Sunday, 09 May 2010 00:00

Taking pictures using Histograms

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A couple of weeks ago I was reading one of my favorite blogs from X-Equals and I came across their post Harnessing the Lightroom Histogram. Of course I have heard about histograms and the way they work but like many new photographers I have not paid much attention to it. A lot of it had to do with not fully understanding the benefits of having the histogram on the back of your camera after each shot.

So after reading the blog I went and got my camera out of the bag (it was sitting in there for couple days and was due to come out to take some pictures anyway!), changed the view of the back display so I could see the histogram after every shot and set up the display as explained in the blog:

“On my Canon, I found reducing my Contrast and Saturation to two clicks below the middle setting gets my on camera histograms reasonably close to what I get on import in Lightroom. It will require a bit of experimenting with your camera and Lightroom, but once you match up the camera histogram with Lightroom, you will know what you have to work with in the field and not have to wait to upload to Lightroom to know if the image turned out the way you desired.”

I then went out to take some shots. Well if you want to follow the recommendations you have to set your camera to Manual mode and start working with it. That was a little different. I was so used to controlling just the ISO and either speed or Aperture but now the camera wanted me to do all the work? Well I don’t know about you but I was under the impression that the more money you spend the less work you have to do But after a couple of minutes of pressing the wrong buttons and spinning the wrong wheels I started getting used to it. After dozens of underexposed and overexposed pictures I started paying more attention to the histogram and tried to take a shot that was a little on the light side. It was a success.

The next day my fiancée, Nicola, and I went to visit our friend’s house just outside of Punta Gorda. They have a beautiful house, with a pool and farm, so it was the ideal place to try my new photography technique. I took loads of pictures and was happy with the progress I was making. I could shoot in the manual mode without too much preparation setting up the camera.
The next thing was to have a look at the pictures in Lightroom and see if I should be happy with the progress I made. Basically because I’m shooting everything little bit to the right side of the histogram I have to adjust most of the pictures in LR, however I did get a very new look for my pictures. It is a very fine balance to have a picture as bright as possible without having some parts overexposed. Thanks to the image being brighter you have very good detail in the shadows and if the picture is too light for your taste than you can always move the exposure slide to the left to make it darker without losing any details.

These are some of the pictures I took that day. Thanks for reading folks.

Read 5414 times Last modified on Sunday, 04 August 2013 19:06
Karel Kuran

Karel Kuran is landscape photographer living in South West of England. He is member of The Royal Photographic Society.