Photo 101: Histograms

In-camera, histograms can help you get the best exposure possible  and see quickly if information is lost from over or under exposure.  In post, they can help you fine-tune the image.

Here’s a simple example of what correct, over, and under exposure could look like on a histogram.

Here it’s balanced.

histogram - just right

Here the image is underexposed and the histogram is pushed to the left.

histogram - too dark

Here – over exposed and it’s to the right.

histogram - too light

That said, there are times when your histogram may not look balanced – e.g. nightscapes or snowfield + tree. Regardless, knowing the rules will help you recognize when they don’t apply.

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(This is Photo 101: Introducing Photo Concepts in 101 Words or Less. If there’s a photo topic that you’d like to see here on Camera 47 – drop it in the comments below or contact me by ways of the About page. 

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