TutorPics – Learning Camera Skills from our BAD pictures
This image was taken in aperture priority from a tripod inside a zoo building during the daytime. Some bright light source has blown out highlights in the subject. Blown highlights are areas that are “clipped” to pure white, and that lack detail of any kind.
• Clipping occured here in the brighter areas probably because the ISO setting (AKA “film speed” in film cameras) is way too high for a room lit with daylight like this one.. The ISO control can either be set on “auto” or locked into a fixed value, which is likely what happened here.
• As for the light reflection on the glass, the tripod might have been moved… but the angle and background of the frog is good. To keep that, the shooter might have tried putting the camera on 2-second shutter delay, and taken those seconds to just step to the side enough to block the light source with his body. One caveat on that idea: If he can block the light fine, but the risk then is becoming a new reflection in the glass himself. There’s a reason photographers tend to wear solid dark clothing!
• This image is a lost cause. Levels or curves adjustments are the textbook remedies for overexposures, but not for blown highlights like those in the brightest areas of the glass and frog. If the photographer had a better version he might be able to clone from there, but if he has a better version why bother?
This is one of those images that technology may be able to fix some day, but in the meantime it’s giving us a great reason to learn how to avoid the problems in the first place.