Okay, so you’ve got the basics of the histogram and how it can help.
One use for the histogram is you do not have to see your entire image on a little tiny 2 ½ or 3 inch screen, but you can see how all of the colors in your image are laid out, do
they fall within acceptable limits? Are they clipped, (cut off), on either side? If they are too bright, all you need to do is reduce the amount of light coming into the camera, (ie. A higher f-stop number, a lower ISO setting or a faster shutter speed).
If your image is too dark, you may need to go ahead and add more light to the image in camera, not in photo editing software… Remember how to do this? (A lower f-stop
number, a higher ISO setting, or a slower shutter speed).
Here’s where the dirty little secret of histograms comes in… Are you ready? It’s okay to have an image that is a little too bright in your camera. As long as the image is not clipped on the right, you can take the brightness out of your pictures with not too much distortion. When you make an image darker in your favorite image editing program, you can bring back some of the detail.
If you try that the other way, the results aren’t nearly as good. Let’s think about this for just a minute.
When you brighten a dark image, you increase the amount of digital noise that is visible in your picture.
This makes your picture look grainy, and noisy. It actually reveals the imperfections in your picture.
When you decrease the brightness of an image, you are taking away detail from all of the bright spots in your picture, and giving the picture depth and substance. You are
removing the brightest spots in the picture and bringing them closer to the shades of midtones (the middle tones of your image) and shadows (the darker parts of your image).
If you err on the side of slightly too bright, your images will work harder to make you proud.
Hope you find this tip useful.