Beginner Help understanding Blinkies

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James
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#1
Hi there

My understanding of blinkies are that they are bad - there is no data for that part of the image so it will just show as plain white?

Is the aim to totally remove them or minimise them as best as possible?

Today I was out walking the dog with the camera in tow and was playing with settings.

The sun was to the left 90* to the lens and side on to the reeds in the photo. I used ISO 100 on aperture priority and took a series of photos changing the aperture several stops at a time. on each image there were blinkies flashing on the reed stems where the sun was hitting them.

The top photo is an average image using f7 and the bottom one where i also used the exposure comp. button to -1. (have shown the JPEG but also have the RAW file)

They both had blinkies but the darker image had less. I would prefer to take get the best image I could with out processing so what should I have done? Or is it just accept sometimes they cant be helped?

On this occasion it was minor but im finding that often sky or water will have a chunk of blinkies.


 
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Russell
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#2
Hi, No images showing but on a bright sunny day where you have things like reeds or metal that is going to reflect light then it would be very hard to get the Lights correct and also the darks, did you try using the histogram and going down the manual route rather than letting the camera guess what you are acTually taking an image of? Have a look on Youtube for instruction on how to use the histogram it is well worth the effort to no. Russ
 

Kodiak Qc

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#4
Is the aim to totally remove them or minimise them as best as possible?
AVOID THEM!
on aperture priority… on each image there were blinkies flashing on the reed stems where the sun was hitting them.
For sure! Since you set a priority in the equation.

Try this…

Manual mode
ISO 100
ƒ of your choice and T as necessary and see what the light meter tells you.
When you adjusted ƒ or T conséquently, take the shot and look for those
nasty blinkies. If present, dail in an -EV of ,7 and try again. you want to make
sure you stray away from both walls.​
 
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4,491
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Dave
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#5
Try this…

Manual mode
ISO 100
ƒ of your choice and T as necessary and see what the light meter tells you.
When you adjusted ƒ or T conséquently, take the shot and look for those
nasty blinkies. If present, dail in an -EV of ,7 and try again. you want to make
sure you stray away from both walls.​

I've read this several times and it makes no sense to me, probably just a typo making it nonsense so please check and correct :)


That said - blinkies as flashing highlights only tell you what's close to or actually blown, they don't tell you if it matters - that's your decision

While its often a case that you do wish to minimise them its not a 'rule' that they should be avoided - imagine shooting a person backlight by the sun, their hair may well be blown in places but removing all the blinkies my mean you're effectively shooting a silhouette, so here blown hair & skies doesn't matter if you actually want to see the face well

Blinkies are also a bit OTT usually, in that they suggest an area is blown but the raw file can have plenty of detail in it still. So defo use them as a guide, and get used to what the resulting raw files look like as to how much blinking is too 'bad'

So really blinkies are just an indication of where and by how much something may be blown, its up to you to make the decision if it matters or not, just don't assume that you must avoid them :)

Dave
 
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Jonathan
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#6
As Kodiak said, in general you want to avoid them totally, but you will find in some scenes that is not possible (the dynamic range of the scene is simply too high for your camera) - and sometimes there will be elements in the scene that will blow the highlights, and it's not a problem (imagine a scene with a light shining at camera, for example).

When you see blinkies, look at where they appear, and also look at the histogram - you may have to decide between blowing highlights and loosing shadow detail, at which point you have to decide which is more important, and adjust the exposure so you can get the image you want.
 

Kodiak Qc

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#7
probably just a typo making it nonsense so please check and correct

I planned to but Johnathan as beaten me posting
and he understood me… wondering still!
 
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droj
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#8
It is generally true that blown highlights are unsightly and spoil a photograph. As you found, bark and leaves can be surprisingly reflective and that's something to look out for. If you were to make big prints, it becomes more critical than if you were just to post small renditions on the internet. But certain highlights are allowable (and in practical terms more difficult to eliminate anyway) - think of light sources, and specular highlights like sun reflections on water or wet surfaces.

Blinkies are a guide to what's likely blown in a jpg, but only a hint as to what might be blown in a raw. Hone your techniques of metering and exposure relative to particular cameras and scenes, and if on auto learn to use the exposure compensation dial.

