Draw Your Histogram

HistogramHave you met a person who has said this, “The thing I love about photography has nothing to do with the camera or lens. It doesn’t even have to do with that one important question every photographer should ask…

Its not looking at so many amazing photos…

The thing I love most about taking pictures is a box filled with one or more curves. The only reason I press that shutter is to see those spikes and curves closed in a box. People call it a histogram.” I have not.

Most people don’t like histograms and try to avoid it. Yes, like normal human beings, I don’t like histogram either. But histogram of a photo does give us some critical information about it and specifically about exposure of the photograph.

Histogram BandsHistogram is spread from dark side on the left to bright on the right. So, images that are slightly overexposed, meaning these have brighter areas, shift towards right most band and often “clipped”. If a photograph is underexposed, the graph shifts toward left (darker side).

You can find a histogram of a photo at least at two different places. Histogram can be found in the review mode of your camera or in a post processing software. Let’s look at an example:

HistogramThe histogram above shows that most of the photograph is exposed correctly and some areas of this photograph is darker hence the histogram is shifted towards the right. Let’s look at the photograph for this histogram.


In this photo, most of the tones are darker and nothing here is bright or closer to white. This is reflected in histogram and the curve is mainly on the medium to darker side of the histogram. The spike in the middle tells that most of the elements (or pixels) in this photo are medium – neither too dark nor too bright.

Histogram are specially important for post processing. Using the histogram, you can understand the exposure in the image captured by the camera. During post processing, any exposure related changes are reflected in the histogram, telling you what you need to do next when adjusting your exposure.

Colorful Histograms

If you have used Lightroom, this is the default histogram for a colored photograph. While this gives even more information, this is a bit advanced topic. We’ll tackle this topic in later posts, if there is enough interest.

Histogram Colored

Further Reading

Your Assignment

Your assignment for this session is simple. Look at your photo and see how the histogram looks like. Does the histogram reflect the exposure?

Open the photograph is your post processing software. I have used Lightroom and I love it and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. (Amazon has this version of Lightroom 3 available at super low price – 77% off)

So once you open the photo, try to adjust the brightness, exposure, vibrance, saturation and see how the histogram changes.

  • I’m a newbie and I don’t even look at histogram or even studied how it works and what it’s for. I just look at it in passing and move on. Duh, I should know better. Thanks for sharing!

  • This article will assist the internet viewers for setting up new
    blog or even a blog from start to end.

  • Todays deal provides free coupons and discounts codes of on line deals to save your money on online purchase. Its is side where you can search and browse more than 15000 free discount codes and coupons of online stores, products and brand of your own choice. Todays deal helps people to save their money on online purchase by availing free discount codes and coupons on our webpage while making online purchase from your favorite online stores and brands. We provide the guide line not only to our regular customers but also to those who are new to online purchase by extending the benefit on your retail order by using discount codes and coupons.

  • Wonderful goods from you, man. I have consider your stuff previous to and you
    are just too magnificent. I really like what you’ve bought right here, really
    like what you’re stating and the best way through
    which you say it. You are making it enjoyable and you still take
    care of to stay it sensible. I can’t wait to learn far
    more from you. This is actually a great website.

  • I simply want to tell you that I’m very new to blogs and really enjoyed your website. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You definitely have exceptional writings. Thank you for sharing your blog.

  • Amazing issues here. I’m very glad to see your post. Thank you so much and I am having a look ahead to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a mail?

  • Yes! Finally someone writes about payday.

  • i love 42084.pink2.net, they are so comfty and great.

  • Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It’s the little changes which will make the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!

  • After exploring a number of the articles on your site, I honestly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my web site as well and tell me what you think.

  • Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also the rest of the website is also really good.

  • I love it when people come together and share ideas. Great website, continue the good work!

  • excellent points altogether, you simply gained a emblem new reader.
    What may you recommend in regards to your put up that you just made a few days ago?
    Any sure?

  • Pingback: EDM Remixes()

  • Hello there! This article couldn’t be written much better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read. Thanks for sharing!