Digital Exposure Latitude

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by cwvalle, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. cwvalle

    cwvalle Guest

    In film, when you are faced with high contrast scenes, you can take some
    steps to reduce contrast such as overexpose and under develop, or pull
    chrome film to lower ASA ratings. Color negative has a great deal of built
    in contrast control. In digital, does it work in a similar fashion? If I am
    shooting in bright daylight, should i use the contrast control to lower
    contrast? I think digital would be like chrome film in that generally high
    contrast situations cause highlights to blow out. I suppose you could
    restore some contrast later with photoshop, but if it's blown out there's
    probably nothing can be done.
    Should i reduce exposure with the exposure compensation or will that just
    black out shdow detail? Does anybody have a feel for how much latitude
    exists in these cameras that will allow the zones to be put back in
    correctly in photoshop or something like that?

    Carl
     
    cwvalle, Jan 17, 2004
    #1
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  2. cwvalle

    Don Stauffer Guest

    Yes, it is very similar. The real hooker here is range of printed
    image, much lower with EITHER photographic print or inkjet printing,
    compared to either film or digital image. So in either case negatives
    or digicams have more dynamic range than print, so when making a print
    one can correct print for various effects within range of original
    image.

    Some films have more range than others, so do some digicams versus
    others.

    cwvalle wrote:
    >
    > In film, when you are faced with high contrast scenes, you can take some
    > steps to reduce contrast such as overexpose and under develop, or pull
    > chrome film to lower ASA ratings. Color negative has a great deal of built
    > in contrast control. In digital, does it work in a similar fashion? If I am
    > shooting in bright daylight, should i use the contrast control to lower
    > contrast? I think digital would be like chrome film in that generally high
    > contrast situations cause highlights to blow out. I suppose you could
    > restore some contrast later with photoshop, but if it's blown out there's
    > probably nothing can be done.
    > Should i reduce exposure with the exposure compensation or will that just
    > black out shdow detail? Does anybody have a feel for how much latitude
    > exists in these cameras that will allow the zones to be put back in
    > correctly in photoshop or something like that?
    >
    > Carl


    --
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota

    webpage- http://www.usfamily.net/web/stauffer
     
    Don Stauffer, Jan 17, 2004
    #2
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  3. cwvalle wrote:
    > In film, when you are faced with high contrast scenes, you can take some
    > steps to reduce contrast such as overexpose and under develop, or pull
    > chrome film to lower ASA ratings. Color negative has a great deal of built
    > in contrast control. In digital, does it work in a similar fashion? If I am
    > shooting in bright daylight, should i use the contrast control to lower
    > contrast? I think digital would be like chrome film in that generally high
    > contrast situations cause highlights to blow out. I suppose you could
    > restore some contrast later with photoshop, but if it's blown out there's
    > probably nothing can be done.
    > Should i reduce exposure with the exposure compensation or will that just
    > black out shdow detail? Does anybody have a feel for how much latitude
    > exists in these cameras that will allow the zones to be put back in
    > correctly in photoshop or something like that?


    You don't want too high a contrast range no matter what the medium. You
    should use fill flash or reflectors or whatever it takes to reduce
    contrast before you shoot. The paper you're going to print the results
    on can't take that great a range, anyway, even if you had a camera that
    could handle it.

    Gary Eickmeier
     
    Gary Eickmeier, Jan 17, 2004
    #3
  4. cwvalle

    Ray Fischer Guest

    cwvalle <> wrote:
    >In film, when you are faced with high contrast scenes, you can take some
    >steps to reduce contrast such as overexpose and under develop, or pull
    >chrome film to lower ASA ratings. Color negative has a great deal of built
    >in contrast control. In digital, does it work in a similar fashion?


    Not really.

    > If I am
    >shooting in bright daylight, should i use the contrast control to lower
    >contrast?


    There isn't a contrast control.

    > I think digital would be like chrome film in that generally high
    >contrast situations cause highlights to blow out.


    Good guess.

    > I suppose you could
    >restore some contrast later with photoshop, but if it's blown out there's
    >probably nothing can be done.
    >Should i reduce exposure with the exposure compensation or will that just
    >black out shdow detail?


    Depending upon the camera, there is often more flexibility in
    lightening the shadows. As you note, once the highlights are gone,
    they're gone. But cameras that produce RAW images typically have
    12-bits of image data rather than the 8-bits of JPEG images, and
    that extra four bits can be used to get detail from shadows.

    > Does anybody have a feel for how much latitude
    >exists in these cameras that will allow the zones to be put back in
    >correctly in photoshop or something like that?


