Video Tutorial: How to Use your Camera’s HistogramBY Marc Silber on March 15, 2013
What the heck is that thing called a “histogram” and how do you use it anyway?
A histogram is a graph that shows the exposure from pure black on the left, to pure white on the right. It is a tool you can use to see how well your image will be exposed in your camera. One of the secrets of photography is to learn to “see” what your camera sees. Your eye can see a much wider range of light than your camera, so using the histogram can help you see only the range of light that the camera will capture. The word histogram is derived from histo meaning mast (the vertical lines) and gram denoting something written or recorded–as a graph. So in our case it is a graph showing the range of light being exposed on your camera’s sensor.
Master photographer Joe Holmes gave us a short tour of how to use your histogram, with some tips for getting “perfect exposures.” Watch this video then grab your camera, take some shots and look at your histogram and see what you can learn from it.
Note: You also have a histogram in your photo editing software like PhotoShop and Lightroom, as well as video editing software like Final Cut Pro,so you’ll want to get to know how to read these graphs as a tool to get better exposed images and digital films.
And for an advanced lesson, take a look at how using the histogram fits right in to Ansel Adams’s “Zone System” and stay tuned for more on the subject…