Specular highlights

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jcdeboever, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    One of the many things that eludes me, are pre visualizing specular highlights. Bokeh balls, shimmering colors, and creamy backgrounds, etc. I was hoping to gain some insight into what to look for. Scene subject matter is one thing but to visualize the background may lead to better captures. I pretty much just stumble upon them, not realizing they're there.


     
  2. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not sure I know the technical terms for any of this but for specular highlights I usually find this in very late afternoon light shooting into the light but not directly into the sun or alternatively, shooting at actual lights that are out of the dof with the lens typically at full zoom if it's a zoom.

    Nikon 105 @ f/5 - shooting into late day light
    [​IMG]

    Nikon 105 @ f/3.2 - Christmas lights

    [​IMG]


    For creamy bokeh backgrounds, other than the obvious subject/background separation and wide aperture, I feel like it's more about the lens than the actual background. The Nikon 105mm has gorgeous, IMO, creamy bokeh that is very pleasing to me. I also like the Fuji 50-230 bokeh for it's smoothness.

    Nikon 105mm @ f/3.2
    [​IMG]

    Fuji 50-230 @ 230 @ f/6.7
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't feel bad, JC. I can't tell the difference between good bokeh and bad bokeh. It is all just out of focus for me. Specular highlights should be quite visible in the viewfinder.
     
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  4. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    You may not know the technical terms, but you excelled on these!!! Have you posted these before and I missed them, or have you been saving them to ration them out a little bit at a time. That spider shot is great, more please.
     
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  5. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks. I know I posted the spider one, or one of the other similar ones from that day but it's from last year and I'm pretty sure I posted the bee when I took it in Sept but the others maybe/maybe not.
     
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  6. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    get one of these
    Datacolor SpyderCube

    the ball unit on the top is for seeing catchlights and specular highlights and seeing how they will appear.
     
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  7. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    thank you for actually addressing specular highlights :p
     
  8. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I like it! Stocking stuffer!

    Joe
     
  9. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    man! you stuff stockings with expensive presents.
     
  10. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Noob!

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    I agree the lens makes a big difference. I don't really like this photo but Square Peg's superior image reminded me of it. It was shot into the sun so I brought out the foreground with the flash. Canon T5 with 85mm f1.8, shot at f5. Really is too much lens for the T5 but I didn't have the 6D mark ii yet. IMG_4672-01.jpeg
     
  11. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I think we are confusing bokeh with specular highlights in here...

    there are specular highlights all over the legs of that spider due to your flash.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
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  12. photoflyer

    photoflyer TPF Noob!

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    Sorry for the confusion. You are correct, the technique I used was intended to bring out foreground highlights while shooting into the sun. I posted it because Square Peg's photo reminded me of it and I wanted to show the bokeh one can achieve from the 85mm f1.8 even when shot at f5.
     

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