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Subject: Re: Exposure to the right and tone placement



Rags,

Good to see you back, hopefully with a Kevlar vest.

Back to basics, Iím glad to see that Bruce Fraser has finally conceded
that the proper exposure isnít ALWAYS based on highlights only. At least
thatís what I think he said. One small step for mankind. I havenít seen
Jeff chime in for a while.




Bruce hasn't really modified his views and recently re-entered the thread to inform that my analysis of signal to noise and dynamic range is exactly backwards. As for Jeff, he rode his motrocycle to Sante Fe, NM to give a photo workshop. The more he can convince us that digital exposure is linear and fundamentally different from film, the greater the demand for his workshop will be among photographers going over to digital from film. Somehow, I have the feeling that if Ansel Adams were still with us and using digital, as I am sure he would be doing, he would adapt very quickly to the new medium.

What distresses me is seeing statements like digital has obsoleted your
hand held meters. Even more distressing is seeing folks reply, thank you,
Iíll throw my meter away right now. Digital records positive images. Ones
and zeros have nothing to do with it.




The meter merely gives you a number based on the luminance of the scene and what you do with that number is up to you. The fact that the meter may be calibrated to 12% or 18% reflectance is irrelevant --you can do your own calibration just like Ansel Adams and place the highlights where ever you want according to zone concepts. My 25 year old Pentax digital spot meter works just fine for this purpose.

I do think that zeros and ones has something to do with the number of levels that digital capture records in the shadows and highlights. Look at Normen Koren's explanation and let us know what you think.



The metering paradigm is the same as film slides (positive) not film negatives.
It is that simple.




That was one of my original assertions. An exposure that produces a good result with Kodachrome will also be pretty good for digital. Of course, with Kodachrome many photographers underexposed slightly to get better color saturation. With digital, you might place the exposure more to the right to make better use of the dynamic range of the sensor and reduce shadow noise. With either medium, fully blown highlights are irretrievly lost.

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