Subject: Re: raw 3.1 professional custom profiles for highend digital cameras
Thanks for the comments and suggestions.
To answer your last question first, I actually need to go back and study the in-camera histogram, because I am interested in seeing how blown the highlight display was. Generally, however, I was somewhat surprised that the on-board histogram did not indicate overexposure. Instead, it showed large clumps of information toward the left side, with little or no highlight clipping. The in-camera histogram was quite different from the ACR histogram, which was shifted much farther to the right and did show a spike on the right side. I saved the images on the card because I want to go back and really study what the camera's histogram shows for the images that I decided were the best, but I have not had the chance to do that yet. I will report on that later. At this time, however, I must confess that I am not sure how to read this. I would have expected the in camera histogram to reflect more blown highlights than the ACR histogram, but the reverse was true, at least on the few images that I compared.
With respect to the choice of highlights for metering, yes, I intentionally chose features that would fall into Zone VIII (or maybe even VII) in the Zone System. I did that, however, intending that anything above would be blown to white, which was a conscious decision. In other words, I picked the highlight that I wanted to keep and then picked the exposure that would push that highlight to the edge of being blown.
Is this an incorrect approach? Any Zone IX features would have been the sky or perhaps a specular highlight in the distance (a white car in the background, for example), which were not important to me in these particular images. Why would I want to have metered on those? In the photo of the barn, for example, the only brighter feature would have been the sky, which was very hazy and bright. It would have been another full stop, at least, above the highlight that I chose (the metal roof). So, if I had metered on the sky, I would have opened up an additional stop to achieve the final exposure, which would have placed me at the same place that I chose. Should I have chosen the sky (or some other Zone IX feature) in order to gauge a standard (such as 2.3) to use in every case?
After learning the Zone System, I am actually getting away from it and now am concentrating simply on picking the highlight that I want to keep and letting anything above that go. But, this is all very new to me, so your comments are very much appreciated.
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