Clipping the Highlights

Clipping the highlights in photography is usually a big no no. Many photographers try to avoid this at all costs. So much so, some images have come to look unnatural. Pure white is often desired in some photography. In landscape photography, one highlight that will always clip, is the sun. Look at the image below.  

A Hawaii sunset taken somewhere between Hilo and Kona


You will notice in this image that the sun and a little bit of the surrounding area is clipped. Is this good or bad? In my opinion it's good! It's similar to what the natural scene was and how the eye would see it. I could've used filters or bracketed the image to get more detail, but in my opinion the scene looks good and natural.

Next time you edit or photograph something, notice how the scene looks to your eye. Is the sun blown out? Try capturing it that way, clipping the highlights. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised of the beauty of your image with blown out highlights!