Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
Do You Use Your Histogram
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Jun 29, 2020 09:59:44   #
BooIsMyCat Loc: A nice little forest in Australia
 
I have been reading up on the use of histograms and find one issue missing - motion.

Most articles end with something like: "Never use your LCD for exposure again!" or something to that effect but, can you expose your image using the histogram when your subject is moving? Sounds pretty obvious but, for beginning photographers, this glaring omission could frustrate the daylights out of the newbie.

Do you use your histogram in your photography or is it a tool that is overlooked and left alone in the Menu section of your camera?

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Jun 29, 2020 10:01:54   #
morkie1891
 
Motion is a focus issue. Histograms will get you to the desired exposure but do nothing relative to focus.

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Jun 29, 2020 10:02:20   #
morkie1891
 
Motion is a focus issue. Histograms will get you to the desired exposure but do nothing relative to focus.

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Jun 29, 2020 10:05:23   #
Ysarex
 
Which histogram?

Yes, I use the live-view histogram that my camera displays before I take the photo. I rarely check the histogram displayed with image review on the camera. My cameras are mirrorless and so provide that live-view histogram.

You do have a valid point however concerning moving subjects, but it's not just the histogram -- everything that we do to setup a camera before taking the photo is complicated by moving subjects.

Joe

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Jun 29, 2020 10:09:05   #
IDguy Loc: Idaho
 
I use the histogram in Lightroom to adjust whites.

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Jun 29, 2020 10:14:43   #
rmalarz Loc: Tempe, Arizona
 
Rarely, if ever, use the in-camera histogram. I use the histogram in the very first steps of processing.
--Bob
BooIsMyCat wrote:
I have been reading up on the use of histograms and find one issue missing - motion.

Most articles end with something like: "Never use your LCD for exposure again!" or something to that effect but, can you expose your image using the histogram when your subject is moving? Sounds pretty obvious but, for beginning photographers, this glaring omission could frustrate the daylights out of the newbie.

Do you use your histogram in your photography or is it a tool that is overlooked and left alone in the Menu section of your camera?
I have been reading up on the use of histograms an... (show quote)

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Jun 29, 2020 10:21:33   #
Rongnongno Loc: FL, FR
 
BooIsMyCat wrote:
.../...

On camera? No.
While post-processing? Yes - At first

Histogram for anything else? It is not made for that, AT ALL.

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Jun 29, 2020 10:33:03   #
Toment Loc: IL-FL
 
Yes...

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Jun 29, 2020 10:33:32   #
Paul Diamond Loc: Atlanta, GA, USA
 
Stationary or in motion, the histogram will remain the same for the subject unless there is a significant change in the lighting/light source. Moving clouds covering/exposing the sun could change the histogram. The subject in motion and getting closer/farther from an artificial light source could change the histogram.

Don't think about the histogram when shooting in typical circumstances. If the outdoor subject is partially or completely backlit, I automatically compensate for this circumstance, based upon experience. If it's important, I might use a fill flash to soften the shadows, altering the histogram. But actually I thinking about the more appropriate or pleasant resulting picture.

If shooting in the studio, I am in control of the light sources and limiting the output of each one for the desired end effect.

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Jun 29, 2020 10:38:44   #
amfoto1 Loc: San Jose, Calif. USA
 
I often use my on-camera histogram to check exposure settings and make adjustments, as needed. The histogram provides much better info about exposure, than does a light meter reading or, even worse, the image playback on the little, uncalibrated LCD of the camera.

I also use the histograms at times in Lightroom and Photoshop, while finishing images. That can be quite useful, too.

The histogram is about exposure... not subject movement. Exposure doesn't necessarily change just because a subject moves. In fact, so long as the subject isn't moving from one lighting condition to another exposure should remain the same, unless you're looking for some sort of change in exposure effect (such as switching from "normal" exposure to "high key" or "silhouette", or vice versa).

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Jun 29, 2020 10:40:57   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
No, I just make adjustments in post for best (to my eye) aesthetic looks.

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Jun 29, 2020 10:47:35   #
Vietnam Vet
 
When it's too bright to see/trust the screen I take a a few pictures and set the exposure using the histogram.

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Jun 29, 2020 10:50:48   #
jackpinoh Loc: Oakwood, OH 45419
 
The histogram depicts the tones of the light in a scene. Unless the object moving in the scene is significantly changing the amount of light seen by the camera, the histogram won't significantly change.

I have mirrorless cameras. Before I press the shutter after composing a landscape image. I use the histogram I see on the LCD or in the viewfinder to make sure that I don't overexpose parts of the image. It is easy to quickly adjust the exposure using the exposure using the exposure compensation dial. Before I started doing this, I ruined many landscape photos by blowing out parts of the sky. I find the histogram much more accurate than the exposure warning zebras or false color highlight warnings. The histogram also alerts me to those situations where I will need to bracket to capture the dynamic range of the scene.

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Jun 29, 2020 10:51:28   #
via the lens Loc: Northern California, near Yosemite NP
 
BooIsMyCat wrote:
I have been reading up on the use of histograms and find one issue missing - motion.

Most articles end with something like: "Never use your LCD for exposure again!" or something to that effect but, can you expose your image using the histogram when your subject is moving? Sounds pretty obvious but, for beginning photographers, this glaring omission could frustrate the daylights out of the newbie.

Do you use your histogram in your photography or is it a tool that is overlooked and left alone in the Menu section of your camera?
I have been reading up on the use of histograms an... (show quote)


You state you are a beginning photographer. Assuming that, I'll give you my answer. The histogram on the camera is an indicator of exposure for any subject, moving or not moving. It is a tool to help you get the exposure you desire for any shot. Let's say you are photographing wildlife (you don't say what you are photographing with motion so I'll use that subject). You grab your gear and head out, when you are onsite you look around and take stock of where you will most likely be shooting from, based on the light. At that point you can take a test shot and take a quick look at your camera histogram to determine if the general exposure is where you want it to be. Having said that, exposure is a choice made based on intent and does not necessarily imply that the histogram will be "hill-like" in its setting. However, if you are in mid-morning light and you want a moving animal to show up exposed within a certain range your histogram would most likely be "hill-like." Thus, not overexposed and not underexposed. There is a lot to learn about exposure and it may take you awhile to figure things out but do use all of the tools available to you. Understand that every time you move and the light changes the exposure needs to change, too, so it's somewhat of a moving target. Eventually you should begin to understand how it all works. When I'm in the field shooting and things are moving quickly I'll sometimes take a quick test shot and view my histogram really quickly to see if I'm within an "acceptable" range. Shooting wildlife quickly is a test of one's ability to have the brain and the body work together as one and takes practice and knowledge of your gear and light. This would all apply to other settings as well.

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Jun 29, 2020 11:03:09   #
BooIsMyCat Loc: A nice little forest in Australia
 
rmalarz wrote:
Rarely, if ever, use the in-camera histogram. I use the histogram in the very first steps of processing.
--Bob


Interesting.

I usually either zero out my meter or use some version of ETTR but, I find that using Live View with the RGB histogram, if I adjust my exposure based on whichever color-channel has data farthest to the right, my exposure comes out perfect every time.

This works well with bright flowers such as white or red ones.

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