Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.

— George Eastman.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Reviewing your photographs on the rear display of your camera is not the most accurate way to judge if you have achieved the best exposure. If you are outside during the day, the images will appear too dark on the screen in the daylight. If you are viewing the images indoors, the images will appear too bright because the display is backlit. Reviewing the histogram is a valuable aid to proper exposure as it shows you the distribution of tones in your image from dark (on the left) to light (on the right).

The histogram can help you to avoid underexposed shadows or overexposed highlights and to get the best tonal range in your photographs. Avoid images with the graph stacked to the extreme left or extreme right. This indicates that detail has been lost or "clipped" in the shadows (left) or highlights (right).

Not all subjects give a histogram that fits perfectly within the width of the graph. Low-contrast scenes yield a histogram that will not reach both extremes of the graph. Expose these images so that the peaks of the histogram are centered on the graph.

High-contrast scenes have a graph that is stacked at both sides. Expose these images by placing the right side of the histogram as far right as possible without "clipping", as this will retain the detail in the brightest highlights.

Note that parts of some images should be clipped simply because they should be shown as pure white or pure black.

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