Histograms – Science Lesson 114

Before today, I never even knew what a histogram was, never even knew it was there… but now I know, and none can stop me from “blabbing” on this little secret device that shows you the exposure value.  Well, depending on the camera you have, there are multiple different ways to get to the histogram.  On a Canon, go to the photo you took, press the Info button (it looks like a small box just above the Jump Button… I don’t know about any other Canons), go to Histogram, and there it is.  For Nikons, yo actually have to check your manual for that, and probably even then you still have to go into the photo settings and turn on “Show Histogram”.  It’s a great tool for getting correct exposures.  if you start to notice the piling up of the mountain in the left or right edge, you’re probably either underexposed or overexposed.  Here’s a pic of a histogram so you know what it is:

See the different colors?  those are all the different shades of color that the camera picked up and organized into pixel stacks, the max being about 280 pixels tall.  Note that it’s slightly stacked in the left hand corner.  That means that the photo that this histogram is for is slightly underexposed.  Here’s the photo.

flowersIs actually an underexposed photo to the view of the sensor, mostly because of the black background, and the histogram is actually incorrect.  The photo is actually perfectly exposed.   That’s what a histogram is, and what it does, and how to use it, so that’s all for today.


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