Digital Photography Class

Perfect Histogram 2

Does Perfect Histogram exist?

In first part of “Perfect Histogram”, I discussed what Histogram is, its crucial role in photography and what can be considered a Perfect Histogram.

The left side of Histogram is pure black and the right side is pure white. Other grey tones lie in between.

By understanding the Histogram you can take better High key photos

Histogram and exposure

Perfect Histogram
Does this Histogram belong to an overexposed image or a High key photo?

By studying the histogram in this example I know the majority of the pixels are used for the highlighted area with a few in dark grey and black, which can result in overexposure like the image below.

Overexposed picture

Perfect Histogram
This is an overexposed photo and Histogram warns us about it

Or it can also be a High key image like this one.

High Key Photo

Perfect Histogram
A perfect exposed High Key photo

There is no such thing as a perfect histogram, or we can claim that all histograms are perfect. You will learn more about this towards the end of this article! The key is comparing the histogram with the scene to find out if your main subject is within the range of the histogram. For instance try to understand how this Histogram would look as a photographic scene.

Low Key Histogram

Perfect Histogram
Histogram tells us that the image is dark.

Histogram shows that the majority of pixels are in dark grey tones.

It can be an underexposed photo like this

Underexposed picture

An underexposed photo can have similar histogram as a low key photo.
An underexposed photo can have similar histogram as a low key photo.

Or it can be a Low key image like this one

Low Key picture

A perfect exposure for a low key image
A perfect exposure for a low key image

Next take another look at the image and compare it with the Histogram. Although majority of pixels are in dark grey tones, the histogram tells you it is a correct exposure for your main subject.

Histogram and underexposed vs overexposed photo

In this image the majority of pixels are in dark grey tones, whereas the main subject should have been within a range of grey tones. Although this histogram seems very similar to the previous one, when you compare it with the scene you notice a well exposed image for the main subject. The histogram tells you that the majority of pixels are black or dark grey. And you have enough grey tone for the main subject.

Low Key picture

Perfect Histogram
A good example of a Low Key Photo

A Perfect Histogram shows how your camera captured the scene

Understanding histogram is not difficult. It just takes practice to become familiar with the information it provides. In our upcoming Digital Camera Workshop for Beginners on September 27th, I will cover the Histogram in depth with more tips to be put into action in order to learn one of the most powerful tools in digital photography. Understanding histogram is like finding a best friend inside your digital camera, a friend that gives you instant and accurate feedbacks every single time! Now you know that a Perfect Histogram exists when you can understand its data.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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