Specular Highlights

By Geoff Harris

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Specula Highlights Specula Highlights[/caption]

There is a phenomenon about close-up work that most photographers don't either know about or fail to exploit.
I am referring to what are called 'specular highlights'
These are most often seen as out-of-focus hexagonal shapes that show up in either your background or foreground when shooting close-ups of subjects that are surrounded by bright highlights

i.e. a single dew laden blade of grass surrounded by other dew laden blades of grass all brightly lit up by the early morning sunlight.
When shooting macro or close-up imagery, there is an optical law that goes into effect immediately!
The law is as follows:

Geoff Harris

I am a journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill and Steve McCurry. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time. In addition I write about well being/personal development and antiques collecting for a range of other titles, including BlueWings, the in-flight magazine of Finn Air.

Stay inspired

Get FREE Photography tips and ideas from our experts in your inbox.

You can unsubscribe at any time


Related posts

Our best selling courses

Trusted by our partners