What is a histogram? Discover the secret to perfect exposure

What is a histogram? Discover the secret to perfect exposure

Exposure Basics Explained

Don’t trust the camera’s rear screen to provide an accurate indication of an image’s exposure – its brightness can give a false impression. Instead, call up the histogram…

 

What is a histogram: under-exposure

Under-exposed
If the histogram is concentrated on the left side of the graph, this is an indication that the picture is darker than midtone.

What is a histogram: under-exposure

If the actual scene or subject isn’t meant to be dark, this means the photo is under-exposed.

 

What is a histogram: over-exposure

Over-exposed
If the histogram is jammed against the right side of the graph, this shows that the shot is very bright, with clipped highlights.

What is a histogram: over-exposure

If the scene or subject isn’t actually this bright, the photo is over-exposed.

 

What is a histogram: well exposed

Well-exposed
A histogram that stretches the full width of the graph without butting up against either side indicates that the image has the widest possible tonal range, with a full range of shadows, midtones and highlights.

What is a histogram: well exposed

Note the slight clipping in the shot above – the patch of bright sky in the centre of the frame.

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