Tip for Today ... Under Expose for the Highlights

It is easier to recover shadows than it is to recover highlights.


There is truth in what you say but there is also the converse argument of shooting to the right: see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposing_to_the_right

Personally, for general photography I’d take the middle ground and opt for a balanced exposure, using exposure compensation to apply either of the techniques mentioned according to conditions and preferences for the subject being taken.

Shooting raw format will anyway give a 2 to 3 stop adjustment range in post production.

It would be interesting though to see how others approach the subject of exposure.


Hi all :slight_smile:
Nice subject you introduced here!

For me it depends on the camera as well… With Canon, I prefer to expose into the light, as if not it introduces too much noise. For my Fuji xt2, I prefer a bit to the shadows, as noise managmente for my taste is quite good… In general, I prefer kind of middle, but with Canon Cameras, 1.3 to the light always… :slight_smile: Let’s see what the rest prefer!

Nice to see other discussions around!

Daniela from Uruguay.

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The general idea is that it is easier to make darks brighter than it is to make brights brighter!!!

Using a raw format , I usually expose 0.3 to 0.7 EV to the left or under exposure. I usually find that highlights, mainly in reflections or the sky are harder to bring back so underexposure helps. There is a reason for this, which is, camera metering is mostly an average of the total scene. If the subject area is mostly shadows and mid tones the exposure will increase and not account for the small bright areas of clouds (for example). Of course, if the scene has no bright spots like a flower close up or indoor portraits then set the exposure compensation to zero.

Since scenes tend to vary, I like to keep exposure comp on 0 and then over or under expose as I view the scene. When in doubt…bracket. and re-evaluate later.


Xiao Lin, I tend to do the same, I prefer any bracketting, before under or over exposing. :slight_smile:

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