How your camera lets you know your exposure is wrong
December 11, 2008
A very useful exposure tool found on some digital cameras is the highlight alert feature that my pal Barry Staver (www.barrystaver.com) calls the “blinkies” or “marching ants.”
When the highlight alert option is selected on your camera, the overexposed areas of your image are outlined with the “marching ants” or the entire affected areas blink making it easy, even on some camera’s small LCD screens, to spot them.
Some digital SLRs also offer a Shadow Alert. I find both of these features distracting and don’t use them just because just you’ve got “blinkies,” doesn’t mean the image is unacceptable. It’s up to you, the photographer, to be in control of the exposure not the camera.
Blinkies on parade: Here’s an image in the LCD monitor with with blinkies (AKA “Overexposure Warning”) on. The black blotches are the overexposed areas—and look like a bright scene outside the window--and they blink on and off when the camera is in overexposure warning mode. Photo by Mason Resnick
Joe Farace is co-author of “Better Digital Available Light Photography” along with Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Barry Staver. It is published by Focal Press and is available in all the best bookstores, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.