Archive for the ‘Basic Photography’ Category

Understanding Histograms

Posted: March 26, 2009 in Basic Photography

Apa itu histogram? Adakah kita benar-benar fahami tentang histogram? Aku sendiri pun tidak tahu sangat macam mana nak baca histogram dengan betul. Kata orang, kalau histogram kita betul, gambar kita akan “betul” jugak.

Kalau nak tahu sangat pasal histogram, baca jer la kat bawah ni. Jangan baca sahaja, kalau tidak faham tidak ada gunanya jugak kan?

“I was flicking through my camera’s menu today and came across a little graph labeled ‘histogram’. What is it and should I take any notice of it? Is there such a thing as the ideal histogram? What should we be aiming for?” – Brent

What is a Histogram

Histograms are a topic that we could (and probably should) spend a lot of time talking about but let me give you a very brief answer to get you through in the short term.

Histograms are a very useful tool that many cameras offer their users to help them get a quick summary of the tonal range present in any given image.

It graphs the tones in your image from black (on the left) to white (on the right).

The higher the graph at any given point the more pixels of that tone that are present in an image.

So a histogram with lots of dark pixels will be skewed to the left and one with lots of lighter tones will be skewed to the right.

The beauty of a histogram is that the small LCD display on your camera is not really big enough to give you an great review of a picture and you can often get home to find that you’ve over or under exposed an image. Checking the histogram can tell you this while you’re in a position to be able to adjust your settings and take another shot.

Some Examples of Histograms

Let’s look at a couple of examples of histograms on shots I’ve taken over the first year of my son’s life (it’s his birthday this week so we’re going through some shots).

Compare these two shots and their corresponding histograms:

The above shot has a lot of light tones – in fact there are parts of the shot that are quite blown out. As a result on the right hand side of the histogram you can see a sudden rise. While there are quite a few mid tones – everything is skewed right and with the extreme values on the right hand side indicate an over exposed shot.

This second shot has a lot of dark tones. This is partly because of the black and navy clothes in the shot – but also because it’s slightly underexposed shot. The resulting histogram is quite different to the first one – the values are skewed to the left hand side.

Is there such a thing as a ‘good’ histogram?

As with most aspects of photography, beauty is the in eye of the beholder and there’s always a lot of room for personal taste and different ways of expressing yourself as a photographer.

There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ histogram – different subjects and photographic styles will produce different results. For example taking a silhouette shot might produce a histogram with peaks at both ends of the spectrum and nothing much in the middle of the graph. Taking a shot of someone at the snow will obviously have a histogram with significant peaks on the right hand side…. etc

Having said this (and to generalize) – in most cases you’ll probably want a fairly balanced shot with a nice spread of tones. Most well exposed shots tend to peak somewhere in the middle and taper off towards the edges.

Using Histograms While Shooting

So now you know what a histogram is – grab your digital camera’s manual and work out how to switch it on in playback mode. This will enable you to see both the picture and the histogram when reviewing shots after taking them.

Keep an eye out for histograms with dramatic spikes to the extreme ends of either side of the spectrum. This indicates that you have a lot of pixels that are either pure black or pure white. While this might be what you’re after remember that those sections of the image probably have very little detail – this is a hint that your image could be either over or under exposed.

The histogram is really just a tool to give you more information about an image and to help you get the effect that you want. Having your camera set to show you histograms during the view process will tell you how your image is exposed. Learning to read them will help you to work out whether you’re exposing a shot as you had hoped.

Another Example of a Histogram

You can see in this shot a much more even spread of tones. It’s still not perfect and I’d do a little post production work but it’s a much more evenly exposed shot and the histogram reflects this.

Sumber dari :

Jin’s @ Jin-X Empire

Freelance Photographer/ Jurugambar Bebas

Wedding Photography/Jurugambar Perkahwinan

Kuching, Sarawak



Sekali lagi aku ingin berkongsi artikel tentang composition .

Aku kadang-kadang lemah dalam komposisi untuk gambar aku .

Di sini aku kongsikan tip-tips tersebut agar dapat membantu kalian semua

One of the most effective ways to make your digital images more interesting to the eye is to change the angle that you’re shooting from.
Let me use an illustration of a couple of pictures I took of a big pineapple (don’t ask – it’s an Australian thing).

