Photography Tips From The Pros: Expose to the right
The technique of exposing to the right makes use of the fact that the lighter parts of an image have a stronger signal and less noise than the darker parts.
This means that, provided that you don’t burn out any important highlights, it’s better to record a bright image and make it darker than it is to create a dark image and make it brighter.
Capturing a bright image without losing the highlights means keeping a close eye on your camera’s histogram view and setting the exposure so that there’s a peak towards the right-hand end.
However, you want to avoid having a huge peak at the very far right as this indicates that some pixels are burned out.
In practice this can be done by taking a shot and the checking the histogram before adjusting the exposure and taking another shot.
It can also be useful to activate your camera’s highlight alter if it has one, as this indicates when pixels are burned out – or close to being burned out.
Once you have your correctly overexposed images you need to adjust them to make them darker, and if necessary tweak the contrast. You can use whichever photo editing software you normally use.
Keep an eye on the histogram as you make the adjustments. In most cases you’ll want to ensure that the histogram trace reaches the far left as well as the far right indicating that there are some black and white pixels in the image.
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