October 25, 2022

Expose to the right (ETTR) has been preached relentlessly for years in digital photography. But does it actually help?

I think now. In my recent shadow hackers workshops (join the next class here) this has come up and it made me think about how prolific this dated technique still is. Tell me what you think in the comments.

In the video, I’ll show you why ETTR is not usually right. It’s not always wrong to be Expose To The Right to achieve something. But using this as a general exposure tool in photography will lead to worse images.

How did ETTR happen and should you actually use it?

You can watch this on my channel, subscribe and comment there also.

When I made the Exposed workshop covering nearly possible approaches to exposure, we didn’t focus on ETTR because when you know what exposure or that light meter is telling you, you rarely need to expose to the right.

Like every idea or rule, it’s not really a rule. So in the end, if you get great exposures you win. But I think if you start hunting the shadows and exposing “right”, rather than TO the right you’ll see a transformation in how well you expose and edit.

It does not matter what you are shooting!

If you know the principles of exposure, your histogram, zones, and settings. They will soon become automatic. You’ll see yourself start to create naturally, knowing the light and the shadow like an old friend.

Let me know what you think – Gav

You can also

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March 13, 2019

Facebook and Instagram, went down today and I was like, “my site is still up”. So I thought I’d share these 3 videos of varying lengths on 3 different topics to boost our creativity and understanding of photography in everything from light to our roots. I Hope you guys find something useful here. If you do share it on Facebook.. oh wait…


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March 25, 2015

In this weeks video we go on a trip to New Mexico and look at how light falls in a harsh situation. We’ll briefly study how to can better catch the falling light. Lots more eon this topic in the EXposed series.


Hope you enjoy — Seim

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February 25, 2015

You cannot train light, until light trains you! Then you can ask yourself. Am I controlling light, or is it controlling me?

Today’s video is quick and dirty and it’s about liquid light! Not that old emulsion in a bottle stuff, though that’s cool. Today I want us to stop and think. In recent years I’ve started thinking about how we handle light at a fundamental level. The more I think about light the way I describe today, the more I UNDERSTAND it. Light can have a mind of it’s own. But once you understand it’s nature as I often speak about in my workshops. Everything changes and it opens up a whole new world.

If you don’t fully understand the science of light you need to watch EXposed or study something like it because it will change your entire thought process on light,.

Tell me your thoughts in the comments — Seim

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February 20, 2015

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In today’s video we’re going to look at six lighting conditions and talk about the 3 ways to use light. — I talk a lot in my workshops about Zones, tones and planning our images. Today we get to look at years of images from the same scene and the journey to getting the perfect light. We photographers are not controlling light like they could be! And it all starts in how we see and plan our images. Whether it’s a landscape or a portrait. They work the same!

This all boils down to 3 choices. Take it! Make it! Or wait for it! Watch video and then remember these tips.

  • If you light you want is not right, look for another perspective that is perfectly lit. Take it.
  • If it’s a must have like a portrait, try adding light or filter it with a translucent. Even a bed sheet can soften beautifully.
  •  You don’t need a hundred mediocre photos. Just one amazing one. A cloud or a sunset can change everything. Wait it out.

— Seim

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