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|
Beautiful Trail To Duck Harbor Beach In Wellfleet On Cape Cod.
The trail to Duck Harbor Beach on the ocean side of Wellfleet was just magnificent. We had never been there before. It’s a short walk over the dunes to the beach where the views of the ocean are breathtaking. You can also see Provincetown in the distance to the right. Just beautiful, don’t you think?
The River Pier On Cape Cod¶ Which Perspective Do You Like Better?
I couldn’t decide which perspective of the 2 photographs I liked better of this pier on The River in Orleans. †The River is connected to Meeting House Pond, which is a great area to paddle kayaks into Little Pleasant Bay. What do you think?
Pamet Trail In Truro On Cape Cod Is A Favorite On The Alltrails App.
Pamet Trail is one of our favorite hikes in the Truro area on Cape Cod. There is so much diversity from scrubby bushes and trees to pine forests to sand dunes overlooking the ocean to cranberry bogs. (There are additional photos and a map at the end of the blog.) There is a bit … Continue reading Pamet Trail In Truro On Cape Cod Is A Favorite On The Alltrails App.