Histogram... How important?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by roadkill, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    Appearantly histograms seem to be really important. Call me amature (I am) but if by your eyes, you come to your desired effect and out come of your shot... who cares about what a histogram says. I am an extremely zealous student, and sometimes I get frustrated by these things that seem to make no sense to me. Is it a measure of what is correct in some standard set by someone? If the shot comes out how you want, then I don't understand why you would have to measure yourself against this.
     
  2. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Well, we worked without histograms in the film era. On the other hand (having come into digital about a year ago), I have come to love them. They make it alot easier to decide whether you have the information in an image (correct exposure) that will do what you want it to do when you sit down to PP it. If your shots always come out how you like (boy do I wish ....) , the histogram is superfluous.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If the shot comes out how you want then yes. To get that correct exposure (no matter what you are after) many people use the histogram to aid them. If (as your avatar shows) you are after an underexposed shot with lots of black, then the histogram can be used - where you are looking for more of the graph to be on the left hand side. The opposite is true if you were aiming for a highkey shot.

    The other reason is that the histogram on a camera is more acurate at showing you areas over over and underexposure than the viewfinder preview of a shot - its also much quicker to glance at
     
  4. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    I only see the histogram in pp. I compose the shot, (whether I want to over or under expose) then I shoot it. I guess I rely on my eyes and intuition as well as what I want to achieve in each particular shot to gain the outcome that I want. Doesn't veiwing a histogram say to you guys "Hey? Did I match my shot with what this thing says it should be?
    I'm not trying to be obstinant or ignorant (I am) but if this thing can help me to develop my art I certainly would like to be privy on how to take advantage of it.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    sort of it is matching it to what something says it should or should not be, but that person should be you the photographer.
    The histogram can be set to show on image reivew and that is where I view it - I very much do use this in the field with changing light to make sure that the shots I take are not being blown out or underexposed too much. Of course experience of different shooting conditions and environments can give one enough to be able to guess at the results without looking, but it takes a lot of real time to reach that point.
    Its a tool and it can help you get what you want though you have to learn to read it and then understand what it is saying and then make sure that it is saying what you want it to say (as opposed to saying what others think it should say)
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    We've already had this discussion. Use the search function.
     
  7. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    I did use search. came up with a lot of useless crap
     
  8. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    Figured I would get right to the point with folks who cared to respond.
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    All it tells you is the distribution of tones from pure black to pure white. If you find that useful, then use it. If not, don't.

    Histograms aren't new. They're just newfangled and technically speaking, more accurate but in a sense harder to read. You can use a good external light meter to make a histogram using reflective readings. It basically ends up telling you the same thing but with fewer data points (and I might add, only the important ones if you know what you're doing).
     
  10. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    Why would that be useful to anyone?
     
  11. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    Oooooohhhh.... gotcha.
     
  12. roadkill

    roadkill TPF Noob!

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    Thanx guys, for your response. You have supported what I had origionally suspected.
     

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