"One day you are a signature, next day you are an autograph." —Billy Wilder

― Scapes ShowcaseExperiments with ETTR

User avatar
Matt Quinn
Mentoris Maximus
Mentoris Maximus
Posts: 2625
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:12 pm
Location: MD in winter: Cape Cod in summer
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Experiments with ETTR

Post by Matt Quinn » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:26 pm

A happy convergence of articles, posts and suggestions has resulted in my reading an article on ETTR, reading the article, posted by Steve, after Ernst's post about Kenny Rogers, and reading another article about Ansel Adams' zone system. In reviewing my presets on my camera, I learned that I had been shooting in jpeg, not raw. I have corrected that. And I now use a setting on my lcd screen that shows the histogram across the photo and how far from the right my exposure is. Here are two experiments from this morning trying to move the histogram as far to the right without the dreaded triangle or wall-crawl appearing. Some fuzziness resulted from the breeze; I have lost the baseplate for my tripod; another is in the mail. So these are handheld. Apologies. C&c most welcome. Matt
Experiments in ETTR (1 of 2).jpg
Experiments in ETTR (2 of 2).jpg
Matt Quinn

"...approach the light as opposed to the subject." Stan Godwin

User avatar
Psjunkie
Mentoris Primus
Mentoris Primus
Posts: 1829
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:20 am
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by Psjunkie » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:33 pm

Please note that the histogram in camera is derived from a jpeg...tis all I'll elaborate on Matt. uuglypher and rmalarz can fill you in, each camera sensor has to be checked. I have yet to check mine but have gotten comfortable knowing how far to the right of center I can let my in camera meter go before blowing highlights...works fairly well for how I use my camera.....Either would be happy to give you reading material and assistance.....I will say the technique has improved my capture abilities..

User avatar
Duck
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 2525
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:31 am
Location: Shelton, CT
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by Duck » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:02 am

The interesting thing about ETTR is that it is a modern day version of Ansel Adam's zone system. By watching your histogram and analyzing the scene you are looking to place your light values within a certain point of the exposure range. With film, shadows are the critical values to track. With digital it is the highlights. Think of it fits way, if you boost signal amplitude you gain noise. If you reduce signal amplitude you don't. That is why ETTR works so well for digital. The trick is to push highlights just enough to retain some value in order to recover it. The other trick many articles fail to mention is that we can often sacrifice highlights without sacrificing the integrity of the image.
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
Image ImageImageImageImage

User avatar
Matt Quinn
Mentoris Maximus
Mentoris Maximus
Posts: 2625
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:12 pm
Location: MD in winter: Cape Cod in summer
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Matt Quinn » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:09 am

Psjunkie wrote:Please note that the histogram in camera is derived from a jpeg...tis all I'll elaborate on Matt. uuglypher and rmalarz can fill you in, each camera sensor has to be checked. I have yet to check mine but have gotten comfortable knowing how far to the right of center I can let my in camera meter go before blowing highlights...works fairly well for how I use my camera.....Either would be happy to give you reading material and assistance.....I will say the technique has improved my capture abilities..


Thanks, Frank. I read the point about the histogram coming from a jpeg, but was hesitant to push too far. With your and Duck's reactions, I am encouraged to continue the experiment. Matt
Matt Quinn

"...approach the light as opposed to the subject." Stan Godwin

User avatar
Matt Quinn
Mentoris Maximus
Mentoris Maximus
Posts: 2625
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:12 pm
Location: MD in winter: Cape Cod in summer
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Matt Quinn » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:14 am

Duck wrote:The interesting thing about ETTR is that it is a modern day version of Ansel Adam's zone system. By watching your histogram and analyzing the scene you are looking to place your light values within a certain point of the exposure range. With film, shadows are the critical values to track. With digital it is the shadows. Think of it fits way, if you boost signal amplitude you gain noise. If you reduce signal amplitude you don't. That is why ETTR works so well for digital. The trick is to push highlights just enough to retain some value in order to recover it. The other trick many articles fail to mention is that we can often sacrifice highlights without sacrificing the integrity of the image.


Duck,
"With film, shadows are the critical values to track. With digital it is the shadows."

So, in both film and digital, the shadows are the key area, right?

I'lll keep experimenting.

Thanks for the help. Matt
Matt Quinn

"...approach the light as opposed to the subject." Stan Godwin

User avatar
Matt Quinn
Mentoris Maximus
Mentoris Maximus
Posts: 2625
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:12 pm
Location: MD in winter: Cape Cod in summer
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Matt Quinn » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:28 am

Matt Quinn wrote:
Duck wrote:The interesting thing about ETTR is that it is a modern day version of Ansel Adam's zone system. By watching your histogram and analyzing the scene you are looking to place your light values within a certain point of the exposure range. With film, shadows are the critical values to track. With digital it is the shadows. Think of it fits way, if you boost signal amplitude you gain noise. If you reduce signal amplitude you don't. That is why ETTR works so well for digital. The trick is to push highlights just enough to retain some value in order to recover it. The other trick many articles fail to mention is that we can often sacrifice highlights without sacrificing the integrity of the image.