    --
    Ray Fischer
     
    Ray Fischer, Jan 17, 2004
    #4
  5. "cwvalle" <> wrote in message
    news:9K3Ob.6567$...
    > In film, when you are faced with high contrast scenes, you can take some
    > steps to reduce contrast such as overexpose and under develop, or pull
    > chrome film to lower ASA ratings. Color negative has a great deal of built
    > in contrast control. In digital, does it work in a similar fashion? If I

    am
    > shooting in bright daylight, should i use the contrast control to lower
    > contrast? I think digital would be like chrome film in that generally high
    > contrast situations cause highlights to blow out. I suppose you could
    > restore some contrast later with photoshop, but if it's blown out there's
    > probably nothing can be done.
    > Should i reduce exposure with the exposure compensation or will that just
    > black out shdow detail? Does anybody have a feel for how much latitude
    > exists in these cameras that will allow the zones to be put back in
    > correctly in photoshop or something like that?
    >
    > Carl


    You can adjust brightness, contrast, and other parameters by software, after
    you take the shot. That way, you can take the time to make adjustments
    until you get just the effect you want. It is best to set the exposure (or
    let the camera do it) for the most important part of the image.
     
    Marvin Margoshes, Jan 17, 2004
    #5
  6. cwvalle

    KenP Guest

    On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 05:28:37 GMT, "cwvalle" <>
    wrote:

    >In film, when you are faced with high contrast scenes, you can take some
    >steps to reduce contrast such as overexpose and under develop, or pull
    >chrome film to lower ASA ratings. Color negative has a great deal of built
    >in contrast control. In digital, does it work in a similar fashion? If I am
    >shooting in bright daylight, should i use the contrast control to lower
    >contrast? I think digital would be like chrome film in that generally high
    >contrast situations cause highlights to blow out. I suppose you could
    >restore some contrast later with photoshop, but if it's blown out there's
    >probably nothing can be done.
    >Should i reduce exposure with the exposure compensation or will that just
    >black out shdow detail? Does anybody have a feel for how much latitude
    >exists in these cameras that will allow the zones to be put back in
    >correctly in photoshop or something like that?
    >
    >Carl
    >

    With the Kodak 14n (and possibly others) the old idea of exposing for
    the shadows makes a little more sense. At least with these cameras
    having 12-bit postprocessing, you can really burn highlights in
    without much worry, since there's an extra 2 stops of latitude
    available, provided you can work with RAW images, or (as with the 14n)
    a special "enhanced" JPEG format that allows such tweaking. The
    overhead on these is about 30 percent, a small price to pay for having
    such an extended latitude available.
     
    KenP, Jan 17, 2004
    #6
  7. cwvalle wrote:

    > In film, when you are faced with high contrast scenes, you can take some
    > steps to reduce contrast such as overexpose and under develop, or pull
    > chrome film to lower ASA ratings. Color negative has a great deal of

    built
    > in contrast control. In digital, does it work in a similar fashion?

    If I am
    > shooting in bright daylight, should i use the contrast control to lower
    > contrast? I think digital would be like chrome film in that generally

    high
    > contrast situations cause highlights to blow out. I suppose you could
    > restore some contrast later with photoshop, but if it's blown out there's
    > probably nothing can be done.
    > Should i reduce exposure with the exposure compensation or will that just
    > black out shdow detail? Does anybody have a feel for how much latitude
    > exists in these cameras that will allow the zones to be put back in
    > correctly in photoshop or something like that?



    You don't want too high a contrast range no matter what the medium. You
    should use fill flash or reflectors or whatever it takes to reduce
    contrast before you shoot. The paper you're going to print the results
    on can't take that great a range, anyway, even if you had a camera that
    could handle it.

    Gary Eickmeier
     
    Gary Eickmeier, Jan 18, 2004
    #7
  8. cwvalle

    Pard Guest

    On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 18:57:38 GMT, (Ray
    Fischer) wrote:

    >snip<
    >Depending upon the camera, there is often more flexibility in
    >lightening the shadows. As you note, once the highlights are gone,
    >they're gone. But cameras that produce RAW images typically have
    >12-bits of image data rather than the 8-bits of JPEG images, and
    >that extra four bits can be used to get detail from shadows.
    >

    Yes, and by utilizing RAW images with their extended latitude, the
    often said "expose for highlights" axiom for digital cameras does not
    seem as imperative, since you can usually nudge highlight detail back
    into the image (up to 2 stops) in postprocessing. Using the 14n I've
    had to change my thinking a little. Extreme cases may still require
    the use of split ND filters or multiple exposures.
     
    Pard, Jan 18, 2004
    #8
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