Digital photography has brought a slide-shooter’s traditional fear to the masses: blown-out highlights. Because our cameras and computers can show us areas in an image that have exceeded the camera’s dynamic range (portions too dark or too bright to show detail), many digital photographers become obsessed with blown-out highlights and blocked-up shadows.
Sometimes these things matter, especially when you are printing your images. Blown-out areas carry no data, so nothing prints there. The complete absence of ink can definitely degrade the quality of an inkjet print.
But people take this fear too far. If you try to manage every highlight, you end up underexposing every image. Specular highlights can be charming and add a playful zest to your images. While it’s true that our eyes are drawn to the brightest area of an image, you have to judge for yourself when a highlight is truly distracting.