Duck,
"With film, shadows are the critical values to track. With digital it is the shadows."

So, in both film and digital, the shadows are the key area, right?

I'lll keep experimenting.

Thanks for the help. Matt



OOOps. I misread and misquoted. Apologies. Or did I? See the quote above. Matt
Matt Quinn

"...approach the light as opposed to the subject." Stan Godwin

User avatar
minniev
Mentoris Magister
Mentoris Magister
Posts: 3899
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:55 am
Location: Mississippi
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by minniev » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:27 am

Matt Quinn wrote:A happy convergence of articles, posts and suggestions has resulted in my reading an article on ETTR, reading the article, posted by Steve, after Ernst's post about Kenny Rogers, and reading another article about Ansel Adams' zone system. In reviewing my presets on my camera, I learned that I had been shooting in jpeg, not raw. I have corrected that. And I now use a setting on my lcd screen that shows the histogram across the photo and how far from the right my exposure is. Here are two experiments from this morning trying to move the histogram as far to the right without the dreaded triangle or wall-crawl appearing. Some fuzziness resulted from the breeze; I have lost the baseplate for my tripod; another is in the mail. So these are handheld. Apologies. C&c most welcome. MattExperiments in ETTR (1 of 2).jpgExperiments in ETTR (2 of 2).jpg


I use the principles of ETTR much (though not all) of the time, as it helps me compensate for some of the pitfalls of using a smaller-sensor camera. I take advantage of the histogram and warning blinkies in the viewfinder, plus my own knowledge of my camera, as my helpers. Images shot with the histogram snuggled up to the right side will often appear washed out and overexposed, but you can usually get it back in post. There are some shots though, where the dynamic range simply exceeds the ability of ETTR to accommodate. You'll have to learn where the boundaries are for your camera, so I'd suggest you make some "insurance" shots till you really figure it out. One of my "aha" moments with ETTR is that some shots taken following ETTR principles are actually quite dark (an example is a shot of a dark interior where there is a window to a bright outdoor area, and you want to retrieve the detail from the window. )

BTW I really like that second shot, light and airy in a way that shows off those leaves (aspen, I think). I can see the yellows!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

User avatar
rmalarz
Mentoris Dominus
Mentoris Dominus
Posts: 586
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:28 pm
Location: Arizona
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by rmalarz » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:40 pm

Excellent start, Matt. I think the comments preceding mine have filled in enough material. The best method is a good deal of note taking while photographing, especially at this stage of the process. Each of these images could be photographed with increasing exposure until you can no longer process a reasonably good image from the results. Then, you'll know your camera's limits.

Spot meter on the brightest part of the scene. When the meter is centered, that will place that part of the scene in Zone V, middle gray. From there, each stop of additional exposure (aperture, shutter, or combination of both) will move that part of the scene up one Zone. I'd suggest increasing exposure in 1/2 steps, as things can get touchy with some cameras.

Once you've found your camera's limit, you'll be able to nail exposures consistently. If you need any clarification, please feel free to write and ask. And, yes, it does take a bit of effort on the photographer's part to master the concept.
--Bob
There is no CTRL-Z in the wet.

User avatar
Duck
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 2525
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:31 am
Location: Shelton, CT
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by Duck » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:16 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:
Duck wrote:The interesting thing about ETTR is that it is a modern day version of Ansel Adam's zone system. By watching your histogram and analyzing the scene you are looking to place your light values within a certain point of the exposure range. With film, shadows are the critical values to track. With digital it is the shadows. Think of it fits way, if you boost signal amplitude you gain noise. If you reduce signal amplitude you don't. That is why ETTR works so well for digital. The trick is to push highlights just enough to retain some value in order to recover it. The other trick many articles fail to mention is that we can often sacrifice highlights without sacrificing the integrity of the image.


Duck,
"With film, shadows are the critical values to track. With digital it is the shadows."

So, in both film and digital, the shadows are the key area, right?

I'lll keep experimenting.

Thanks for the help. Matt

No, that was my fault. I wrote that on my tablet and it auto corrected "lights" into something else. When I saw that I went back and changed it but in my head I thought the auto correct error was about film. Ergo, the need to proof read before hitting the submit button. I think you actually quoted my post as I was correcting my second mistake.

Note to self, proof read before submitting a post... :dunce: :spank:
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
Image ImageImageImageImage

User avatar
Psjunkie
Mentoris Primus
Mentoris Primus
Posts: 1829
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:20 am
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by Psjunkie » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:48 pm

Better note to self...also "proof read after"....then correct.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests