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Subject: Re: Exposure to the right and tone placement

Which goes back to the original post-that Mr. Janes was testing the point of clipping with a Nikon D70-which uses lossey compression and is therefore _NOT_ a 12 bit digital capture (more along the lines of 10 or 11 bits depending on who you listen to). So Mr. Janes seems hellbent on proving something, but what? I don't know. . .

The important issue is one of knowing, without guessing, the exact ISO of YOUR sensor, and of knowing how to expose so that a tone in your scene that needs textural detail is exposed just shy of clipping.

If you think you can determine that by metering incident light or metering off a grey card, then I would point you to one of Bruce's last posts: "Trying to estimate where 255 lands by metering on 47 is a very uncertain exercise...."

Which was the whole point of the previous discussion, if what you are trying to do is keep textural highlights from clipping, trying to meter for, dare I say it, zone V is far less accurate than metering for the textured highlights-particularly when you factor in that sensors are linear.

I don't care whom is a retired engineer from where. . .I do have over 25 years experience as an advertising photographer and studied photography at RIT with Minor White, Stroeble, Todd and Zakia. And I'm here to tell you that Rags simply does not understand the zone system nor practical applications of exposure of film let alone digital. Angel Adams developed the zone system as a way of exposing for the shadows and developing for the highlights of a B&W film negs. Trying to apply that to either color neg, chrome or digital capture is a perversion of the zone system and pretty much doomed to failure.

With the linear nature of digital sensors (and yes, Mr. Janes, it WOULD be useful for you to grasp the actual implications and not just the technical ones) there is one truth-if you flood the sensors to clipping, there is no detail left. So, the optimal approach to exposing digital is to know exactly where in the scene you want your textural highlights and expose to maintain the detail. And to date, there are simply no real good tools either built into the exposure meters of DSLRs or wide angle reflected light or incident meters to easily determine that exposure.

Metering to make a zone V in a scene to be a zone V in a processed raw file is _NOT_ the way to go about it. Metering to maintain textural detail is the only way to control that textural detail. So, contrary to the zone system in which you exposed for the shadows and processed for the highlights, in digital you should expose for the highlights and process for the shadows-cause it's a lot easier (and provides better signal to noise) to make mid tones and below darker than to try to lighten them up.

Care to actually shoot any black cats Bill? Meter to make zone V zone V in the processed shot and see if you can even see the darn cat...if it's anything like _MY_ black cat, about all you'll see is his glowing eyes.

"In summary, I would regard the exposure as proper when I obtain the intended tonal values without needing to use the exposure control of ACR."

Ya see, you still don't get it. . .Camera Raw was designed with tools to allow pretty much total control over the the global tone and color of a raw capture. All of its tools where designed to be used-including the exposure control. It's there to be used and it's foolish to refrain from using it. The exposure is "proper" when you get the image the way you want it-regardless of the tools you employ to achieve it. And it sure as heck ain't based on zone V. (never was really)

"For some reason Jeff just gets under my skin. His attitude is condescending and cynical."

Back at ya buddy boy. . .



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