I recently did a shoot of a Horse Show with a cloudy sky and one shot with the sun breaking through.
For the general scenes the white highlights (ladies whiter than white breeches) with an EV -/+0 were blown out. I stepped down the E/V in -0.5 steps to EV -1.5 until the highlights were no longer blown. The shots where bright white was not the highest light (cream breeches or canvas tents in the background) were not a problem.
This rendered the images rather dark in the review screen but I was able to bring the lightness back up in ViewNX2. Every one needed DS lighting (+about 30-40 did the trick) with a little nudge in the shadow highlight in some cases. These were shot in RAW and only converted to high quality jpeg.
As I am not a tweak freak is there a way that I could have changed my D50 settings to less of a reliance on post processing?
I have shown 6 images only in my gallery to show the pre-processing shots with the settings shown for each shot.
Would you please look at those shots and let me have your suggestions to show what I could have done differently.
Made some minor adjustments to your shot and reposted. If I were the rider, and or owner of this horse, I wouldn't care too much about "blown highlights". Between the apparently black jacket, and white pants, I think you are exceeding the range of the camera sensor. But I wouldn't get too hung up on the technicalities of the shot, if you come up with a visually and reasonably pleasing photograph of your subject.
I agree with Jerry - in a case like this, there's not much you can do to save all the info. These whites are just going to be blown - and moreover, nobody's really looking for detail there anyway. I often have the same problem with white numbers on race cars - let 'em blow out. They still look like numbers. Here it's a tad trickier, but really nobody's expecting to see the details, and hopefully the viewer will be looking elsewhere in an equestrian image anyway.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!