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HISTOGRAM

Definition of Term

A bar graph to evaluate brightness and contrast, showing pixels exposed in an image with 256 shades from black (left) to white (right)
Image result for histogram photography

CLIPPING:
  • Your camera’s digital sensor is much more limited than the human eye in its ability to gather information from a scene that contains very bright and very dark areas—a scene with a broad “dynamic range.” In photography, dynamic range is defined as the ratio between the maximum and minimum areas of luminance in a given scene. The camera will, unless you are manually controlling exposure, try its hardest to create an image that is exposed for the widest possible range of lights and darks in a scene. Because of the limited dynamic range of the sensor, this solution might leave the image with pitch-black shadows or pure white highlights.
  • A spike touching the left edge of the histogram means that there is shadow clipping. The dark areas of the image are outside of the camera’s dynamic range to the point that the camera cannot discern any information from those regions. The camera says, “By exposing for the major portion of the image, I have created an area of the photo so dark that I cannot see anything there, so I am going to call it pure black.” 

  • Spikes touching the right edge are representative of the camera saying the opposite, “When I expose for the major portion of the image, this one region is so bright that I cannot tell if there is an object in that region, so I will call it pure white.”

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