Histogram question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by eccs19, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. eccs19

    eccs19 TPF Noob!

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    I've heard a lot of people talk about how they watch their histograms to judge their exposure, and the general rule seems to be that you want to keep it generally in the middle. Myself I've always found that when it's in the middle, it always looks overexposed. Do most people follows this rule, or more adjust to taste? I've included 3 examples. 1st one is right out of camera, and the histogram is way to the left. 2nd one is the histogram centred, and the third is in the middle of the 2.

    Myself, I prefer either the 1st or 3rd, but I find the one that is in the ideal range over-exposed. Thoughts?

    1.
    [​IMG]

    2.
    [​IMG]

    3.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. cbryan

    cbryan TPF Noob!

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    I prefer #1 but I've always been drawn to darker images.
     
  3. Ron Evers

    Ron Evers Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I vote for #3.
     
  4. Clancyz

    Clancyz TPF Noob!

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  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There is no 'right or wrong'. If you prefer it one way over another, that's OK.

    The histogram is just a tool that you can use...but you need to realize what it's telling you. It's simply a graphical representation of the brightness of the pixels in the image. If you happen to have more dark pixels than bright ones, your histogram will be heavy on the left side.

    A 'normal' scene that is exposed properly, might give you a histogram that is centred but it depends on the scene.

    One school of though says that you should 'Expose to the Right'. This means setting your exposure so that the histogram is bias to the right (bright) side...but without clipping the highlight detail. This may give you overexposed looking shots, but it's still good because you have more color information to play with in post production. Basically, you are better off having to reduce the exposure than having to bring it up in post.

    Expose to the right.
    and also
    Histograms.
     
  6. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    Agreed.
     
  7. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why would you center the image? That just means there are no darks and no lights, just midtones, which make for a pretty dull low contrasted image.

    And a "histogram" alone isn't going to tell you the full story; it is entirely possible to not clip your luminosity, but absolutely blow the individual color channels of a photograph.
     
  8. Captain IK

    Captain IK TPF Noob!

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    #3
     

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