Understanding the Histogram

One of the most useful yet most ignored camera features is the histogram. The histogram is available in most, if not all, digital cameras. It can be viewed in the LCD while you are also composing your shot, or separately after the image is taken.

histogram Understanding the Histogram

What does a histogram do, exactly? Simply put, it measures the brightness of a scene.  You will see a graph with a strip below it showing black at the left and white at the right, with all the gradients of gray in between. This includes all the pixels in your image.  Now the graph counts the number or pixels at each level between the black and white areas in an image. The deepest darkest shadows are to the left of the graph and the bright highlights are found at the right. The heights of points in the graph shows how many pixels are found at a certain brightness level.

If your image is underexposed and is very dark, most of the pixels will be situated at the left side of the histogram, probably even hitting the left edge. If the scene is too bright, majority of the pixels will be at the right side. This histogram shows most of the pixels in the middle area, which means the scene or image is more or less evenly exposed. An evenly spread pixel area doesn’t mean your image is now perfect, just that the exposure is balanced. The histogram of a dark key image might show most of the pixels at the left of the graph but that’s okay because you intentionally are making the image dark.

Although the best judge of the exposure of a scene is still our eyes, the histogram can greatly aid us when it is hard to see the image in the LCD such as when we are out in the sunlight. With this graph, we can also foresee whether the scene will come out too dark or too bright and we can adjust our camera settings accordingly. 


Share |

Submit a Photography Article!

Posted in Articles, Photography Basics, Photography Techniques
Tags: , , , ,

No Comments »
Print This Post Email This Post
Permalink | Posted in Articles, Photography Basics, Photography Techniques
Painting with Light

Light painting or light drawing is a fun and effective technique to let loose your creativity. An ordinary flashlight can be your ‘brush’ to ‘paint’ your subject and make it appear something more than it usually looks like.

There are a few things you’ll need to make light painting work.

Your camera should be capable of taking long exposures – how long depends on what you plan to shoot but a shutter speed of at least 5 seconds is enough to light paint a nearby object.

Read the rest of this page »


Share |

Submit a Photography Article!

Posted in Articles, Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photography Tips
Tags: , , , , ,

No Comments »
Print This Post Email This Post
Permalink | Posted in Articles, Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photography Tips
Master Your Composition and Lighting Skills with Still Life Photography

The definition of still life is simply the interpretation of inanimate objects with the use of photography. It is an art form that is extremely popular where photographers can showcase their own unique styles. The purpose and challenge of this style is to communicate a story using different techniques in lighting and composition.

Read the rest of this page »


Share |

Submit a Photography Article!

Posted in Articles, Composition, Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photography Tips
Tags: , , , , , , ,

No Comments »
Print This Post Email This Post
Permalink | Posted in Articles, Composition, Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photography Tips
How To Light Your Subject With Cost Effective Light Sources

Proper lighting has always been vital in taking great pictures and a lot of photographers invest thousands of dollars on loads of equipment such as light strobes and speed flashes. But what about the rest of us who cannot afford to buy lighting kits or set up a light studio? That should not be a problem because here are several tips on using inexpensive light sources to show off your subject:

nebula 300x235 How To Light Your Subject With Cost Effective Light SourcesSunlight – What could be cheaper than sunlight? It's free, it's natural, it's available everyday, and it can light your subject in different ways depending on the hour. Popular belief maintains that the best time to take pictures with sunlight is when the sun is low in the sky. This would be early morning or late afternoon when the light rays still emit a soft and muted light and there are no harsh shadows. Sunlight can give off dramatic effects such as bathing a flower field in golden hues or driving home the heat with an image of a street vendor at high noon. It can be used for several kinds of shots that you can take in a studio, from macro to portraiture. With sunlight, you don't even have to go out of the house. As long as you have a window that lets in adequate sunshine, then you're ready to shoot.

Candles – Who says candle lighting has to be cliché? It can provide great ambience, from romantic to creepy to strange. It costs a few cents and you can play around with just one candle or think out of the box and see what you can do with a thousand (have a fire extinguisher nearby, though!)

In this shot, I stuck a birthday candle in a candy sprinkled doughnut and used a flashlight to also light up the doughnut hole. This brings me to my next light source, the flashlight.

Flashlight/Torch – one of the most creative and fun ways to light up your subject is with light painting. Regular flashlights are usually enough to turn even the most mundane object into almost a work of art.

Overhead/Ceiling Light – Now these lights are just all over the house. Why not make use of them, as well, by incorporating them into your shots. It can be a light source, and if it looks interesting enough such as an elaborate chandelier or a dirty light bulb, may even be the subject itself.

Lamps – your bedroom lamp or reading lamp can be a great light source. It's effective for macro and still life shots and if used creatively, will really make your pictures stand out. Backlighting and side lighting can show off your subject in various interesting ways and even a tattered dishrag can appear out of this world.

You don't have to go out and buy expensive lighting equipment just to take fantastic shots. Use what you have, be creative and you will be amazed with what you can capture.


Share |

Submit a Photography Article!

Posted in Articles, Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photography Tips
Tags: , , , , ,

No Comments »
Print This Post Email This Post
Permalink | Posted in Articles, Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photography Tips
Lighting Up Your Subjects Using the Backlighting Technique

Contre-jour, more commonly known as 'backlighting', is a lighting technique that can add great impact to your images. The light source comes from behind the subject which can cause it to become silhouetted. There is greater contrast between dark and light and shapes and lines become more defined. Certain details can disappear into darkness, such as the body of the subject. However, it can also show the details of a subject's edges such as fur or hair.

Read the rest of this page »


Share |

Submit a Photography Article!

Posted in Articles, Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photography Tips
Tags: , , , , , , ,

No Comments »
Print This Post Email This Post
Permalink | Posted in Articles, Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photography Tips
Using Fill Flash to Illuminate Dark Foreground Subjects

Fill flash is a fabulous technique to add more life to dull images and it helps you brighten an otherwise dark subject. The fill flash is literally that; the photographer uses a flash to fill or to add more light to a shadowed subject. In order to maximize its effect, you have to know exactly when to use a fill flash. It does not mean that you always have to leave your flash setting on at every shooting occasion.

Read the rest of this page »


Share |

Submit a Photography Article!

Posted in Advanced Tutorials, Articles, Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photography Tutorials
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

No Comments »
Print This Post Email This Post
Permalink | Posted in Advanced Tutorials, Articles, Lighting, Photography Techniques, Photography Tutorials