Exercise 2: Highlight Clipping

In this exercise I was tasked to interpret and learn about highlight clipping. Below shows the scene I selected as it gave me the required range between highlights and shadows, also when you focus onto the image it also gives me the four criteria stipulated in the exercise notes, these being:

  • Completely lost areas of visual information
  • A visible break in the form of an edge between nearly-white and total white
  • A colour cast along a fringe bordering the clipped white highlight
  • The colour saturation.

0The image above was taken just as the highlight clipping was apparent, this is shown in the image below with the highlights in red.

0CThis image was taken at f11 at 1/250th of a second, allowing for the deep depth and slightly more interesting colours in the sky and water. As you can see in this image the exposure is slightly clipping the reflected water surface, below the tree. But it also slightly lightens then highlights within the tree and the edgings of the pond.


I then with this image like asked in the exercise stepped the exposure up by 1 stop, this resulted in a massively blown out sky and even more highlight on the water surface, as depicted in the below image.

+1CIt is clear to see using both images that the overexposed image is far from pleasing and that by boosting the exposure on an image already with slight highlight results in an uninteresting and poor image.

-1With this image I began to reduce the exposure of the image by 1 stop, this resulted in a far darker image that lost some of the pleasing highlights within the tree and sky to over compensate the blown out reflections in the water.

-1CAs the image above shows it does not consist of any clipping either highlight or shadow, and however in some occasions this would help towards an interesting and pleasing image.

-2Again in this image, now taken with -2 stops exposure we continue to see image get darker and again the areas of shadow lose detail along with the highlights that become greyish and flat.

-2CAs the image above reiterates the area of shadow is certainly becoming more prominent with the blue indicating clippings.

-3As the trend continues the darkest of the images clearly shows a high amount of loss of detail and the highlights are non-exsistent.

-3CThe high amount of blue in this image ratifies the above notes on the loos of detail, and with only 3 stops lower it really shows the importance of correct exposure.

My editing software does not allow me to use the recovery tool so in light of this I have looked into a couple of online tutorials to gain an insight on the uses and effects of it which can give interesting and sometimes odd results.

In conclusion I have found this to be an interesting exercise into highlight clippings and exposure in general, it has really shown me the importance of correct exposure and the and effect it can have on either the final outcome or inturn what is useful to you in post production.


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