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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing 
Thread started 29 Apr 2012 (Sunday) 22:25
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Any ETTR PP tricks?

 
Dustin ­ Mustangs
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Apr 29, 2012 22:25 |  #1

Aside from the obvious posibility of dialing down exposure, what else do you like to do to your ETTR images? I've had some extreme cases where the highlights get muddy when exposure is pulled back, esp if recovery is aggressive too. Are there any PP tricks to dealing with this? Or do I just need to expose to the (not quite so) right??


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tonylong
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Apr 30, 2012 00:16 |  #2

Well, the "trick" with ETTR is you have to shoot Raw and learn to not "blow" important highlights.

This can be tricky, because we have to get an understanding in how to interpret your camera histogram as well as the highlight "blinkies". If you go right up to the "real" edge you can pull those highlights back, and a good Raw processor makes that work well. But if you are blown, then yeah, you can end up with a lot of "grey matter" if you pull the exposure way back.

Here's a "project" I did a while back where I did some testing:

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=12699441#po​st12699441


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tzalman
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Apr 30, 2012 02:05 |  #3

Adobe has addressed this problem in LR4/ACR7. In LR2 recovered highlights were indeed grey because only detail was reconstructed (at the same time that Bibble and Raw Therapee were attempting color recovery, but not infrequently producing false colors, incidentally). LR3 was better with highlight color, but because recovery was done by flattening the tone curve at the top, contrast, details and texture were lost. LR4, with much better masking (calculated in Lab space, BTW), has replaced Recovery with Highlights which pulls the curve down and thus increases contrast and enhances detail.


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chauncey
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Apr 30, 2012 05:53 as a reply to  @ tzalman's post |  #4

"Expose To The Right" technique of having the camera settings all pulled back to Neutral and negative Contrast and Saturation, then upping the camera exposure bit by bit until highlight "blinkies" just begin to show, then notching it a bit down until they disappear.

I pulled this from Tony's link...ya gotta remember that the camera's LCD image is based on a jpeg rendition of the image and is subject to "in camera settings" therefor, dialing down those settings, as Tony suggested, will give you something that more closely resemble what you will see in LR/ACR.


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Dustin ­ Mustangs
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Apr 30, 2012 07:30 |  #5

I have my camera set to blink the blown out areas so that really isn't an issue for me. And I have found that the camera and lightroom have pretty consistent histograms and areas of blown pixels. But some images, even with no important highlights blown, seem to look unnatural once the exposure is pulled back in post. Some to the point where, imo, I wish I hadn't ettr'd.

There is so much info around concerning the camera side of ettr but not much of anything about the post side other than 'pull your exposure back'. I guess maybe it is time to upgrade to LR4.


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Lowner
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Apr 30, 2012 07:37 |  #6

Dustin Mustangs wrote in post #14350842 (external link)
Aside from the obvious posibility of dialing down exposure, what else do you like to do to your ETTR images? I've had some extreme cases where the highlights get muddy when exposure is pulled back, esp if recovery is aggressive too. Are there any PP tricks to dealing with this? Or do I just need to expose to the (not quite so) right??

Sounds as though you have indeed pulled the histogram too far right. Always leave a slight gap and avoid the graph "heaping up" at that end.


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PhotosGuy
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Apr 30, 2012 10:02 |  #7

tonylong wrote in post #14351291 (external link)
Well, the "trick" with ETTR is you have to shoot Raw and learn to not "blow" important highlights....

This is a key concept. Not every highlight is important enough to keep detail in. So your comment, "Or do I just need to expose to the (not quite so) right??" is right on target. Sometime I check the blinkies & take a 2nd exposure, but I always start with this which has taken into account which highlights I think are important: Need an exposure crutch?


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kirkt
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Apr 30, 2012 10:26 |  #8

You may want to set the in-camera JPEG picture style to Neural, with Contrast set to -4. This will help get a more reliable histogram because the in-camera processing from which the histogram is generated will not arbitrarily push the extremes outward to increase contrast.

If you REALLY want to go the extra mile, google UniWB (Uni white balance) - this technique is for raw shooting only, but attempts to equalize the R, G and B channels through crafty manipulation of the white balance multipliers, in camera. With this technique, the color channel multipliers that are typically applied for white balance do not get applied (R=G=B=1) eliminating the clipping potentially caused by WB channel multiplication and giving you a more accurate per channel in-camera histogram. These images require white balancing in raw conversion because the image comes out green.

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dmward
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Apr 30, 2012 14:48 |  #9

With LR 4 the black and white sliders are for setting the white point and black point.
They should be used to extend the tonal range of a ETTR image rather than just pulling exposure down.
Then use the highlight and shadow sliders for fine tuning the mid-tones. And also remember that the default tone curve is linear in LR4 so there is a mid and strong contrast option as well.

That's lots of control.
I tend to start with the white and black point sliders. Then use Exposure slider along with highlight and shadows for further control. And if the scene calls for it steepen the tone curve with mid or strong options.

Here is a screen capture of an image in LR4 showing the adjustments with before and after images. The sunlit side of the AON building was gone before the adjustments.

This was the +1 bracket of the shot. I tend to do two stop bracket using the camera's Exposure bracketing feature when I'm shooting city scenes, save me having to fiddle around on the street and gives me lots of options in Lightroom and Photoshop.


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tzalman
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Apr 30, 2012 16:02 |  #10

The OP didn't say, but I had the impression that he is using LR3. Actually, that's a serious omission, considering how different they are.


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tonylong
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Apr 30, 2012 17:24 |  #11

Well, the mountain project I linked to was done with LR3!


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Dustin ­ Mustangs
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Apr 30, 2012 22:59 |  #12

I'm using lr3 now but it's just a matter of time before I upgrade to 4.


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dmward
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May 01, 2012 13:32 |  #13

The 2012 process version is so much more powerful. It is especially useful when wanting to get do more detailed processing to an image relative to tonal curve.


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joeblack2022
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May 01, 2012 13:40 |  #14

Does anyone use UniWB consistently? Or is it too much hassle?


Joel

  
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chauncey
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May 01, 2012 14:31 as a reply to  @ joeblack2022's post |  #15

The only time I insert any type of WB card into a shot is when I want to get skin tones spot-on, otherwise it's more of a personal preference decision.


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Any ETTR PP tricks?
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