Tip of the Day – Histogram highlights

Tip of the Day – Histogram highlights

Repeat this mantra after me – “White dogs should look white!”

Whenever I am photographing a white dog, I always aim to make them look properly white. So how do I achieve this?

I expose the image so I maintain detail in the highlights – you can do this by turning your Highlight Alerts (often called “blinkies”) on in your camera review settings, and by reviewing the images on the back of the camera with the histogram enabled.

When I’m editing the image in Adobe Lightroom, I pay special attention to the histogram, making sure the histogram data goes all the way up to the right hand side end of the histogram.⠀

A gap between the end of the data and the end of the histogram will usually mean your whites are not properly white.⠀

If the data is pushed up against the right hand end, it usually means you have “clipped” the highlights, which can result in lost detail in some areas of white fur.⠀

Note: this histogram assessment assumes you don’t have any other areas of your image that are also very bright or clipped. Often you might have areas of sky that are very bright, which skews your histogram results. To eliminate those areas, try temporarily cropping the image in Lightroom to exclude those areas of image, including just the dog, before assessing the histogram.

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, Canon EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS II @ 135mm, ISO 400, 1/1000 sec, ƒ/2.8⠀

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