Using Histograms as tool for Photo Competitions

Posted on October 10, 2008. Filed under: Net Spy | Tags: , , , |

Yesterday, I ended my post discussing a part of the camera’s histogram and giving ideas on how to make this function useful for photo contests and everyday photography. Today, I will expand the idea of histogram and its utilization. Giving you steps and guides on how to evaluate and correct your images using this function.

According to Adobe, histograms illustrate how pixels in an image are distributed by graphing the number of pixels at each color intensity level. This can show you whether the image contains enough detail in the shadows (shown in the left part of the histogram), midtones (shown in the middle), and highlights (shown on the right side of the graph) to make a good correction. It photo contests, we can compare a histogram as a very advanced light meter. Using histograms in photo competitions can aid the photographer understand if an image is over or underexposed, and it can evaluate the quality of the light. You can also easily check things like the contrast of the image and the quality of light.

How to use histograms as aids for photo competitions?

Histograms can be utilized during the capture and in the image processing. Most photographers use digital cameras for photography contests because of its histogram feature. After taking a picture and checking the image using playback, there should be a menu button to see the histogram of the picture that was just captured. For example, on a Canon 10D, you get the histogram by hitting the INFO button.

In photography contests, you can determine whether you captured enough information to get a good image out of Photoshop after evaluating the histogram. When you notice that the picture’s histogram has moved to the far right, then you might have blown out the highlights and need to increase the shutter speed or close down your aperture to lessen the light in your next shot.

According to Scout Bourne, “One very technical point to remember is that there is a slight difference in the way your digital camera and Photoshop will represent the histogram. These differences are accentuated if you capture in 16-bit rather than 8-bit mode and then transfer the image to Photoshop using a linear mode. This is all techno-speak that leads us to the following point. After you have a digital image, and you have moved it into Photoshop, your Photoshop histogram then represents the true digital image.”

During picture contests, you will learn to trust the histogram better than trusting the image displayed on your camera’s LCD screen.

On my next post, I will further discuss techniques on how to evaluate histograms and how to make use the best of this function to win picture contests.

To see how John Warton, senior photo editor at Photo Laureates reviews photographs and meet, go to www.thephotochallenge.com

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