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Problem with blown out highlights

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by prophet, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Aug 10, 2014
    I went on a photowalk and took several pictures at low light. When I compare my shots to those of other participants, I notice that my highlights are often blown out, e.g. in the one below:

    The clock in the tower is completely blown out, as are the light posts. Here is a comparable shot from someone else, where the tower and light posts are detailed and sharp: https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...7_10155162661330363_1454308809536069873_o.jpg

    I think I already used exposure compensation of -0.3, but it looks that even -1 would not give me such sharp results. So what am I doing wrong here and how can I do this right?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    In the other picture you can see they have worked it to reduce the highlights. The headlamp streaks in the foreground are actually grey. A sign that they had no detail. But they toned it down anyway. If you shoot in RAW, you can recover more detail, but perhaps not all the details in the highlights.

    Regarding the clock face, it is possible that it was taken from another photograph made with less exposure, and added on the computer. In this case, "bracketing" the exposures is an effective technique. You then have the choice of manually using the highlights from another picture (exposure blending), or use an HDR process to automatically merge the best from several exposures. Bracketing the exposure would also help lighten the front of the houses of Parliament, as well as darken the clock face.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    you know, with everything and every technology there comes a time where (unless you resort to HDR and buckloads of compression) that things do just go to total white. To me when I look at that image I don't see anything wrong with it.

    so you find 255 in the channels ... so?

    To me, you did do it right.
     
  4. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    Your shot looks fine. You'll struggle from that position to get both the tarmac and clock face in sharp focus anyway.
     
  5. betamax

    betamax Mu-43 Regular

    195
    May 7, 2011
    NSW, Australia
    Alan
    I prefer your version. The other seems overly saturated. As others have said, if you shoot raw, you should be able to recover some of that detail in the highlights.
     
  6. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Aug 10, 2014
    My picture actually is an HDR shot - 3 shots. But even the underexposed shot has blown highlights ( I shot in RAW, so I might really be able to use that shot and mask it in).
     
  7. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    have you tried recovering the highlights in the underexposed RAW shot?
     
  8. maritan

    maritan Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Oct 30, 2014
    Prophet - what camera do you have? I think with either the E-M10 or the E-M1, this would be the perfect opportunity to use "Live Composite" mode. I'm not sure if it's available on the E-M5.

    If your camera can do Live Composite, you should go back and try it if you have the time and the desire.
     
  9. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    It would be nice to see a Live Composite shot come up with something good.
     
  10. maritan

    maritan Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Oct 30, 2014
    Ian - are you saying that Live Composite does not produce good results? Why do you feel that way?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  11. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Munich
    Ian
    Take my post at face value. I'd like to see some results of live composite from forum members as I've only seen the official Olympus ones. Hopefully they are good as I want to get a camera with it on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015