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Dear Peter, You may want to

Dear Peter,

You may want to look at many underexposed images and ask those who took them why images are so underexposed. Too often you will be referenced to that unfortunate phrase.

The problem is with how people understand what is suggested. Part of it is that using just the LCD on the back of the camera it is very difficult to recognise those highlights that should be left clipped. Part of it is that camera settings affect the point where the highlights start to blink. If the Reichmann's article would go deeper into the practice and warn inexperienced photographers of the possible misreadings and problems many would avoid a lot of disappointing results.

I do not think I need to quote Reichmann article again to show how definite he is when it comes to protecting highlights. That phrasing made a context of itself.

You can find a more accurate formula, like "Expose to place as much data within this linear-encoded RAW image without losing highlight values you wish to reproduce", suggested by Andrew Rodney. He continues, "ETTR presents a few problems, one being that the LCD camera preview, including the histogram and clipping indicators, isn t based on the linear RAW data. Instead, this preview is based on the rendered gamma-corrected JPEG your camera is set to produce, even if you don t save that JPEG and only shoot a RAW file! If your goal is to produce the best possible exposure for RAW, using the ETTR technique, the feedback on the LCD could steer you in the wrong direction."

Still, the major practical problem to many is to recognise the highlights that they want to reproduce from the highlights that can't be reproduced without unacceptable underexposure - not because those are specular, but just because the total range of brightnesses found in the scene is too high. Worse, some even do not know the problem exists at all.

Zone method is the easiest way to recognise the range of brightness and to identify the region that will allow the proper metering for the scene.

Referring to bits of smoke and mirrors, I can't see why you are trying to say the factual mistake Reichmann made is irrelevant. That mistake is a very grave and consequential one, still influencing too many to be considered minor.

Iliah Borg