Subject: Re: raw 3.1 professional custom profiles for highend digital cameras
But surely if you meter on the highlights directly and use that reading
you will underexpose most scenes.
Correct, because most systems will try to calculate an exposure that puts the spot-reading area in the middle-gray ball-park.
Instead you want the spot-reading area to be exposed close to the maximum clipping limit of the CCD.
So, your previous suggestion is therefore correct: meter the highlights and open up.
A theoretical method to determine the difference:
1. Spot-meter a graycard
2. Gradually increase exposure until the graycard is clipped to white.
Use the difference between initial exposure and the clipped exposure to compensate the highlight metering. (A fixed bright highlight area might probably work as well as, or better than the graycard).
The optimal difference obviously depends on the spot-area and the contents. If you spot-meter clouds, there will likely be shading that you want to preserve, even in the spot-area. So in practice you probably want to reduce the difference to include a safety margin.
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