Histograms are very useful to us in determining a balanced tonal distribution of exposure, particularly outdoors in bright daylight as we cannot trust our eyes to see if the picture is correctly exposed form our display as our pupils dilate in bright sunlight. Simply by having the Histogram information displayed next to the picture is a quick and easy way to determine if our  exposure is balanced.

New to photography, you will learn about not “clipping highlights”, and spike to the extreme right on the histogram and students often get distressed when they see a spike to the right telling them that their exposure is not within printable range.


So don’t get het up and hot under the collar while histograms are useful and good practice there are certain situations where clipping is totally “acceptable” and you should let the histogram overshadow your primary objective, “taking pictures”.

Acceptable clipping situations are specular highlights, setting sun, Indoor portraiture where you may be using the natural light and want to let the outside detail to “blow out” the background information window light.