How to Stop Blown Highlights and Get the Perfect Exposure

Balancing the exposure of a complex scene can be tricky, particularly when the dynamic range is wide. In this video, learn the basics of avoiding blown highlights ruining your landscape and nailing the perfect exposure instead.

I have a confession. When I first started photography, I quickly became obsessed with mastering all of the settings, the different modes, and experimenting with techniques. I tried to drink in every droplet of information I could find and dedicated myself to learning everything the camera had to offer. All except one thing: the histogram.

In all honesty, I put off figuring out the histogram for years. I'm not even sure why, but I just didn't bother to learn what it meant or how to read it until I had been into photography for a while and that was a mistake. In fact, many of the landscape images I took in the early days were flawed for reasons that could have been resolved by using the histogram!

In this video, Mike Smith goes through the basics of the histogram and how to ensure you get the perfect exposure without blowing out the highlights. If you're new to photography, don't be like I was; it's remarkably easy to understand the histogram and it could make your next shot.

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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1 Comment

Good stuff. I learned a lot.