Using the histogram

Photography Jobs Online

Learn Digital Photography Now

Get Instant Access

Histograms can be very useful when evaluating images, but are an often-overlooked or confusing tool used in Photoshop, Camera Raw, or even on your digital camera. The reason histograms are confusing and overlooked? Because nobody ever explains how to use them! When I first started using digital cameras, my owner manuals always showed how to view the histogram, but not how to read it. As an avid reader, I also haven't seen a lot written about reading histograms or using them to correct images either.

For the most part, a histogram is a chart that shows you the distribution of pixels from the dark areas (indicated on the left side) to the light (on the right side). While you're shooting photos out in the field, your digital camera shows you a histogram on its LCD to indicate the exposure of an image. When you're evaluating and adjusting images in Camera Raw, the histogram shows you how red, green, and blue pixels are distributed in the current image, using colored channels to represent red, green, and blue portions of the chart. You'll also see colors such as cyan, yellow, and magenta, too — but those are specific combinations of red, green, and blue.

Figure 9-14 shows three histograms: one without clipping, one with clipping in the image's shadow areas (black end of the histogram), and one with clipping in the highlight areas (white end of the histogram).

Figure 9-14 shows three histograms: one without clipping, one with clipping in the image's shadow areas (black end of the histogram), and one with clipping in the highlight areas (white end of the histogram).

Normal histogram

Clipping in black end of histogram

Clipping in white end of histogram

Normal histogram

Clipping in black end of histogram

Clipping in white end of histogram

Figure 9-14: Reading the Camera Raw histogram.

One really useful feature of the Camera Raw histogram is its indication of clipping. Spikes at the left end of the chart mean there is some clipping in the dark areas of the image; spikes at the right end indicate clipping in the light areas. You'll see the histogram change as you adjust color and tone.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Champion Flash Photography

Champion Flash Photography

Here Is How You Can Use Flash Wisely! A Hands-on Guide On Flash Photography For Camera Friendly People!. Learn Flash Photography Essentials By Following Simple Tips.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment