White spots blinking black

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by three_eyed_otter, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    Can anybody tell me why some of my photos that have really white areas in them will blink black and white when I preview them on the LCD? When I view them in the computer none of the blinking black shows up and the white spots just come out really white. At first I thought the problem had something to do w/the sun but I have since found that it can occur indoors as well as outdoors.

    My camera is a Nikon D40x. The confusion occurs w/any lense. TIA

    have a good one
    3Eo
     
  2. StreetShark

    StreetShark TPF Noob!

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    I think these are called "blinkies" and its the camera telling you a area is over or under exposed. When this happens try adjusting your exposure.
     
  3. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    I haven't done any processing to the shots in the computer. In some of the previewing I have done the rest of the elements in the photo look fine to me. I thought it might have something to do w/an exposure but how do you compensate when 95% of the photo looks great minus the blinkies?

    have a good one
    3Eo
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Those are parts that have been blown out due to overexposure. It's good that your camera is telling you that, so that you can make a decision about changing your exposure.
     
  5. Sweetsomedays

    Sweetsomedays TPF Noob!

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    Your preview isn't set on highlight is it?
     
  6. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    sweetsomedays,

    what do you mean by preview?

    have a good one
    3Eoq
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The preview. The little picture that comes up on the back of the screen after you take a photo. There are multiple modes for this some show just the picture, some the picture as well as shooting information, or the picture and a histogram, or the one you found is the picture and the clipped highlights.

    Highlights are bad in that anything that is flashing will be 100% white, completely devoid of any details. Sometimes it is unavoidable sometimes for instance is something important like the subject is flashing the camera may have exposed incorrectly.
     
  8. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    Hey Garbz,

    I assumed it was the LCD (preview/highlights) but wasn't sure because I couldn't find anything about "preview" in the owners manual. All in all it turns out that I do have the "highlights" set on my monitor. I am not having an issue w/the subjects being overexposed (relatively speaking for a newbie)--mainly other objects w/in the photo.

    I'll see about getting a photo posted so that I'll have an example of what I'm talking about. This still begs the question--how do you keep the highlights from being "washed out" (overexposed) when the subjects are good to go?

    have a good one
    3Eo
     
  9. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    Here is a photo (click on thumbnail). The "white daisies" are washed out. How does one set the correct exposure for the colored flowers while not overexposing the daisies?

    In the second thumbnail notice how the sunlight shining through the trees onto the back of the garage causes the washed out spots. Once again how does one compensate for this?

    have a good one
    3Eo
     

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  10. jon_k

    jon_k TPF Noob!

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    You could properly expose the daisies and garage, but your main subject would be underexposed. Those pictures look fine, sure they're a tad over exposed in specific areas but since you can't control the lighting, what can be done?

    The purpose of the blinkies is to just show you areas that might be overexposed and be missing detail (My camera even can show blinkies for underexposure). If you have a white subject in the picture and bright lighting (sun) of course they'll be blown out. Just go ahead and meter the scene and expose. As long as what your trying to show in your picture isn't blown out, then you're OK.

    The purpose for blinkies is for instance, you get a hot model you're paying $100 an hour to shoot her. You're at the shoot and the blinkies start blinking on her forehead and so you know you need to underexpose a tad against your light meters suggestion so the models forehead can be properly exposed. So what if something behind her is a tad blown out... the model is the subject and you expose for that.

    Now, another situation is you take a landscape photo and the entire sky is a blinky. This is a problem, unless your GOING for a atomic-bomb-blast colored sky (hey, you might be!) At this point the blinkies are on the money and you might consider changing your exposure to make the sky look better. Though you could then risk an underexposed landscape. If you do get an underexposed landscape, you could expose in between and hope it looks good. At this point it's a balance game between the sky and the landscape, and hopefully you might the right GND filter handy.

    What's interesting is the white flowers blinking... when in fact in my opinion they're exposed fine. You'd never "properly" expose a white subject like white flowers amidst dark stuff without making the dark stuff too dark. Now if you had blue flowers there and you had a blinkie... that'd be something worth paying attention to.

    Hope this was helpful. The blinkies don't care and complain whenever somethings blown out. Sometimes this is a tool that tells you "hey dummy, the sky is 35 stops overexposed!" but sometimes it's a useless reminder saying "Hey! Did you know your white flowers appear white????"

    Blinkies can be a handy tool. I'd also look up and see if your camera has a histogram feature too. Those are even better at determining if your tonal range has been fully captured.
     
  11. three_eyed_otter

    three_eyed_otter TPF Noob!

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    jonK,

    Thanks for the response. I was messing w/the exposure yesterday and it was just as you say: in order to eliminate the overexposure I would meter off an area w/blinkies and then the main subject would end up being underexposed. I guess it's a trade-off.

    I just got back from some vacationing in the Lake Huron/St. Clair area and the sun was kickin'; I was getting alot of overexposure when outside and there were white objects around. Being my first foray into the digital world I got a little worried when my daughters teeth came down w/a case of the blinkies:sexywink:. For the most part all of my subjects in the photos/snapshots are good to go.

    This place is great for the learning curve and well appreciated.

    have a good one
    3Eo
     
  12. RVsForFun

    RVsForFun TPF Noob!

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    You have to choose what's important in your photo and balance for the rest. In the garage thumbnail you provided, I'm not sure that sunlight falling on the wall behind the subject matters. While it's bright and probably a bit distracting, the subject is more important in what is obviously a personal (i.e., non-portrait) photo. If you reduced exposure enough to properly expose the sunlight on the wall, your subject would go black (probably). Your camera came up with a good solution/compromise for the exposure, don't you think?

    Not all blinkies are bad. The sun, reflection of sunlight, chrome, centers of light bulbs that are on, etc., should be in the "blinkies".
     

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