Aug 232011

I wrote this post in early 2009, so I am sure that many of my readers haven’t seen it.  I decided to repost it because it is an important concept for digital photographers to understand.

As you may have heard, with digital, unlike film, your goal should be to expose your image as brightly as possible, without blowing out important highlights.  In other words, your histogram should be as far to the right as possible without going over the edge.  This method is now called ETTR — Expose To The Right.

What is the histogram?  It is a graph of the tones in your images, from pure black (blocked up, no detail) at the left edge, to pure white (blown out, no detail) at the right edge.

I recommend that you set your  camera to show the histogram next to the image on the LCD screen, so that you can see right away how succesful you are with your exposure.

In this case, the exposure is ok: Continue reading »

Aug 062009

I wrote about the importance of exposing as brightly as possible, short of blowing out important highlights in my post “What Lurks in the Shadows: The Case of the Black Cat“.    I encourage you to read it if you haven’t.

I thought I would show you an example of a perfect exposure that in fact looks terrible in-camera.

Here is a photograph I took on the Oregon Coast:

The Beach -- As Shot

The Beach — As Shot

And here is the histogram: Continue reading »

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