Understanding Histograms

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JmPhotos, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. JmPhotos

    JmPhotos TPF Noob!

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    What should a properly exposed photos histogram look like?

    Jodie
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  3. harkain

    harkain TPF Noob!

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    The short answer is this: it depends.

    The left end is shadows/dark and the right end is highlights/light. If it trails off either end, then you are clipping some shadows or highlights, depending. But that isn't always a bad thing. Generally, if all the data is at the left, the picture will be dark and if at the other end, then it will be lighter. But again, it depends what you are photographing. If any part of the picture contains some dark hole or deep shadow, even a tiny one, then you will see clipping in the shadow end or if there is glare you will probably see some apparent clipping in the highlights.

    I believe as a general rule, you want your histogram data to be more to the right, but not clipping. But, again, it depends on the subject matter.
     
  4. JmPhotos

    JmPhotos TPF Noob!

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    Great website! Thanks. Now I'm beginning to understand. I will be checking out the histogram more often now.

    Jodie
     
  5. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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  6. hammerhead_05

    hammerhead_05 TPF Noob!

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    yeah......just as HARKAIN said.....it depends on the subject. Never think of a histogram as a 'right' or 'wrong'....but you must read it and interprut it based on what you are shooting and what you want to show. For example - if you are shooting a portrait of someone, generally you dont want anything overexposed - and the histogram will show that before, during, and after you expose the picture. This alows you to see what you have done before you leave your client and notice it after it is too late.

    Again - think of a histogram as a piece of information about your pic. It helps you see whats really going on with your pixels. Hopefully i didn't throw you for a loop.:confused: lol

    |Brock|
     

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