Expose to the right.

posted on 4th of july, 2010

I was recently asked about 'exposing to right' when taking photographs and thought it might be a useful article for others.

Exposing to the right is to deliberately over expose the shot without clipping.

When you take your next shot have a look in the LCD screen and look at the histogram, if the graph is mainly to the left the shot contains more shadow detail, if it's in the centre it will contain both highlight and shadow detail, to the right it contains more highlight detail. Now the trick is to get the histogram to the far right as possible WITHOUT going over the right edge of the box, as this will mean the highlights being clipped (no detail). You may need to take several shots to get it right.
The benefits are:
Better use of the colour spectrum
Less noise
You also need to shoot in RAW format for post processing requirements.

Comments (10)

Posted by Redhenry on August 02, 2010
Thanks, great info for a noob!
Posted by FabioConcetta on July 31, 2010
Thanks for the valuable information!
Posted by Dan1 on July 18, 2010
Great photo. Your tip has been added to my list i keep of useful ideas from fellow posters at DT.
Posted by Kixalot on July 18, 2010
Thanks for the tip. I can see that this technique has added an ethereal quality to your photo. I really like that look.
Posted by Preckas on July 05, 2010
Good tip and amazing shots!
Posted by Physi28 on July 05, 2010
thanks to both Bradcalkins and Misterlez, let´s try out!
Posted by Mariaam on July 05, 2010
Great tip! Thanks!
Posted by Bradcalkins on July 05, 2010
A key to making this woork is to use a 3 color histogram. A brightness histogram on its own can still lead to clipping. Also note that previews and thumbnails become harder to work with. I usually find I just do HDR and multiple shots - since ETTR tends to need longer exposures anyways...
Posted by Trottola on July 05, 2010
Thank you for your tip, I'll try...
Posted by Mani33 on July 04, 2010
This sound a good tip! Thanks for sharing!

Comments (10)

This article has been read 1547 times. 6 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Misterlez.

About me

Living in Cornwall has to be the number one choice of where to live and work for many artist\'s, writers, and of course photographers in the UK, visitors to the area say that it\'s like stepping back in time due to it\'s unspoilt land and seascapes, the majority of my work takes place on the coast where the light source is quite special, adding rich, beautiful tones to the sunrise and sunsets we so often get. It\'s a place I hope never to take for granted.

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