Avoid Overexposure With Blinkies

Think you know blinkies? Well, not so fast!

In this video, we’re going to take a look at “Blinkies,” – technically called your Overexposure Highlight Warning or Highlight Alert. No matter what you call ’em though – this video will show you just what they are and how to use them.

During our in-depth look at blinkies, we’ll cover the basics, how they work, why you might like them better than histograms, how picture profiles influence them, how to set your Nikon camera to show them, how to check color channels for “blinkie blowout,” what color channel clipping is, how white balance can throw off color channel exposure results, how to use blinkies with histograms, and when you can ignore blinkies!

Whew – told you there was a lot!

So, check out the video below and unlock the power of blinkies!

PS – If you enjoyed this post, I think you’ll REALLY like my e-books, Secrets To Exposure And Metering For Nikon, Secrets To Stunning Wildlife Photography, and Secrets To The Nikon Autofocus System – as well as my new Noise Reduction video workshop. They’re filled with hundreds of tips, techniques and information just like this. Check ’em out – click here (hey, it’s free to look).

PS – If you enjoyed this post, I think you’ll REALLY like my e-books, Secrets To Exposure And Metering For Nikon, Secrets To Stunning Wildlife Photography, and Secrets To The Nikon Autofocus System – as well as my new Noise Reduction video workshop. They’re filled with hundreds of tips, techniques and information just like this. Check ’em out – click here (hey, it’s free to look).

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This entry was posted in Nikon Gear, Techniques, Using Your Gear.

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Guest

Glad to read this knowledgeable blog! Thanks for sharing with us.

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Tom
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Tom

Hi Steve,

What great information. This is the best information on Blinkies I have seen! Very helpful!

As suggested, I’ve set my camera Picture Control to Neutral (“NL”). I’ve also seen some forum comments that recommend:

1. The Neutral Picture Control be adjusted to set Sharpening to Zero (i.e. no Sharpening).

2. The in camera Color Space be set to the widest gamut available. In the case of my camera this would mean using Adobe RGB instead of sRGB.

Any thoughts?

My best,
Tom

SilverSingles Customer Care
Guest

Glad to read your article. Nice collection of information for us, Thanks.

HP Support Assistant
Guest

Great tips regarding Blinkies, you’ve covered all the basic topics about it.

David Bennett
Guest

Hi Steve,
I just bought a D500. Looking at Nikon’s ‘Understanding Metering Modes’ page it says “On some professional Nikon DSLRs, you can choose to use Highlight-weighted metering mode that automatically ensures that highlights are never overexposed even in challenging conditions like in concerts or theatres.”

Does the D500 have this and if so – where is the setting?

Many thanks.

David

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Great tips regarding blinkies and the different color channels. I was not aware that the histogram used the 8-bit JPG as a reference.

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Guest

I was checking depth in blinkies, During going through your website you’ve covered all basic knowledge about it. Thanks for sharing with us.

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Guest

“Blinkies” is photography slang for the blinking, areas on your .to the right than to have the camera at ISO 400 and underexpose by a stop.

Phil Duff
Guest

Steve – to go along with the blinkies/histogram topic – is the Nikon “Highlight-Weighted” metering mode /effective for preventing/protecting from blowing out highlights? Especially with subjects with white feathers, etc. in the scene? Just recently discovered it on my D500 and haven’t much chance yet to test it.

Jose Banta
Guest
Jose Banta

Yet another pertinent information video. I have lost some photo files in the past directly related to this issue many of them were at sunset. I’ll give the d810 a setup update. Thanks Steve hope you and your family had a great Easter holiday.

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Guest

You can retake the shot, correcting for overexposure by dialing in a bit of negative exposure compensation.

David Bencze
Guest
David Bencze

I like your tip and have started using it. I have been shoting in Manual mode, using Highlight Weighted Metering on both my D850 and Z7 with good results! It great (I think) when faced with wildlife that’s moving through areas where it’s constanty changing light to dark or if subject in white and well lite.
What do you think? Do you use Highlight Weighted Metering?

Jeff O
Guest
Jeff O

Great tip. Never knew what this feature was for. Thanks!

Bruce
Guest
Bruce

Great tips regarding blinkies and the different color channels. I was not aware that the histogram used the 8-bit JPG as a reference. It should be noted that the dynamic range above ISO 400 is reduced by a couple of stops and so blinkies are going to indicate more unrecoverable data loss than when shooting at a lower ISO setting.

Terry Wahlen
Guest

G’day Steve,
I knew about this feature on my D750 and have a basic understanding of its function, but so far have avoided it. With everything else there is to learn about my amazing camera I just shuffled it to the back of the list of things I should probably know.
Although my head has exploded your video has helped enormously, and it seems a shame to not try and make use of the function.
Thanks again Steve, you are one hell of a teacher.

Cheers from Oz!
Terry

Luc Poirier
Guest
Luc Poirier

Hi Steve
Personally I always set my camera picture control to either : Flat or Neutral, and shoot always in RAW 14 bits
Can you please explain, what you do to minimize problems with blinkies (specular highlights : sun; reflections) for images that need to be printed ?
Regards
Luc

carlos hernandez
Guest
carlos hernandez

Excellent! Thanks

Ziggy
Guest
Ziggy

And of course with mirrorless you can have real-time blinkies in the viewfinder.

William H Davis
Guest
William H Davis

Great information. The videos you put out are extremely helpful to me. I would not even known about this feature had it not been for this video. Much appreciated.

Gino Rigucci
Guest
Gino Rigucci

Thanks Steve, it is a very important point. I find very helpful on the information that you post about any technical points. By following these suggestions I am able to fine tune my skills even though I do not get out to photograph often.

leo
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leo

Dear Steve, you always manage to surprise me! there’s always a hidden tip within your videos/books. Thank you so much for being so thorough and comprehensive with everything you do!
Cheers

Leo