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Photoshop Photography Histogram Explained Tutorial

Today’s DSLR photo tip, the photo histogram explained, involves using the (gulp) histogram. This is another of those features found on most of the higher end cameras that you probably aren’t using. But you should!

The photo histogram is that graph that looks like a mountain range with spikes shooting up at seemingly random places. The scary thing is that when you see it, it looks really technical. Most of us immediately try for the land speed record in turning it off.

photo histogram

“Correct Histogram” captured by Bruce

It really isn’t that hard or confusing. Plus, it can go a long way to getting better exposure on our images.

All the histogram does is graphically display the tonal ranges in your photo from the darkest black areas to the lightest white areas. The left side is for black, the right side is for white.

Why not just look at our LCD and make adjustments from there? Glad you asked…

I’ve written other articles (discussing picture controls) where I’ve said that the LCD is not accurate. What you are seeing on the LCD screen is not necessarily what is going to show up on your computer. It is really easy to do a whole series of photos and get home only to discover that your masterpiece is under- or overexposed and not at all what you were expecting.

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