I like to use exposure compensation on my camera to brighten or darken my images.
The Exposure module has a toggle called compensate camera exposure to negate the effect of exposure compensation. Since I use exposure compensation to brighten and darken, I do not need the negation, and have the toggle switched off. This works well.
(I think the toggle should be off by default. I’d venture that most people expect over-exposed shots to be brighter. But that’s not the point of this post.)
However, I noticed that the Filmic module also changes its white/black relative exposure to a different range depending on the exposure compensation. For example, it will set them to -7.25/+5.20 for a -1 EV exposed image, -7.75/+4.40 for a 0 EV image, and -8.25/+3.60 for a +1 EV image in the following example files:
(please add an additional +1 EV in the Exposure module to all three images to counter the camera’s highlight preservation mode)
It seems to me that Filmic expects compensate camera exposure to be switched on, and changes its dynamic range accordingly. For me however, with compensate camera exposure switched off, this just results in an ugly default rendering, and had me quite angry and confused for a while. And that is kind of a shame (although easily remedied with a default preset).
Is this behavior intentional? Shouldn’t there be a compensate camera exposure toggle in Filmic RGB as well as in the Exposure module?
If you use Exposure Compensation in your camera for brightening and darkening your shots like I do, you should (to the best of my understanding):
- Preset Filmic RGB to a fixed white/black relative exposure to prevent it from changing the rendering.
- Preset Exposure to toggle off compensate camera exposure.