Histogram: photography cheat sheets for achieving perfect exposure

Histogram: photography cheat sheets for achieving perfect exposure

Before the histogram, photography enthusiasts had to go through a lot more effort to get good exposures. But while the histogram is one of the most useful tools on your camera, it’s also one of the least understood.

Understanding the histogram in photography and how it tracks your exposure is one of the key steps in learning how to become a better photographer. In this quick guide – and with a few handy cheat sheets – we’ll show you exactly how to interpret your camera’s histogram.

What is a histogram? Discover the secret to perfect exposure

What is a histogram? Discover the secret to perfect exposure

There’s no need to be embarrassed for asking “What is a histogram?”. While your camera’s histogram is one of the more important tools at your disposal, many photographers are unaware of its capabilities. In this post we’ll answer the question, What is a histogram? And we’ll also answer some of the more common questions around how to read a histogram, where to find it and what you should be looking for on that tiny graph.

What your histogram says about your landscapes

What is hyperfocal distance: 6 tips for sharper landscapes

Your digital camera’s histogram, or exposure chart, offers the most reliable indication of exposure, as it illustrates the range of tones in a landscape shot, from dark shadows on the far left through to bright highlights on the far right.

But there’s no ‘perfect’ histogram. Each landscape scene you shoot is made up of a different blend of tones, and the shape of the histogram will reflect this.

What is a histogram: how to prevent poor exposures

Digital camera tips - histogram - good exposure

What is a histogram and why do I need to use one? Histograms can be your biggest asset once you get your head round what they are. In this primer we explain how to use your camera histogram to get the best exposure

Your camera histogram is a much more accurate way of judging whether a shot needs a bit more, or less, exposure. But it’s not just used for judging exposure: the shape and position of the histogram’s graph can also tell you about the contrast of the lighting in a scene. Below we’ve tackled some of the frequently asked questions about histograms to get you started using these helpful graphs to avoid poor exposures.