Underwater I continue to shoot in RAW and expose for the very brightest tones of 2048 levels. Shooting underwater wide angles, if the highlight warning blinks I make a judgement call on the nature of the overexposure, i.e. surface detail, sun shafts, specular reflections, etc. I will not necessary reduce exposure unless the highlights 'blink' excessively. If they do then I may reduce my exposure by one stop.

When a scene is high key I will endeavour to expose for the highlights; if the histogram is 'clipped'slightly I no longer automatically correct this, but I do emphasise the word 'slightly'. My change of mind has come about by my Nikon D200 and D300 'blinking' when I know full well that the image is not overexposed.

To conclude, I expose all my in-camera images to retain highlight details which the scene contains. When I process in either Lightroom 2 or Photoshop CS4 I can usually recover any blown highlights using the Recovery slider. Shooting at optimum ISO whenever possible I find that digital noise in the shadows is unnoticeable.


Library Develop i Slideshow I Print I Web

Histogram T a H

Histogram T a H

Basic T

Color Grayscale

Fil] Light A

fig. 3.36 When I took this shot my in-camera highlights warning indicated that the sunbeams were grossly overexposed but I chose not to reduce exposure but instead use the Recovery tool, the RAW converter. Nikon D300, Nikon 10.5 mm, natural light, f3.3 at 1/15th sec, ISO 800.

However much care I may take with my exposures, there will inevitably be times when it will go totally wrong for me. Take heart though! This also applies to many other photographers.

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