Photography Tutorials and Articles

Analyzing the Histogram

Analyzing the Histogram for Correct Exposure 

Digital cameras have many advanced tools to assist photographers in improving image quality. One of the most useful tools is the Histogram. Analyzing the Histogram helps photographers trouble shooting pictures. In this article, I am going to discuss how to interpret the Histogram and fix the exposure issues.

What is Histogram?

In short, a histogram is an accurate representation of the distribution of numerical data. Therefore, a Histogram in your camera shows the sensor of the camera used the pixels. In this article, I will cover the Luminosity Channel, which means the “Brightness” of an image. Before getting into Analyzing the Histogram, let’s look at the property of a Histogram.

As I mentioned above, the Histogram is a graph. The horizontal axis shows the brightness of the pixels; the right side is the White, and the left side is the Black and all shades of greys in between.

Here is an illustration; half of this image is Balck, and the other half is White. Therefore the Histogram shows only two spikes, which represents that there are no grey tones in the picture.

Analyzing the Histogram

perfect histogram
In this basic image, notice that there are only two spikes, one for black and one for white.

Now, let’s add a grey shade to the photo to see how it changes the Histogram.

Analyzing the Histogram

analyzing the histogram
By adding a 50% grey tone, you can see the new spike in mid tone.

By adding for shades of grey, the Histogram shows more bars to represents different brightness of the shades.

Analyzing the Histogram

Analyzing the Histogram
A black to white gradient histogram

Next, let’s look into an actual photo and analyzing its histogram.

Here is a Black and White picture.

Analyzing the Histogram

Analyzing the Histogram
Notice the Histogram and representation of the image tonality.

However, when it comes to colour pictures, it can be a little difficult to analyze the histogram. Notice how colours are deceiving!

Analyzing the Histogram

analyzing the histogram

The histogram shows that there is not any white and mid-grey present in the image, but there are light-grey, dark-grey, and black in the photo.

Then I removed the colours from the photo to help you see the different shades of greys.

Analyzing the Histogram

analyzing the histogram
Removing the colours help you to see the gery tonality of the image.

The histogram shows that there is not any white and mid-grey present in the image, but there are light-grey, dark-grey, and black in the photo.

Then I removed the colours from the photo to help you see the different shades of greys.

Do you want to learn more?

I dedicate a good portion of our digital camera workshops and Editing classes to discuss the Histogram. Digital Photography Bootcamp is one of our most popular photography courses, and I explain the Histogram in depth in this class. Check the link below for upcoming classes.

The next Bootcamp starts on September 11th. There are a few spots left.

If you just got your first digital SLR camera, or even have had it for several months, Omnilargess Digital Photography Bootcamp will equip you with all the techniques that you need to operate your digital camera at its ultimate performance. In this workshop, you will learn how to use different settings, such as Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, different Metering Modes, White Balance, ISO, etc.

Bootcamp Schedule:
Wednesday, September, 11th, 18th, 25th, 6:00-9:00 pm
Wednesday, October 2nd, 9th, from 6:00-9:00 pm
Saturday, October 12th, from 9:30am-12:30pm
Wednesday, October 16th and Friday, October 18th from 6:00-9:00 pm

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That is all for now. Stay tuned for my next photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send  us your questions and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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