Histogram Fumbling

Histogram Fumbling

Moments That Matter: lesson 2: topic 6: histograms

Hi Robyn
Histogram was rather helpful and yet distracting too.
Helpful in that it reassured me for some shots the lighting wasn’t quite right and I needed to correct, but at other times I did feel my eye was telling me it wasn’t and so I was playing with settings to correct and as you know you’ve got to be quick with children. But this is all to the good.
Oh and a metering question, should I be adjusting the metering for every shot? or just mostly leave on multi?

okay the shots
Image 1 – iso 400, shutter 1/2000, ap 3.26
Taken at the local pool at 5.30pm but the sun was very bright, so struggling with too much light. Shared this one however cause I just absolutely love that I caught the water drops on Sebastian, first time ever and I realise it’s due to the fast shutter. At the time the histogram did tell me the lighting wasn’t right but can’t resist sharing

Image 2 – iso 64, shutter 1/56, ap 3.26
This one was taken in the middle of the day outside in the paddock, but was particularly pleased as Ignatius is standing underneath a covered trailer that was casting deep shadows. By playing with the settings and reading the histogram I was able to get a clear picture:)

Image 3 – iso 400, shutter 1/2000, ap 3.26
Rather happy that I was able to catch all three children in mid air, particularly after I’d previously had trouble on shutter speed capturing that movement. also happy with the surrounding lighting though disappointed I didn’t get the pool edge. Taken mid afternoon

Image 4 – iso 64, shutter 1/1000, ap 3.26
Another taken at the pool at 5.30pm still struggling with an abundance of sunlight. Although you can’t see Siena’s face I am drawn to this picture as I managed to capture the water movement and the tessellation pattern on the bottom of the pool. The histogram did tell me I was good to go, makes all the difference.

histogram-4 historgram-1 histogram-2 histogram-3

By Erin
Erin, married to my Prince Charming, mum of 10, wannabe photographer. Living on a property on the North Coast of NSW.


  1. Awesome Erin. The histogram is great for learning but after practice (and more practice) you will be able to tell 90% of the time if you have it right without having to look at the histogram. Once you start to get a real feel for exposure and light you’ll only really need to look at the histogram in really difficult lighting situations. It’s like driving a car – once you learn you stop having to think about every move and it just happens 🙂
    Re your metering question. Most of the time you should be able to leave your metering mode as is. If you decide you are after a particular result or the lighting changes dramatically you may find a mode that suits better. As a guide I only change my metering mode very occasionally – one example (the most common) is when I am trying to do a back-lit shot and get the exposure right on a face.
    Image feedback: Firstly yay for mastering shutter speed! – great to see that action captured!
    These images are not perfect but they are really good for where you are in the course. There are some composition rules to look out for but you’re not up to that lesson yet. You’ll see what I mean when you start doing the composition tutorials/assignments. You’ll also learn a lot when you get to the lighting lessons – the hard light and soft light lessons are usually a real eye opener for people!
    The best thing about these is that you are starting to capture precious moments that you’ll be pleased to be able to look back on as the kids grow up.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Robyn
    Slowly starting to ‘get it’ but still finding histogram a very handy tool in helping me ‘see’ light.
    Thanks for all the tips:) and encouragement:)

  3. I love how you’ve freezed the water droplets in the first photo – this is still a skill I am trying to master.

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