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The im­age his­togram on your cam­era’s LCD dis­play tells you ev­ery­thing you need to know about the bright­ness range in your sub­ject and whether your cam­era can cap­ture it. The his­togram is a graph­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the tones in your pic­ture, show­ing the num­ber of pix­els at dif­fer­ent bright­ness lev­els from pure black (on the left of the scale) to pure white (on the right). The ‘shad­ows’ in your pic­ture are roughly the left quar­ter of the over­all bright­ness range. With aver­age sub­jects the his­togram peaks in the mid­tones, though his­togram shapes will vary wildly (see over­leaf). The ‘high­lights’ are in the right quar­ter of the bright­ness range. The dy­namic range of the scene you’re pho­tograph­ing is shown by the width of the his­togram. The dy­namic range your cam­era can record, is shown by the width of the his­togram scale. If the his­togram won’t fit, it’s a warn­ing sign.

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