The other day I wanted to practice exposing for highlights to capture enough detail to be visible but avoid blowing/clipping. I found a reasonably compliant subject, a white duck at the zoo. My understanding of this is thus: in spot meter mode a reading of a brilliantly white region should render these values at the infamous 18% gray. To obtain the level of white I want for these values I should adjust by + 1-2 stops (decreasing shutter speed in this case). What I found in reality was that I could not avoid blowing/clipping highlights unless I was shooting at with 0 or even minus exposure from what the meter was reading (shooting in manual mode). I'm not worried at this juncture about the dynamic range of the entire scene, I just want to place the whites where I want them. So, I guess I'm confused and just not understanding what I'm missing about this. Seems reasonably simple, and I've read in so many different places that this is the 'correct' procedure for exposing for highlights. I'm using a D80 by the way, did not have additional exposure compensation dialed in. My metering technique was to place the focus point over the area I wanted to hold detail in and then adjust shutter speed until the meter in the view finder indicated I was at +1 or +2 (it adjusts in 1/3 stop intervals, so 6 'clicks' of the command dial towards the plus side of the exposure scale). Ultimately I have to be an empiricist and go with what works, but it bugs me that I can't seem to replicate a procedure that seems well documented.