1                                                                  2

In my opinion the first picture is more interesting than the second. While the second one might be good for putting the big pineapple in context of it’s surroundings and giving an accurate picture of ‘how big’ it is – I’m much more likely to get a ‘wow’ factor using the first one (although it’s by no means a brilliant shot for other reasons).

There are a number of differences between these pictures in terms of composition. For starters the first is closer and fills the frame (I’ll write about this in a future post) but for the purposes of this composition tip I want to talk about the angle that I shot the two shots from.

The second shot is taken by me standing some distance from the pineapple as I approached it. In the first shot I got much closer and crouched down to accentuate my smallness and the pineapple’s bigness. I could have gone a step further and lay down on the ground to shoot it for even greater impact.

Not only does changing the angle that you shoot from impact the feeling of size of your subject but it can have a real effect upon the light and shade and patterns on it. You can see in the picture on the left that the patterns on the pineapple are more pronounced as a result of the angle I shot it from.

Ideas for New Angles

The variety of perspectives that you can shoot images from is only limited by your imagination. In addition to standing in front of your subject you might like to try:

  • lying or crouching in front of it
  • climbing above it
  • putting the camera on the ground and chancing it (some cameras with swing out LCD displays make this particularly easy as you can frame your shots rather than chancing it)

I’m not finished yet with this topic – in the days ahead I’ll post about finding new angles to shoot portraits from and then one on photographing children. Stay tuned for more.

Sumber dari :

Jin’s @ Jin-X Empire

Freelance Photographer/ Jurugambar Bebas

Wedding Photography/Jurugambar Perkahwinan

Kuching, Sarawak


Apakah itu rule of  Thirds atau dikenali juga sebagai RO3?. Pentingkah RO3 dalam fotografi? Kadang kadang aku sendiri tidak pasti gambar aku mengikut RO3 atau tidak .

Ada sedikit sumber info yang dapat aku berkongsi pasal RO3. Sama samalah kita baca dan fahami.

Perhaps the most well  know principle of photographic composition is the ‘Rule of Thirds‘.

It’s one of the first things that budding digital photographers learn about in classes on photography and rightly so as it is the basis for well balanced and interesting shots.

I will say right up front however that rules are meant to be broken and ignoring this one doesn’t mean your images are necessarily unbalanced or uninteresting. However a wise person once told me that if you intend to break a rule you should always learn it first to make sure your breaking of it is all the more effective!

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. As follows.

As you’re taking an image you would have done this in your mind through your viewfinder or in the LCD display that you use to frame your shot.

With this grid in mind the ‘rule of thirds’ now identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest in as you frame your image.

Not only this – but it also gives you four ‘lines’ that are also useful positions for elements in your photo.

The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines that your photo becomes more balanced and will enable a viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Studies have shown that when viewing images that people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot – using the rule of thirds works with this natural way of viewing an image rather than working against it.

In addition to the above picture of the bee where the bee’s eye becomes the point of focus here are some of examples:

In this image I’ve purposely placed the head of my subject on one of the intersecting points – especially his eyes which are a natural point of focus for a portrait. His tie and flower also take up a secondary point of interest.

In this shot I’ve placed the subject along a whole line which means she is considerably off center and therefore creating an additional point of interest. Placing her right in the center of the frame could have resulted in an ‘awkward’ shot.

In a similar way a good technique for landscape shots is to position horizons along one of the horizontal lines also as I’ve done with the following shot (I’ll let you imagine the lines).

Using the Rule of Thirds comes naturally to some photographers but for many of us takes a little time and practice for it to become second nature.

In learning how to use the rule of thirds (and then to break it) the most important questions to be asking of yourself are:

  • What are the points of interest in this shot?
  • Where am I intentionally placing them?

Once again – remember that breaking the rule can result in some striking shots – so once you’ve learnt it experiment with purposely breaking it to see what you discover.

Lastly – keep the rule of thirds in mind as you edit your photos later on. Post production editing tools today have good tools for cropping and reframing images so that they fit within the rules. Experiment with some of your old shots to see what impact it might have on your photos.

Sumber dari :

Jin’s @ Jin-X Empire

Freelance Photographer/ Jurugambar Bebas

Wedding Photography/Jurugambar Perkahwinan

Kuching, Sarawak