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Thread: Practicing on Flowers - And how not to blow highlights in one colour channel

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Practicing on Flowers - And how not to blow highlights in one colour channel

    I photographed some flowers as a practice session for my bird photography skills. I tried to choose flowers lit from the front and repositioning myself to ensure a nicer background... And to achieve rich colour and detail which I think I did manage to do.

    Flowers are not my usual subject and this was more challenging than I thought it would be..


    I noticed that in my photos of the red flowers the red highlights are clipped. I did not see this in the histogram.

    Hand held, Manual F16, iso 200-360, no exposure compensation.

    My questions are...

    1. How does one set their camera to avoid clipping highlights or shadows in one specific colour channel?
    2. Could I have avoided the clipping and achieved a nicer bokeh by changing position relative to the light?
    3. Is it clipping that makes the petals in portions of the smaller flowers look poor or is it not enough depth of field?
    4. Would spot metering have been a better choice than matrix metering to avoid clipping?
    5. How is my lighting?



    Practicing on Flowers - And how not to blow highlights in one colour channel


    Practicing on Flowers - And how not to blow highlights in one colour channel


    Practicing on Flowers - And how not to blow highlights in one colour channel

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 17th April 2013 at 01:54 AM.

  2. #2
    mknittle's Avatar
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    Re: Practicing on Flowers - And how not to blow highlights in one colour channel

    did you use a flash? it looks like reflection.

  3. #3

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    Re: Practicing on Flowers - And how not to blow highlights in one colour channel

    1. If your camera doesn't display a histogram that shows each of the color channels, the only thing you can do is make sure that the composite histogram doesn't get clipped. If your camera does display a histogram that shows each of the color channels, make sure in this case that the red channel doesn't get clipped.

    2. The biggest problem with the light is that it is too contrasty; it's very tough to make a good floral in contrasty light. You need more diffused light either created by clouds or using a man-made diffuser.

    3. Probably both. It's good that you see that.

    4. Spot metering is probably always best if you know how to use it effectively. I don't.

    5. As mentioned above, way too contrasty.

    If you're "forced" to shoot in bright, contrasty light, at least use a polarizer to reduce glare.

  4. #4
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Practicing on Flowers - And how not to blow highlights in one colour channel

    Mark - Thank you for your reply. No I did not use flash. Not needed for the red or white flowers but interestingly enough needed for white flowers.

    Mike - As always, thank you. I believe I achieved some good bird shots using this strategy, even if it was not the best technique for flowers (will post later) All duly noted for future.

  5. #5
    mknittle's Avatar
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    Re: Practicing on Flowers - And how not to blow highlights in one colour channel

    Maybe try spot metering on the brightest area.

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