The histogram

pixel_Painter Avatar
24 Jan 2020 1:38AM
I wasn't sure which category to put this in but here is my problem, I mean I don't fully understand the histogram...

I just finished taking a series of images this morning and when I look at the histogram, I have nothing at either end but a bunch in the middle, it looks like a hill, I know that's the shape I should be getting but I have absolutely NOTHING for about a 3rd of the way in at both ends, what does this mean?.... I corrected this in photoshop using levels after my shoot and the colours just popped right out and look fab but I don't know what this actually means, am I doing anything wrong when I actually take the shot?
clicknimagine Avatar
clicknimagine Plus
13 1.3k 105 India
24 Jan 2020 1:58AM
This may help you...
pixel_Painter Avatar
24 Jan 2020 2:24AM

This is my original RAW file straight from the camera, why do I have gaps at the ends of the histogram if my exposure is correct?

The image doesn't contain much in the way of tones Ö.. could that be it?
clicknimagine Avatar
clicknimagine Plus
13 1.3k 105 India
24 Jan 2020 3:17AM
It is lacking contrast for that reason black and white points are not in there place...

Increase contrast and clarity...
clicknimagine Avatar
clicknimagine Plus
13 1.3k 105 India
24 Jan 2020 3:39AM
Play with those sliders to see the changes, if you still don't reach the black and white points play with the black and brightness slider, but be careful you should avoid clippings on either side...
keithh Avatar
keithh 19 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
24 Jan 2020 5:10AM
You didnít do anything wrong.

The histogram can only show you what youíve got. In this case you took a photo of a load of mid tones and the histogram shows you this. There are no right or wrong histograms, you have to look at each one in context.

For instance a photo of a white seagull against a dark sea would create a histogram which would be completely the opposite of yours but both photos would be perfectly acceptable.
PCA Avatar
PCA 3 1 2 France
24 Jan 2020 11:52AM
No, you did nothing wrong, the image as has been said just lacks contrast. The histogram is basically a graph of tones, dark on the left and bright on the right. If your histogram is bunched in the middle it just lacks dark and bright tones, easily corrected/enhanced in editing software. In addition there is no ideal shape for a histogram, Keithh's analogy of a seagull for example or a polar bear on snow for another, both different histograms and both possibly excellent photos.
pixel_Painter Avatar
24 Jan 2020 2:13PM
Ok thanks guys, now I understand ALOT more....
dark_lord Avatar
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
24 Jan 2020 2:17PM
Nothing wrong as every histogram is different.
You have to decide if it's reasonable or appropriate for the shot you've taken.
And then, how much you may need to adjust Black and White points in software.
A telephoto shot in the fog will not, often, for example, have full black or white tones though it's up to you how you present the end result.
Dave_Canon Avatar
Dave_Canon 17 2.2k United Kingdom
24 Jan 2020 3:16PM
Agree with the comment above but also remember that the histogram shown in the Raw editor is not directly a histogram of the raw data (not possible). It is the histogram of a rendered version which will reflect any editing changes you make. In your case you wished to increase the contrast though you do not have to always stretch from black to white. You may have other cases where the histogram is clipped at one end. You can adjust the exposure in the Raw editor and may be able to pull it in completely but certainly by a couple of stops. In a few cases you could clip at both ends which may mean the scene dynamic range was too large for your camera. If there is not enough adjustment to fully recover, you will know next time that multiple exposures were needed.



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