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Author Topic: ETTR or ETTL?  (Read 3077 times)

gferdinandsen

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ETTR or ETTL?
« on: September 02, 2013, 08:37:47 AM »
I usually Expose to the Right, it's easier to bump down the highlights than to increase shadows.  I am interested in what other people's opinions are on the subject.
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ETTR or ETTL?
« on: September 02, 2013, 08:37:47 AM »

privatebydesign

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Re: ETTR or ETTL?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 09:02:50 AM »
If you shoot RAW and shadow detail is important in your shot there is no doubt Canon RAW files are much more workable and give better results when you use the ETTR technique. Further, "blinkies" work on the jpeg preview, which is an 8bit 8 stop DR image, the RAW file is a 14bit 11ish DR image, there is often recoverable information in blinkies so there is no need to be afraid of them.

If you do not shoot RAW there is no real advantage to ETTR.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2013, 10:00:07 AM by privatebydesign »
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

tombu

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Re: ETTR or ETTL?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 10:21:23 AM »

privatebydesign

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Re: ETTR or ETTL?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 10:36:29 AM »
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/expose-right.shtml

That link is very old, 2003, and misses a key point of the technique, your in camera histogram is not fully representative of your actual RAW information, in camera review blinkies and its histogram are not an accurate indication of blown highlights in a RAW file, 11 into 8 does not go.
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

chauncey

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Re: ETTR or ETTL?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2013, 11:28:18 AM »
I ETTR based on the visible histogram showing on the live view screen but, knowing that it's jpeg influenced,
I first neutralize the picture style settings beforehand to balance with LR's rendition.

If I want to expose for shadows...multiple exposures are called for and blended in PS.
When shooting critters, I will take a properly exposed "virgin scene" shot sans critters and later blend them.
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PavelR

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Re: ETTR or ETTL?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2013, 01:06:01 PM »
I do not overexpose because, recovered color is not natural - especially in the skin tones or on light (especially red) dresses.
Thus I sacrifice some dark shadows to get correct colors and the texture in the highlights.

emko

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Re: ETTR or ETTL?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2013, 01:47:42 PM »
with ML it shows RAW histogram that and you can get auto ETTR if you want.

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Re: ETTR or ETTL?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2013, 01:47:42 PM »

zim

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Re: ETTR or ETTL?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 08:34:15 AM »
with ML it shows RAW histogram that and you can get auto ETTR if you want.

Hi, I don't know ML, what do you mean by 'auto ETTR' ? -the auto bit not ETTR  :)

Pi

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Re: ETTR or ETTL?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 09:24:13 AM »
ETTR makea sense mostly at ISO 100. With Canon however, it makes sense at ISO 200-800 as well. The idea is to let as much light possible but still keeping the highlights you want to keep. This is not easy since the histogram may show clipping but the RAW may not be clipped. Also, with certain colors like red, that color channel may be clipped even if the histogram looks OK.

I keep my 5D2 at EV=+1/3. This is a lazy way to expose a bit to the right, and to compensate for the conservative metering of my camera. When the SS is not a problem, I would overexpose a bit further until I see a brighter shot on the back screen - how bright - it is based on experience, not on the histogram really. This is very important (to me, anyway) for shots with a high DR or for ones which I expect to pp heavily. Sometimes I blow the highlights, unfortunately. My most viewed shot on Flickr has severely blown highlights.

The benefits of ETTR is not only lower shadow noise but lower shot noise. With strong pp, WB tweaks, vignetting corrections, etc., that noise may become visible even at ISO 100. With crop cameras, it takes very little to reveal it.

At higher but moderate ISO, it is better, for example, to shoot at ISO 800 to the right, if you can keep the highlights, than at ISO 400. The reason for it is - well, it is a Canon sensor. The read noise at ISO 800 is roughly speaking 1/2 of that at ISO 400 but you get no benefits form lower shot noise, of course (same exposure). This is counter-intuitive since you would expect that you should stick to the lower ISO if you can. You take more risk, as well, since metering in low light may not be so accurate, DR might be higher, and you can easily blow the highlights.

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Re: ETTR or ETTL?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 09:24:13 AM »