Expose to the right.

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.

Photo credits: Misterlez.

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August 02, 2010


Thanks, great info for a noob!

July 31, 2010


Thanks for the valuable information!

July 18, 2010


Great photo. Your tip has been added to my list i keep of useful ideas from fellow posters at DT.

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.

July 05, 2010


Good tip and amazing shots!

July 05, 2010


thanks to both Bradcalkins and Misterlez, let´s try out!

July 05, 2010


Great tip! Thanks!

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...

July 05, 2010


Thank you for your tip, I'll try...

July 04, 2010


This sound a good tip! Thanks for sharing!

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