Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

"We recommend to always underexpose the images"

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "We recommend to always underexpose the images"

    Hi,

    I run into an interview on a magazine where a photo retoucher in nyc recommends to always underexpose the images to obtain the rich tones and depth similar to film.

    Interestingly enough, sometimes I have to bring down the exposure in the capture software to save highlight and have longer midtones.

    have you experienced the same?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Hi Marameo,

    I certainly easier to recover shadow detail than burnt out highlights so underexposing makes sense so long as here's not too much noise.

    A lot of my clients shoot tethered onto a laptop which has all sorts of problems if they are visually checking images rather than looking at a histogram (ambient light and screen calibration problems).

    I more often need to adjust the corrections they put on at point of shooting (usually into Capture One), those corrections predominantly being a blanket highlight recovery which does a good job of bringing in details but often flattens out the whole image making it look dull.

    Comment


    • #3
      Under expose? Utter rubbish. Best listen to actual photographers (pro's) rather than retouchers. Ideal exposure is photography 101. Under exposing does nothing but produce more noise in an image and reduce dynamic range. Ideal exposure for raw differs from ideal exposure for a JPEG (or film).
      http://digitaldog.net/files/ExposeForRaw.pdf
      http://schewephoto.com/ETTR/
      Ideal exposure for digital is NOT clipping highlights you don't want clipped but exposing as close to that goal as possible to produce the best quality digital capture as outlined in the two URL's above. Under exposing isn't exposing NOT to clip highlights, that's called ideal exposure. Meters are dumb, photographers need to understand their limitations and how to target exposure for the scene and based on how (in the digital world) their sensors behave. Anyone who's ever shot a white dog on snow or a black cat on coal know not to take a meter recommendation, especially a reflective meter reading at face value or anything like it! Not if you don't want gray dogs and cats instead of ideally exposed shots in such conditions.

      Zia.jpg

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by marameo View Post
        Hi,
        Interestingly enough, sometimes I have to bring down the exposure in the capture software to save highlight and have longer midtones.
        Thanks
        Important to understand that just because a slider or tool is called "Exposure" it isn't by any means. Exposure is simple and unambiguous or should be; the amount of light striking a piece of film or sensor and is ONLY the attribute of shutter and aperture. Not ISO, not anything after capture.

        Comment


        • #5
          By underexposure I mean a histogram as this:

          https://66.media.tumblr.com/77814c6c8438715b7bb76ec491eeb5a6/tumblr_pmnm8vuhzF1s5o348o1_500.png

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by marameo View Post
            That's not a raw Histogram! That tells you nothing about the exposure and the result of the raw data. It is a Histogram of the current rendering and you can alter it on the fly based on the settings in the raw converter. If you want to understand actual exposure's effect on the capture, you need something like RawDigger which provides a raw Histogram: https://www.rawdigger.com
            Again, Exposure takes place in one area and affects the raw data (or the JPEG if that's what you captured). IF the Histogram above is from a raw, you're absolutely not seeing anything there that tells you about the exposure.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by andrewrodney View Post
              Under expose? Utter rubbish. Best listen to actual photographers (pro's) rather than retouchers.
              Yeah, sure, why would you actually listen to a retoucher, the person who is going to save that pic the photographer shot wrong in so many ways? I mean, what do we know? Nice move, sir, coming to a retouching site and dissing retouchers. Smart. But, yeah, what do we know.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post

                Yeah, sure, why would you actually listen to a retoucher, the person who is going to save that pic the photographer shot wrong in so many ways? I mean, what do we know? Nice move, sir, coming to a retouching site and dissing retouchers. Smart. But, yeah, what do we know.
                Yeah, sure, why would you actually listen to a retoucher who hasn't a clue about exposing raw data. News flash, retouchers are not necessarily trained to make images. Some of us are both and know how to actually examine raw data to determine the exposure, which only takes place at capture and a by product of two attributes; shutter and aperture. I'm sorry once again, the facts of this process have ruined your day.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post

