Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Expose to the Right, a Test - from a blog by John Shaw

We are told only shoot in RAW that we should expose to the right (ETTR), so that we would capture the most information for the image.  John shore wrote an article on exposing to the right http://www.johnshawphoto.com/category/exposure/.  What the article discusses is how far to the right can we really go.  Should we stop when blinkies show up on the camera's LCD to avoid blowing out highlights.  John Shaw reminds us that what we are seeing on the LCD is really a JPEG thumbnail that the camera has produced.

What John Shaw suggest is to do a test to really determine what the correlation between when blinkies start and the actual clipped highlights in the RAW file.

I followed John Shaw's instructions and perform the test today and found out that I had one full stop of exposure available before the histogram In Camera Raw showed clipping.  In fact, I went to 1 2/3 stops of exposure, and I still could recover highlights in the picture.
Original image
Minor clipping at +1 stops of exposure
Clipping at 1 2/3 stops of exposure
Clipping recovered with the use of the highlight and exposure sliders in Camera RAW     
I recommend to those of you who utilize and and shoot RAW to perform this test and understand what the latter to on your camera is in regards to exposing to the right.