Pretty crucial stuff.
 
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Steven
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#9
Blinkies mean different things in different cameras... on some it means all three channels (RGB) are blown, on others it means one or more channels are blown, and others still it means one or more channels are nearly blown. And they are affected by your in-camera jpeg processing settings (i.e. contrast, etc) so they most likely will not be accurate for a raw file.

When trying to take a picture for the best exposure w/o heavy processing the only thing you can do is expose for the part of the scene you care the most about. I.e in your example if the far shore/trees was the important element the fist exposure is better, and if the reeds/sky was more important the second exposure is better.
 
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Terry
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#10
Blinkies mean different things in different cameras... on some it means all three channels (RGB) are blown, on others it means one or more channels are blown, and others still it means one or more channels are nearly blown. And they are affected by your in-camera jpeg processing settings (i.e. contrast, etc) so they most likely will not be accurate for a raw file.

When trying to take a picture for the best exposure w/o heavy processing the only thing you can do is expose for the part of the scene you care the most about. I.e in your example if the far shore/trees was the important element the fist exposure is better, and if the reeds/sky was more important the second exposure is better.

And when you can't make up your mind bracket and decide later.
 
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Dave
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#11
I planned to but Johnathan as beaten me posting
and he understood me… wondering still!

All he understood was your - AVOID THEM - comment, which is clearly wrong, hence I was giving you the benefit of the doubt on the gobbledook that followed; perhaps I shouldn't have bothered

Dave
 
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Steven
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#12
All he understood was your - AVOID THEM - comment, which is clearly wrong, hence I was giving you the benefit of the doubt on the gobbledook that followed; perhaps I shouldn't have bothered

Dave
I understood it.
Set a manual exposure and take a test image. If it has blinkies showing then set the meter to read underexposure and try again... the numbers/method are rather specific, but the principle is right.
 

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#13
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Richard
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#14
Blinkies are certainly not always bad. If you use ETTR* exposure technique (as I do and I know Dave DG P does) to maximise image quality, then having blinkies showing in at least some parts of the image is essential. And sometimes blinkies are unavoidable when the dynamic range of the scene exceeds the recording capability of the sensor, even when exposure is 'correct'. Bright sky in landscapes for example, when you might need to darken it with a graduated filter, or use some other technique.

Blinkies show which parts of the image are blown, or on the brink of blowing if you output to JPEG. It's how you use that information that counts. If you shoot Raw, there will be at least one stop of headroom above the point where blinkies just start to flash, maybe 1.5 stops (cameras vary). Blinkies are generated off the in-camera JPEG, as is the histogram, and are also affected by camera settings like Picture Styles etc. The contrast setting has the most influence - high contrast will set the blinkies off a little sooner (and will stretch the histogram), low contrast a bit later (compresses the histogram).

* ETTR - Expose To The Right (of the histogram)
 
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StewartR

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#15
All he understood was your - AVOID THEM - comment, which is clearly wrong, hence I was giving you the benefit of the doubt on the gobbledook that followed; perhaps I shouldn't have bothered
Perhaps before you use pejorative terms like "gobbledegook", you might pause for a bit and recall that Kodiak's first language is not English, and the process of translating his thoughts into English does sometimes result in a style of writing which is more "florid" than is the norm round here.

I can understand Kodiak quite well and so can others. You might want to reflect on why we can and you can't. The process of communication requires contributions from both the speaker and the listener.
 
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droj
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#16
A basic fact is that whatever exposure techniques are used, areas of blown highlight other than point highlights or light sources in a final colour image are likely to be unsightly, and a distinct cause of image 'failure'. This is irrespective of any other properties of the image. So it's a crucial pivot of exposure setting that such should be avoided.
 

Kodiak Qc

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#17
it's a crucial pivot of exposure setting that such should be avoided.

… and it is for that very reason that I advocate for ETTL! :snaphappy:

This is a kind of shot that can only be done easily with ETTL…


 
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James
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#19
Thanks for all the feedback, im still getting to grips with changing up the settings and while it might be easier to try and shoot with light behind to start with i keep coming across things that interest me. The reeds was not the thing i was trying to shoot but was where I could fix the camera, shoot the same scene using different settings. hoping to get out Saturday to have another go
 
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