S404 Blown Highlight Tips


About blown highlights
Most mid-range digital cameras, the S404 included, don't capture very bright areas on an otherwise normally lit picture well. Often simply recording an all-white or washed area on the picture. In the sample below, the light reflected off the top surface of the rock was simply to bright in relation to the rest of the picture, which was correctly exposed. This type of problem is often referred to as "blown highlights".

One workaround can be to re-frame the picture. In the shot below, a different picture angle might have reduced the light reflected off the rock.

If reframing the picture doesn't look like it will work, try taking a second, under-exposed shot. (I typically use -0.7EV.) This will underexpose the whole picture, but may prevent the burned out highllights. You can then usually adjust the underexposed detail in post processing.

Often for high contast shots I will switch to manual and select low contrast. This together with under-exposing a little will often prevent the burned out highllights. You can then usually adjust the brightnes and contrast in post processing.

Rock in the Saco river  RIchard Bird 2002