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Fix it in Photoshop?

During my talk for Lancaster Photographic Society recently, I was asked a question that I’m also going to answer here.  I’m paraphrasing, but it went something along the lines of…

“Is getting the right exposure in camera really all that important?  Can’t we just nudge it in Photoshop?”

Before I start, I want to clarify a definition here, and a difference between “right” and “technically correct”.  It is perfectly possible to make an exposure that is “right”, but not “technically correct” when you shoot with your post processing in mind in order to maximise the capabilities of your camera’s sensor.

Sometimes intentionally over or underexposing slightly allows you to capture the scene and process it in a way that gives a better final result than if you’d started off with a “technically correct” exposure.  So, sometimes “technically correct” isn’t the same as “right”.

But to answer to the question, the short answer is “You can, but if you don’t have to, why would you?”.

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