Blasting Highlights

July 7th, 2011 by Denise Ippolito

I learned this technique from Arthur Morris. He first showed it to me in Florida and I was fascinated by the results. He advised the following: set the lowest ISO; set the aperture between f/16 and f/22; turn off AF and focus manually; an exposure between -1 and -2 stops should look pretty good but there will by necessity be lots of blinkies as the bright spots and starbursts are specular highlights.



Mute Swan ~ South Cape May Meadows, NJ
Canon1D Mark III, 100-400 mm lens, 1/1000 sec. at f/20, ISO 200, Exposure compensation -1
Image © 2010/Denise Ippolito Photography





Brush Strokes ~ LeHardy Rapids, Yellowstone NP
Canon 1D Mark III, 1/15 sec. at f/22, ISO 100, Manual mode.
Image © 2010/Denise Ippolito Photography

I added a few filters to give this Blasted Highlights image some more interest. I’m normally not a fan of pano crops but for this image I felt it worked well to accentuate the “brush strokes”. This type of image isn’t for everyone but this is a technique that I really like and I did want to pass it on. Enjoy!

Check out Denise’s website at




The Outdoor Photo Gear Blog is an outdoor photographer's resource for photo and camera tips about photography in nature, wildlife and other outdoor settings. Throughout the blog you'll find great articles on composition, lighting, general photography and imaging techniques used by professional photographers.

The Outdoor Photo Gear Store sells great photography equipment and accessories for the wildlife, landscape, and nature photographers. If you haven't visited The Outdoor Photo Gear Store to see all great camera and flash accessories for the avid outdoor photographer, you should check out all the great gear we offer.

One Response to “Blasting Highlights”

  1. Michael Zajac says:

    Great effect.

Leave a Comment