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.
Researchers at the Institut für Mikroelektronik Stuttgart in Germany, have developed an image sensor that makes it virtually impossible to blow your highlights. It uses “self-resetting pixels” which when they get saturated don’t clip. It simply starts counting over, keeping track of the number of times it’s started over.
In tricky lighting situations, most photographers expose for the highlights to prevent them from getting blown out. But this can create dark shadows which sometimes don’t preserve enough detail. What to do with them? Should you brighten them up in post? According to Sean Tucker, you shouldn’t. Instead, just embrace them and use them to your advantage. In this highly inspirational video, Sean discusses how to do it, and why this advice goes for both photography and life.
With storage being less of an issue than ever before and cameras becoming more powerful with each new iteration, RAW images have gone from something only the pros use to something that can now be captured in smartphones.
What is the advantage of a RAW photo though? Information. A RAW image, specifically a 16-bit image, captures and retains far more information from a photograph than an equivalent JPEG would.
It’s this extra information that allows RAW photos, often referred to as digital negatives, to be far more lenient in the editing process. Here to show just how critical shooting in RAW can be, Aaron Nace of Phlearn has shared a helpful video that shows how you can save overexposed highlights in an image by tweaking a RAW photo inside Lightroom.