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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    06Honda's Avatar

    Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage

    Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage
    I use a Nikon D7200 with the updated 80-400vr lense for bird related photography and sometimes notice after shooting the some areas on the bird)s) the white is blown out somewhat while other white areas are not. See example of one I took last year, looking for tips as to make adjustments during shooting to reduce or even stop this from happening. Heading to Newfoundland in a couple of days for 3 weeks of photography, looking to improve on my technique. It happens when shooting icebergs on sunny days as well.

    Atlantic Puffin: Notice white blowouts on upper breast, their are some smaller ones on other parts but this gives you and idea.



    • ƒ/5.6
    • 400.0 mm
    • 1/640
    • 160
    • Flash (off, did not fire)
    • Hide EXIF
    • JFIFVersion - 1.02
    • X-Resolution - 72 dpi
    • Y-Resolution - 72 dpi
    • Make - NIKON CORPORATION
    • Orientation - Horizontal (normal)
    • Software - Photos 1.5
    • Date and Time (Modified) - 2018:07:21 10:52:46
    • Artist - Paul O'Toole
    • YCbCr Positioning - Centered
    • Copyright - Paul O'Toole
    • ISO Speed - 160
    • Sensitivity Type - Recommended Exposure Index
    • Exif Version - 0230
    • Date and Time (Original) - 2018:07:21 10:52:46
    • Date and Time (Digitized) - 2018:07:21 10:52:46
    • Components Configuration - Y, Cb, Cr, -
    • Compressed Bits Per Pixel - 4
    • Exposure Bias - 0 EV
    • Max Aperture Value - 5.7
    • Metering Mode - Center-weighted average
    • Light Source - Unknown
    • Sub Sec Time - 06
    • Sub Sec Time Original - 06
    • Sub Sec Time Digitized - 06
    • Flashpix Version - 0100
    • Color Space - sRGB
    • Sensing Method - One-chip color area
    • File Source - Digital Camera
    • Scene Type - Directly photographed
    • Custom Rendered - Normal
    • Exposure Mode - Auto
    • White Balance - Auto
    • Digital Zoom Ratio - 1
    • Focal Length (35mm format) - 600 mm
    • Scene Capture Type - Standard
    • Gain Control - None
    • Contrast - Normal
    • Saturation - Normal
    • Sharpness - Normal
    • Subject Distance Range - Unknown
    • Coded Character Set - UTF8
    • Envelope Record Version - 4
    • Application Record Version - 2
    • Date Created - 2018:07:21
    • Time Created - 10:52:46-07:00
    • Digital Creation Date - 2018:07:21
    • Digital Creation Time - 10:52:46-07:00
    • By-line - Paul O'Toole
    • Copyright Notice - Paul O'Toole
    • IPTCDigest - 4352ff81695b05f81d867f46cb110536
    • XMPToolkit - XMP Core 5.4.0
    • Flash Compensation - 0
    • Image Number - 9243
    • Creator - Paul O'Toole
    • Rights - Paul O'Toole
    • Serial Number - 7509274
    • Creator Tool - Photos 1.5
    • Camera ID - 72157648827530863
    • Camera Type - Digital SLR



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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage-44406396845_fe9293b5cd_b.jpg  

    Last edited by 06Honda; 06-20-2019 at 10:52 PM. Reason: 2 images showing of same subject



  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Re: Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage

    Are they blown out in the Raw file SOOC? In other words can you pull back highlights and bring back the details? I shoot all wildlife at -0.3 or -0.7EV and use either spot or center-weighted metering specifically to avoid this. I see you do the latter, so maybe consider the EV adjustment.
    Thanks/Like 06Honda Thanks/liked this post
     
    Jake

    The imitator is a poor kind of creature. If the man who paints only the tree, or flower, or other surface he sees before him were an artist, the king of artists would be the photographer. James McNeill Whistler

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Re: Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage

    I should add, you may not want to reduce all highlights, so use the brush adjustment tool in Lr/ACR to apply as needed. Can certainly be frustrating otherwise.
    Jake

    The imitator is a poor kind of creature. If the man who paints only the tree, or flower, or other surface he sees before him were an artist, the king of artists would be the photographer. James McNeill Whistler

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage

    Do some experimenting... Use the Exposure compensation to reduce the highlights by 1-2 stops... Some cameras, (my D810) adjusts the spot meter to expose for the highlights) I'm not sure the D7200 has that feature...

    If you blow out the whites, there's no data to recover... If you under-expose the over-all image, the data is still there in the highlights and can be recovered in post processing as Jake points out...
    Thanks/Like 06Honda Thanks/liked this post
     

  5. #5
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage

    Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage
    06Honda, I did what Jake suggested but only on the chest (not the face). There was a small patch of whites that was blown out on the chest. First I used an adjustment brush in Camera RAW and lowered the whites in the small section that were clipped (although I probably didn't have to). Then I used another adjustment brush over the entire chest area and lowered the highlights. You can turn on and show where your whites and blacks are clipping in Camera RAW - and probably Lightroom. Not sure about other programs.

    But an adjustment brush can bring back details in areas that you might assume are lost. Shooting RAW allows a greater range to adjust the blacks and whites.

    Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage-44406396845_c7157b062c_k.jpg
    Thanks/Like 06Honda Thanks/liked this post
     
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and My 2019 Thread

    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Woodyg3's Avatar

    Re: Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage

    This is a never ending battle on animals with highly reflective feathers or fur. I make use of the adjustment brushes in Lightroom all the time to dodge and burn. When shooting birds like Snowy Egret or Pelican, I use exposure compensation, usually -.07.
    Thanks/Like 06Honda Thanks/liked this post
     
    Woody Green

    Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose

    D500, D7200, D7100, D70

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Re: Blowouts when photograhing birds with white plumage

    Jake mentioned using spot or center weighted metering. It takes me a couple seconds to change metering modes and I am guaranteed to forget to set it back to matrix. What I did on my d7200 is to program the pv and fn buttons on the front of the camera for spot and center weighted metering. So when that totally white or totally black or back lit bird shows up, I can quickly and temporarily change my metering for the one shot.
    For the most part, I don't need to play with metering, but its the best use I have for those two front buttons. I do use use a little exposure comp here and there. Shooting raw, I'm usually good to reduce the highlights and raise the blacks in LR. You can check for blown highlights in image review in camera so you can make sure whatever method you use, its working for you.
    Thanks/Like 06Honda Thanks/liked this post
     
    I must have a really good camera.





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