Is your camera lying to you about highlights? Plus an excellent presentation on mastering lighting


posted Friday, December 2, 2016 at 12:34 PM EDT


Today we have a couple of videos which we hope will help you improve your photographic skills on the computer and in the field. First up is a quick tip from Scott Kelby on improving your Lightroom skills. For those who aren’t familiar with Kelby, he writes for Lightroom Killer Tips and runs Kelby One, a premium source for online courses taught by an array of professional photographers.

This week, Kelby published a quick video on how to deal with clipping in Ligthroom. What is clipping? In the case of highlight clipping, it’s when a part of your image is overexposed such that you lose the detail in that area, it’s an area of pure white. Images with this issue are often referred to as “blown out.” In Lightroom, you can easily tell if an image has clipped highlights by looking at the histogram. If the triangle in the top right corner of the histogram is white (instead of black), that means highlights are clipped. Of course, sometimes an image will have clipped highlights and there’s nothing you can do, such as when the sun is in the frame. It’s also worth noting that having an image with clipped highlights doesn’t mean the image is bad, but it is nonetheless something we try to avoid.

A neat trick in Lightroom is to hover over the white triangle of the histogram when viewing an image with blown highlights. When you do this, the blown out area is highlighted on your display. So, what can you do about it? You can lower the exposure, but that applies to your entire image and is rarely the best course of action. Instead, use the “highlights” slider in Lightroom! It’s just that simple. Check out Kelby’s video below to learn more, including how sometimes the image on your camera, including the histogram, can lie to you about clipping in your photos.

Let’s change gears a bit and consider lighting. B&H hosts a large array of videos on their YouTube channel, including a lot of presentations they host in their “Event Space.” Pro photographer Joel Grimes recently gave a presentation on how to master lighting. The presentation is nearly two hours long, but absolutely worth your time if you want to improve your work with artificial lighting.

It may sound counterintuitive, but if you want to master multiple lights, you should focus your efforts on mastering a single light first. Not only is this the best way to get an in-depth grasp of lighting, but you can achieve superb results with only a single light. 

To see more presentations in the B&H Event Space, see this playlist.

(Seen via Lightroom Killer Tips and ISO 1200