8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 19, 2016 11:34 AM by trshaner

    Is it right to add exposure when editing in lightroom ?

    robwood2

      Hi

       

      I wanted to know if when editing is it the correct thing to do by adding exposure to the photograph. The reason i ask is i had a couple of lessons on how to use the camera correctly and the tutor told me that you should never add exposure when editing as it adds noise to the photo, but i have found that some photographs do need a little exposure adding to them, would i be correct in doing so or this a big no no in the world of photography ?

       

      Many thanks

      Robert

        • 1. Re: Is it right to add exposure when editing in lightroom ?
          dj_paige Level 9

          There are many opinions about this type of editing. Ranging from your tutor's dogmatic opinion to many much more flexible opinions.

           

          My opinion, and obviously the opinion of the authors of software programs like Lightroom is probably: you can use ANY of the develop tools that you like.

           

          Yes, changing exposure adds some noise, but so what? That too is fixable within the software.

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          • 2. Re: Is it right to add exposure when editing in lightroom ?
            trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I totally agree with .Here's a PV2012 controls workflow I put together that should help:

             

            Re: Adobe standard problems with my Samsung NX. Advice please?

             

            Pay particular attention to step #1. If you consistently have to increase Exposure more than about +1.0 EV you're camera is under-exposing the images.

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            • 3. Re: Is it right to add exposure when editing in lightroom ?
              robwood2 Level 1

              Hi DJ

               

              Thank you very much for that, at least i now know that it is an executable thing to do even though i am only an amateur that helps a lot.

              Many thanks

              Robert

              • 4. Re: Is it right to add exposure when editing in lightroom ?
                robwood2 Level 1

                Hi

                 

                Thank you for the link i will go and have a look at that. It can get very confusing when you have different opinions from different tutors.

                Many thanks

                Robert

                • 5. Re: Is it right to add exposure when editing in lightroom ?
                  Drummunky Level 1

                  I add exposure as and when it is needed. If you are using a cheaper dslr you will find more noise is created in the shadows and darks compared to a top end dslr. The more top end camera's nowadays can be pushed fairly hard depending on what you are doing. I often under expose when shooting outside to retain more light details, then push the image exposure in editing and pull the highlights back in because I know my camera can handle it. If a little bit of noise is created it can be fixed quickly as dj_paige said.

                   

                  The problem with always trying to get the shot right in camera is that sometimes, depending on what you are doing, you just do not have the time to mess around with settings. If you are shooting off the hip and using aperture priority you are kinda left in the hands of the camera's metering. Most of the time it works, sometimes it leaves you a mile either side of the ideal exposure. Long exposures for example can create noise themselves at low ISOs due to the sensor being charged for prolonged periods of time, there are articles written on this, but if you try for that perfect inverted U shape histogram curve in this situation you might create additional noise that you might not get if you shoot a stop or two under and then push in editing.

                   

                  The best thing to do is experiment as much as possible and find out what works for you, or what works for the type of shot you are trying to achieve. Purposefully under and then over exposing your camera whilst shooting will allow you to work out what you can and cannot get away with. The dream is to get it right all the time in camera as it saves time during editing, but you should be prepared for the times when the circumstances go against you and just have to work with what you have.

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                  • 6. Re: Is it right to add exposure when editing in lightroom ?
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    Another thing to keep in mind

                     

                    Getting the exposure right in the camera certainly is a good objective to have, but it takes time and effort and knowledge, and it's a tradeoff ... would you rather take the time to get the exposure right in the camera or take the time to modify the exposure in Lightroom? Which one is a better expenditure of your time? I guess it's up to you, but I clearly don't get all my exposures perfect in the camera, and I simply don't care because it takes about 5 seconds to fix in Lightroom; it would probably take me longer to get the exposure correct in the camera.

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                    • 7. Re: Is it right to add exposure when editing in lightroom ?
                      Bob Somrak Level 5

                      It takes about 5 seconds to get the exposure right in the field most of the time too.  Fixing an incorrect exposure in POST will never be as good as using a correct exposure in POST.  Sure you can repair noise from under exposure and other problems with incorrect exposure  in POST but you can't get back info that would be there in a correct exposure. For me its a lot more fun spending my time behind the camera than in front of the computer.  To each his own though.

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                      • 8. Re: Is it right to add exposure when editing in lightroom ?
                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Drummunky wrote:

                         

                        The best thing to do is experiment as much as possible and find out what works for you, or what works for the type of shot you are trying to achieve. Purposefully under and then over exposing your camera whilst shooting will allow you to work out what you can and cannot get away with. The dream is to get it right all the time in camera as it saves time during editing, but you should be prepared for the times when the circumstances go against you and just have to work with what you have.

                        The best method is ETTR (Expose To The Right):

                         

                        Digital Exposure Techniques

                         

                        You can use your in-camera LCD preview's histogram display to determine if there is highlight clipping. Unfortunately this is only "accurate" (with most cameras) if you are shooting in-camera JPEGs, which is what you see in the LCD screen. Raw images have additional dynamic range since no camera profile is applied. If you set the camera to show an RGB Histogram, ignore the Red and Blue channels, and look only at the Green channel it is a pretty good indicator of raw data clipping in the image. The reason for this is that the camera sensor is most sensitive to Green wavelength light making the Green channel most susceptible to clipping with most "normal" color subjects. By monitoring the LCD preview's Green channel histogram you can quickly determine if there is "raw data" clipping. In general if the Green channel shows slight or no clipping the raw RGB highlight data should be not be clipped.

                         

                        The best "tool" for understanding your camera's exposure metering with different scene lighting types is RawDigger. IMHO it's well-worth the $19.99 for the entry level version and there is a free trial available to test before you buy.

                         

                        When in a hurry simply shoot with in-camera "Auto Exposure Bracketing" enabled for (-1, 0 +1). Open them up in RawDigger and you'll be in for a surprise. Most cameras under-expose the highlights (ETTR) by 1.0 to 2.0 EV. This is preferable since over-exposure will result in lost highlight data that can never be fully recovered!

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