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There is no such thing as a “perfect” histogram

Yesterday I wrote a little bit about histograms and dynamic range. Histograms are a very useful tool for evaluating an exposure. You should activate the histogram display on your camera and learn to use it. But you must remember that a histogram does not, by itself, say anything about image quality. Histograms must be evaluated within the context of the image that they represent for them to have any value.

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Managing dynamic range through better metering

Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake? — Leonardo da Vinci

Have you ever shot a photograph of someone with their back to a bright source of light such as the setting sun or sky? Was the person underexposed (too dark)? This is a direct consequence of what is called dynamic range and “compromise” metering being done by your digital camera. The human eye is an amazing thing. Modern cameras don’t even come close to touching the capabilities of your average, human optic system. One astounding feat is its ability to see detail in every part of a scene consisting of a huge range of dark and bright areas. You can see detail in shadow and in bright areas simultaneously. It’s something you take for granted — until you start taking photographs with a digital camera.

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