To underexpose slightly or expose to the right ? - that is the question

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by achtungbarry, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. achtungbarry

    achtungbarry TPF Noob!

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    I have heard both these pieces of advice and read excellent articles on both.

    So the obvious choice I find myself with is which piece of advice to go with or perhaps both are valid depending on the situation ?

    I have just made the transition to shooting mainly in RAW. Would image format be a factor ?

    Any advice is welcome.

    Thanks.
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Are you shooting film or digital? If shooting digital, expose it neither over nor under for best results, unless you are trying something artsy-fartsy.
     
  3. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Of course you always try for perfect exposure, but if I were to err, I highly recommend you slightly overexpose before you underexpose. It's all about the noise.

    Bringing a picture up from the darkness creates a noisy mess, bringing a picture down will at worst exacerbate blowouts. You have to decide which is the lesser evil for the particular photograph.
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Luke- use the bracket!
     
  5. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    The best exposure is the correct exposure. Practice where to meter a scene. Only about 1/2 of my exposures are metered off of the main subject. I often use the sky, grass, or back of my hand then recompose the shot.

    Derrick
     
  6. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Bah! who has time for bracketing! Expose as best you can, shoot raw, and then fiddle with the 'recovery' and 'fill light' sliders in photoshop to bring it all in line.

    Bracketing is great if you have the time and memory cards to do it, but I know I often don't have that luxury.
     
  7. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    Bracketing also doesn't help one in honing their skills. I will bracket shots if it is something that I really want to get a great shot of or if its something new to me. Otherwise, I try and think to myself to treat each shot as if it was the only chance I had. Sure, you can post process any image, but maybe its just a more personal thing for me to challenge myself to get it right. i know its the digital age and it doesn't cost anything to shot a crap load of shots, but one cannot learn near as much. Sure, you can read the exif data from the correctly exposed shots, but most often than not the scene will not be exactly the same again.

    Derrick

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  8. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    +1 :thumbup:

    :lol:

    Could you make some loud metallic breathing noises when saying this please?
     
  9. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is what I do as well. Sky, grass, or, well, I use the palm of my hand.
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry guys. With my Nikon it's just a press of a button with my left thumb, a click on the command wheel with my right thumb and then I merely press the shutter two or three times depending on how I have it set.

    I see no reason for regrets when CF cards are so cheap and I'm shooting my D200. ;)

    I don't know about the loud metallic breathing noises but the dark side has it's benefits.:lmao::lmao::lmao:
     
  11. firemedic0135

    firemedic0135 TPF Noob!

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    I always lean to the underexposed side. I usually set my meter for 1/3 under and feel like it offers the best results. if you overexpose someting and it is washed out you cannot recover anything from that.You can always recover underexposed area( and yes you may/will get some noise) but from my experiance and the advice of other pros say to underexpose1/3-2/3 if needed.
     
  12. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    But that's a moot point, because you can say the exact same thing about a shot that is too far underexposed.

    If you have two photographs of an identical scene, one shot is 3 stops under, the other is 3 stops too bright. In photoshop, bring both photographs to proper exposure - the previously overexposed shot will look nicer.
     

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