Exposing For the Highlights is For the Birds!

Take a look at the leading edge of the bird's wings in these two versions of the same image.

Bottom image: leading edge is overexposed. Top image: ahhhh, that's more like it!

I simulated the overexposed highlights in the bottom iamge to illustrate what will probably happen if you shoot in an automatic mode w/out any exposure compensation in a situation like this one - where you have a small area that is brighter than most of the scene.

The solution: set your exposure compensation to – 1/2 (for starters) and shoot RAW. With RAW files, you can recover areas that are overexposed up to about one stop.

Just added (because I was reminded of the point by reader Scott Thomas - who probably does not have jet lag as I currently do): Always check your histogram and overexposure warning on your camera's LCD monitor).

Explore the Light,