Photography Tip - sometimes blown out highlights are ok

Blowing out some highlights is not always bad - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm @ f/2 ISO 200 1/100th handheldOne of the first things I teach to my DSLR photography students, is how to check for blown out highlights and how to correct the exposure to get rid of them.  However, blown out highlights can be ok and actually compliment how a final image looks.  In the above shot I asked the owner of a restaurant if I could photograph the pendant lights hanging over a row of tables.  I am often looking for repeating patterns as a subject for photographs.  By using my 50mm lens at a large aperture (f/2) I could making the repeating pattern shot I wanted to with bokeh while handholding my DSLR even though in a very dark interior space.

The part of the image where the bulbs are inside the pendant lights are totally blown out.  However, I liked how this looks because it produces an overall exposure that fits the mood of the shot I wanted to make.  

Go out and make your own photograph with some blown out highlights on purpose and post a link to your photo in the comments below. 

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