Subject: Re: Exposure to the right and tone placement
In an overrange scene, you may want to make the conscious decision to
sacrifice a stop of highlight detail to retain shadows, but you aren't
losing any levels, you're simply recording all the bright tones as one
level, clipping all the highlight detail.
I always enjoy and appreciate your input, but the above statement does not make any sense to me. Let's assume that we are shooting 12 bit raw and the dynamic range of the scene exactly matches that of the camera and we place the highlight at 4095 as you suggest and as I agree we should do. Let us further assume that the highlights contain important detail that I wish to show in the image. The darkest shadow is at 0. The brightest stop contains levels 2047 to 4095.
If I miscalculate and overexpose by one stop, the tone that was originally at 2047 now becomes 4095 as do all the tones that originally were above 2047. These tones have been clipped and can no longer be differentiated--in fact they are lost. Disregarding highlight recovery (which won't work if all channels are blown) I've lost 2048 levels that I wanted to make use of. Of course I have gained 2048 levels at the shadow end, but to no avail since in my visualization they should be set to 0.
Of course, with a short scale subject whose dynamic range is less than that of the camera we do have exposure lattitude, but I agree it is best to place the highlight as you suggest to cut down shadow noise. The medium has changed, but we are using the same principles as Ansel Adams used more than a half century ago
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Exposure to the right and tone placement =>
Exposure to the right and tone placement
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