enter image description here

Can you please tell me how to check whether the highlights are blownout when the sky is plain without clouds and dark blue??

I am just a camera user and not skilled in photo techniques.Is this photo a worst one? Please point out the mistakes or any setting changes that might have made this snap a better one. Thank you.

Exif details :

Focal length 29 mm

F stop F10

Exposure time 1/400 sec

ISO Speed ISO-1000

Max aperture 4.1

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The background of this website has which colour? Is your sky darker or brighter than the background? \$\endgroup\$
    – null
    Dec 8, 2016 at 15:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If the sky was actually blue and you are wondering why it turned out grayish, it's probably because the sky was much brighter than the foreground, and so it was impossible to get both to show up "correctly". Here you have the foreground exposed correctly, but the sky too bright. You could also have the sky exposed correctly, but then the foreground would be very dark. \$\endgroup\$
    – user29608
    Dec 8, 2016 at 19:24

2 Answers 2


Can you please tell me how to check whether the highlights are blownout when the sky is plain without clouds and dark blue??

Some cameras have a setting that'll show you any blown out details when you take the photo -- usually the affected areas flash on the camera's display. On my Canon the option is called "Highlight alert", selectable on one of the playback menus. So if you're looking for a general tool that you can use while taking photos, that's a good one to know about.

Just looking at the image histogram is another quick way to detect blown out details. The brightness histogram shows you the distribution of pixels in the image, with darkest pixels (black) on the far left and brightest pixels (white) on the right. If the histogram indicates a large number of pixels at the far right, that means blown out highlights. Most cameras can display such a histogram for you, so that's another tool to use while you're shooting. Photo editing software can usually show a histogram as well. Here's one from Apple's Photos app:


This one shows red, green, and blue components, and you can see that there are a significant number of pixels where all three components are at or near the maximum value.

Please point out the mistakes or any setting changes that might have made this snap a better one.

The first thing that occurs to me is the subject... you've got a photo of overgrown vegetation that's just not that interesting. Incorporating some object to act as a focal point in the image might help the composition. For example, you could get a friend to stand in the photo wearing a red or yellow jacket to add a splash of color. They don't even have to be recognizable -- they could stand a bit to the side and with their back to the camera, so it becomes a photo of a person looking out over the hills. Or if there's a statue or a tree around, you could use those as a point of interest.

As @fkraiem points out in a comment, it's likely that the photo you wanted to take had a lot more blue in the sky, and perhaps the blue sky and green plants were attractive at the time. If that's the case, reducing the exposure a bit might help keep the blue sky, although the leaves would likely be darker. Time of day can have a huge impact on this kind of photo: if you shoot in the early morning or late afternoon, the sky won't be as bright and you'll have an easier time getting a beautiful blue sky while still exposing the plants correctly.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, adding a polarizing filter will help produce more contrast amongst the green, and deepen the sky. This will also achieve your suggestion of decreasing exposure by around 1 1/2 to 2 stops. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Dec 9, 2016 at 1:38

Your question has some small misconceptions.

1) "Blownout" is when the result values are over the dynamic range of the photo.

If your camera has not an histogram function, you can measure after using a program like Gimp.

Tools > Color Tools > Levels

In this image, you can see the brighter values (green line) are away from the border (red line) so you have not Blownout values there.

enter image description here

The green line could touch safely the red one.

2) Blownout is not necesary bad, there could be some cases where is inevitable or even advisable, for example a portrait of a person in front of a window or the reflections on some very reflective jewelry.

3) What you have in your image is overexposure.

This is a perceptive, relative concept, that depends not on the graph, but how it looks on the final image, so as someone already recomended you can try lowering the exposition.

How to improve?

A) You could look for a gradient filter in front of your lens, with abluish tint on the top.

I am exagerating this blue in this example just to ilustrate what a gradient filter does.

enter image description here

It does not matter if the filter does not match your camera, if you get a bigger one you can play on where the gradient starts.

B) But the main problem is that in this image you do not have any point of interest or any special composition.

Cut one flower and put it as a main subject, put a person, a pet, a fence. Have a tree... (a little harder to ger tho n_n)

Or change your position, so you have something in first plane and this scenery as a background.

C) Regarding the exposition this comes with practice, but also you can try measuring the value of the incident light using a graycard or depending on your skin color the palm of your hand as a "standard" reference.

There are some techniques like zone metering that you could investigate a bit.

You can also try to get an incident lightmeter.


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