Commack High School Varsity Football vs. William Floyd

Commack High School Varsity Football vs. William Floyd

This was a tough game to shoot. Except for a few pass plays by Commack most of the game consisted of piles of bodies moving back and forth. Not a lot of runners out in the open and certainly not a lot of footballs and faces visible. Some games are like that. Since this was an afternoon game played in full sunlight I thought I'd discuss postprocessing photos will a lot of contrast in them and, specifically, a lot of specular highlights. Specular highlights are highlights that appear as very bright spots on shiny objects such as chrome and reflective surfaces. Light reflecting off football helmets can produce these highlights. They appear as blown out (pure white) highlights in a photo and the thing to keep in mind when post processing is, they should be blown out.

Normally, when post-processing a photo without specular highlights, you'd back off your highlights or whites slider just until the brightest highlights are not blown out, assuming your photo contains bright highlights. This would apply to things like white uniforms that are non-reflective. White cloth shouldn't be blown out; you should be able to see some texture in places. The problem is, if you apply this same strategy to photos with specular highlights you'll end up with dark photos, because as I mentioned before, specular highlights should be blown out. If you reduce their exposure you'll end up reducing all the highlights way too much, producing what appears to be an underexposed photo.

The correct strategy is to ignore the specular highlights but reduce the normal highlights until they don't blow out. You can do this in Lightroom or Photoshop's Camera Raw filter by turning on the highlight clipping warnings, which will make any clipped (blown out) highlights appear red, and reduce the highlights or whites slider until the red disappears in the normal highlights but not in the specular highlights. This will help keep your photo's exposure appear more realistic.

Have fun.

Commack High School Boys Varsity Golf vs. Half Hollow Hills East

Commack High School Boys Varsity Golf vs. Half Hollow Hills East

Commack High School Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Sachem North

Commack High School Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Sachem North