Spectral highlights have been a problem since the beginning of photography. They occur in water, chrome and just about any wet or shiny object. In a controlled studio environment they can be minimized by advanced (soft, or carefully placed) lighting techniques. In controlled outdoor scenic photography (landscapes, architecture etc.) they can be sometimes addressed with polarized filtration.
However, in the action-filled world of the wildlife photographer they can cause problems. Using auto-exposure can result in underexposed frames as the camera often misinterprets the highlights for overall brightness rather then point light sources. Digital exposures (particularly at higher ISO ratings) can make the reflections appear worse because the highlights seem to burn out faster (and bigger) than (they would) on film.
Add to all of this some "image sharpening" and the highlights begin looking like white spots within black rings. Ultimately there is nothing wrong (or too distracting) with (sun caused) spectral highlights in any outdoor photograph as long as no other white appearing in the frame is of the same (blown out) value. One approach when using Photoshop RGB curves is to keep non-spectral whites below about 240 and let the reflective highlights go to 255. Often you can mask the spectral highlights before sharpening to minimize the black circles.
To improve the above photograph, I would leave the highlights on the birdís beak and reduce the brightness of the distracting and unimportant bright spots on the rocks (particularly that big rock under the bird) using Photoshop tools. After saying all of that, I donít think spectral highlights are much of a problem unless they seriously detract from the subject.
My Outdoor Eyes Photography Blog|
Uncle Tim's Bridge In Wellfleet On Cape Cod In Horizontal Or Vertical?
I couldn’t decide which photograph of Uncle Tim’s Bridge in Wellfleet I like better… the horizontal or vertical. What do you think? If you’ve never gone over the bridge and walked the trail, it’s worth the walk. There is a nice overlook with benches where you can sit and enjoy the view.
Beautiful Snowy Egret Reflection At Nauset Marsh On Cape Cod.
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Spring On The Trail At The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary On Cape Cod.
The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is one of our favorite places to hike. It was especially pretty this day with the Forsythia blooming along the trail. It feels like spring is just about here! Have you ever hike at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary? With so much to see in the visitor’s center and along … Continue reading Spring On The Trail At The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary On Cape Cod.