Photography cheat sheet: What is a Histogram?

(Image credit: Future)

A brightness histogram is a graph that illustrates the range of tones in your image, from black on the far left to white on the far right with a mid-tone (18%) grey in the middle. 

Histograms look like daunting technical graphs at first glance, but they are the most useful tool you have to help you capture the exposure you want, every time. And the best part is that they are simpler than they appear! 

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Lauren Scott
Freelance contributor/former Managing Editor

Lauren is a writer, reviewer, and photographer with ten years of experience in the camera industry. She's the former Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, and previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, Technique editor for PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, and Deputy Editor of our sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine. An experienced journalist and freelance photographer, Lauren also has bylines at Tech Radar,, Canon Europe, PCGamesN, T3, Stuff, and British Airways' in-flight magazine (among others). When she's not testing gear for DCW, she's probably in the kitchen testing yet another new curry recipe or walking in the Cotswolds with her Flat-coated Retriever.