                  Yeah, sure, why would you actually listen to a retoucher, the person who is going to save that pic the photographer shot wrong in so many ways? I mean, what do we know? Nice move, sir, coming to a retouching site and dissing retouchers. Smart. But, yeah, what do we know.
                  Because there are as many 'photographers' as retouchers who are clueless about exposing, here's a little article I wrote for both who continue to be clueless about the subject and don't understand actual trained photographers don't under expose for anyone, let alone 'retouchers' but expose optimally:
                  http://digitaldog.net/files/ExposeForRaw.pdf
                  Another actual trained photographer showing how it's supposed to be done:
                  http://schewephoto.com/ETTR/
                  Indeed, what do 'we' know? Some of us know how to actually expose their images for the best data, without worrying about who or when IF necessary, some 'retoucher' will get hold of it! Some can learn from what we know. Other's cannot.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It must be horribly difficult for you to deal in the real world of servicing the creative process. Really hard.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post
                      It must be horribly difficult for you to deal in the real world of servicing the creative process. Really hard.
                      It must be horribly difficult for you to deal in the real world of exposing an image, but I'm not surprised by it. Obviously not trained to do so, or ever paid to do so professionally like some posting here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by marameo View Post
                        ...Interestingly enough, sometimes I have to bring down the exposure in the capture software to save highlight and have longer midtones.

                        have you experienced the same?

                        Thanks
                        your experience quite common and to be expected depending on scene DR and your visualisation of the image. And the reason we have so many tools to control the final rendering. However tools will not help if we have failed to capture the required scene range and instead clipped either highlight or shadow detail.

                        Andrew is correct, exposure is a grey area for many including photographers and retouchers. The article and advice to always underexpose by at least one stop if not two is absolute nonsense that could actually limit the range of useful data the photographer wishes to record.

                        A few reasons why the advice is crap and why the authors knowledge and understanding is questionable:

                        1. The effect of underexposure is twofold. First it pushes the shadow areas to clip (there may be important detail here) secondly it increases noise characteristics of the acquisition.

                        2. Correct exposure for JPEG Based on camera histogram will lead to underexpisure for raw. Whereas correct exposure for raw (not reliable estimating from LCD) will lead to overexposure for JPG. Assuming here that we are talking about correct exposure to prevent clipping in IMPORTANT highlights and leaving speculat where they probably belong clipped.

                        3. Judging exposure based on histogram of camera LCD therefore at best only suitable for JPEG capture. A raw capture will probably be at least one stop underexposed. So following the advice in the article you could well find that you were underexposing by up to 3 stops and suffering from lack of shadow information and a pretty noisy image to boot!

                        4. It should also be understood that your raw editor of choice does not display anything more than a programmer or committee view of an acceptable (starting point) image from the presented image data. You do not see the actual raw data as captured by camera (you would not like the flat and dark image) rather an image that has a white balance, TRC, exposure applied according to the designers view of acceptable look.

                        5. Your raw editors histogram does not necessarily present your image data absolutely precisely. The histogram may actually show what appears to be overexposure when in fact it is perfectly exposed and highlights can easily be recovered by using the tools provided.
                        it is quite possible that your raw editor is rendering your data to show a bright and mainly pleasing image by default but under the hood it is applying what is known as Baseline exposure correction in addition to increasing exposure/brightness which could add up to as much as +2 stops.

                        6. So the take away from this IMHO should be that those that are involved in imaging and information need to understand the tools they are working with before throwing out misleading and potentially damaging info.

                        Last edited by Tony W; 03-07-2019, 05:13 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well then, it's settled. We as retouchers should just kick back that image that wasn't properly exposed, with our noses turned up. Nope, we shouldn't care about deadlines or bailing somebody out, just, demand perfection. Yeah, that'll work in the real world.

