Understanding histograms in photography.

How To Use Histograms To Understand Image Exposure

Histograms Defined

Example of a basic histogram. It is a graphical representation of values that varies by height.
The histogram is shown at the back of a camera LCD screen on the upper right hand side. This does not display the full histogram, just a simple example of it. Photo editing software can display a more complete information of the image’s histogram. (Source Nikon)
Example of histogram information from Adobe Photoshop CC. Information about the RGB color channels can further be examined.

Why is the histogram important?

The histogram and the three color channels RGB. The graph shows that the R channel is shifting toward the shadows while the B channel is more towards the highlights. This can be adjusted in post.
This is an example of an overexposed image. The graph on the histogram shifts toward the right.
This is an example of an underexposed image. The graph on the histogram shifts toward the left.
This is a more balanced image, the graph is toward the center of the histogram. Many retouchers will actually make further adjustments to this because it looks too flat. Some saturation and color channel adjustment can bring more vibrancy and life to the image. It will be considered a good exposure if it shows the details in the highlights and shadows without excessive clipping.




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Vincent Tabora

Editor HD-PRO, DevOps Trusterras (Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Software Development, Engineering, Photography, Technology)