Digital Mythbusting #9

September 29, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

RAW should be undexposed for highlights.  This is another persistent myth that started early on in digital.  Images always should be exposed as accurately as possible, and that means making bright areas bright in the exposure.  When bright areas are underexposed, everything else in the photograph is underexposed, as well.  All digital sensors are at their worst in the darkest parts of an exposure.  This has to do with the physics of how sensors respond to light.  When an image is underexposed, you're pushing midtone tonalities and colors down into darker parts of the exposure, which is the worst place for them to be recorded by the image sensor.  Even if you process the image to brighten it, you're never working with the best quality tonalities and colors.  Image tonalities always look their best, no matter what processing you do, when they're exposed to hold good detail from dark to bright.  An easy way to check this is to look at your histrogram.  You never want to have a large gap on the right side of the histogram; that means underexposure that's causing problems for your sensor.


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