I thought it was important to be aware that an informed exposure was 'not necessarily the same thing as getting it averaged' - M. Freeman (2011). The reason I felt it was important was because shadow areas held more detail than the highlights - in a typical raw capture you could 'expect to be able to adjust the original exposure by up to 2 stops darker and 4 stops lighter' - M. Freeman (2011). This meant shadow areas were more responsive than highlights in terms of retaining detail later.
|Figure 1 - jpeg version (including histogram)|
These raw exposures captured with ideal brightness when processed - even quickly - can produce images with, for me, dynamic range approaching HDR images' dynamic range. For example, in this handheld, high-contrast shot (Figure 1), I tried as suggested in 'The Digital SLR Handbook' (2011) to assess the scene and take a photo where I was 'on guard against clipped highlights' - M. Freeman (2011). There was sufficient dynamic range in my Sony A57 DSLT camera to later process the raw file with, of course, no highlight clipping but also very little shadow detail lost. I did this by simply dragging the 'whites' and 'highlight' sliders to the left and the blacks and shadows sliders to the right quite strongly within Adobe Camera Raw 7.1 (Figure 2).
|Figure 2 - raw version (including histogramwithin Adobe Camera RAW 7.1)|
|Photograph 1 - raw edited version where converging verticals and barrel disortion were corrected|