• It's the greatest invention since the built-in light meter. A histogram is a wonderful thing: It’s a graph — well actually it looks more like a mountain — that shows the distribution of pixels from shadows to highlights. Understanding Your Histogram. The histogram is basically a graph that represents the maximum range of light values your camera can capture, in 256 steps (0 = pure black, and 255 = pure white). Looking at the histogram below, I can see that most of the tones in my image were dark to mid toned. The Camera Histogram Explained. Understanding Your Histogram • Understanding image histograms is probably the single most important concept to become familiar with when working with pictures from a digital camera. Several Nikon cameras feature secondary, color histograms. Despite the impressive dynamic range of the camera, (the Canon EOS 5D Mark III), the photo blows out details in the window and pushes the dark areas off the left side of the histogram. I do slightly disagree with his tip on having a mountain in the center is the best option, as it does depend on the subject. Just keep in mind that, if you shoot in JPEG format, nailing the exposure in-camera is even more critical. The primary one is the luminosity histogram that shows overall brightness of a scene. By using the tools your camera provides you, it’s easier to understand how to adjust your image exposure. When looking at histograms in photography, the darks are represented on the left, mid-tones in the middle, and lights on the right. Histograms are most commonly illustrated in graph form by displaying the light values of the image’s shadows, midtones, and highlights as vertical peaks and valleys along a horizontal plane. The histogram can tell you whether the image was underexposed or overexposed. The number of pixels representing each tone is viewed on the vertical axis. Most modern digital cameras have four histograms. Histogram. A visual representation of the exposure values of a digital image. The camera was set to Manual shooting mode and the aperture and shutter speed were set to maximize contrast. Choose to display them and you'll see three small graphs that show the intensity of the RGB (red, green and blue) color values in the scene. This video does a great job of explaining how the histogram on your camera works and how to read it. If you need to adjust these values, the camera's white balance control is the way to do it. Study the histogram to decide whether the camera — or you, if you manually exposed the image — properly exposed the image. This histogram usually has a monochromatic display—either white data on a black chart, or vice versa. There is a lot more to know about the histogram, and you can use it when you process your images in Photoshop or Lightroom, as well. In the middle of the histogram are the mid-range values that represent middle colors like grays, light browns, and greens. • The ability to interpret histograms is key to getting proper exposures with your digital camera.

camera histograms for dummies

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