                          As per the OP, blown out hilights are gone, unworkable, but, deep shadows can be saved, so, yeah, if you're going to screw up, underexpose.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tony W View Post
                            your experience quite common and to be expected depending on scene DR and your visualisation of the image. And the reason we have so many tools to control the final rendering. However tools will not help if we have failed to capture the required scene range and instead clipped either highlight or shadow detail.
                            Here's a very good article from the RawDigger site about DR and how important ideal (optimized) exposure is to that attribute of image capture:
                            https://www.fastrawviewer.com/blog/h...of-your-camera
                            https://www.fastrawviewer.com/blog/d...-dynamic-range

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post
                              Well then, it's settled.
                              Yes. The facts and physics of exposure; indeed settled.
                              Originally posted by Benny Profane View Post
                              We as retouchers should just kick back that image that wasn't properly exposed, with our noses turned up. Nope, we shouldn't care about deadlines or bailing somebody out, just, demand perfection. Yeah, that'll work in the real world.
                              As per the OP, blown out hilights are gone, unworkable, but, deep shadows can be saved, so, yeah, if you're going to screw up, underexpose
                              You could attempt to understand the facts and physics behind what exposure is, where it takes place and attempt to understand that unless you're there with the photographer when he captures the image, and can understand how to produce optimal exposure, there isn't anything you can do after that capture with respect to exposure. Someof us have attempted to explain the facts and physics to someone who perhaps fancies himself (or herself, had to know from an poster hiding behind an alias), a retoucher who clearly doesn't understand exposure. If highlights are blown, and the only way to know this is to examine the raw Histogram, nothing will bring them back. By all means, attempt polishing photographic turds. The facts and science for any photographer is clear despite the misunderstandings of a retoucher who's article states one should under expose (again, pure rubbish); optimal exposure for raw data NEVER blows out highlights that a trained photographer doesn't wish to blow out (and Benny, the term is highlights and it's an effect of three channels within the raw capture).
                              I don’t know if you are purposely trying not to understand this, or if you are really struggling with it.
                              You've shown here you don't understand the fundamentals of photography and exposure; leave that to actual trained photographers who've made a nice living doing so.

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

                              Collapse

                              • surreal
                                Retoucher from Hong Kong
                                by surreal
                                Hello everybody,

                                My first post, hello! I am a retoucher from Hong Kong. How interesting to see retouchers from different countries gathered here! I've been seeing a lot of retoucher's portfolio through here, and it seems similar to what we do here as well.

                                I wonder, do...
                                09-27-2005, 01:21 AM
                              • Hamburger Image
                                Types of retouchers
                                by Hamburger Image
                                Does anyone work for a retouching house? If so, how much do you make? I know it varies, I just would like YOUR feedback. I know in my region freelancers and houses range from 150-250/hr, but I'd like to know what the people within the houses make. Also, if you're a freelance, what do YOU typically charge...
                                07-17-2008, 03:39 PM
                              • antumbra
                                What are they calling retouchers nowadays???
                                by antumbra
                                Hi everybody... I've been looking for work, and I tried using Monster and Career Builder... when you type in the word retoucher, you get nothing... Which leads me to believe that nowadays they are calling retouchers something else which I'm not aware of...

                                the only place where job ads...
                                02-05-2011, 01:47 PM
                              • zganie
                                canadian retouchers
                                by zganie
                                I am curious to know what kind of money is available for retouchers in Canada
                                say Montreal,Toronto or vancouver for example
                                Any Response?
                                zganie
                                02-21-2008, 08:18 AM
                              • cyberphonics
                                Do you judge by the befores or the afters?
                                by cyberphonics
                                Greetings all! Just curious about opinions on this and I figured that retouchers would be more familiar with and have had more access to the Befores than the general public who typically only sees the Afters.
                                1. When you (personally) say that someone is a great photographer, are you basing that
                                ...
                                01-09-2011, 05:09 PM
                              Working...
                              X