Expose to the Right (ETTR)

Many of us seem to allow slightly dark exposures to NOT blow out highlights…I am guilty also in many photo’s.

But, there are major compromises to shooting this way….

The Biggest:  MORE NOISE in the shadows and other areas.  Not just a small increase… A HUGE increase!  So, if you complain about the high noise with your new camera that has much lower noise than previous model. But, you don’t see an improvement… Try changing HOW you expose your image. Learn how to read your camera’s Histogram.

This is what many of our Histograms look like… Some of mine included.

This will produce a higher noise level across the whole image. Especially in the shadow areas.

You want bring the Exposure more to the right… the right dark vertical line.

Try a +.3 Exposure Compensation (EC) to start, if it is still to far left, try a +.6 EC

You will see your images will have much better noise control and better Dynamic Range to work with.

Here is another blog that goes into much more detail for thoughts who want more techy explanations

Expose to the Right ETTR