I have been thinking about the Fill Light option in ACR 4 and that option along with the rest of the RAW conversion options essentially provides the ability to expand and contract the “development” of individual images. In Zone System speak, that would be both a N+1 and a N-1 development (and greater) of the same image. Now that kinda blows your mind.
In the film days, you had to determine what your film development was at the time of exposure. For roll film, you dedicated all the images on the same roll to that same develoment, thus the need for cameras with the ablity to change backs. Then you determined your exposure accordingly to your zone system formula, because you also learned that depending on if you were going to expand or contract the develpment times, you had to factor that into the exposure. And of course, once the film was developed, your negative was fixed (okay, I did not realize the pun until I was reviewing this after it was posted). Then you had to work your creative magic using the graded paper or filters in conjunction with multiple paper developers, etc.
With digital, shooting RAW and using a software image “developer” such as ACR 4.1, you can “develop” the image multiple times. And now with ACR you can work both the shadows and highlights independently to create the final image that you want. Nice. I still have to pay a lot of attention to the highlights with digital exposures, much more so than film, but the overall latitude available is awsome. Very nice.
I have to admit, I would never have thought this would be possible ten years ago.
Best regards, Doug