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Specular highlight

Photography  Spectrum  Specular reflection

SPECULAR HIGHLIGHTS - Bright light spots reflected from a shiny surface or an object's edges.
SPEED - A measure of the sensitivity to light of a photographic emulsion. May also refer to the sensitivity setting employed in a digital camera.

Specular Highlights. The brightess part of a highlight.
Stop. An alternate name for f-stop.
Still life. A photographic composition of inanimate objects composed of subject matter and supporting elements that reflect a certain unifying idea or theme.

Specular highlight. Bright spots in an image caused by reflection of light sources.
Sponge tool. Used for saturating or desaturating part of a digital photograph, that is exaggerating or lessening the color component as opposed to the lightness or darkness.

Specular highlight
A bright reflection from a light source containing little or no detail. Specular highlight within an image should not be used for Set Whitepoint.Light rays that are highly redirected at or near the same angle of incidence to a surface.

Any area of the subject (except specular highlights) that is outside of this range is reproduced either too light or too dark in the final picture. A reflected light meter can be used to find the relationship between the useful or desired diffused highlight and the darkest desired shadow.

Imagine a point source of light such as a quite distant light bulb, a reflected specular highlight, or even a star in the night sky. Anything that will appear to be a single point rather than a shape. If you focus a camera on it, it should still look like a single point.

It adds a specular highlight to the image that becomes a focal point. If you’re not familiar with this trick, you need to play with it. Stop the lens down to f22. Because of the way the sun interacts with the aperture blades of the lens, a natural sunstar effect is created.

Catchlights are specular highlights from a light source and draw attention to the subject's eyes. A catchlight is not the same thing as red-eye, which is an undesirable effect, created by the reflection of light from the retina inside the back of the eyeball.

"Dead" eyes are usually monotonously lit and without that specular highlight we usually see. Even if your goal is to convey a dead, empty look, getting light correctly into the eye is crucial. The shape, size, and position of the specular highlight in the eyes is important.

Specular highlights (such as reflections on metal or water), regions around the sun (such as in sunsets) and other direct light sources (such as street lamps) all appear perfectly fine when clipped. This is often the necessary cost of ensuring that everything else is sufficiently bright.

This doesn't apply to bright, specular highlights (such as those found on water, for example), where the sun glints off of an object. This will always be pure white and probably should be, unless it's over too large an area. Avoid taking pictures that give you the latter.

Understanding specular highlights and surface efficiency helps-in this case, he uses shiny, dark glass to capture perfect reflections. To add a design element to the highlight, he uses black tape over the softbox to create a window look that will be reflected in the wine bottle and wine glass.

Plus there are some specular highlights on the cars-bodies to the left that show the amount of purple fringing that you can expect from this lens. The effect is clearly visible in the large version of the image that you can access by clicking on the image above. But it is not excessive.

Where we'd expect ghosting to be apparent are images which contain very small specular highlights, such as distant streetlamps in a night scene, or reflections from a shiny object which are - again - very small in the frame. Examples are shown below.

An unusual scene with a preponderance of light colors or specular highlights would have a higher reflectance; a reflected-light meter taking a reading would incorrectly compensate for the difference in reflectance and lead to underexposure.

The highlight detail is no longer clipped (the colored spikes on the right of the histogram are specular highlights and should be clipped). In addition, it appears that there might be a little bit more shadow detail than with the first tonal curve.

Back lighting can create specular highlights in the water drops that can be too hot and distracting. Any lens flare will also really detract from these type of images and rim light, from backlighting, seldom works even with some fill flash.

DYNAMIC RANGE: Film has a huge advantage in recording highlights. We take for granted the fact that specular highlights and bright sunsets look the way they do in painting and on film. Digital has a huge problem with this (see disadvantages under digital below.) ...

But it needed to come from both sides, not just from camera position. That's the way you photograph dark skin.... by bringing in specular highlights from both sides. Nor is it necessary to open up the lens any more than usual. Light crossing over the skin brings out great highlights.

This is done to avoid the common E-TTL problem of highly reflective materials causing specular highlights in a flash-illuminated image and throwing off the flash metering.

When a histogram shows pixels at the extreme ends of the range, in the 0 and 255 positions, it means details in those tones are lost or "clipped" in your image. These extremes should be reserved for specular highlights (reflections) and small dark shadows.

While, not needed, I highly suggest the Gary Fong Lightsphere II, which when used in bounce mode helps provide soft light from above and from the front and produces nice catch lights (the specular highlights in a subject's eye from a light source).

For example, if the overlays show you that highlights are clipping only in the sun or on specular highlights, where there aren't any details to lose, there's no need to correct them.

Usually reds will appear unless more than one channel is blown out. So unless my image has specular highlights that I’m willing to sacrifice I hold the alt key and slide the exposure up until the first red pixels appear then I back off a tad.

Because dust marks show up as dark specks and are unfixable, spotting Ilfochrome is, for me, usually for the purpose of removing defects such as people in landscape scenes, "hot spots" from specular highlights, etc.

See also: See also: Highlight, Image, Camera, Photograph, Highlights

Photography  Spectrum  Specular reflection

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