Digital Photography Exposure ChallengeThere were quite a few photographic challenges I faced, including digital photography exposure for the snow and the glaciers.
Many photo instructors teach that when shooting snow, you should use the exposure compensation feature on the camera and overexpose by 1 1/3 f/stops or some other amount they specify. Because exposure meters are programmed to understand middle toned subjects correctly, they respond to snow by underexposing it in an attempt to make it middle toned. After all, dark gray snow is middle toned. By overexposing, you can compensate for the anticipated underexposure, thus arriving at a correct reading.
I don't do that. I use a zero compensation on my camera - i.e., I make no correction at all.
Many photographers disagree with me on this approach, but please understand that once those highlights are "blown" - meaning a complete loss of detail due to the overexposure such that areas of the image are solid white - they can't be recovered (not even with the recovery slider in Adobe Camera Raw). Since Raw files have the ability to lighten shadows remarkably, I would rather suffer a slight gain in digital noise rather than lose detail in the highlights.
Having said that, I have made many large prints (20 x 30 and larger) from my Raw files in which I underexposed by minus 2/3 f/stops, and I see no gain in noise at all.
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