Blown Highlights or Clipped Details | Transcription

We’ve talked about using the live view in the histogram functionality, to visually gauge your exposure. That is an amazing tool. It’s one of the tools that we’re using a ton. I’m going to give you guys two more tips and another tool to use, to help you gauge your exposures. With a water back-lit, we have a beautiful, back-lit water look, where we have a nice depth, but we have strong highlights. Because of that, it’s going to be impossible really, to gauge whether these highlights are blown, looking at just a preview. Even when we look at just the image histogram itself, it’s still going to be difficult, because that histogram, we might just be pushing a little bit towards the edge, and we’re not going to be able to see exactly what is blown out.

I have two tips for you. One is going to be to adjust the LCD brightness. We’re going to talk about why and how in just a second. Tip number two is to always, always use the in-camera highlight alert. It’s simply too difficult to know exactly what’s below. What the highlight alert is going to do is, it’s going to blink the areas that are blown out in black, so you can see exactly what is blown out in the image. For the Nikon, we can access the monitor brightness by going down into the setup menu, and we have monitor brightness. What I recommend that you do is you turn it all the way up.

Generally, these cameras are going to come at a default setting of zero, or they’re going to come set at an auto setting. Auto is probably the worst of anything. Even at a default setting of 0, the problem is that when I walk outside to a bright scene like this, I really can’t see my LCD. My recommendation is leave the monitor brightness on the brightest setting, or choose a brightness that works for you, but don’t leave it on auto.

Let’s go ahead and go back. I want to turn on my highlight alert, or at least verify that it’s turned on. On my Nikon, I need to go back to the playback menu. On the playback menu, we have playback display options. If I click into this menu, we have several different options.

You can see, one of them is that RBG histogram. We had the option to enable the RGB histogram in addition to that standard luminosity, or that standard gray histogram, as well. I have right now, the highlights turned on. I want to make sure that that highlight alert is turned on. This is the alert. If it’s off, let’s go ahead and click over it. That’s off. We’re going to right click again to turn it on. If you don’t want any of these other options available, you can always turn off the different display options that don’t really apply to you. I would recommend the highlight alert, and the RGB histogram is also awesome. Shooting data is absolutely awesome, and the overview is awesome for me, too. I like all of them.

Now what I’m going to do is adjust my camera settings, and we’re going to take a quick shot, just for a test. Let’s go ahead and grab an image. I’m going to hit play, so we get that preview, and I’m going to hit up on my Dpad, just so we can get a bback to the standard view, and then you’ll see that it’s going to start blinking. This is what I never would have been able to detect, just by the standard histogram. With the standard histogram, it would have looked like I captured most of my tonal range. When I look at the highlight alert, it tells me that a little bit of the peaks and highlights in the water are blown out.

From that, I can make adjustments and fine-tune my settings. What I know now is, I’m going to go ahead and adjust my setting down to probably 1/800 of a second, or maybe 1/600. Let’s go 1/640. Let’s take another shot. We have a tiny bit blown, but it’s looking much better. I’m going to go up one more step to 1/800. Let’s take another shot, and there we go. That looks awesome. We basically retained all of our detail. I’m going to hit play, and let’s look at the histogram, as well. Use both of these tools in conjunction, and you can see that with the histogram, I’ve pushed my shadows to the left edge. We don’t have any shadows clipped. I have my highlights all the way against the right edge, and I made sure that that little tip of highlights isn’t blown out in the water.

Okay, so again, I’m zooming into these rocks to that closeup of the water washing into the rocks. I’m going to wait for that perfect wave, and capture my shot. My assignment for you all is to go out and use the highlight alert in conjunction with your histogram. Remember, for your specific camera, make, and model, be sure to check out your manual, if you don’t know how to access or turn on the highlight alert.







Chapter 7: BONUS

Total Course Run Time: 6H 30M 21S