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Expose to the right

nwcs

Knoxville, US
7030 posts

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nwcs Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Landscape and Wildlife Photography Registered since 15th Jan 2006
Thu 29-Mar-12 02:12 PM

Been thinking about this lately. Years ago it was a given that you needed to expose to the right to get the max out of your camera. At least it seemed that it was the prevailing wisdom. I followed it because, again, it seemed like it was the prevailing wisdom. But now I'm starting to wonder if it was ever a really good idea.

I will probably not articulate this as well as I hope but here goes. It seems to me that when you do ETTR that you are making a conscious exposure choice. And that choice is that you are taking the exposure out of your hands. That is, once you've done ETTR you lock yourself into a particular exposure type. It always seemed to me that it was much harder to do certain types of looks in post when you start with ETTR. Something that would have been resolved if I had decided upon what exposure I wanted (where I want the histogram) at the capture time.

Now for the controversial part... I wonder if ETTR is just a crutch to avoid having to determine your exposure properly. Like using Automatic instead of Manual. I just keep seeing that as I take more control over exposure at the time of capture I get results I like far better than I ever got with ETTR and I wonder if it is because ETTR a shotgun when we usually only need a sniper rifle.

Just a thought. Curious if anyone else has insight or has thought about this kind of thing. And if you want to tell me I'm an idiot that is fine, too.

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