What Is a Histogram?
Histograms in photography are graphs that show tone data from an image. The left side of the histograms represents the darker, black tones of a photo. The right side represents the lighter, brighter, white tones of a photo.
If too much of your image is dark and in shadows, your histogram will look like the under-exposed one on top. If you’re overexposing your shot, all the tones will be pushed to the right. Like the histogram in the middle. If no part of your image is too dark or too bright, it will look like the bottom histogram.
Why Are Histograms Important?
Histograms in photography give you valuable info. They allow you to make adjustments before it’s too late! You can adjust your exposure and take well-exposed photos every time.
Where Can You Find The Histogram?
Your histogram can be seen alongside every photo you have taken. Look for it as you are reviewing images during a shoot. You can make exposure adjustments when needed.
Also, be sure to check the histogram of the photo BEFORE you begin editing. It will give you clues to what needs to be done as you edit. You can find it under WINDOW –> Histogram. If you’re shooting RAW, you will see the histogram as soon as you open a raw image in Photoshop.
How To Make Adjustments While Shooting
Most modern cameras have a menu setting allowing you to view the histogram through the viewfinder while you’re out shooting. You can adjust your settings (Aperture, Shutter, ISO) to achieve a well-exposed shot – a balanced histogram.
How to Make Adjustments During Editing
View your histogram at any time in Photoshop by clicking on VIEW and then histogram.
Try making exposure adjustments and looking at the histogram in real-time by clicking on FILTER → Camera Raw Filter. From there, you can adjust exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites & blacks.