Is it real?!?
When you get a great shot of a sunset, clear ocean, etc, is this one of the questions you getting in your comments?
Is it the one you ask yourself after you process is?
Yes, that’s normal … images, just like sounds can be perceived differently by individuals. They can also be interpreted uniquely by a variety of camera image sensors. Sensors, like the eyes of individuals, are not created exactly the same. And then there the differences between what you eye sees and what your camera imager, firmware, and editing software processes. Histograms are a great way to confirm what you think you are seeing and a representation of what your camera imager sees. So, what are they … well, the best explanation I can think of is from Photograhylife.com – “A histogram is a graphical representation of the tonal values of your image“. Histograms can be found on many cameras (usually DSLRs, mirrorless bodies, and a few select bridge cameras), along with being in many image editing systems. Histograms are a great tool, because they help you understand the differences in what your eye sees and what your imager sees, especially when you are shooting in brighter light and your LCD does not give you a representation of that image you captured that is even remotely accurate. For a pro photographer, they are used to indicate to the individual whether or not they are capturing the best data possible to represent that real life image someone sees with their eyes.
Histograms, in layman’s info are numerical representation of colors (red, blue, green), brightness, shadows, highlights, etc presented in a graph that lets you see what your LCD camera screen or maybe even your computer’s flat-panel cannot see. In other words, they are a great tool for answering the question “is it real?!?” and giving you the ability to nicely debate comments like “red skies that red are *always* photo-shopped”.
Please check out the photographylife.com tutorial article below on very detailed information about histograms, how to use them, and how to understand them. It is an easier read for the novice and contains excellent advice.