Perfect Histogram?

by Jenny

Hi, I saw a tutorial somewhere that said best to adjust you exposure so that the histogram shows as far to the right as possible without clipping.

Sometimes this works fine.
Other times I take a photo, see I can add some compensation & take another so that the histogram is up to but now on the far right. Then when I get home the 1st photo looks better on the computer screen & the second is a bit washed out.
How can I tell when to push it to the edge & when not too?
I can edit the washed out one if it's a RAW file so it doesn't look too bad but it's nice to get it right in the camera if poss.
Thanks for all your help.

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Aug 21, 2009
Decide What Looks Best to You
by: Digital SLR Guide

The most common time you need to over expose and push the histogram over to the right is on overcast days.

Digital SLRs are notorious for under exposing when the available light is overcast which is why a lot of shots on overcast days can look quite dull.

Over exposing in this case makes the image brighter and the colors more vibrant.

However, this does not always apply and - as you've discovered - there will be some times when over exposing (and pushing the histogram right to the edge) will make a photo look washed out.

One thing to check is the brightness setting on the monitor you use to review photos. The factory default setting on most monitors is WAY too bright - which is why when you push the histogram the image looks washed out.

The real test is to have some of your images printed. If the washed out photo looks washed out in a print, then don't push the histogram too much. If the washed out photo looks fine when printed, then reduce the brightness setting on your monitor.

If you find that your camera's light meter is doing a good job of reading the available light, then you don't have to adjust the exposure setting too much.

For reference, here's the article on histograms that you're referring to.

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