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Shoot to the right - or left?


ade_mcfade 17 15.2k 216 England
22 Jan 2015 5:27PM
Someone asked whether they should shoot to the left or right on Facebook

The vast majority of replies said to shoot left

My jaw literally hit the floor

(damn... seen too many hyperbole bollox headlines on facebook!)

What would you have suggested - he shoots portraits and used to be a regular on here, so may pop in Wink
mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2015 5:32PM
On facebook? Shoot to the left.
Everywhere else? Shoot to the right

NeilSchofield Plus
14 1.7k 1 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2015 5:42PM
If you are shooting active wildlife in less than perfect conditions, then it can pay handsomely to shoot to the left, particularly when the ambient background exposure is of no interest whatsoever

Yes you can shoot manual, but strangely you can have more control by dialing in a couple of stops under exposure in changing light situations, it can get you greater depth of field

It's can be the same with gigs and flashing light, but I tend to use manual settings for those, but it's always nice to get a better depth of field if flashing lighting on the subject increases noticeably
Sooty_1 10 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2015 7:05PM
When I shoot, I aim to hit, not to miss, whichever side you prefer.

Oh, you mean expose to the left or right......

Tongue

Nick
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 768 England
22 Jan 2015 8:59PM
Shoot to kill?

Oops, wrong forum Wink

Shoot to the right, it's all about Data capture (kidnapping Star Trek characters, eh!)
sherlob Plus
15 3.2k 130 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2015 9:28PM
If you are referring to the histogram - shoot to the right, then adjust in post. That said - I think the relevance of this is often overstated, and providing the image isn't grossly underexposed a reasonable degree of IQ can be achieved without the need to 'shoot to the right'.

A.
Dave_Canon 14 2.0k United Kingdom
22 Jan 2015 10:35PM
Don't use the histogram use the correct exposure!

Dave
JJGEE 16 7.9k 18 England
22 Jan 2015 10:59PM

Quote:use the correct exposure

But is there such as thing as " correct exposure " ?
MGJ 12 372 6
22 Jan 2015 11:03PM
Its about energy onto the sensor and making more levels available in the shadows.

Obviously you can't go too far to the right - common sense tells you that - but as a principle, the further right you can go, (without losing the purpose of the photo - of course) the better spread of tones and less noise you will get in the shadows.

Depth of field - well yes, there may be compromises to be made, but that's a judgement which doesn't exclude the principle.

The mathematics behind this statement is pretty commonly available, so I don't think there is a need to elaborate here.
puertouk 9 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
23 Jan 2015 11:09AM
Does anyone give a damn? As long as you are shooting good quality images you can swing both ways Blush
mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
23 Jan 2015 11:27AM

Quote:Does anyone give a damn?


Definitely. To some people 'good enough' is not good enough and having the maximum data available is important whether they use it or not. If the raw vs jpg argument is about the raw having more data to play with then shoot-to-the-right is an extension of that.
23 Jan 2015 12:04PM
It's tempting to have a single recipe for photographic success... Alas, there is no such thing. Exposing to right or left depends a lot on the subject and photographer's idea for a successful shot.

For example, you take a flower image. Will you expose to the right or left? Depends mostly on flower lighting and the background. Both variants may be acceptable as long as there are no blown highlights on the flower (in most cases exposure in (-) is required). Have a look in my portfolio gallery for that. But you also will find some images taken with exposure in (+).

And their histograms may be not "perfect" in many cases. For example when I wish to get rid of the distracting background or have an image with contrast altered for artistic purpose.
So what is the right way?

In my understanding the right way is not to have a single standard for everything, but to learn use of light to express your vision of the image subject. This may include exposing to left, right or straight - choice is always yours.

And for an absolute beginner or in case of only JPG camera shooting a little to the left is always a reasonably safe option - on which Facebook does actually reflect. I am doing it with may point-and shoot "soapbox" too.

Cheers!
mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
23 Jan 2015 12:14PM

Quote:And for an absolute beginner or in case of only JPG camera use shooting a little to the left is always a reasonably safe option


That is misleading. You seemto have described deliberate underexposre not 'shooting to the left'.
Shooting to the right is not about overexposure as such but shooting so that the brightest area is right up against the edge of the histogram - so if you are deliberately underexposing to avoid blown highlights you are, actually, 'exposing to the right'. And exposing to the right, once you have corrected the esposure, gives more detail in the shadows.

If you aren't bothered about the blown highlights take what the camera gives you.
Dave_Canon 14 2.0k United Kingdom
23 Jan 2015 2:54PM

Quote:
Quote:use the correct exposure

But is there such as thing as " correct exposure " ?



Yes, it is what I use for my photography!!!

Seriously, I do decide what I would like and use settings to suit. I only use the histogram on my infrared converted camera because the contrast is usually low with IR. For the rest of my photography, I never use the histogram as it has a lose relationship with the Raw files I capture; looking at the image on the screen is at least as useful. The way I determine exposure is based on decades of practice so knowing which of several techniques to use when. In some situations (e,g, High Dynamic Range, night photography, birds in flight) I always use manual after determining the exposure value. However, I do use Av and Tv on some occasions when I have confidence that the camera decision will be OK. I would not claim to always expose as I intend but I rarely lose an image through an exposure error.

Dave
23 Jan 2015 7:35PM

Quote:
Quote:And for an absolute beginner or in case of only JPG camera use shooting a little to the left is always a reasonably safe option


That is misleading. You seemto have described deliberate underexposre not 'shooting to the left'.
Shooting to the right is not about overexposure as such but shooting so that the brightest area is right up against the edge of the histogram - so if you are deliberately underexposing to avoid blown highlights you are, actually, 'exposing to the right'. And exposing to the right, once you have corrected the esposure, gives more detail in the shadows.

If you aren't bothered about the blown highlights take what the camera gives you.



I see your point. However, the shape of histogram depends on two things:
-Brightness distribution within subject;
-Exposure chosen by a photographer.
It is not hard to see that the first one is mostly out of photographer's control, and the second one is entirely at photographer's disposal. Therefore, in many cases exposure compensation is meant when talking about "shooting to the right/left". And this is tricky and confusing because we don't know what would be the subject of the photograph.

Sure, I can put exposure compensation to (+) and still shoot to the left on some subject (and vice versa), but here we are discussing a common approach, not particulars of every photograph's subject. That would be virtually impossible.


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