Don’t worry about blown out highlights: Sometimes it’s the right thing to do

Jun 26, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Don’t worry about blown out highlights: Sometimes it’s the right thing to do

Jun 26, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Blowing out highlights is usually something we try to avoid like a plague. I remember one of the first classes in photography course when I was taught about it. But is it always the case? Should blown out highlights sometimes be a deliberate choice? Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge says yes, and he guides you through his shooting process to show you when and why you should break the rules and overexpose your image.

In his video, Pye shoots a bridal image indoors, using available light. The window light is kinda wrapped around the model, lighting her from the right side but also from the back. In situations like this, if you want the correct exposure on the subject, you’ll have to blow out the highlights.

Now, you can expose for the highlights and bring up the shadows in Lightroom. But should you? This won’t make a bad image, but Pye points out that photos like this can be a bit “sterile.” Instead, expose for the model and don’t be afraid to have some overexposed highlights. It could give an authentic look to your image and make it look more natural.

Of course, there’s no universal rule and this won’t work for all photos. But it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t be afraid of blown out highlights. In some photos, they can be your ally. Make sure to watch the video for Pye’s explanations and his shooting process. And let us know – do you sometimes prefer this look as well?

[When SHOULD You Blow Out the Highlights? |SLR Lounge]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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3 responses to “Don’t worry about blown out highlights: Sometimes it’s the right thing to do”

  1. Michael Bray Avatar
    Michael Bray

    Pye makes learning so easy..I love his tutorials on YouTube

    1. Guido Van Damme Avatar
      Guido Van Damme

      I can’t watch this guy photograph, dangling the camera, looking at the live view screen… gives me the heebie jeebies. Just like a reversed lenshood. ?

  2. Chainsaw Charlie Avatar
    Chainsaw Charlie

    Aren’t the vast majority of photos made with that philosophy? Expose for the model (subject)? Why is this so special?