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What's the Over Under

FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 08 Jul 2012 (Sunday) 00:48   
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KirkS518
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Fill in the blanks please:

For film photography you should _____ expose your shot.

For digital photography, you should _______ expose your shot.

It has to do with PP recovery, and for the life of me I can't remember which is the over, and which is the under :confused:

Post #1, Jul 08, 2012 00:48:35


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madjack
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I once read an article that stated you should "shoot to the right" (overexpose) a bit when shooting digital.

Post #2, Jul 08, 2012 01:17:47


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Curtis ­ N
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Google "expose to the right."

Post #3, Jul 08, 2012 01:47:58


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tzalman
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For negative film photography you should over expose your shot enough to guarantee that the shadows get adequate exposure, otherwise they will be just blank film base or very thin and lack detail.
For slide film photography you should under expose your shot enough to guarantee that the highlights are fully detailed and not just blank film base.
For digital photography, you should correctly expose your shot by exposing the brightest significant highlight to be just short of clipping. Essentially the same as slide photography, except that unless you printed from the slide you had to accept it as your final product, while digital photography is a two stage process - exposure and PP - and correct exposure takes the second half into account by providing the best possible file for editing.

Post #4, Jul 08, 2012 04:09:56


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joeseph
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I would have said "correctly" covers both...

Post #5, Jul 08, 2012 04:28:45


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FlyingPhotog
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Conventional Wisdom also held that a slight under exposure of slide film gave images richer color, more contrast and therefor a little more pop.

There are some (most notably Moose Peterson) who feel similar about digital.

IMO, Correct =/= Right

Sometimes you need/want more data to the left of your histogram and sometimes you want more to the right. A really well-done high key portrait is obviously not "correct" insofar as an 18% grey reference is concerned but it's certainly the "right" exposure.

Post #6, Jul 08, 2012 04:31:28


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KirkS518
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Of course the 'correct' exposure is the preferred exposure. Although, there are times when the 'correct' exposure according to the camera is not the right exposure for the desired image outcome.

It has to do with data recovery when doing post. I guess it is the ETTR, as that would allow toning down in the higher areas, but there is enough detail recorded in the shadows to be able to bring them out.

Post #7, Jul 08, 2012 12:47:46 as a reply to FlyingPhotog's post 8 hours earlier.


If steroids are illegal for athletes, should PS be illegal for models?
Digital - 50D, 20D IR Conv, 9 Lenses from 8mm to 300mm
Analog - Mamiya RB67 Pro-SD, Canon A-1, Nikon F4S, YashicaMat 124G, Rollei 35S, QL17 GIII, Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex 1st Version, and and entire room full of lenses and other stuff

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kfreels
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tzalman wrote in post #14686430external link
For negative film photography you should over expose your shot enough to guarantee that the shadows get adequate exposure, otherwise they will be just blank film base or very thin and lack detail.
For slide film photography you should under expose your shot enough to guarantee that the highlights are fully detailed and not just blank film base.
For digital photography, you should correctly expose your shot by exposing the brightest significant highlight to be just short of clipping. Essentially the same as slide photography, except that unless you printed from the slide you had to accept it as your final product, while digital photography is a two stage process - exposure and PP - and correct exposure takes the second half into account by providing the best possible file for editing.

^^This

Post #8, Jul 08, 2012 14:05:23


I am serious....and don't call me Shirley.
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tonylong
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While I've heard some say that for digital "underexposure can be good" I've never seen it demonstrated. I have a sneaky suspicion that these are held-over "conventions" from slide film shooting.

That being said, exposure in scenes with a high dynamic range can be a "juggling act". As has been mentioned, you want your brightest highlights that have "meaning" to be just pushing the edge, which often means that significant parts of your composition will be "underexposed".

While that is something we have to deal with, I don't consider it a "good thing", just a necessary thing.

But, that doesn't mean that it's good to "overexpose" -- if you let a subject get too bright, well, it gets messy 'cause you can't recover the highlight detail.

If a scene is questionable as to the dynamic range, Raw becomes a great asset. For me, because I shoot in such conditions most of the time, I just leave my camera set to shoot Raw, and never switch out of Raw. The times when I have the luxury of controlled lighting with no dynamic range challenges, well, I can still shoot Raw and just make quick jpeg conversions. But if I switch to jpeg shooting for those scenes and then forget/neglect to switch back, well, I'd regret it!

Post #9, Jul 09, 2012 08:37:21


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