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Old 06-20-2007   #31
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Default Re: Histograms???

Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyL View Post
Pauly,

As far as the spike reacing the top of the historgram, that is correct. Don't worry about it. You will always have a spike reaching the top of the histogram, regardless of the scene or the exposure. Worry about the left and right. But also learn to read a histogram based on the scene you are shooting.

I am very happy with the exposure on this image. But there is a lot of black in the image, therefore, I would expect more black and darker toned images than any other. It does not bother me that the blacks reach to the top of the histogram...it concerns me more that they are clipped on the left side of the histogram. That is where the major concern should be...left side/right side.

You will also notice that because there are so many black pixels that all of the other tones look rather flat. They are rather flat looking ONLY because there are so many dark pixels. When I isolate the subject in PS and take away the black background, I get a relatively nice looking histogram. Oddly, something very light in tonal value reaches the top of the histogram in the isoloated sujbect reading. Anyway, the fact is, histograms change depending upon the picture. If in this picture I did not have a distribution of pixels along the X axis, I would be concerned. The height of the distrubtion relative to the tall darker value spikes is going to be rather short because of all of the black in the scene.
Kelly, very good explanation! And even better picture!

Your image demonstrates an example of judicious clipping of either extreme, and in the case of this picture, the left extreme. Since the black background is not the most important element in that composition, let them get blocked, and so be it. The subject/s show great skin tone, and their outfits show excellent color and excellent white balance.

There is this photographer on another site that thinks either extreme must NEVER get clipped. Ever! His landscapes compostion wise are very good, but all his images look under exposed...perhaps one of the worse things one can do with digital. We discuss his "rule" of never clipping, but in the end he thinks any slight clipping is very wrong...to each his own of course, but I'm glad that you "get it".
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Old 06-20-2007   #32
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Default Re: Histograms???

Thanks Pavel. Once in awhile I do get something right. Histograms were a huge mystery for ever. Once I learned to read the histogram relative to the scene, and that the histogram on my camera was a luminance histogram measuring gray values, I got a better sense of what I was looking at.

Thanks for the comment on the picture. I am biased, however, since my daughter is in the middle. The picture is from "The Music Man".
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Old 06-21-2007   #33
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Default Re: Histograms???

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Originally Posted by PavelOlavich View Post
Kelly, very good explanation! And even better picture!

Your image demonstrates an example of judicious clipping of either extreme, and in the case of this picture, the left extreme. Since the black background is not the most important element in that composition, let them get blocked, and so be it. The subject/s show great skin tone, and their outfits show excellent color and excellent white balance.

There is this photographer on another site that thinks either extreme must NEVER get clipped. Ever! His landscapes compostion wise are very good, but all his images look under exposed...perhaps one of the worse things one can do with digital. We discuss his "rule" of never clipping, but in the end he thinks any slight clipping is very wrong...to each his own of course, but I'm glad that you "get it".
It is something that everyone has to discover for themselves but in reality it is important to monitor the hisogram of the subject as a seperate issue from the overall histogram. If the background is white one doesn't care less that the background is "blown out" provided it has no impact on the subject. This is particularly true in Hi key studio shots. For those that are confused by what I say - take a photo with a white background where some of the whites are clipped and "select" the subject then look at that histogram...totally different story.......


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