, always blowing her budget, or what?  
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Rob C

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« Reply #71 on: November 10, 2007, 02:42:26 pm »

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Hey! Andre,
There's one particular model on your website who always has blown highlights, in the white dress she's wearing. Any particular reason for this? Is she a big spender, always blowing her budget, or what? 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151750\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Nice to see you awake again, Ray; thought you´d gone of on one of those long Tibetan treks of yours!

Rob C

EricWHiss

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« Reply #72 on: November 10, 2007, 07:37:40 pm »

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Hey! Andre,
There's one particular model on your website who always has blown highlights, in the white dress she's wearing. Any particular reason for this? Is she a big spender, always blowing her budget, or what? 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151750\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ray,
You're pretty far off topic.  This thread is about whether people prefer ETTR for MFDB or not. Please try to keep on topic and not personal.  Do you have anything to add to the topic?
Eric
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 07:40:30 pm by EricWHiss »
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Ray

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« Reply #73 on: November 10, 2007, 10:42:58 pm »

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Ray,
You're pretty far off topic.  This thread is about whether people prefer ETTR for MFDB or not. Please try to keep on topic and not personal.  Do you have anything to add to the topic?
Eric
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151839\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Not entirely off topic. Shall I rephrase the question.? Andre, were the fashion shots of the lady with the blown dress ETTR shots, under ETTR shots or over ETTR shots?
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marcmccalmont

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« Reply #74 on: November 10, 2007, 11:11:56 pm »

Two comments

1. When we were civilized we went to bars got drunk and beat each other up. Now that we have evolved we fight with each other on a photography forum? Neither George Orwell or Jean Roddenberry saw this comming.

2. There might be a phenomenon here? ETTR has worked well for me with a DSLR. The comments that ETTR doesn’t work well have come from MFDB users. Just perhaps there is a difference in the contrast when one captures 8 stops of light when your eye sees 12 stops (DSLR) and when you capture 12 stops of light (MFDB and human sight). I personally would like to understand why those who capture 12 stops prefer a correct exposure and those who capture 8 stops prefer ETTR? I would also like to understand if it is technique or tools that prevent a MFDB ETTR file when darkened from matching a normal exposure?

Marc
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AndreNapier

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« Reply #75 on: November 11, 2007, 12:20:54 am »

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Hey! Andre,
There's one particular model on your website who always has blown highlights, in the white dress she's wearing. Any particular reason for this? Is she a big spender, always blowing her budget, or what? 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151750\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

POSTCARD from vacation "Desire" - Mexico

Hey! Ray,
The model you referring to is neither a big spender nor really likes to blow her budget. Matter of fact she is the biggest Polish Model discovery of 2007. Her current day/rate is a minimum of $10,000 + expenses. That is $30,000 for a three day shoot like the one below where she was not even the main model.
Andre

Attachments removed due to commercial reasons.
Andre
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 09:46:40 pm by AndreNapier »
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EricWHiss

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« Reply #76 on: November 11, 2007, 12:23:01 am »

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Not entirely off topic. Shall I rephrase the question.? Andre, were the fashion shots of the lady with the blown dress ETTR shots, under ETTR shots or over ETTR shots?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151851\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ray,
If you have experience that directly relates to this post such as your own use of a MFDB, then please share it. For example do you use ETTR with your MFD images or not? If not why? If so what do you do in post to get them looking right.

Eric
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 12:24:18 am by EricWHiss »
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Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #77 on: November 11, 2007, 12:51:52 am »

Actually, Ray has a point, namely that if the shots with the blown-out dress came from the camera like that instead of resulting from heavy tonal manipulations in Photoshop, then Andre is in fact practicing ETTR at least occasionally despite all his protestations to the contrary.

Also, no one has offered any evidence to disprove Andrew Rodney's point that one can obtain any rendering one wishes from an ETTR RAW, as long as the highlights aren't blown. It might also be helpful to getting this discussion back on point if someone posted links to an ETTR + non-ETTR RAW pair where the ETTR RAW is unusable and the non-ETTR RAW is not. It's a bit difficult to intelligently discuss a phenomenon that has only anecdotal support and no actual examples to look at.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 01:01:56 am by Jonathan Wienke »
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Ray

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« Reply #78 on: November 11, 2007, 01:23:47 am »

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Ray,
If you have experience that directly relates to this post such as your own use of a MFDB, then please share it. For example do you use ETTR with your MFD images or not? If not why? If so what do you do in post to get them looking right.

Eric
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151861\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hey! Eric, I'm here to learn. Is asking questions forbidden here? I'm just as curious as many others why some users of MFDBs ignore the principle of ETTR.

I can think of some reasons. There's a greater risk of inadvertantly blowing highlights and ruining the shot if you're trying to push exposure to the point where you're getting maximum shadow detail. If you don't need the extra shadow detail because it is intended that such areas will be black anyway, why take the risk.

Since MFDBs have a higher dynamic range than smaller format cameras, there should be more latitude and therefore less concern about not being able to fit the DR of the scene within the DR of the camera or sensor.

The main issue here that I see, and is why I asked Andre about some of his apparently overexposed fashion shots, is what happens to the mid-tones and lower mid-tones in an underexposed shot (ie. one that has less exposure than an ETTR shot)?

From what I understand, the vast number of tonal values in the brightest stop or two is far more than the eye can discern. However, at some point in the image, moving towards the lower mid-tones and shadow areas, there may be fewer tonal values than the eye can discern. And, even if there are not fewer, it's always better to have more values than the eye can discern if image manipulation is to take place.

To get back to Andre's blown-highlight fashion shots, I was curious if these were accidental overexposures, deliberate overexposures, or underexposures (from the ETTR perspective) which Andre decided after the shoot, in post processing, should be pushed to the point where the highlights are blown, perhaps to create that snow-white virgin quality.

Now, am I being reasonable or not?
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Jonathan Wienke

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« Reply #79 on: November 11, 2007, 01:34:03 am »

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The proof is in the pudding - all this hypothectical wittering about various types of exposure can best be judged by looking at pictures produced by the photographers who advocate each method.

So do you think that Michael's photos are all flat, dull, poorly exposed, and uninteresting? He shoots with MFDB and DSLR, and was one of the first to write about ETTR as the optimal exposure strategy when shooting digital.
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