If you have blown highlights you are overexposing the shots. if you are using the meter, use Exposure compensation(EC) to adjust exposure till not blown..
Learn what to do with and how to read the histogram if your camera has one. on the histogram you want the wiggly line, the histo, to be as close as possible to the right wall but not touch it before it hits the bottom. the histo line HAS to hit the bottom before it hits the wall..
Next the scene itself. if you are talking about the highlights being blown and the highlights are the skys, in a scene that includes much darker trees foliage and land objects, then the scene could exceeding the sensor's Dynamic Range. the solution is to reduce the range to something fhe sensor can handle by several mehtods-use fill flash reflectors or move to locaton that has less DR. if that is not the case and all are impossible then you have to use EC to get the histo line off the right wall so as not to blow the highlights...
Try fill flash. How well that works will depend on the camera and the situation..
If you have bright sun and deep shadows in the same scene, the camera just isn't going to be able to capture that in one image, without help. Here are some basic ideas:.
1. Reduce the dynamic range. Add light to shadow with fill flash, reflectors..
2. Reduce the dynamic range. Add graduated neutral density filter to reduce the light in the bright areas while leaving the shadows alone.3. Reduce the dynamic range - perhaps a combo of both above..
4. Work with multiple shots to capture parts of the dynamic range and combine them later in software. Google HDR (high dynamic range). You will take a series of exposures at different shutter speeds, and use specialized software to combine them...
One other option, though it's probably of limited use. Your camera may have multiple options for processing the images. Pick one that has less contrast. (Perhaps "neutral")..
In the film days I would try using portrait/wedding film - a reduced contrast film designed for good skin tones and trying to get a decent shot with a bride in a white dress next to a groom in a black tux...
Maybe try a polarizer filter or ND filter..
I was just reading about them here:.
Try framing the shot to reduce the amount of sky in the photo or other area of blown highlights...
I find that my photos look over saturated and have blown highlightswhen I take photos in direct sunlight. Anything to minimize the lightand get better photos?.
1) Errr.... Set your camera to lower contrast, and lower saturation??.
2) Try using exposure compensation at a value of 'minus' 1/3 or 'minus' 1/2 in the most troublesome conditions, and see if that helps..
Alternative to 2) above, do what the pros do, and.....
3) Set your camera for Auto Bracketing, which shoots one lighter and one darker than the camera's own estimations of best exposure. Make your selections later from comparisons made on-screen, and then use the experience gained to set exposure compensation in your future shooting......
4) ..... or even use all three brackets in combination to make HDR (H-igh D-ynamic R-ange) image..
Google "HDR Photography" for more information.Regards,Baz..
I followed some tips in Bryan Peterson's book, Understanding Exposure, and that helped me alot with tough shots you are talking about. Try metering off the sky (as per Peterson's suggestion), the blue part of the sky, and take the shot. Mess with the exposure compensation until you get the exposure how you want it. Since I've been doing that, I rarely have blown highlights... the main problem becomes underexposure on other things, depending on what the subject is. This is where a fill flash can come in handy...
I've had really good results though following the metering off the blue sky. However, some shots just will have too much dynamic range and you either have to add stuff (flash, filter, etc) or accept blown or underexposed areas..
Just trying to learn.
Blog: http://novicephotog.blogspot.com/Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/9778447@N07/..