I know the party line is ETTR, and then darken the too light highlights in post processing, but it is my experience from bracketing photos that you don’t always end up with the same result. I mean, suppose you ETTR and have a photo that in post you darken the highlights by 1 or 2 stops. If you compare those highlights to an actual photo exposed 1 or 2 stops darker, the highlights look different, often not as rich, or the color is off. So in the field when I examine a histogram and find room on both the light and dark ends, I don’t ETTR unless I am concerned about detail or noise in the shadows and want to open that area up. What is your experience and opinion about this?
Great point, perhaps because I feel the same and do the same. It’s just too darned easy to wash out the details in highlights with overexposure. And when they’re gone, they’re gone. No amount of darkening CPR can revive them.
Thanks for the reply. To be more clear, I’m not talking about pushing the highlights histogram past the right edge and then trying to recover, but simply pushing it to the edge or close to the edge and then darkening. Darkening, not recovering. In my experience it still results in a different result.
I also agree. ETTR to me means that there should be some pixels in the last segment of the histogram but not all the way to the right edge. Bringing highlights down too much to me creates “funky” grays without “luster” or detail. It also, sometimes, creates weird looking shadows. So, to reiterate, there are 5 bars in a Canon histogram. I try to have the highlights up to the left edge or just a bit over over the edge.